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Marine corps marathon (sorry, no photos)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fellow sparkers.
This weekend was the 37th Marine Corps Marathon aka MCM which is one heck of a marathon with 35.000 people - about 23500 finished. The event is divided in a 10k and a full marathon.

I left home on Friday. Wen to my hotel and just chilled. The last couple of weeks at work has been very hard emotionally (although I don't do hospice - what I do is closely linked with hospice).

Got up Saturday morning and had breakfast at the 'greasy spoon' of the hotel - enuf said :-) I then went to the EXPO. For the first time I had time to bum around and actually go to the booths I wanted to go to ... and I managed to get out of there without buying anything.

On my way back to the hotel, I went to lunch at a bookstore/restaurant I had been recommended on Dupont Circle. It was awesome (Quinoa, greek yoghurt, roasted nuts, granola and fruit). Got back to the hotel and met up with John (JOPAPGH) who was staying with me Saturday night. We chatted and went to dinner. We had a early dinner - good thing - because we beat the crowds.

Of course we were keeping an eye on Sandy - so we knew how we needed to dress in the am.

We left the hotel just before 6am - and on the way in the elevator we met a challenged athlete. No arm and a spring leg. These guys are amazing. Headed to the shuttle and to the start area. Now, I told you how large this was - then add families. It is huge!!!!

John and and I had different finish times in mind, so we separated fat the start - and after the national anthem there was a flyby by two Osprey's - if you want to see what they look like click on link
.. and then the gun ... no - it is the marines - so we use a howitzer - the first gun for the wheel chair - and the second for the 26.2 and 10 milers.

I am not kidding you when I say it is wall to wall runners the entire time. There is a LOT of people. The weather stayed dry - but it got windy.

I did OK for the first half - I was with the 5hr pace, but after 14 miles I started to slow down. A hip injury from a fall two weeks ago started to create limitations. But I would not give up, so I put on some music - and walked very brisk the remaining 12 miles of the event, and finished in 5:40 or 13.1 min mile. BUT - I finished.

The biggest challenge was after the race. Standing in line for the bus (the line at the Metro was no better). I made it back to my hotel in 2 hrs - I had to rush and get a shower for the shuttle to pick me up for the airport. Flight was only 45 min late ... so I was back home at midnight.

There were two of us on the plane with MCM shirts - the pilot recognized us on the PA. He had run the 10k himself that morning.

No blog will accurately describe the experience of MCM. It has to be experienced. However, if you want to participate - you have to be fast - this year it sold out in 2 hrs and 40 min.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ETTEZEUS 11/5/2012 3:54PM

    Congrats! Sorry to read about the hip and happy to hear that you didn't get stranded in DC.

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JOPAPGH 11/5/2012 3:44PM

    Nice to spend some time together. Sorry about the hip, but glad you could finish. Just signed up for the Pittsburgh full in early May.

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LADYGWEN25 11/5/2012 2:28PM

    Way to go Jan! you were right behind Julie and i.. I just did my MCM blog... It was an enlightening experience to say the least. :) I plan to do it again despite my challenges during the race.. And looking forward to possibly a spring Marathon. :) Well that's if i can con Julie into :)

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BOILHAM 11/4/2012 4:26PM

  Good job. Congrats on finishing though injured.

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ON2VICTORY 11/1/2012 3:45PM

    WTG on a good finish Jan...looking forward to seeing you in a couple weeks.

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GYMRAT_AT44 10/31/2012 9:17PM

    Yeah! Congrats!

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FRECKS96 10/30/2012 8:21PM

    Congrats on your finish! You were right behind Gwen and I. You may have even seen me, I had my daughter on my back for the very end of the race and until I got my medal. The wind did get rough at times, but what an amazing experience!

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REMEMBER2BME 10/30/2012 10:56AM

    I know. I missed it this year. I really want to give it a shot next year. It sounds like a worthwhile experience.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RHONDALYN10 10/30/2012 10:05AM

Too cool about the pilot. Gotta Love MCM!

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JILLIANPRNCSS 10/30/2012 7:15AM

    Sorry we were not able to meet at the Expo. I am glad you were able to fly out on time.

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LKEITHO 10/29/2012 10:51PM

    Congratulations on your finish! MCM was one of the first marathons I did - and the worst day I have ever had doing a marathon. It is truly a spectacular event, though! Like you I wound up walking most of the last half of the race due to an injury - no way I was not going to finish. I'm glad you enjoyed the event, and congratulations again on persevering!

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JEM0622 10/29/2012 9:02PM

    Congrats on your MCM finish! Glad you enjoyed it!

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MCCOURTT 10/29/2012 8:39PM

    LOVE the Blog, that is the MCM to the tee!!! I was tracking the race Sunday morning praying that Sandy was not early. emoticon again on the MCM!!!

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    Congrats for finishing - sorry about your hip. Glad you enjoyed your time.

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BE-THE-CHANGE 10/29/2012 6:38PM

    Way to go, Jan!

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DIET_FRIEND 10/29/2012 3:24PM

    Congratulations on completing the MCM!

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SHRINK_U 10/29/2012 2:46PM

    Sounds like an awesome experience. Way to go :)

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JEN-LOVES-LIFE 10/29/2012 2:35PM

    I'm so proud of you for going AND finishing. You could have given up, but you chose not to. Great job! Sounds like such a cool, fun event. Glad you made it home safe and sound. emoticon

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My hydration and nutrition strategies (continued)

Saturday, October 06, 2012

I just came home from a beautiful ride in NE Ohio, and again, I worked on my new fuel and hydration strategy. Today a little twist.

The suggestions in this blog may not be for everyone, so like everything else - you need to find out what works for you.

I forgot to buy yams (sweet potatoes) so my breakfast was sprouted bread with peanut butter. When we started the ride I had a GU roctane ... and that continued every 45-50 min almost religiously. My fluids - water and I emptied two bottles during my 85 mile ride. Ohh, I forgot - I also had a Cliff bar half way through.

I felt after the ride.

How on earth did I get that idea. I listen to Ben Greenfield's podcast and I have read part of Dr. Timothy Noakes' book "waterlogged". Dr. Noakes (a physician and sports physiologist) is advocating that you drink when you are thirsty. I is not a big proponent of sports drinks (and you should read the book to get the scientific arguments). Without regurgitating all the data - let me just say - what to the natives in in the dessert/jungle ingest when they hunt ... do they have Gatorade? Do they have power bars or GU?

I am not a native to the dessert or the jungle - so my eating habits are different, and that brings me to use the 'artificial' food, but based on basic physiological principles.

The bike ride was scheduled for 100 miles, but I have not ridden as much this year (last ride was a 100k a month ago), so I developed an issue with either my piriformis or sciatica because of the seat. It was a flat ride so not much riding out of the saddle. This weekend or next weekend I think will be the peak of the colors in NE OH. The ride also marks the last ride for my buddy who in a month will participate in the IM Florida. His first (at the age of 60)

On a different note - the ultra runner Lucho once made a comment ... it is not how much you train, but how much you rest. From a previous blog you will know I ran the Akron marathon a week ago. Have not done a thing since - and went out riding 85 miles ... and feel great!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JILLIANPRNCSS 10/10/2012 6:06AM

    Love those podcasts. I learn so much from them.

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BILLALEX70 10/8/2012 11:16AM

    You, my friend, are a machine!

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ON2VICTORY 10/7/2012 9:06PM

    right on bud! good stuff :)

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SEEHOLZ 10/7/2012 9:04PM

    It truly is about how you rest- good for you!

Not sure if you are pro-fueling every 45 or againt it? It sounds like against it, right?

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BILL60 10/7/2012 7:58AM

    I totally agree with the post above. Fueling is a very individual thing. I drink little fluids during my rides, but catch up after finishing my rides. Don't recommend that to others, but it works for me.

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    You Go Jan. It is so tough to fuel right, because what works right one time doesn't work the next.

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My long training run - before Marine Corps marathon.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Well, today was going to me long training run before the marine corps marathon. So, I thought I would invite a few friends. About 15.000 of them showed up! ROFL. Joking aside (I don't have pictures either LOL) - I ran the bird as my long run before MCM, and I won't keep you in suspension - my time was 5:02 including a bathroom break. :-)

As I have said 'running the bird' (nick name for Akron - presenting sponsor is Time Warner cable and their mascot the road runner 'meep meep') is an awesome experience. They have a very nice Expo which I have never been able to really enjoy because of work - yesterday no exception, but that is another story I am not going to blog about (hint: it involves work).

This year was the 10th year of Akron, and you can almost count on it - the weather will be beautiful (famous last words if you are here next year LOL). Temp in the upper 40's - clear sky with a full moon - and the Goodyear blimp above.

As the bell ran to start the race - a huge firework was set off - nice start.

I kept looking for the 10:40 pacer - but no such luck until about half way through. So, I was maintaining a 10 min mile pace (not what I wanted). Every time I looked down on my Garmin - I ran too fast. Once I came to about the half way point I was getting my speed dialed in. (I wanted a 5hrs finish).

I keept running until we came to Sand Run (a mean a-- hill). I walked the majority of it, and at that point my orthotics on the left side was giving me issues. I ultimately ended up taking it out. Unfortunately I think this may have done something to my hip adducter on the left side - as the pain got worse and I ended up walking more than I wanted.

What I really liked was - it is just such a nice route. I am not too crazy about the first part, but the second half goes through the Summit County metro parks and some residential areas. Of course the weather today brought all a lot of people out to cheer the runners on.

I kind of had a thought when I wrote the title of this blog - it was my long run before MCM, and I didn't really run with anyone I knew. I met a few people along the way I knew from other events, and that was great. So, it was a training run with about 15.000 like minded people.

After I got home - I did something unusual (for me) ... I took an hour nap. I feel much better - still sore LOL

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_BEAR_69 10/3/2012 1:22AM

    My 18 year old grandson was just home after completing his marine corp basic training and your title caught my eye. WAY TO GO on completing your run even though you were in pain. Hope some rest and relaxation will help. Take time to take care of you. Best of luck on the marine corps marathon.
Blessings and hugs,

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BRIAN36 10/1/2012 10:14AM

    Sounds like a nice run and a well deserved nap.

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    Jan - Awesome run - I can't imagine even running that far. You are amazing. Sorry about the hip - rest and recover.

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JILLIANPRNCSS 10/1/2012 6:41AM

    Sorry about the hip. Maybe you can see a chiro about getting it feeling better. Congrats on the race. I ran Akron 2 years ago and I remember all the bands and choir groups along the way. I look forward to seeing you at MCM

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GYMRAT_AT44 9/30/2012 10:47PM

    Wow! Good luck on your Marine Corp run - the title of your blog caught my attention. My 19 year old son is a Marine, and one day we just might run it! For now, slowly working my way to a 10k and overall triathlon. Hope your pains begin to heal!

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JEREMY723 9/30/2012 3:10PM

    I was there to, running the Half. I had a great time and thoght the weather was awesome. My wife and son enjoyed it to since they could see me multiple times with only walking a couple of blocks, and they took photos too:)

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SEEHOLZ 9/30/2012 12:33PM


I ran a 20 miler on the Blue Line a few years back- actually 2 yrs in a row- and I did the HM last year- I actually LOVED running Akron. It is not as tough as people say and not as easy a flat route- the hills can be tough, especially coming out of the Metropark section--- where people crowd you and whatnot. I remember Sandy Run Metropark hill really well- that hill just keeps giving :-) That said, I still think the rolling hills at Millcreak are overall tougher - but that's my opinion.

As for your experience- sorry you were in pain- but you did toughen it out and it sounds like it turned into a solid training run after all- take care of that adductor- mine has been giving me grief again lately too :( message seems to be helpful!

Again, congrats on a great training run today! And happy taper!

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LKEITHO 9/29/2012 9:55PM

    That sounds like a tough way to get your long run in! Glad you enjoyed it, and I assume now you are into taper mode - be good to your self!

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my hydration and nutrition strategies (continued)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

You may have read my recent blog about hydration and nutrition. Last Saturday I ran 15 miles and my nutrition was - sweet potato and almond milk for breakfast - GU Roctane every 45 - 50 min and coconut water.

Afterwards I felt great and I am actually going to use the strategy for the marathon. Can't decide if I am going to use my hydration backpack ... I may and fill it coconut water. It is a Nathan backpack and what I like about the bladder (reservoir) is that when you clean it you can turn it inside out and really clean it. The pack is like a vest which I really like - pocket for my phone, pocket for my gels, and a bigger pocket on the back.
(I did not pay that price on the link LOL)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2WHEELER 9/26/2012 9:38AM

    Good luck, Jan, though luck will have nothing to do with a successful marathon. You've worked hard for this. I have a Nathan hydration pack, but have mixed feelings about it. I love having the front pockets to stash gus, keys or whatever, but I don't like the bite valve--it's constantly leaking. My Nathan hydration bottle leaks, too. Could be I got 2 lemons, but what are the odds of that? In any case, I was so frustrated last weekend (a big, sticky red Gatorade stain on my new Hancock 100 jersey) that I promised myself a trip to Appalachian Outdoors to pick up a new bite valve--and if that doesn't fix it, I'll go back to using my Camelbak, but I'll miss those front pockets.

Have a great run and I'll be looking for your race report.

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LAURANCE 9/25/2012 10:17PM

  I just got your response. All this (including how to respond on these Spark pages) is new to me. I went out and got a camelbak hydration pack that the Appalacian Outdoor House recommended, and which was on sale. I went to fill it a week and a half ago, since for the first time in my life I was going to climb a small local mountain (it's name, Nittany, means "big hill" in some local Indian language, and it's a big hill, not the kind of mountain real mountain climbers go up), and I made a mess, spilled water on myself and the floor, didn't close the thing properly. In the end I took no water along and didn't need it anyway.

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LAURANCE 9/25/2012 10:00PM

  I'm looking at this. For the first time in my life (I'm 71) I'm going to attempt a 25K race next April, so I need to learn about these things.

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Saturday, September 08, 2012

I was supposed to run 20 miles this morning. It ain't gonna happen!

Woke up - started to get ready - no motivation or energy.
Went back to bed for 30 min
Dragging, dragging dragging....

OK - As Macca says 'you are the CEO of your one person company' - so I get to make decisions - I am not running today!!!!

I also have Tim 'Lucho' Waggoner in the back of my head (Lucho is the winner of the 2012 Leadville seres. He is an ultra runner - you know 100 miles running). If you are not motivated - don't run - it will only lead to bad things like injuries.... so, I am not running today.

Do I feel bad - nope
Should I feel bad - nope
Am I going to be able to accomplishe my goals (two marathons in a month) - yep.

Breakfast ... packing, driving 2.5 hrs ( I will be wearing my compression gear) and riding 100 miles tomorrow with a sparker and her two friends. It is a new day tomorrow .. and back to running on Monday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBIETEC 9/18/2012 6:49PM

    I like your choice! Sometimes you just have to relax :)

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HEALTHYCHIC 9/17/2012 9:14AM

    Some days are just like that. No problem. You'll get it next weekend :)

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MCCOURTT 9/9/2012 8:54PM

    Yep, I've had those days, but in the end it's not any one run that makes the difference. It's the whole process that makes the difference. The best to you on the marathonS!!

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BILLALEX70 9/9/2012 8:44PM

    You still kick @$$! TWO in ONE month! emoticon

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DDHEART 9/9/2012 9:13AM

    You're so smart! Reading your body cues is one of the most important and sometimes, difficult things we do as runners. Ride strong! Run long!

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SP_COACH_NANCY 9/8/2012 9:52PM


Listen to your will tell you what it needs! Enjoy your ride!

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LADYGWEN25 9/8/2012 9:21AM

    the 100 mile bike ride will equal out to that 20 mile run in the long run.. One of my triclub member, Dirk, who's been doing Tri's i think since it was first created actually sat me down for a talk this year.. especially after he heard i signed up for IMLP next year.. I was nervous because i thought he was gonna tell me i wasn't ready.. i was wrong.. He's been watching the work i put in.. and said i wasn't necessarily doing ENOUGH.. i asked him about training plans.. he has steered me to a couple.. and he knows i have actually completed one IM training already... his biggest concern was i wasn't pushing myself.. In the sense.. i wasn't LISTENING to my body... he sat me down and said "Gwen if you're not FEELING the workout.. stop... Try something else.. And if you feel TIRED.. don't do it.. don't push it.. LISTEN first to your body.. trust in the endurance you have built." His biggest issue is when people are plan specific to the point they never give their bodies a rest when it's say or even screaming at them: HEY I"M TIRED TODAY!!! Since i started listening more to my body... my endurance has actually improved.. Gotta say it surprised me... that and it surprised me like you.. I am NOT feeling guilty about it one bit... overall i feel better and healthier. which for me is w win/win.. So enjoy the day of rest.. because with 100 miles of biking tomorrow.. you're gonna need it.. Looking forward to running MCM with you and my friend Julie... another fellow sparker! :)

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DREBENEZER 9/8/2012 9:14AM

    Never force the body to do what the brain doesn't want it to. Great decision! The day of rest will do you well.

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LKEITHO 9/8/2012 9:01AM

    Good decision, Jan! Have a great ride tomorrow!

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LAURIE5658 9/8/2012 8:55AM

    As runners and cyclists (aka athletes) we know what our bodies need and ask for. Your body is pleading for rest and in the end it will be stronger. Go Jan!!!!!!


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