marine corps marathon

Right, so I’ve got this marathon I have to run on Sunday : )

Actually, I’m pretty relieved it’s still going to happen! I’m running the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC.

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With the government shutdown, a lot of things were uncertain…including this event. Apparently, we were on a need to know basis and the Marines had decided that we didn’t need to know how close it probably came to being cancelled. With such short notice, if any of the course had to be altered there would have been no way to get a new one re-certified in time.

Fortunately, (for many reasons besides this race) this is no longer a concern and race day is almost here!! I have all of the usual pre-race jitters like: weather (which looks to be a non-issue!!), getting sick (bah!), taking the right metro train on race day, getting to my corral on time. You know, all of the things outside of your control that could go wrong. However, I know that once I arrive in the right spot, at the right time and feeling healthy (pleasepleaseplease) I’ll finally be able to relax and enjoy the experience.

Because after running over 400 miles during the last 16 weeks…26.2 more seems like just a drop in the bucket!!!

mcm training

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a day in the orchard

I’m officially two weeks out from the Marine Corps Marathon!! Last week’s 21-miler did NOT go well at all…a late start and an unseasonably HIGH temperature did not offer up ideal running conditions, but today’s 12 mile run more than made up for it!! Next weekend only eight miles and then I’m finally in the home-stretch.

After this morning’s run, I rushed home, took a quick shower and then was off with the family for some apple picking. Again, a little on the warm-side for this time of year, but there was no denying that we had a gorgeous day for a stroll through the orchard.

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Time to do some baking!!!

signs of fall

I know it must be October because the leaves are changing…

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These damn things have been in the house for less than 24 hours and already my teeth hurt

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The Marine Corps Marathon sent me an eCard yesterday…along with my bib number.

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Oh. My. Already?????!!

accidental marathoner

Running. Yes. Still doing that too. In addition to all of the cooking and yoga that’s been going on around here I’ve also been continuing on with my marathon training. I’d like to say it’s been uneventful, but I’m not so sure you can train to run 26.2 miles in your limited spare time and not hit a snafu or two along the way. Regardless, things are moving along. I completed my first ever 18 mile run last weekend! Yesterday was a scale back long run, so I dropped down to 13 miles and next weekend I’ll peak at 20 miles before I begin to taper. The end is near!!

Over the last few months I’ve noticed that the shape of my feet have changed. I suppose a year of consistent running can do that. I had to retire my current pair of running shoes almost 200 miles early (bah!!) and move on up to my first pair of ‘wide-width’ shoes. Another year or so of running and I fear that my clown feet will force me to quit and join the circus instead.

I took the new pair out for a half-marathon distance spin yesterday and they’re significantly more comfortable. Excellent.

Over the last month I’ve also been experimenting with fueling options. I’m big on GU. I’ve tried several energy gels over the last year and I find that GU is not only the better tasting of the bunch, but I also tolerate it the best. However, there’s only so many GU’s you can suck down during a run before you start wishing no such thing existed. It gets progressively harder to choke them down as the miles rack up. I absolutely cannot eat solid food while running, so I started looking into alternatives.

So far the only thing I’ve come up with is Carbo Gain.

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You mix a half a cup of powder with about 16 ounces of whatever you normally drink…whether it be your favorite sports drink or plain water (like me). It has very little taste to it, so it’s not in the least bit overwhelming. Basically it’s equivalent to one energy gel spread out over the course of your run. I’m now into uncharted territory distance-wise, but when I first started using it for anything over 9-10 miles I noticed that I was able to comfortably finish my run even though I was taking one less GU than usual. It’s a little sticky if you spill it, but it’s gluten, dairy and soy free which makes it a huge score for me!!!

I figure the more options I have the better since apparently I enjoy putting myself through the grueling efforts required for marathon training. This became evident when I very randomly, very spur-of-the-moment decided to register for the Marine Corps Marathon in October!?!?!?!?

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I have no idea how that happened?! Especially considering how horribly wrong the entire registration process went. SO many runners tried for the entire 2+ hours registration was open (before selling out) and never got through.

After I registered I told my husband “I think I just accidentally registered for another marathon?!” That’s exactly how unprepared I was for making this decision!!! But I have to say, now that I’m registered I’m totally psyched!! This was the other marathon I was considering when I signed up for the New Jersey Marathon…I never imagined I would be able to do both, so I’m really excited to not only run MCM, but also that I’ll be joining my best running ‘bud at the start line!!!

MCM10k

Approximately 24 hours before Hurricane Sandy knocked out our power for six days…I ran the MCM10k!!! For a little while I wasn’t sure if I was even going to make it down to Washington, DC at all. Leading up to the race I was watching the weather channel on a daily basis, trying to get an idea of what the timing would be for this storm.

By the Friday before the race, it was looking pretty good that I could get down to my friend’s house on Saturday, run the race on Sunday morning and then be back home before the storm hit.

Fortunately, I was able to beat the storm back to Pennsylvania. By the time I got back home it was already ridiculously windy, but not one drop of rain the entire way.

As for the race, I have to say it was absolutely fantastic!! The expo/packet pick-up was extremely organized (of course!), it was so very cool to run the streets of DC…

…and to have a Marine put a medal around your neck afterwards was definitely an experience!!

I would have to say that IF I should ever do a full marathon, I’m about 90% sure I would go for the Marine Corps Marathon. Again, I loved being down there for this race, getting to spend time with my friend and really…I don’t think there’s any better motivator while running a race than having Marines lined up along the course cheering for you!!

I would highly recommend this one!! As for my finish time…it was just over 56 minutes, which is about a minute less than my last 10k. Not by much, but still a PR!!!!!!