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Scenes from the Marine Corps Marathon

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Here are some pics from the big day:

Lots of water. I am not sure if this was for the 10k people, or the early finishers

The start line

Me working my way through at the start. It took me 25 minutes to walk over the dtag /start line

This is the 14th street Bridge. You had to 'Beat the Bridge' by 1:15pm. I got to it at 1:10pm. Can you say down to the wire?

The Grim Reaper on the bridge

Hubby captured a picture of me as I came up the hill. This was just after I 'high 5'd' the Marines

Me and my cozy thermal blanket

Receiving my medal from the Marine. A little hard to see..but I am there...wearing my signature black visor

My Finisher picture at the Iwo Jima Memorial

Me and my 3 youngest kiddos. They were so happy to see me after a long day away and they all got a chance to try on the 'winner' medal.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WARRIOR11209 11/1/2009 1:54PM

    Love the pics - your children will never forget the day that mom ran the maraton! emoticon

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MARATHON_MOM 10/29/2009 12:42PM

    I love all of the pictures! Thanks for sharing them! I am actually taking a camera with me on my half Saturday, and if I am not a popsicle, possibly on my marathon too. Last year the temp at the start of the full I am doing was 17 degrees. BRRR!!


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TAMBERTRAND 10/29/2009 10:36AM

    Ah, I love these pictures. Way to go on the run!!!

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FINDINGMEIN2012 10/29/2009 9:10AM

    Fantastic job!!! I love your pictures and your kiddos are adorable!

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KASHMIR 10/29/2009 8:43AM

    Love it!!! Thanks for sharing!

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JENO0615 10/28/2009 11:13AM

    Thank you for sharing your photos You are AWESOME great job!!

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TIGGER622 10/28/2009 11:12AM

    Oh I LOVE the pictures!!! What adorable kiddos! They are so lucky to have such a great inspiration in their lives! WOO HOO!

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TAMTAM64 10/28/2009 9:18AM

    I love looking at your pictures!! What a smile you have... and your three children are so cute! I know they enjoyed trying on your medal. :)

Looking at the pictures with all those marines just makes me want to run that race more than ever.


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RUNTRILAUGH 10/28/2009 9:07AM

    So awesome!!!! That sounds like such an amazing run to do!

Are you still on a high from the experience???

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    So awesome!!! I have a friend who swears that receiving her medal from the Marine was the most inspirational moment in her happy you got to experience it!


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NINJALINDA 10/28/2009 8:09AM

    I love the pics - you look FANTASTIC! I've gotta go read yur race report now...

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PRINCESSNURSE 10/28/2009 5:07AM

    Awesome! So, was it totally worth all the hard work? (I think I already know the answer!)

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ZEE1960 10/27/2009 8:11PM

    Fantastic well done, I am so jealous I would love to be able to run but I have a metal rod in my leg from knee to ankle. I did however manage to run the length of a football pitch, yesterday which to a runner isn't much but it was my Everest lol.

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MNNSAIDE 10/27/2009 8:11PM

    This is Awesome! Great Job!
Looks like you may live in a Military Base.

USAF Military Brat!

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Race Report: Marine Corps Marathon - October 25, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Got up just after 4am. Chugged a cuppa joe and ate an energy bar on the drive down to the Metro. I chatted with some other runners on the ride down. It was amazing...when we got to the was just a long line of people just walking constant. Like herding cattle. It was still dark. They did a fantastic job with porta johns a plenty, and every one of them was stocked with antibacterial stuff. I was glad to have it. A Marine Corps chaplain and house band led a non-denomenational service before they released us to the starting corrals. I appreciated that they offered it, and chatted with some great people there as well.

We headed over to the corrals around 7:20am. I met a guy who was going to surprise his mother by showing her his finish medal. I don't know if he made it. He was a special needs adult, but full functioning. He was an inspiration to talk to. I met a father and daughter who trained together. It took me 25 minutes to cross the start line. There were that many people.

The cowbells, the Marines yelling off 'Ooorah' was just tremendous. I was proud to be an American. Once I warmed up after a couple of miles, the adrenaline took over. We got to the downhill at Spout Run and I took advantage of the speed I picked up. I flew down that hill. When I got over by the canal, a lady came by and she was running steady/constant. I took up with her. See...the race time start was 8a and you had to 'beat the bridge' by 1:15p. Well, because it took me 25 minutes to 'start', I was already behind. But...based on my HRM...I was right on track with my training times. She and I did manage to tuck into bushes to pee. We felt that waiting for the porta john would screw us on making the bridge. I kept with this lady until about the 14 mile marker. That was when I decided to get in sync with 2 min run, 2 min walk so that I could survive it to the bridge.

I took gatorade/powerade and water every stop. Surprisingly, I really liked the Mocha Clif Shot. I had tried Gu and almost lost it during training. The mocha tasted like coffee flavored frosting. Loved the sport beans around mile 19. The oranges were a treat too.

Along the way, there were runners in red shirts with yellow writing. They were injured Marines. Every time I came upon one of them, I said 'hello', told them they were doing a great job, and how awesome they were. So many times I choked back tears.

I was getting nervous around mile 18. I knew I had to haul it to beat the bridge. I knew I would be cutting it close, but I was going to give it my all. I saw a yellow school bus where we turned off for the 14th street bridge, and I kept hauling. There were people around me and I was yelling 'I am not getting on that damn bus! I have trained for 26 weeks. We are not getting on that damn bus...let's go!' There was a group of included a coworker of mine who hurt her foot but toughed it out. We banded together and just gave our best. We kept asking if we made it....if we beat the bridge. Once we knew we made it, there was relief. I decided at this point that I needed to walk. The trouble with walking once you get to 20+ usually have difficulty starting back up on the running. So...the last 6.2 I walked it. I saw a lady who stuck with me the whole way on my half marathon in July. It was so awesome to see that she stuck with her training and was making it happen. She did not have confidence in herself until I showed her she could do it on her pacing/timing.

The foliage around the waterside areas was just stunning. And of course passing through all of the memorials/monuments. Fun/funny things I saw along the way...Georgetown Hoyas Bulldog standing out front of the university (we passed by it). He had to be sweating buckets! A sign that read 'Your Feet Are Hurting Because You are Kicking Haines Point A$$'. And lastly, the grim reaper who was standing atop the jersey walls on the 14th street bridge and he held a sign that said 'the end is near'.

I met up with a lady from Ontario around mile 24. It was her 3rd marathon. We chatted it up until we turned just after the 26 mile marker. It was sooooo awesome at that point. A line of Marines standing there, high 5-ing me as I climbed the hill. So awesome. My husband was at the bend by the bleachers near the finish line. I was so happy to see him. I crossed the finish line and they announced my name! My official chip finish time was 6:45:18. I was then given a thermal blanket and made my way to the fencing to head for my medal. A very handsome Marine said 'Congratulations Ma'am' and put the medal around my neck. Dang that thing is heavy! I headed over to the Iwo Jima Memorial for my 'finisher' picture. I was glad that my husband did not have to go to the lettered meet up column. He walked through with me as they gave me water, powerade, and a bag of food. We walked over to get my finisher coin and then got into the long line for the Metro.

The organization of the race, the fuel on the route, the number of Metro was all very well done.

I came home to my parents (grateful that they watched the kids for us) and ate some amazing homemade lasagna and harvest cake. YUM.

Now to rehydrate. I almost passed out on the Metro, and the room was spinning when I laid down to bed last night. Going for a hot rock massage at 11am.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILAGIRL 11/9/2009 4:54PM

    I read some of your training blogs a while back and actually thought about you on race day. I'm glad you did so well and had a great experience - what an accomplishment!! Yeah!!

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JKHEIMBACH 11/5/2009 3:31PM

    So proud of you Julie!!! You trained and trained and now you can say you did it, you ran 26.2!!!!!! Great job!!

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ERMAC22 11/1/2009 7:46PM

    Congrats Julie!!!! That is amazing! So inspirational - I could always hear/see you leading the charge of people to get over the bridge, "We're not going to let it beat us!!" So awesome. Frame that heavy medal because you deserve it!! emoticon

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WARRIOR11209 11/1/2009 1:57PM

    You are awesome - great job. emoticon

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NINJALINDA 10/28/2009 8:27AM

    That sounds like the most AWESOME experience! emoticon on finishing the race...and beating the bridge!

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    WOW - what an accomplishment!!! (so sorry I've been MIA and wasn't able to give you pre-race pep!) I'm really proud of you for doing this - such an inspiration!!!

emoticon emoticon

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TURTLEGIRLPA 10/28/2009 12:11AM

    You are my hero! Congratulations on completing the MCM (and beating that damned bridge)! I hope someday to grow up to be just like you :)

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THEWOODRUNNER 10/27/2009 8:24PM

    Well done! You should be proud! I did three Marine Corps in the late 80's and early 90's and I think they do a fabulous job!

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MNNSAIDE 10/27/2009 8:17PM

    Awesome job and Patriotic.
Treasure that Metal that you received.

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FREEDOMSTAR 10/27/2009 7:33PM

    Congratulations ! I'm so proud of you {{heart}}
Please post the official photo's when you get them
Cheers !
emoticon emoticon

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MBSHAZZER 10/27/2009 7:02PM

    GREAT job! Congratulations!

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RHYNIC 10/27/2009 6:36PM

    Well done Julie. loved your blog. You are done, and I am just beginning. I ran my second run of my 18 week program. gail

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CHARQ09 10/27/2009 6:18PM

    Great job, Julie! I got chills reading about it! What a fantastic accomplishment!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JENO0615 10/27/2009 12:57PM

    Congrats Totally awesome!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DOCKAYE 10/27/2009 12:06PM

    Thank you Julie - what a great experience! emoticon

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ANTHONYF 10/27/2009 11:57AM

    Congratulations. Sounds ike it all worked out well. Enjoy the recovery!

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CARADAWN 10/27/2009 10:20AM

    Great race report! I love reading ones like yours because they give me motivation for my first marathon in January. Keep up the great work emoticon

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LEANVIXEN 10/27/2009 8:53AM

    Awesome report. Thank you for sharing! It must have been amazing to have all of those Marines high fiving you! How long did you train for?

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MOM2ALEX2004 10/27/2009 8:47AM

    Awesome job! I'd have been bawling...

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COOPSM 10/27/2009 8:06AM

    Julie---I am teary eyed reading this!!! What a blog...I am proud of you!!! You did great...CONGRATS!!!

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BRAVE_NEW_ME 10/27/2009 4:36AM

    CONGRATS on the finish!!! And thanks for the wonderful race report... it was wonderfully inspirational. =D

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KAYAKID 10/26/2009 10:23PM

    What a great race report! What an inspiration you are! So many people running there first marathon's and the story of the race just makes me want to do my first. 10/10/10 - Victoria will be my first. I ahave seen you around the spark community and I amsure we have many common friends. I watched Keakman and kashmir run there marathons. I added you as a friend as we do this together. I love that the miltary was there to support you. that must of been a thrill for you. Good luck to you!

Happy spark running!!

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TEAMDIRTDOGS 10/26/2009 9:54PM

    awesome race report. congratulations on the race. it sounds like you had a truly great experience. so good that you took the time to thank our wounded soldiers.

and the grim reaper....LOL. and high5ing marines! wow.

a suggestion that you might want to try. one thing i have found, if i walk longer than a minute, i have a hard time getting going again. you might want to try 1:1 ratios. it's a great ratio for when you're tired, you don't feel like running, you're taking it easy, it's too hot out, you're doing some wicked hills, etc. i find it easier than continuous walking bc you use different muscles. anyway, rest up (that hot rock massage sounded so good) and when you get back in the swing of things give it a go and let me know what you think.

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BETTY925 10/26/2009 8:12PM

    Great job! I hope I do as well on my first 1/2! emoticon

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MTER67 10/26/2009 6:48PM

    Yay, Marathoner! Congratulations! I am so happy for you. It WAS an amazing day--the weather was perfect, the trees beautiful, the Marines inspirational. I ran a good race. My knees locked up on my at mile 21-22 or so and I felt all my enthusiasm drain out of me. Then after I made the turn around at the last out and back, I saw a young Marine coming up the other direction, hobbling along the course on crutches. Another Marine was behind him pushing his empty wheelchair. I stopped my whining and finished the last few miles strong. It was a very special race, so well organized, so inspirational. I may be signing up again next year!

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    Congratulations Julie!!!!

You did an awesome job! I had chills all over while reading your blog!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LAURIE5658 10/26/2009 1:37PM

    Oh Julie!!!! This gave me chills as I am a Military Mom!!! You are amazing my friend and like I told you earlier, I admire your running abilities so much. I always pay attention to your postings and blogs. I CANNOT imagine just how anxious you felt to get to THE BRIDGE! The fact that you trained so very hard and had the 25 minute start just to start had to be nerve-wracking. BUT YOU DID IT!!!!! Great blog, my friend!

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RUNTRILAUGH 10/26/2009 1:18PM

    Great job!!!! Aren't those hot stone massages the best?!?!?!?!

I hope one day to accomplish a marathon! Thanks for the inspiration!!!!

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KLSART 10/26/2009 1:02PM

    Julie - congratulations!!! You are amazing and you did it!! I LOVED your blog about the race. Such an fabulous experience. Hope your massage was great. You deserve it. Karen

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MARATHON_MOM 10/26/2009 1:01PM

    Way to go Julie! What an awesome race report! I could just picture the marines high-fiving you to the finish, and the soldier putting the medal around your neck. Congratulations! Your long training paid off and you totally deserve the massage and to take it easy for a few days.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


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ZORAHGAIL 10/26/2009 12:53PM

    Fantastic report & I too got goose bumps! Congrats & enjoy that massage!

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SORGIN 10/26/2009 12:27PM

    You had me crying at the high-fiving Marines. Wow, what an awesome story and thanks for sharing it. Yep, that 26 weeks of training paid off and YOU DID NOT GET ON THE BUS! Congrats! Congrats! Congrats! You have joined the ranks of another "few and proud" group. Maybe some day I will be there too! What an inspiration and CONGRATS!

PS I hope you are still wearing that medal!

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MUMMYLICIOUS 10/26/2009 12:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
CONGRATULATIONS! I had goose bumps and tears from " the Marines yelling off 'Ooorah' " to the end!

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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 10/26/2009 11:55AM

    Julie - Awesome...What an experience you had and running that marathon. I can't believe that you met and chatted with so many people along the way. You are so great, my words can express what I am feeling for you. I sure hope you have an awesome massage today - you sure have earned it.


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TERRIANGEL 10/26/2009 11:54AM

    emoticon CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! wow, the Marine Corps marathon. Not only did you run a marathon, you did this big one, too!! Your report was AWESOME, and you should be very proud of your accomplishment, and enjoying a well deserved relaxind day today (11AM massage...nice! I did that the day after MY marathon. Hee!)

I always wondered what the Marine Corps marathon was like, and now I have a pretty good idea. But, what happens if you don't get past the bridge by 1:15? Do you HAVE to stop running? Do you have to get on the bus?

Anyway, congrats again, Ms. Marathoner!


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MARKAMURKA 10/26/2009 11:36AM

    Congratulations! You have done well! I've followed your marathon training, ever since you've helped me with your comment. (I'm on track, thanks)
Thank you for sharing the experience.

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TAMTAM64 10/26/2009 11:30AM

    All of your hard work paid off BIG TIME!! It's a dream of mine to run the Marine Corps Marathon... one day, I will.

I'm so proud of you - you did so well. I know you and your family are all proud of that big, heavy medal you earned.

Rest up & get that massage... There's another race to plan. :)


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_MSAPRIL17_ 10/26/2009 11:20AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Awesome job!!!

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BOILERINAZ 10/26/2009 11:17AM

    Great Job Julie!!!! You did it!!!! Enjoy your heavy medal and your massage you have earned them both! So proud of you for all the training and completing the marathon! You are a rock star!!!!

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JEFFREYDLE 10/26/2009 11:13AM

    Congrats! I was out there cheering for friends for the MCM and it was pretty inspiring. Enjoy the massage, you earned it.

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KASHMIR 10/26/2009 10:53AM

    Woo Hoo JULIE!!! Congrats, and thanks for being so much quicker than I was at telling us about your experience...Enjoy that massage! you EARNED it!!!

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TIGGER622 10/26/2009 10:46AM

    What an amazing run!!! You did AWESOME!!! You must be so so so extremely proud of yourself - we are so proud of you!!! Thank you so much for posting this wonderful blog - you almost had me in tears! The running community is just amazing isn't it? All lf these people pushing themselves to the max and supporting each other! You are truly amazing!! GREAT JOB!!!

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STORMTMB 10/26/2009 10:42AM

    How totally awesome. Thanks for sharing your experiences! Congrats on finishing!

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Organizing Race Day Thoughts

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

So here I am, twiddling my fingers...waiting for the marathon. I have had so many things on the brain. And, thanks to those thoughts, I did not sleep well last night. Some things that I have decided:

1) I will take in blocks every 40 minutes (approx) as I had been doing on my training. It seems that the every 20 minute block intake created some confusion for me, because I was accustomed to taking in some Clif Bar or PB sandwich on wheat at various points. It was easy enough with the 40 minute interval (or greater), but left me confused and perplexed at the 20 minute intervals. I was not sure when/if it was safe to have the bar for fear of an upset tummy. No sense going through this again.

2) I will carry my camelbak. I was unsure if I would do this, but I read a thread on a new sipper type of flex cup and it reminded me how much I can't stand to drink water from a cup on a race. So I'm sticking with the camelbak.

3) I will set the Nike+ on Basic, and not Marathon. I found that, during my 'practice' event (needed for mileage, not to actually do the event) calibration was off and the count up and down by the voice on the Nike+ was more of a frustration point. I'll do Basic for tracking of mileage, but also so that I just hear the music. I will, of course, use one bud because the wheelchair racers and any other passers through must be audible. I don't want to tune out entirely and cause trouble for others.

4) I will not layer up. It is a pain to disrobe anything. I will have enough going on. Highs in the low 60s and sunny. I should be fine in my running shorts and tech shirt.

I think those are the main items of concern. I will, of course, lay my things out the night before. I will have to drive to public transportation, so I will have to plan out enough time to get to the transportation, and then Metro down to the start point.

I'm hoping that the Health Expo/Packet Pickup isn't too insane. I will have my girls in tow (they are so excited).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTINAARTISTA 10/24/2009 2:31PM

    Good luck!! You can do it!

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TIGGER622 10/23/2009 5:09PM

    Thanks for your blog comments - I thought I would drop in by you and see what you were up to... AND awesome!!! I caught you just before your marathon!!! This is totally amazing! I just want to tell you for what it is worth that I think you taking this on and following through with it is completely inspiring and empowering!!! WAY TO GO getting this far! Sounds like you are more than ready and you have things figured out, you are going to do GREAT!!! Maybe one day I can be doing what you are doing.... amazing! Good luck this weekend - can't wait to read all about it!

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2010TRIATHLETE 10/21/2009 3:17PM

    You are going to do great!

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PINKIEB1 10/21/2009 1:15PM

    Way to plan ahead. I know that always helps me calm myself and feel completely prepared. Let us know how it goes!!

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Marathon Training: Week 25, Day 1

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thank goodness it wasn't raining, but boy was it cold. The countdown is on, kids. A week from today, I will be recovering from the marathon. Really happy with my overall pacing.

8.01 miles
1:49:33 duration
13:40 pace
1617 calories burned

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURIE5658 10/19/2009 10:42AM

    I CANNOT wait until I read your post-Marathon blog!!! You are going to smoke 'em!!!

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2010TRIATHLETE 10/19/2009 10:20AM

    WooHoo! Can't wait to hear about the marathon! That seems like the Olympics to me, at this point. LOL! I'm sure you'll rock it!

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MARATHON_MOM 10/19/2009 7:42AM

    Way to go! Good luck on your marathon! You are going to do great!!!! I can't wait to hear all about it!

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Marathon Training: Week 24, Day 3

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My whole body felt like deadweight on this one. I don't know the cause. But I tried to hang back and just make it an easy run, instead of 'all or nothing' during the run periods. Two more runs until I rest for the big day.

2.5 miles
34:16 durations
13:42 pace
418 calories burned


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