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 Metro...it 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'...it 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 us...one 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+ miles...you 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 trains...it 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.
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)...my 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).
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.
1617 calories burned
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.
418 calories burned
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