I was looking back over posts from previous years and noticed a trend..I alway seem to have a rough time running in November and December. Looking at my running calendar, I also noticed that I was sick last October so that month was not very consistent. Which means that I guess I have been a better runner this year than last? So I don't feel really bad about my not wanting to run lately. It will come.
I did run this Tuesday with run club, even though it was really cold outside. Megan and I were talking about not running. But how could we not run when it was her 100th run at runclub?! And just like always, I warmed up quickly once I started running and I didn't notice the cold. I really hate these first few colder runs. It takes awhile to figure out the clothing needed and what temps are going to feel horrible and which temps are pretty ok for running. I normally stick with capris and short sleeved shirts until the temps fall below 40 degrees. But when you have had days of 70 degree weather followed by days of 30 degree my body just doesn't want to get used to that!
When we came back in from running, Megan received her long sleeve run club shirt for running 300 miles for beer.
Nestor came too and he earned his 100th shirt too! We also had cupcakes galore! Jen brought some yummy homemade cupcakes and I stopped off at our yummy cupcake place near school to pick up some 100th run cupcakes!
We had lots of cupcakes to make new friends with too :) Really who does not like a cupcake after a run? Way to go Megan on your 100th!
Today I was planning on going for a run, but I think I am going to scrap it..I will go tomorrow for a long run. Today I have some chicken and dumplings in the crock pot. And this afternoon Ironman Kona is on. I love Kona! You would think I would have some secret desire to run an Ironman..I don't. I just am in awe of what those athletes that do an Ironman and especially an Ironman in Kona. Well a tri is awesome by itself, but add the heat of Kona and Wow!
So after the Marine Corps Marathon I just have not been in the mood to run. I have ran a whole 2 miles..yeah I know you're jealous! I just have not been feeling the love for running. Or maybe running has not been feeling the love for me..either way I have not done much. I could give you a bunch of excuses..you all know I am good at those:
1. sinus issues
2. knee bothering me
3. back has been hurting from boot camp last week
4. It has been (insert one or more of the following: too hot, too cold, too windy, too rainy, too dark, too sunny, too tired to run..etc)
I remember when running and I were in love..I couldn't wait to come home and put on my running shoes on and head out the door. Or the times when I just would daydream about all of the fun spots I could head out to and run..Ah the butterflies before we would head out the door to meet on the road..and the smile that you get when you are together. Ah young love. Don't worry I think the love will be back, we are just going through a bit of a rough patch.
I have a half marathon coming up at the end of the month..well the weekend before turkey day actually..so I need to get my running legs in gear. Annapolis will be here before I know it. Tomorrow is the day it all comes together. I am either running the hood..or the gym..either way there is no reason not to put on my running shoes. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and get out there and run. I have been walking Riley more..so I don't feel like I have been a total slug.
My Marine Corps Medal came! I was happy to get it so quickly. The fact that I got it so quickly leaves me to believe that a box might have been left in someone's office..Oh well it made me happy.
I did wear it to school on Friday. The kids loved it. One teacher yelled at me for distracting his kids as they were walking down the hall. Its not my fault that the medal is so shiny and it spins! You have to touch it! Some kids were very impressed that I must have won first place..umm yeah we all feel like first place winners when we finish! Who knows maybe I have inspired some student to start running. I also had a few students who were stalking me as I ran. Funny I didn't tell them how to stalk a runner, but some figured it out. Some might be a bit weird-ed out by that, but I thought that was so nice. Especially since I questioned if they were listening as I was telling them about my first full marathon and how I hope I finished. I guess some of them listened. I also had a bunch ask me if that was the medal from my full marathon around my neck. So I guess more listened to me than I thought. I also had the few that asked me what I did for the medal? Umm we talked about it last week. Yep that kid wasn't listening and could care less about my running stories. lol
I will say that I have some very nice friends. Megan offered to let me wear her medal on Monday since I was so bummed that I couldn't wear it to school to show off to the kids. My friend Keith, who I joined his fundraising team for Fisher House, offered to give me his medal since he felt so bad that I didn't get one. Keith must not enjoy bling because honestly I don't think I would give that medal away! And my friend Juli at school, her husband ran it and was really appalled that I didn't get a medal. He came in on Friday with his medal and was going to give me his medal. How nice. But no need I now have my own. And really people you earned your medal as much as I did! I tell you what, runners are great people!
I took this week off from doing pretty much anything. It has been pretty nice not having to worry about running X amount of miles. No stress. Today I think I will head to the gym and do the stuff around my house that has been pushed to the side since marathon training.
So yesterday was my first full marathon. I was a bit nervous. You never know what is going to happen on race day. Was my training enough? Would I beat the bridge at 20 miles or get pulled from the course? Would I remember all of my stuff? All of these questions and more are just circling around in my head in the morning.
I got up at 4:30 to start to get ready. I was meeting Megan at the lot at 5:45. I had my stuff together the night before to try and make my morning a bit more calm. I had to get my food for the race. I had the rest of last weeks sweedish fish from Army 10 miler along with one shot block. I was planning on more than one shot block but I forgot to get the package that I purchased at the expo out of my bag. I wouldn't figure this out till I was waiting for the race to start.
I taped my one knee and headed out the door. Megan and I headed to the metro and found we were one of maybe 4 people waiting for the metro..ummm it is race day right?? More started to show up..so I am guessing we just missed a train.
We ended up arriving at the Pentagon after switching and squeezing into a new train. The line to exit the metro was crazy long. We head out and trekked the 2 miles to the start. Our friend Brad is there with his friend from out of town. He is not running it but wants to wish us good luck. We head over to the bag check. No problems here. Nice and easy no lines..
While we were headed to the portapotties we saw some Marines parachute out of a plane and show the American Flag.
We checked our bag and headed to a portapotty.
What you can't see is how nice my throw away jacket is. Lovely velour with rhinestones around the pocket. Yeah I always go fancy before a race! Somebody is so lucky to get that jacket. On a side note I was standing beside a man who was wearing a little girl's robe with pink duckies on it..Loved it!
While were were standing in line one group of guys had their own roll of tp. They were passing it around. I of course had to comment that I would like some please. They were very kind and spared some squares to Megan and myself. Genius! But considering that I couldn't remember shot blocks I am not sure if I could remember to bring a roll of tp to a race.
We headed over to our corrals and quickly found Brad. As we we were standing around who should find us?? That's right Gary! It is amazing the crowds that we stand in and Gary always is able to find us. We had marathonfoto take our pic along with Brad.
Amazing that you are in a crowd of 30,000 plus and you can run into people you know. We also ran into Matt from run club as we were heading to our corrals. We haven't seen him in ages, so it was nice wishing him good luck. Megan and I wished each other luck and went to our corrals. I really had no idea what I was going to run this full in. I just wanted to beat the bridge and finish. So I lined up with the 5:30 crowd. It took us thirty minutes and we were crossing the start line.
I was feeling pretty good for the first half of the race. I found a group of guys with a sign that they were offering free advice. The advice they were giving when I ran by was to always tip your waitress. Sound advice guys. They were also handing out some candy. Since I figured out that I didn't really have more than some sweedish fish I figured I should turn and head the few steps back to pick up a mini snickers bar. Ah it was yummy. Just an FYI - if you are handing out snickers and it is in the 40's no need to freeze them. It makes it a bit hard to chomp on them as you run. I thought I was going to choke to death because I was trying to chew a frozen snickers and breath out of my mouth (I can't breath out of my nose when I run..not enough air.) I could see the headlines girl dies from choking on a snickers at her first marathon.
After the snickers was all eaten and I was sure that I wasn't going to die in a tragic snickers death, I got myself behind the 5:30 pace group. They ended up being the Galloway run walk pace group. So all of sudden some woman would throw her hands in the air and about 40 people would just stop and start walking. It was so annoying. I am fine with the run/walkers if you only take up half of the road. When you are taking up the entire road and not letting anyone else pass..you are annoying. I almost got tripped up by a girl that was darting in and out of people trying to escape the run/walkers too.
I finally escaped the madness of 5:30 and was much happier. We headed up Rock Creek Park and we started to see other runners coming down Rock Creek. I was on the lookout for Megan. That kept me busy for a few miles. I did see her smiling face as I shouted out and we exchanged waves. She was looking pretty good and I thought I was feeling pretty good so all was well. Then as I was coming down Rock Creek I saw him. The damn juggler! This time he was dressed as RGIII from the Redskins, he even wore a mask to look like RGII! Instead of juggling regular balls he was juggling footballs! Such a show off!
Curses juggler! My first marathon and you are there too. I think he might be following me! I think it took him to mile 20 to pass me. So that made me feel sort of good. :)
We were at mile 9 and I was feeling pretty good. I loved seeing all of the Marines out supporting the MCM. It was so wonderful! Mile 9 I ate my smashed blueberry jelly half sandwich. It was so yummy.
As we headed down Haines Point I saw the Run to Remember people. Haines Point is a rather lonely stretch of land that not many people trek out to cheer. Since it is rather lonely you start to read signs.
It was a line of pictures of fallen soldiers. Brought some tears to my eyes. At the end volunteers were lining the road holding American flags.
We headed out of Haines Point and I believe it was mile 14. My half time was pretty consistent with my normal half marathon time. I was a bit worried that maybe I went out a bit too fast. Well I guess I will be finding out shortly. :)
As I was running I had this girl and her boyfriend or husband beside me. I am guessing he was a Marine because he would randomly yell out someones name to the Marines on the side like he knew them and then head over to shake there hands. He obviously was not running his first full marathon. He was a really nice guy and obviously there to support the girlfriend because the entire time he was skipping around her and running ahead to chat with someone and then skipping back to her. If he didn't offer me a small bottle of water earlier in the run I would have been giving him the evil eye at some point for being so happy and bouncy. But I didn't because he offered me a bottle of water and I thought that was nice of him. I will say I wish I had just a bit of his energy at the end of the race. It was funny because the girl would just keep on pushing ahead and the boy was just all over the place.
Around mile 17 I ran into the box of Wheaties, the carton of Milk and a Banana. I have seen the guy in the Wheaties box before. I could not imagine running 26.2 miles in a costume. Anywhoo I was running and listening to the breakfast people talking and realized that they were talking about beating the bridge. Now I will tell you all that I didn't look at the cutoff time for the bridge. I figured I either beat the bridge or get kicked off the course. I just was hoping that I was maintaining the 14 min. mile pace. Considering the start I was in 11 min/mile I figured I had some cushioning so I should make it. Then the Wheaties box and his friend start talking about how they need to get to the bridge in the next 20 or else they won't beat the bridge. What?! I don't think I could do 3 miles in 20 mins! Great I just purchased over 100 dollars of MCM merchandise that I will never be able to wear! So I was trying to kick it up a bit...not sure it was working, but I tried.
Mile 18 there were Marine's handing out sports beans. Since I had my name on my shirt I got lots of Go Pam's! Looking strong Pam! during the race and I was loving it. So as I ran past, not stopping for sports beans, I hear one Marine start yelling at me to dig deeper Pam..Push it Pam..Go faster Pam. He must think I am in bootcamp!? Well I wasn't going to make him mad so I did what he said to do..then a few guys down, a different Marine decided to take over the yelling at Pam moment. Was pretty fun. I think I would have done well at boot camp. I was pretty good at following orders. :P
I head over to mile 19 and I see some friends. Amazing how seeing someone you know just puts a little bit more pep in your step. I ran over to say hi and offer up sweaty hugs.
Ah to be this happy at mile 19 and not knowing what lies ahead. The fact that in two miles I will be miserable is unknown to me. Jen assured me that I had time for the bridge and I was not endanger of getting kicked off the course. Ah Wheaties Box..you lied to me! Well maybe I shouldn't listen in on people's conversations..because technically they didn't say anything to me..but still. You don't say 20 mins left until people are done and not allowed to finish. That is just mean!
I said my byes and was off to beat the bridge. I made it to the bridge. My goal was to beat the bridge and I completed that goal. I saw the 20 mile marker and then I just broke down. It is almost like I hit my goal and I was done. I called my mom told her my legs were so sore and I was going to walk the last 6. That is pretty much what I did too. I just couldn't lift my leg and foot off of the ground to run forward. I knew it was going to be along 6.2 miles. If I didn't fall apart after 20 I could have finished just under 6. But I had to walk..oh well I am happy I finished. Crystal City was torture. I just wanted to be done. I tried running..what I thought was running but I am sure it looked nothing like running. I started to ignore anyone saying my name. At mile 24 my friends were back. I heard my name a few times and looked up and they were there. How nice. Unfortunately I could barely lift my hand to wave. Ugh...
As I am running mile 25 I see Eileen from run club riding her bike. How great to see her. She gave me a big hug and told me I was doing great. Gary had finished a bit ahead of me. A nice little boost when I needed it. It didn't make me run, but it did put a smile on my face :)
As I crossed the finish line I tried to run across. Not sure that is what it looked like. I was feeling so proud! I can't believe I finished a marathon! As I head over to the Marines for my medal I hear the one Marine explaining that they ran out of medals and would send me my medal if I emailed the Marines. I guess they didn't anticipate as many people running and finishing today. All of sudden I felt tears welling in my eyes. I was trying not to cry. I knew it wasn't the Marine in front of me's fault. They were offering the 10K medal. The man beside me was super excited that we got extra medals today. I didn't really want a 10K medal since I didn't run a 10K, I ran a full. The other Marine just looked at me, I think he could tell I was close to crying, and asked me "Yes? to the 10K?" I just shook my head. He saluted me and congratulated me. I didn't really hear what he said because I was so sad about no medal. I got my medal and called my mom to tell her I finished and started to cry about my lack of medal. She told me it is fine they will send me one, I will still get a medal. I told her I was planning on wearing it to school and I earned it today. All afternoon I would tear up when I told someone they ran out of medals. I know they will send me one, but for my first full it was just such a let down. I felt really proud of what I did and really wanted me medal.
Megan let me pose with her medal as she photo-bombed me!
I am very proud of my full marathon. I wish I didn't fall apart the last 6 miles, but I finished, so I didn't completely fall apart :) I am a marathoner! And this marathoner is officially a retired marathoner. The training was tough. The race tough. I think half marathons are more of my thing. I guess I could try another marathon later..who knows but as of right now I am a retired marathoner :)
So today I ran over to the MCM first thing in the morning to avoid lines. Ok, I didn't really run..I drove, but you get the picture. Megan came with me to shop since she had already picked up her bib earlier in the week.
When we got there we were a bit early. No problem lets hang out in line with the other runners. When we got in I headed over to get me bib. I was so excited to have my MCM bib that I guess I wasn't listening to the volunteer. I was paying attention to Megan as she took my picture. The volunteer was not as excited about my MCM bib as I was...oh well.
Then we headed over to Fisher House to pick up some swag. I also had to exchange my shirt..how I wish I didn't have boobs some days.
We headed into the expo and found some motivational signs. Lets hope they come true for me :)
Here are some of my stuff from the expo. I got a lovely berry wind jacket and a short sleeved oorah shirt. I better finish this full or I will not be able to wear my new stuff. Or worse, I guess I would have to try again next year so I can wear my stuff. I also got the lovely hot as hell tech mock (which is what they give you as your shirt)..which will probably never see the light of day unless I get stuck in a serious blizzard and lose heat because of the power outage across the region.
We finished our shopping and headed back to the car. The line for picking up your bib wrapped around the block. So glad we got there as soon as they opened. No bad lines for us! I dropped Megan off at her car and headed towards home. I was planning on heading to target and the thrift store to pick up something to wear before the race that I could throw away. A half mile before my exit to head home and 95 is stopped. Next up a Firetruck and police car come flying up the side of the road. I can see the lights as they stop in front of us. Great. Hope we don't have to wait too long and they let us go by on one side of the road. Well it wasn't long before I realized we were not going anywhere. When truck drivers are getting out of their trucks on 95 you know that is not a good sign. People were making friends along the roadside too.
I saw one woman who was very good at multitasking. She had some Windex and paper towels and cleaned her windows as she waited. I wanted to run back and ask her if I could borrow some towels and her Windex. Luckily I had a book with me so I got some reading done. Over 1 and 1/2 hours later we were able to start to move. A tractor trailer knocked down some overhead power lines. Ugh.. Well that was a great use of my day. I ended up heading to Panera to get some lunch and then complete my errands.
I have my bag packed, my clothes laid out, my shirt has my name on the front to encourage cheers to help me keep going (I hope the M stays on..it is a bit iffy..I guess I will get cheers for Pam or PA)..I'm now just relaxing and getting nervous..
Well Sunday is Marine Corps Marathon. As I think back on my training there are some things that I just won't miss about marathon training.
1. Bad long runs. I felt like I had more bad long runs than good long runs. I will blame heat for most of my bad runs.
2. Dreading running 17 miles. Certain numbers just would stick in my head all week long until the long run day. 17 and 20 miles really messed with my mind.
3. Missing happy hour on a Friday because of a long run the next day. I did end up going out to a winery on a Friday thinking I would cut it short and head home to eat and then run the next day. That didn't happen. I did cut the night short, but I didn't go home to eat. It is hard to run long on cheese and crackers. So I had to put it off until Sunday. So that was an entire weekend worried about a long run.
4. Running all morning long. There is something to be said about half marathon training..you can run for an hour or two and you are done..marathon training not so much. It was during these runs that I just wish I was a faster runner.
5. Feeling exhausted and napping to recover from my long run. My housework may have suffered because of some of long recover naps.
6. The amount of sweat that is produced on a run longer that 14 miles.
7. Surprise chafing and finding out about the chafed area when the shower water hits the chafed area.
I'm sure there is more but I think 7 is enough for tonight. :)
What are some things that you do not like about training??