02 November 2011

I did it, I really did finish the MCM!!!!!!!!!!!

So, the Marine Corps Marathon.  My second marathon and really the only one I've got on my list for that distance of must do races.  Not only did I manage to make it to the start line--well after the gun sounded by the way due to the long porta-potty lines, lol--I even managed to finish. Very happy here considering that both were in quite some doubt.  Now that I've done two I think I can safely say that I really DON'T like that distance. This will more than likely be the last marathon I ever do. Yeah, almost sacrilegious to admit amongst my group of friends both virtual and real-life, but there it is.

Thoughts on the race.......crowded, awe-inspiring, crowded, tough, crowded, gorgeous, crowded.  A recurring theme, eh? And one that's repeated on nearly every blog and race report that I've read so far.  It was crazy crowded and packed for nearly the entire distance for me.  Constant side to side movement, trying to avoid throw-away gloves, sweats, and trash bags, not really being able to find a consistent pace for the first half of the race.  A guy tripped on some  debris left by other runners before we even got to the start line.  Can you imagine having to finish 26.2 miles with bloodied knees before you even got to the start mat?

I loved viewing all the monuments and sites, viewing the spectator signs, and reading some of the t-shirt backs of other runners had me tearing up.  For quite a few this was a very personal odyssey running in memory of friends and family. Quite simply, I can't come up with the words to express the upwelling of emotions from Sunday.

Ok, back to the "me" of this recap.  My only goal was to finish and be able to walk afterwards...the walking was a bit questionable though, lol. First 11 miles went without any undue pain and an unexpected  bump into one of my friends gave me and everyone else around us a much needed boost--that's Carol, she lights up everything and everyone around her!!  Started tiring around the 12 and decided to take a pee break figuring the lines would give me a chance to rest up and stretch my legs.  It did but almost took too long, don't recall any of the porta-potty lines throughout the course NOT having long lines.

A visit with a very good friend who came out to support and cheer me on around mile 17 or 19(???, can't really recall the exact mile) also gave me another boost but then came that endless bitch of a bridge........there was my wall, and everyone else's from what I was seeing around me.  Take the horrible surface, the inescapable wind, the constant incline and it was just soul-sucking.  Viewed the aftermath of another fall while on that bridge, not a pretty sight and I think the guy was kind of out of it. A couple of people next to me asked if he was ok and he snapped at them fairly hard.

Anyways, we finally get off that bridge and curve around to start meeting a sea of people coming back at you and it seems like the turnaround point is just some tease that's never ever going to happen.  It's here around mile 22-23 that I think I'm not going to make it because things start going blurry and dark on me.  Ooops.  Walk break till things crisp up, run on auto-pilot until it starts happening again, then walk again.  This went on until the finish line, very scary and I seriously thought I was gonna pass out more than once.  Fortunately I hadn't gone so far that I wasn't catching the warning signs in time to start walking before I fell out.  Damn blood sugar issues :-(.  My main thing I wanted to accomplish (other than finishing) was to not walk up the final push up the hill to the monument but I had one of the blurry/darkening episodes 1/2 way up, sigh........

But I finished!!!!!!!!!!!!! In under 5 hours chip time even (4:54:40, gun time was 5:12:38). Which is amazing considering my lack of training and the last minute foot issue. There was only one really long run of just under 20 miles and while it can be done on that little, I don't recommend it at all.

If you managed to slog through reading all this, I'm impressed.  There will be an update to the post later with pics but I'm writing on my netbook and the photos are on my other laptop.

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