Posts Tagged With: marine corps marathon

Race Recap – Marine Corps Marathon

Okay, I’m finally ready to tell you all about this race.  I apologize for the SERIOUS delay in writing this recap.  I was busy for a while, then traveling, and then just lazy. 🙂

That being said, let’s begin.

FIRST: I am still counting my blessings that the effects of Hurricane Sandy did not factor into this race as much as it was originally anticipated to.  For the few days leading up to the race, weather reports said it was going to be a rainy and blustery day for us marathoners.  And honestly, I was VERY unhappy about it.  But, the rain held out, and it was about 50ish degrees at the start, perfect marathon weather for me!

For this race, I was determined to stay even and relaxed, and make sure I was properly hydrated and fueled.  So, I started my morning with some oatmeal and a bottle of water.  I had this around 6:30 as I was getting dressed.  This was the first race that I had more than a quarter of a bagel for breakfast, and I think it worked out for me.

I met up with my friend, and we took the obligatory pre-race omg-we’re-so-excited-this-is-going-to-be-awesome pictures.  We were so ready!

And we were off!

Mile 1-4 : Super crowded.  Spent most of these miles weaving in and out of people, trying to catch up with my friend (she like to get OUT for races).  It was so frustrating that at times, I was running on the curb, or the grass.  I was also trying really hard to stay calm about my calf.  It wasn’t feeling tight yet, so I was doing okay.

Miles 5-10: Finally just gave up trying to stay with my friend, and settled into my pace.  Tried to really enjoy my surroundings and the race, but unfortunately, my calf started to get reeeeally tight.  Stopped to stretch it around mile 7.

Miles 11-18: Found my friend again! Yay! But then lost her when I stopped for the bathrooms on Hains Point (I knew there would be real bathrooms here, so I took advantage of that J).  But then I found her again a few miles later! Woohoo! At that point, we decided to just split up and run our own races.  I was starting to get really smiley and happy and just really enjoying the race.  BUT, my calf was still bothering me, and I was unnecessarily worried that I was going to tear a muscle.  Yet, I continued on!

Miles 19-23: I tried to stop and stretch somewhere around mile 19, and some lady behind me was like “you can’t stop now! You’re doing so well and you’re getting me motivated!” So obviously, I had to keep going! And that one comment fueled me for a few miles! I passed mile 20 and was feeling super strong, and I couldn’t help but smile the biggest smile ever! And in Crystal City, I actually enjoyed the crowds this time!  It seemed like everyone was out cheering for the marathoners!

Miles 24-26.2: After leaving Crystal City, I just wanted to be done.  There weren’t many spectators around this time.  Just me, the other marathoners and the road.  I just kept telling myself, “you can run any pace for 20 minutes”.  I kept trucking along, just knowing that once I finish, I can relax.  I saw my friend, and she really inspired me to push strong until the very end.  And I charged up that monster hill before Iwo Jima and sprinted to the finish.  DONE!

4:22 – A 7 minute PR

I actually enjoyed this marathon, even though I was pretty off my goal of 4:15.  It was a great experience, I felt strong, and I’m actually sorta looking forward to another!

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Categories: Fitness, Marathon | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

It’s getting closer!

Think I should call this a “Terrified Tuesday” post?

Categories: Fitness | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Big Decisions

I put on my big girl pants and made some pretty big decisions.  I’ve decided…

  • I will attempt another 20 miler this weekend.  I figure I’ll go out, and if I feel like cutting it short then I’ll go home.  If I’m feeling strong, then I’ll finish out.  If I finish the 20, I’ll get the confidence on knowing I have a solid 20 miler under my belt.  If not, then I start resting my legs and begin the taper.  Either way, I think it will be a win-win situation!
  • What I’m going to wear for the Marine Corps Marathon 🙂

  • To actually put candy into this thing.  But now I need more candy to fill this up! More Skittles or should I mix in some jelly beans? Maybe Mike and Ikes? ( I can’t make ALL the decisions)

  • To try kale in a salad, and I actually like it! I’ve had kale before sautéed, baked in a casserole and made into kale chips, but never had it raw.  I threw it into my salad last night, and it was good! (also contains spinach and red-leaf lettuce)

  • Well, I already knew this but THE NATIONALS ARE AWESOMEEEEE! I’m super pumped for game 5 tonight against the St.Louis Cardinals! #NATITUDE

Have you made any big/little/important/funny/etc decisions lately?

Categories: Fitness, Weekend Activities | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

3 Weeks Away!

It’s official.  I have 3 weeks until the Marine Corps Marathon!

Okay, so I have a liiittle less than 3 weeks, but 19 days is close enough, right?

Either way, I’m starting to get excited, and I might even venture to say I’m feeling a teeeeeny bit more confident about getting a PR.  Last weekend, I did a great 18 mile run, that left me feeling confident and strong.  This past weekend, I wanted to do 20-22.  I headed out Saturday morning, ready for a life changing experience.  The only thing I got was a super tight IT band.  After 4ish miles.

Whomp.

Instead of slogging through 16 more miles and further irritating my IT band, I decided to cut it super short and go home.  I figured my time and efforts (and confidence) would be better off icing, foam rolling and using my massage stick.  So, I finished with about 7 miles for the day.

I took Sunday off (a bit more foam rolling) and was ready to tackle my 20+ miles on Monday!  My friend mapped an awesome route that took us along parts of the MCM course AND finished at Iwo Jima.

I met my friend right by the Jefferson Memorial and we were off! 14.5 miles later and in Crystal City, we decided to call it quits.  It was getting cold and dark and we both still needed to make it home.

We were both slightly disappointed, but I def think it was a smarter move, then trying to make our way to Iwo Jima in the dark, and then both of us having to run home.  But that’s okay, because we’ll be running today AND maybe a final long run on Saturday!

When do you normally start your taper?  Do you think a 2 week taper will be enough?

Also, I’m looking for inspirational words/phrases to write on my hand for the marathon! Any suggestions?!

Categories: Fitness | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

Back to loving running

So I have pretty big news: I enjoyed my workouts this week! I LOVED it! And even more surprising, I WANTED to do each workout! It was great! After spending the past 2 weeks in a funk, it was so refreshing to actually WANT to be out there running.  🙂 I really hope this continues! Here were my workouts last week:

Sunday:

I don’t know if this really counts, since it was supposed to be my long run from the week before, but I’m counting it because it felt like a turning point.  I did about 10 lovely, relaxing miles.  It was fantastic.  I truly enjoyed myself, and finally I felt like I was myself again.  Runs like this are so rewarding.

Monday:

Cross training – went swimming with my roommate.  Since we live like 2 blocks from the community pool (it’s free!) we decided to check it out.  I don’t know how many laps we did, but we swam for like 40 minutes.  I really enjoyed it, and I think we’ll try to make this a habit.

Tuesday:

Run club! I did the 5 mile loop, but on the way back, we discovered some road closures that were also closed to pedestrians.  So we had to figure out a new way back, which added a bit more mileage.  Total for the run ended up being 5.5 miles.  I should add that I spent the entire time trying to catch up to the 2 guys I was running with.  Needless to say, it was a harder run than I had planned to do.

Wednesday:

Rest Day.  My legs felt super tired from playing catch-up yesterday, so I decided not to do the planned speed work.  Instead, I went home and watched the Olympics!  In retrospect, I should have done an easy recovery run instead.

Thursday:

Hills! It’s a hard thing to really WANT to do, but I somehow convinced myself that it wouldn’t be too bad.  Started with about a 2 mile warm up, and then ran up Capitol Hill 5 times.  I originally told myself I was only going to do 4, but I decided to tack on another for mental toughness (i need to start proving to myself that I’m stronger than I think).  Followed by a mile-ish cool down.  It was a hard work out, but one that makes you smile as your making your way home.  “Yep, i DID just do that.” 🙂

Friday:

Rest Day.  Another rest day to get myself mentally ready for my upcoming long run.

Saturday:

Long run! Left my apartment at 5:30 to meet my friend downtown (about 4 miles away for both of us).  Then we continued to do 8.5 together AND to finish at Iwo Jima.  It was a pretty hilly route (about 3 of it was straight uphill) but it was a nice challenge.  And finishing at Iwo Jima will help prep us for the finish of the Marine Corps Marathon (it’s a pretty tough uphill right at the finish).  The pace for this run was a bit slower than I would usually like, but I think it’s important for me to do these at an easier pace, and make my other runs faster.  So overall, I was very happy with this!

This week doesn’t seem like a big deal, but for someone that was struggling to get in 2 runs a week, this is a huge deal! I really hope it continues! I’m also going to try to squeeze in one more running workout a week.  It will have to be something easy-ish, but I think it will ultimately make me stronger.

Also, huge thanks to Claire at Let’s Go On A Living Spree and Alli at See Alli Run for the blogger award nominations! I’ll post on those this week!

Categories: Fitness | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

Ready for round two

Well, I guess I should say I hope I’m ready for round two.

Last year, on October 30th, I completed the Marine Corps Marathon, my first marathon.  I was incredibly nervous leading up to.  I spent days and weeks in a panic about how I would get through all 26.2 miles of the marathon.  And then the day arrived, race day.  I ran, and felt great all the way through mile 22.  And then I hit the wall. On top of that, my knee started hurting (which I now know was actually ITBS).  That being said, those last 4.2 miles were hands down the worst miles of my life.  No question about it.  Awful. Just awful.  I remember seeing my friends around mile 24, and I was not happy.  At all. I crossed the finish line (right behind Drew Carey, but still ahead of his time!) pledging, PROMISING never to run a marathon again.  As I was funneled through the chutes, grabbing food, meeting up with my friends, enjoying brunch, I knew that I would never attempt 26.2 again. Why do that again?  Running was supposed to be fun! And that, was definitely not fun.

Well, that was 4 months ago.  I guess I’m a changed woman now?

Yep, I registered to run the Marine Corps Marathon, again.  Not only that, I waited, patiently, for registration to open at 3pm yesterday.  And then I waited, patiently again, for the site to pull itself together.  Yep, I was there, at 2:55, ready to register.  Ready to repeat that last 4.2 that ruined my first marathon.  As awful as those last miles were, I feel like I need a re-do to prove myself.  I finished in 4:29, which certainly is not a bad time.  But its not the time I wanted.  Its not the best I can do.  (also, it’s not better than Sarah Palin’s marathon PR!) So I will be back.  And will get my sub-4 hour marathon.

Somethings I plan to do differently:

  • Train.  Yep, get out there and consistently run.  Right now, I’m thinking 4 days a week, maybe 5 if I think my body can take it.  And, I would also like to extend my longest long run to 22 miles.  Last year I maxed out at 16 (was supposed to be 18, but I fell apart).
  • Cross train.  I literally live 2 blocks from a FREE pool.  There’s no excuse.  I hope to will get my butt there 2 times a week.
  • Strength train.  I know this is something I should do, but always steer clear.  I’ll have to get over my embarrassment of starting out with the 5lb weights.
  • Ice baths.  I iced some last year, but only when things hurt.  This time around, I need to be several steps ahead.  And ice baths seem to be the way to go.
  • Tempo, speed and hills.  I did a little of each last year, but not enough.  I wasn’t very consistent (hence the goal to train), and often decided against doing the speedwork.  Must, must, must incorporate Yasso 800s.  They work for so many people, so they must work for me, right?
  • Stretch.  I know, I’m lame.  But sometimes at the end of a run, I just want to sit.  But not this year, stretching & rolling will be part of hte routine.

It’s so silly that these are the things I need to do differently.  I knew these things before, and still didn’t implement.  Sometimes, I forget selectively ignore that I need to do more than just running, to stay healthy and strong.  But, like I said, I’m a changed woman! If all goes according to plan, this will be my last marathon! Fingers crossed!  Any other suggestions are obviously welcome!

Anyone else sign up for Marine Corps Marathon this year?

What was the first race distance that really challenged you, and how did it go?

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 13 Comments

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