Monday, October 29, 2012

Marine Corps Marathon Weekend! OORAH!

To all who ran the 10k and Marathon this past weekend at the Marine Corps Marathon, Congratulations!!

I participated in the 10k event because, we'll let's face it...I'm no marathoner. Although I had a really great time, I had some boughts of  bad luck and, emotional moments.
My morning started out by hearing my alarm clock go off. I looked over at it and saw 5:00 flashing. I looked over at my phone which is next to my clock and saw it flashing. Immediately I freak out. At some point my alarm clock messed up and instead of going off at 4am it went off an hour late. My friends had been calling me wondering what was wrong. Did I get in an accident, sick or, eaten by Zombies? Nope, freaking overslept. Thankfully, I have super awesome friends and they came knocking at my door. I threw clothes and shoes on and, grabbed my bags in record time.
Along the way I realized I had forgotten my fuel belt water bottles and, my honey stingers. I was bummed but, figured this was just a 6 mile run I would be ok with the race water and Gatorade. We picked up the rest of our friends and were on our way.
Maryland had been under a state of emergency because of a Hurricane due to hit land some time on Sunday or Monday. We saw no real signs of "Sandy" except a bit of wind and cold weather. It was actually great running weather.
We arrived at our parking garage and, made our way to the start of the 10k. The start was at the corner of 12th and Madison on The National Mall. It was still pretty dark out but, everything was so beautiful. We could see the Capital and Washington Monument.

It was pretty crowded but not too bad. We went to bag check and successfully dropped off all our bags. The bathroom lines were ridiculous. We started to wait in line until a nice man told us that we could go to a public restroom no one was at.

The crowd from our bathroom line.

My friends and I in the Bathroom line.

We made it to the start just in time to hear the National Anthem and take off.

In our corral. 

The starting line! Picture taken by a friend.

The race course was very nice. You were able to see a lot of DC area landmarks. It was a bit industrial but, you kind of expect that since you are in DC. There was tons of race spectators along the way. Alot of support groups were there ringing their bells and holding signs, cheering us along. I got quiet emotional while running a couple times along the course. I saw so many runners running in honor of falling Marines, wounded veterans running, and even runners with prosthetics. Of course then there were the Marines. All of which were there cheering us on too. Smiling, extending their arms for high fives. Everyone yelling "oorah" and "Semper Fi" every time I thanked them. It was amazing.

Somewhere along mile 3, I landed wrong on my sore foot causing it to send intense pain up the back of my heel into my calf. It was one of the worse pains Ive ever experienced running. It made me stop a minute and stretch it out. I wanted to call it quits right there and then but, kept seeing all these runners running for bigger reasons and said to myself could I really stop right now. There is no excuse, I must finish. The last 2 miles of the course were so brutal for me. I pushed so hard to finish. I wanted to beat my last 10k time but, sadly knew I wasn't going to make it due to the time I took stopping to stretch out my foot. The last hill of the course was almost my breaking point but, seeing so many people cheering you on and Marines holding their hands out to get you in case you need help just made you suck it up and push through. I finished my race and continued through the finish corral to get my medal. At the end there was a line of Marines holding medals. The Marine who was in my line looked at me, put the medal around my neck and said "Congratulations" he then saluted me and, I saluted back.

After receiving my medal, I met back up with my friends. I let out some more tears of pain and sucked it up. We got our water and Gatorade and walked to go find our bags. Our bags seemed miles away from the finish. We were freezing and wanted to change. Once we found our bags, changed, went to the bathroom, warmed up and even got FREE massages, (Which were the real deal and amazing) we headed back to the finish line to watch our friends finish the Marathon.

I had never watched a Marathon finish before. Wow!! What an emotional event. So many people crying, being helped to the finish, holding hands. We saw men and women pushing chairs with quadriplegic partners inside. It was amazing. We saw two of our friends accomplish something they worked so hard for. Seeing them from the start to finish was something else and being there to cheer them along . I was and am so truly proud of them. I joke so much here on my blog and in person about never being able to run a marathon but, seeing them accomplish something they set their hearts on really makes me have hope that one day maybe I will be able to run a Marathon too.

After meeting up with our friends who ran the Marathon we headed back home. Unfortunately, everyone else was too. The Metro was backed up, the line was wrapped around two streets. We decided to walk to the next station. However, we had no clue how long that walk would be. Once reaching the metro, I was beyond exhausted. Running the 10k and the 4 hours of extra walking around really irritated my foot more. I was so happy to be on my way home. All I wanted was ice of my foot and to lay down!! :)

All of us before heading home!

The best and the worst:
The best was: All the race support and, of course the Marines!! Also it's one of the few 10ks around you get a medal for!
The worst: All the walking around to get to your bags and family meetup. The traffic to get home was a bear. Lastly, there wasn't a water stop until mile 3 and, when I finally got to one I got the smallest bit of Gatorade I've ever gotten. (There was only 2 water stops on the course and no fuel stations.)

Would I do it again?
I really am not sure. That night I swore to never run it again due to the bad points but, now that I am reviewing it. I really did enjoy the atmosphere!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Virtual Running

Have you ever participated in a virtual run/race? If not you're probably wondering what one is. I'll admit before last year I had no clue what one was. I had seen a couple tweets come up on Twitter about virtual races but didn't pay much attention to them. That is until one of my favorite bloggers Run with Jess posted about one on her blog. A virtual race is a “race” that can be run anywhere you are, no specific starting time or starting place. They occasionally have specific dates, or sometimes the dates will range a week or two to give you time to finish it.  Just pick your favorite course and run.

Last year, Run with Jess posted on her blog that she would be planning a race in her hometown a 5k with cupcakes at the finish. YUM! I wanted to run. However, Jess lived to far away for me to come run with her. She decided to allow others in other states to run with her "virtually". All you had to do was email her your time and you'd be considered a finisher. You could run the race at anytime during the week of her race. I thought it was a great idea. I decided to sign up. She had two options to join. You could join for free and be entered in the raffle or pay a small fee and, receive a race tee. I opted to receive the tee. 

Last year, I went out and ran it alone..came home and devoured my cupcake. It was a great way to get myself motivated to run alone. 

Last weekend, my Run, Mama, Run! running group decided they would all participate in Run with Jess Cupcake Classic 5k. We would all meet up and run it together. Then receive our cupcakes after. What fun!! I loved the idea of doing it with friends this year. However, I am in the process of training for some longer races coming up and, had 9 miles on the schedule for that weekend long run. My running buddies and I decided we'd run 6 and then meet up with the rest of the group and run the 5k. So we would get 9 miles in.

The first 6 miles went really great. I was in the zone. I was in minimal pain due to my PF but, I felt good. After the 6 miles we had to stop to meet the group. We waited about 30 mins. before the 5k started. I have no clue how some people do two a days. The 5k race hurt me like no other. I was in such pain. I think part was due to the cold weather and the stiffness of my muscles. Other was my PF was flaring up big time. One of my running buddies and I kept it slow and steady. We finally finished. Exhausted!! 

One of the ladies in the group had brought cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes, one of the most delicious cupcake shops around where we live. I opted for the red velvet of course. Yumm! It was heavenly!

This year, Run with Jess had a medal option you could purchase. I did not order a tee or medal this year. I'm disappointed I didn't, they were super nice.

Virtual Run's are a great idea if your looking to do something as a group or solo... yet, don't have the time to do it on a certain day. You have the freedom to get it done when you can.
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