29 October 2006

31st Annual Marine Corps Marathon.

31st Annual Marine Corps Marathon.

Time: 4:02:10
Pace: 9:14
Overall place: 4,564 out of 20,855
Gender finish: 1,061 out of 8,096
Division: 172 out of 891

Packet Pick Up.
James and I left Baltimore around 2:00 on Saturday afternoon, only to get lost in the District and have my dad dictate directions by telephone. Whoever says D.C. is easy to get around by car is lying. The line to get into the D.C. Armory was crazy! We waited in line for about 35 minutes to get into the building… then another 10 in a line inside. It was like an amusement park — you wait in line for an hour and think that you’re in… and then… another line. I picked up my chip and number, tshirt (mock turtleneck, so ugly), and got my back sign for the ClifBar pace team. Then — to my parents’ house in Silver Spring.
The Night Before.
James, my parents, and I watched the Maryland game (GO TERPS!) and I did laundry and relaxed… well, tried to relax. My mom made pasta and apple crisp. Yummy. Went to sleep around midnight.The Morning Of.I woke up at 5:30 (oh so early) to get dressed (in layers) and eat (oatmeal with sugar) and drink (water). We left for the Metro at around 6:00. The Metro ride was uneventful, and our trains weren’t that crowded.Arriving.We got to the Runner’s Village at 7:15ish — enough time to meet up with a couple friends and use the port o potties (twice). Then — it was time to find the 4:00 pace group in the second wave and start the race!
The Race: the start.
The start was really crowded. A medical emergency (heart attack) delayed my wave (scarlet) about 15 minutes. We started at about 9:00 a.m. The first couple of miles were really crowded. I stayed with the 4:00 pace group for the first 3-4 miles, and then started pulling ahead. I found some people to chat with along the way. Was I the only one who wanted to stop running and start shopping when we passed Steve Madden and Urban Outfitters? Weather was perfect, crowd support great. I was running at about an 8:45-8:55 pace … which felt great (and turned out to not be so great. more on that later). I hit mile five at 44:23The Race: feeling great.This was a really beautiful course — I highly recommend it. Running around the mall, seeing all the monuments, the high school marching bands, the Marines passing out water and saying “looking good, ma’am,” the signs (runners have great butts! I made this sign just for you!)… awesome. I gave high fives to little kids, down a line of high school kids… running makes me feel like a rock star, a superstar athlete. I saw James a couple of times and got some kisses, which kept me going. I hit mile 10 at 1:28:01 and mile 13. 1 at 1:55:02 … putting me on track for a 3:50 finish (ha.)
The Race: a little downhill.
(and not in the good way)
I hit mile 15 at 2:15:55. I was having a grand time meeting people, high fiveing strangers, taking in the view, appreciating the weather… until about mile 16-17. I noticed my mile time slowing down to about a 10 minute pace. The stretch around Hains Point was long, slow, and boring. I just wanted to hit mile 20 and know that I only (ha!) had a 10K left. I still thought I could come in under 4 hours. I saw a tshirt that said “at mile 18 you wonder why you’re doing this. at mile 26.2 it becomes clear.” I kept that in my head.The Race: so close.I hit mile 20 at (3:00:36) with both a sense of relief and dread. Relief: 6.2 miles left. Dread: 6.2 miles left. Miles 21ish-23ish were on the bridge, which was boring. I was tired, but what really killed me was the pain — in my legs, shoulders, and feet… especially my feet. I saw a sign that said “your feet hurt because you’re kicking so much butt!” That made me smile but it didn’t stop the pain in my feet. I got off of the bridge (on an uphill, awesome) and knew I only had a few more miles. Unfortunantly, each mile felt like four. The crowd really picked up when I got off of the bridge, but at that point, the cowbells were annoying and the “you’re looking strong!!”s were a clear lie. Cranky? Yes. I hit mile 23.5 at 3:29:25 and knew, then, that I probably wouldn’t finish in under 4 hours. Oddly enough though, I was at peace with it (until the pace group, who didn’t go out too fast and didn’t run out steam… passed me!). The end was excruciating. I just thought “each step gets me closer, each step gets me closer to the finish line”. I also wondered why, exactly, I was doing this.

The Race: the finish!
I knew the finish was uphill. I just didn’t know how uphill. I saw James at mile 25ish but could barely manage a smile and a wave. At that point I was so happy — 10 more minutes of running and I could stop. At that point I didn’t stop running - ONCE - except to drink water and gatorade and suck down my GU. The .2 end of the 26.2 was super steep. Seriously, it wasn’t a hill, it was a mountain. I just put one foot in front of the other and plodded ahead. Finally, I saw the arc of balloons over the finish mat. I tried to sprint but I probably wasn’t very fast at this point. I crossed over the mat, stopped my watch, and got in line to get my metal. My watch read 4:02:08, 2 seconds off of my official finish time. Slighly dissapointed that I didn’t break four hours but too tired to be too upset.The Race: finishing up.I got into the corral to accept my metal from a marine, who put it around my neck with a “congratulations, ma’am” and gave me a space blanket. I felt like crying — partially from pain and partially from joy, but I didn’t have enough fluid left in my body. Really crowded at the finish which was frustrating with cramped legs. I got a candy bar and some pretzels, some water and some powerade. I found James at UPS truck 20 and got my finishers coin. Met up with Andi and John and got the sweetest present from my twinnie — a mug she made at Our Name is Mudd with the marathon, date, and our names… and a Lush marathon massage bar! So sweet! We went to Ruby Tuesday’s for lunch but I couldn’t really eat much.
Back to Baltimore
Bubble bath, new issue of In Syle and a few glasses of ice water. I’m actually feeling okay today — a little sore but really not too sore. I am a little dissapointed that I didn’t break 4 hours, but that doesn’t overshadow how proud I am of this accomplishment. Not only did I finish a marathon, but I shaved 41 minutes off of my time from last year (!) and came in at a very respectable pace. AND — my name is in the Washington Post (the top 1100ish men and women are listed!!). My snail coach had a great piece of wisdom: dissapoint just means that you’ll have to do another one. Agreed!This week I’m relaxing and letting my body heal. I feel pretty good physically, but I know my muscles and joints need time to repair.

Your placing in the entire field:
4566th place with 16368 finishers behind. About 22% of finishers ahead.

Your placing in Gender (Female):

1060th place with 7077 finishers behind. About 13% of finishers ahead.

Your placing in Division (F20-24):

172nd place with 724 finishers behind. About 19% of finishers ahead.

08 October 2006

Army 10 Miler - 2006.

Army 10 Miler - 2006.

Overall place: 3312
Division (F 20-24)/ Total: 80/551
Sex Place/Total: 581/6619
Chip Time: 1:21:46
Pace: 8:10.6

What a morning. Woke up at 5:15 a.m. and had a bowl of oatmeal. Dressed, teeth brushed, bag packed with watch, visor, body glide, etc. James and I left Baltimore at 5:50 a.m. (do I have the best husband, or what?) — still totally dark outside — to get to Andrea’s place in NoVa. We got there around 7:00 a.m., parked, and walked to the Metro (which opened an hour earlier than normal). It was a little chilly at around 50* F. The Metro was sort of crowded with runners and some (very loving!) spectators at 7:15 a.m.

We arrived at the Pentagon at 7:40ish a.m. … thought we had plenty of time to wait in line and use the port-o-potties. Wave one (the fast people) started at 8:00 … the rest of us started at 8:10. It was 8:00 a.m. and we hadn’t moved very far in line. Not going wasn’t an option, so we waited. Wave one started. Okay, it was okay, we still had 10 minutes. Wave 2 started… and there were still a couple of people in front of us. I was, as you can imagine, stressing majorly! Because this was a chip race, it really didn’t matter when we crossed the start line, but the rush was still frustrating. Andi waited for me to go because she’s my twinnie like that <3.>

Anyhow, my watch time was 1:21:47, a second off of my actual chip time. My goal was to come in under 1:23:00 so I’m happy with my time. I keep thinking … if I didn’t have to dodge all of those people, I could have come in under 1:20:00, but that’s silly. I have many more races in my future (a marathon, in fact, in less than three weeks, and a marathon relay the Saturday after Thanksgiving) and several chances to make new goals and meet ‘em.Went through the runner’s chute, turned in my chip, got my finishers coin, water, and chocolate chip cookie (yum). I met James and John (Andi’s boyfriend) at the finish. We saw Andi finish (who met her goal - yay twinnie-a!) , then took the Metro back to the cars. Silver Diner for brunch (pecan pancakes — excellent reward). Back to Bawlmor, Hon, and I napped most of the way.