Monday, October 31, 2011
Marine Corp Marathon. Saving the best for last.
The day before the Marine Corp. Yep, they got 6" of snow in Hagerstown, MD, less than 2 hours from D.C. This pic is for Michael!
Holy shiz! I can hardly see out of my window Batman!
I think that writing race recaps are the toughest thing to do. I don't want to make it so long that it bores the heck out of everyone, yet I feel like I have a million things to say.
So, lets do the details.
Finish Time 4:40. Pace 10:40
Times I cried during the run - 2
Once at 6.42 when I passed the team that was running for Autism and again at 10.42 when I passed a soldier carrying a flag. He was in full gear.
Bib pick-up. These guys looked amazing. Men in uniform. I like.
I stopped my watch at 26.2 and it had me at 4:37 with a pace of 10:35. Obviously we're splitting hairs but that 4:37 would give me a marathon PR. Just saying. At the end of the day I like to think that I've broke even.
I ended the race with the same pace I started the race. I'm thrilled with that and if you would have told me that I would have put up that time the day before I would have told you that you had lost your ever loving mind. From the very beginning I knew that I had to A. protect my leg and B. eat GU's and plenty of them and keep myself hydrated.
I can't remember what mile this was but it beats most of my training runs and the neighborhoods I run through.
I had a couple of race scenario's in my mind of how things would play out. I wanted to keep a pace where I was 100% comfortable and not working hard, taking deep breaths and keeping my upper body still and quiet. That ended up being 10:23. There were so many times when I wanted to cut loose and really go but I made myself just sit tight and I'm glad I did. About mile 23 I was feeling the glycogen levels hit zero and I was coming in on fumes. I'm proud of the fact that I maybe walked .25 of this entire marathon and sheer will power kept the legs motoring. I broke it down into sections, the first was 13 miles, miles 13-18 and then 19 to finish. Now that we've got that out of the way...
I didn't know it at the time but I couldn't have picked a better hotel. We were right next to the Pentagon. EXACTLY right next to the Pentagon and the START line was just on the other side which meant that I didn't have to wake up until 6 am to get ready. Ka-ching.
Capitol Hill, where nothing takes place...a lot.
Our evening outing to the Pentagon. I thought the place would have this heavy perimeter with guards everywhere but it didn't. Now, security cameras are another story. There were signs everywhere you looked telling you not to take pictures. I didn't...except, this one that is.
Re-wind a day. The expo was the best I've ever been to. They had a seperate tent outside the DC Armory where you pick up your bib from a finely clad Marine, then you enter the actual Armory to visit the expo. There were booths as far as the eye could see AND the whole place had red, soft carpet that was easy on the legs.
After the expo my husband and I drove through a snowy D.C. to visit the Newseum downtown. I'll do a seperate post on this place. It's a seriously great spot to hit if you're in town. It's right down from the Capitol building and we sat down on a bench next to a window in the museum and just watched the snow fall outside. I loved our afternoon. With three kids we never have much time to spend together so this was a serious change of pace for us. I dug it, big time.
Then it was check-in time at the hotel, sacked out on the bed, played Angry Birds on the Nook and watched some football before heading over to a local steakhouse for some running fuel. I suck at playing Angry Birds but I AM good at eating. He had crab cakes, I had a baked potato. Glycogen. It's what's for dinner.
Told you I was horrible at writing race reports.
I do wanna say this though. Time and time again I kept hearing this race referred to as "the people's marathon". The entire time I was never alone, I was always surrounded by people, just like me, putting themselves out there, pushing themselves, running for someone or something, a purpose that only they traveled with. It was the BEST feeling to be there, no matter what the outcome. Each time I pass the 13 mile point of a marathon I learn something new about myself and yesterday was no different. I don't give up. Anything less than that feeling of needing a trip to a medical tent at the finish is not a big effort from me. My right IT Band went south about mile 19 but at that point it was about how bad I wanted to trudge on. Pretty bad...and I just kept going.
A very pleasant .25 mile run up to the finish. Who thought up this great idea?? It's a fitting end that reminds you to zip up your running suit, the race isn't over yet!