2015 Falmouth Road Race Recap (No, I Didn’t Forget About It)

1 Dec

I know what you’re thinking…it’s been almost 4 months since the race and you were convinced this recap was never coming!  Well, HA!  And 4 months isn’t even the record! (Because I still owe recaps of the Brooklyn Half and Queens 10K from May and June).


I had promised Danielle that I would visit Cape Cod, so I entered the lottery for this 7 mile race with her and her fellow Lobster Rollers and sure enough we got in!  Guess that trip is definitely happening now!  I’ll go into the awesomeness of trip in another post.

On Saturday morning, we headed off to the expo which was held in a local school.  Toto, we’re not in Disney any more.  This was definitely a much smaller than I’m used to expo…but it was nice and we were in and out quickly.


Unlike other races, they do not give you a shirt (I bought that one at the expo), but they do give you a pretty nice large mug (wish I drank coffee) and a canvas bag as well as a poster and some coupons for local establishments.  And by local I just mean I don’t have any near me where I live.

The “hotel” I was staying at (and I put hotel in quotation marks because it more like a Bed and Breakfast but on a larger scale) was actually perfectly located for this race.  I was within walking distance to the school (different than the expo location) where they had buses take us to the start.  This system actually moved very quickly and efficiently.  There were plenty of buses and the line honestly never stopped moving.  I was very impressed by this aspect.


In case you thought Danielle was exaggerating, the threat of the Turkadactyls are real…these guys were “guarding” the school

I met up with Danielle, her husband Jason, her friend Pat and her cousin who’s name I want to say was Mike but I’m sorry if I’m wrong but this is 4 months later…anyway!  Met up with her and her crew and we were on the bus on the way to the small town where the start was.


Not a bad view to wait for the start of a race

Danielle and company went ahead to the fast people section (there were no corrals, but there were signs indicating pace times to place yourself by and were released in groups) and I placed myself by the 12minute mile group, since that was the slowest time they offered.  I had literally hurt my back (a fun injury I am still dealing with) the week before and I hadn’t run since the Queens 10K in June (since my ankle was still plaguing me) so who knows what speeds, if any, my body would allow.

While waiting for the start, I started talking to some of the people because I spotted a 39.3 and I knew they had to have done Goofy!  So, I annoyed/harassed them with Disney talk until the race started.  I later found out that she actually has read my blog!  (HI MEGHAN…if you still read this).

Race starts and we’re off!.  My group doesn’t start until almost 10am…did I mention this race is during the hottest weekend of the year?  I was dying before the race even began!

BUT, there were some extraordinary views…


While running up the hill to the lighthouse, I heard someone yelling “just get over this hill and that’s it for the rest of the race” and then someone responded with “that is a f*ing lie!”  Unfortunately it was a lie, there was definitely another massive hill to come…right before the finish.

It was hot.  And humid.  And sunny.  And while the scenery was beautiful, I was struggling to not pass out.

There’s a temporary reprieve from the sun when you run through a wooded area which was very nice.  And can I just say, the spectators of this race are AMAZING!  Not only were there people cheering for almost every stretch of this race, but when we ran through residential areas, the people were out there with their hoses to help cool you off!  MUCH APPRECIATED!

And then there was the down side.  Listen, I know I’m slow, alright, but the races I’ve participated in, I’ve been fortunate to never have to experience slow runner issues…until this race.  Just after mile 4 there was supposed to be a water stop except when I got there, there was no water.  NO WATER.  This is unacceptable under normal circumstances but ESPECIALLY in this weather where dehydration is such a huge risk.  At this point, I started walking longer because I couldn’t risk pushing myself during run intervals until I knew I would have some water to re-hydrate.  To make it even worse, a little passed that point were spectators with a sign apologizing that they didn’t have any water because the race wouldn’t allow them to.


You’re running along a beach area/town at this point where again the spectators are great (seriously, even though I was walking they were SO SUPPORTIVE).  About a mile later I finally get some water and can resume some regular intervals.


We then go through one more stretch of residential areas (again with amazing spectators/crowd support) and then we approach the final hill before the finish…


Smiling because it’s almost all over…just around the corner

I finally finished but I felt AWFUL.  Like I actually went to the medical tent for the first time ever awful.  After a brief stint there, I met up with Danielle and company (who poor things were waiting FOREVER for me to finish) and Doug who was able to walk and meet us at the finish line.

We were able to walk back to our room from the finish (I told you that location was great!) and not deal with any of the traffic of the people trying to get out of there.

Overall, I don’t know if I would recommend this race or not.  The people were amazing, the views and scenery was gorgeous, but the timing of the race (both the time of day and the time of year) is awful and I still can’t believe they ran out of water.  I would love to do this course in the spring or fall when the temperatures are a little more accommodating.  But hey, as my first 7 miler, doesn’t matter how slow it was it was an automatic PR!

Wine and Dine 2015 – Race Recap

16 Nov

I’m sure this is not the first recap of the historical even that was Wine and Dine, so I’m sure you are all aware of why it was a historical (RunDisney) event. The Wine and Dine Half Half Marathon, or the Wine and Dine Quarter Marathon (as I personally prefer to call it) was not the race any one was expecting, but from a purely selfish point of view, I was honestly kinda grateful/thankful for the course reduction.

This race weekend was already full of historic makings. It was the last time (hopefully not forever, although most likely so) that we would see the Osbourne lights, as well as run through them. On a personal level, Team CanAm would be running togther! Rae was running her very first RunDisney race (and I’m sad that Rae could not experience the full course on her first run here) and we had a cut-out of Lisa (who unfortunately could not attend this race) joining the reunion of last year’s on course entertainment of Nicole, Kim and myself.

*Sidenote: I was later informed that Nicole ran nearly 100 Disney miles this year, approximately 90 of which were with me. If only I had done Dopey instead of Goofy, way to be a slacker on my part.*

Anyway…We decided to go the group costume route and went with Mousketeers. We are awesome. We know. We were able to meet up with Ballerina Jenn and Danielle before the race. Group shot!


photo borrowed stolen from Danielle

Sometime after 9, we heard the announcement that due to “extreme weather” we were all being evacuated to the Wide World of Sports, either the Field House or the Stadium. I have to say, considering the usage of the word “evacuate” the runners, Disney volunteers, everyone, was neat orderly and honestly I was surprised at how smoothly the thousands of us were relocating. Just to clarify, the extreme weather was lightening. Yes, it was a safety threat for runners. I had actually seen lightening earlier in the evening and guess it got too close after that. Anyone who ran last year’s Splash and Dash knows Disney doesn’t just make these decisions unless absolutely necessary. It’s similar rules to the NFL. Rain, snow, sleet, you’re OK to go in, lightening is the one thing they draw the line at.


The mass exodus begins…


…and continues

So, we all hang around for about an hour, waiting for word on the race. Here’s my one critique on the way Disney handled it. Where we were located, we could not here the announcements. We could hear the music more that loud and clear, but the music was still at full volume when they were relaying the information, making it almost impossible to hear. Next time Disney, turn off the music when important information for your runners is being announced.


perk of the evacuation? REAL BATHROOMS! OK, so the women MAY have hijacked the men’s room


We make waiting around for a race start look goooooooooood


We’re on the move! *Photo borrowed stolen from Kim

We were back in the corrals and the race was ready to begin by 11pm, an hour after the original start time. They announced that the course would be “slightly” modified. Knowing the logistics of the course, we knew that meant Animal Kingdom was being cut out. There was no other section that could be eliminated and still have us end in Epcot. Postings on Twitter and Facebook confirmed it (it would have been nice if the runners were informed that at the race, but whatever, not the end of the world. Now, contrary to what you might have read elsewhere RUNDISNEY DID NOT SHORTEN THE COURSE SO THAT WE COULD PARTY LONGER. Yes, they did say that they wanted to get us to the party so we could enjoy it asap, but that was the positive spin put on it. The reality is Disney does not own the roads and so therefore they need permits to keep the roads closed. As such, there was no way that Disney could have had everyone run the full course (at the 16mm pace allowed) and still have the majority of runners finish it. So bitch and whine all you want about it being shortened, I don’t wanna hear it. Disney made the right call, the right decision, and as previously mentioned, I was kinda thankful for the shortened course.

Now, on to the fun stuff.

In Disney fashion, the corrals were released one by one with our respective set of fireworks.

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It was hot. It was humid. And within the first mile first 3 minutes, my hip which still hadn’t fully healed since MCM was making me fully aware of the fact it had not fully healed. I was in bad shape and honestly, if the course wasn’t shortened, I didn’t know that I would have finished.

BUT, cutting the miles doesn’t mean cutting the fun. And we had lots of fun!

We stopped at pretty much every photo stop! We hit mile 8 in what I’m pretty sure was a PR for all of us…you got nothing on us Meb! We’re all BQ-ing this race!


As you approach the hill by mile 8, you know what’s coming…NARDI CHALLENGE TIME! Mile 8 or Mile “8”, you see that Green Army man, you stop and do push-ups!


My form has gone to hell without CrossFit :/

We continued singing and dancing (and limping in my case) all through the course. FYI, we all need to step up our singing game when we have someone as amazingly talented as Rae singing with us…no seriously…AMAZING!

I was definitely dragging my ass along. I knew I was physically capable of running faster in that I was still able to sing, but my hip was saying HELL NO. So, I listened to my hip…for a change.

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*photo borrowed stolen from Kim


Lisa’s such a good teammate, even travel sized! *photo borrowed stolen from Kim

When it was revealed we would not be running through Animal Kingdom, I was disappointed, but I was not devastated because that meant we were still going to do my absolute favorite part of any race ever. Running through the Osbourne lights. I honestly don’t know what I’m gonna do next year when they’re not there, but we still had them this year and we all walked this part and just soaked it all in. This picture of Rae (stolen from Nicole) I think demonstrates the feeling perfectly.


That face, that just says it all! *photo borrowed stolen from Nicole


Oh the heat and humidity! Yeah, the ridiculously sweaty selfie…sexy right? (no I didn’t go alliteration crazy, why so you ask?)


My group selfie skills need work…that and I’m just too tall

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Just after leaving MGM Hollywood Studios (yes, we eventually left the lights) there he was. THE GENIE. VACATION GENIE. I still hold on to resentment that he was not out last year when I was actually dressed as the Genie…and that because of the weather I could not costume change into vacation Genie (yes I had a yellow Hawaiian shirt and Goofy-you son of a bitch- hat). As a result, I go a little crazy when I see him on course AND WE HAVE TO STOP FOR HIM!


The “secret” path to Epcot was crowded as usual and the people outside the Yacht and Beach Club were awesome as usual with some great signs that of course I did not get a picture of.

Finally (is it weird saying “finally” when it was after 6.5ish miles? – FYI, my Garmin had us in at 6.83 total) we were in Epcot. We thanked Phoenicians. Then we crossed the finish line!

OK, now, here it where I have a small other gripe with Disney. Forget the fact that you force us to go through the INSANE changing area to get to the free post race beverage, but then you give us the crappy beer. Normally, I would not complain about this as hey, free beer, BUT the past 2 years they gave us Yuengling…YUENGLING WHICH IS AN AMAZINGLY AWESOME BEER and then they gave us Michelob Ultra this year which IS SO NOT AN AMAZINGLY AWESOME BEER. Had I not known the awesomeness of previous years, I probably wouldn’t have cared, but knowing what Disney had given in the past, this crap beer just made me sad as I was really looking forward to it.

I know this post is already way too long, but a quick summary of my past 3 Wine and Dine after party experiences: Year 1 – ran with my dad, went on Soarin’ and left. Year 2 – “ran” with a friend who had no desire to do any part of the after party, so I ran in, grabbed a lamb chop and grapefruit beer and ran out. Year 3 – Splash and Dash, too f*ing cold and wet, didn’t want to bother, just wanted a hot shower ASAP.

And now here we are. Year 4. Will I finally get to party at the after party?!?!

The answer is YES! Nicole, Rae, my sister and I went on to Soarin’ first thing, then proceeded to get food AND WE EVEN STOPPED FOR A CHARACTER PHOTO AND IT WAS AMAZING!!!! We were literally leaving Epcot at 4am. That’s right. We shut the party down. We rock.


After party food! That steak was yummy!


After party character stop! With my sister! (whom I am actually shorter than despite this picture…she really shouldn’t slouch)

Here’s what it boils down to, a race is as enjoyable as you allow it to be. And we allowed it to be the best time ever! Wine and Dine continues to be my favorite race of all time. I can’t wait to do it (and the after party) again next year.


I Promise…

5 Nov

…to write the following (long overdue) posts:

  • Falmouth Road Race Recap
  • Cape Cod Trip Recap
  • Disneyland 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon recaps
  • Disneyland Trip Recap
  • Suffolk County Half Recap
  • NYRR Bronx 10 Miler Recap
  • Thoughts on the Marine Corp Marathon
  • Starting from Scratch

Buuuuuuuuuuuuut all these posts are gonna have to wait because I’M GOING TO WALT DISNEY WORLD!  Seriously, is there a better (or longer work day) that the day you leave for your Disney trip!  I  just keep singing “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” (except not in a Christmas-y way because I do not believe in Christmas before you see Santa in the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade).

ANYWAY, so I’m off (in 9 hours and 59 minutes) running in my favorite race with some of my favorite people in my favorite place.

Until then, peace out cub scouts!  I’m off like a prom dress!

The Living, Living, Living, Room

3 Nov

It’s that time again!  In 2 days, 9 hours and 20 minutes my plane (hopefully) takes off to head to Walt Disney World for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, my absolute FAVORITE race.  Yup, I do not hide my bias here.  It’s the best.

Anyway, if a Disney race is approaching, you know what that means DISNEY SONG REMIX TIME!  Now this song actually began being written the morning of the Marine Corp Marathon.  When my alarm went off to the tune of The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room, Nicole in her brilliantness began revising the lyrics right then and there (extra impressive considering it was 5:15am, but again, as mentioned, she’s brilliant), so this version is actually TECHNICALLY co-written by her…or at least by what I can remember she sang (I did mention it was 5:15 am right?).

And with that, it’s time to wake up the glee club!

The Living Living Living Room

Ole! Ole! It’s Racetime!

In the Living Living Living Living Living Room
In the Living Living Living Living Living Room
All the runners cry because they can’t stay
In the Living Living Living Living Living Room

You all get to stay home today, you lucky people you!
If we weren’t in the race starting right away,
We’d be lying on the couch too
All together!

In the Living Living Living Living Living Room
In the Living Living Living Living Living Room
All the runners cry because they can’t stay
In the Living Living Living Living Living Room

The training in the start isn’t so bad
Because of their joy?
No, cause runs’re short!

And our fine weathered air makes a jolly pace
But soon all run better than you no longer can

Some marathoners are insane people
They like to run long and they love to run hard
Most normal people want to stop right away
Because the Living Room couch is calling their name

Our run is almost over we hope garmin agrees
When it’s all done we’re filled with pleasure and glee
Never registering for another race
Who we kidding, we got one more next week!

In the Living Living Living Living Living Room
In the Living Living Living Living Living Room
All the runners cry because they can’t stay
In the Living Living Living Living Living Room

Our training program is almost done
So bring on the finish and let’s go home
We’ve been in pain since this race started 
Someone please bring us a beer!

In the Living Living Living Living Living Room
In the Living Living Living Living Living Room
All the runners cry because they can’t stay
In the Living Living Living Living Living Room

Mission Accomplished: Marine Corp Marathon Recap

30 Oct

“If you can’t run, then walk.  If you can’t walk, then crawl.  Do what you have to do.  Just keep moving forward and never, ever give up.”

-Dean Karanazes

That quotation pretty much sums up my Marine Corp Marathon experience.  This is going to be LONG.  And I mean LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG.  Brace yourselves.

I feel it’s important to give some background, especially since I’ve been so quiet on here lately.

When I registered for this race months ago, I had glorious intentions.  I would train hard and as a result PR big!  I mean, I wasn’t running a half marathon the day before, or stopping to take photos (or drink beer) like I did with Goofy.  This race was meant to feel extra hard.   It was meant to feel like a marathon.

I sprained my ankle and then sprained my calf (or vice versa) back at the end of March.  So, although I was still staying fit and active with CrossFit, I was not running (except for any races I had signed up for).  Then, in the first week of August, I hurt my back.  I have a herniated or irritated disc.  Fun times.  I haven’t been to CrossFit since.  My body was protesting against participating in all physical activities I enjoyed.  By the end of the month, I learned that if I taped my ankle and calf, I could run with relatively pain free.  My back didn’t actually bother me while I ran.  And a rather successful weekend in Disneyland left me optimistic that I could still somehow pull off the Marine Corp Marathon.

But the long runs came and each and every one of them an utter failure.  My 18 miler I had to cut the running short as my back starting cause nerve pain down my leg.  Thanks to a mysterious quad pain that appeared after the Bronx 10 miler, neither attempt at 20 miles was 20 miles.

To say I was undertrained for this race was an understatement.  Forget a big PR.  Forget any PR.  I had already prepared myself for the mindset that I was not going to finish this race.  I was going to start it.  I was going to do my best for as long as I could.  And if I got swept, than so be it.  Finding out 2 days before the race that my parents were not planning to stay in DC until I finished (or even spectate any part of the race) was devastating and had convinced myself that I didn’t deserve to have any one there for me, to cheer for me.  I didn’t deserve to finish the race.  I didn’t put in the miles that I should have, that everyone else did.  But I couldn’t.  I wanted to.  I tried.  But my body fought me and so I didn’t.  Other people worked hard.  They deserved to cross that finish line.  I did not.

My excitement for this race didn’t really exist.  I was super psyched to get to see Nicole and watch Hocus Pocus, but the race itself, I couldn’t really muster up excitement for it.  I wasn’t panicking like I was before Goofy.  I guess I had already resigned myself to my fate.  I wasn’t going to finish because I didn’t deserve to finish.  No point in freaking out over something I know was going to happen, right?

And then I had an idea!  Well, I also had an epiphany first!  I DID deserve this.  No, my training for this particular event didn’t go like it was suppose to, but for the entire year, I pushed myself through CrossFit and races, I worked hard, no matter how slow or how weak I was, I did as much as my body would allow and then some!  No, I didn’t train 18 weeks for this, I TRAINED ALL YEAR!  I’ve seen my body do things I never thought it capable of and dammit it was going to do this!  As a little extra incentive, I decided to dedicate each mile of the race to a person (or persons) who are important in my life.  Doing it for that person was what was going to carry me through the tough times.  I wasn’t going to ask myself what mile I’m on, I was going to ask myself WHO’S mile am I on!

Trying to be optimistic is not my strong suit.  In fact, saying anything positive about myself is near impossible to me.  But dammit, I was going to try!  I was going to try and tell myself that I deserve to finish, that I would finish.

Now, it’s finally time for the race recap to start.

Race day morning.  I was dressed in my Run DC sparkly soul headband, my rainbow sparkle skirt, my “Accio Wine” shirt and my homemade sign for the back of my shirt!


It started to rain while waiting in our corrals (OK technically, there are no corrals).  Temporary traumatic flash backs to Wine and Dine last year.  But it was warmer.  Honestly a little too warm for me.  And humid.  You cannot control the weather.

Before I knew it, and kinda without any fanfare (I’m a Disney girl and used to a BIG “it’s starting” notification) the race began and Nicole and I slowly made our way to the start line and before I knew it, we were off!



Miles 1-3, it was just one giant hill, at least that’s how it seemed.  Forget the HILLS OF DOOM I complain about in Central Park.  This was worse.  MUCH worse.  On top of that, I did cardinal sin #1 of a marathon, I started too fast.  I knew I was going too fast.  Especially for that hill.  But I didn’t slow myself down.  At least not until mile 2.  Around mile 2 I could feel how red my face was.  I was overheated.  I felt lightheaded.  I felt like I was going to throw up.

The crowd support was great.  But I was already beyond physically miserable and we had barely hit the first 5K.  It was shortly after this I sent Nicole on ahead.  We were on Keystone Bridge, just after mile 4.  I was a mess and she had worked too hard for me to risk her finishing.  She didn’t want to leave me unless I was feeling ok, so I might have fudged exactly how I was doing.

There were puddles on the ground left over from the rain (which had fortunately stopped).  Of course I had to run through them and so, hello blisters!

I apologize for not being able to describe more specifically where I was or what I ran by, but I was honestly in such a “zone” that I had no idea.  I read other people’s recaps and they mention the Kennedy Center and the Mall and I’m thinking “wait, we ran by that?”

My inability to take in my surroundings only added to this race not being great for me.

Around mile 6 we entered this park type area, which was nice and pretty but it was out and back for a total of almost 3 miles.  And this is where one of my issues with the race was.  There was a water stop between miles 6 and 7 (btwn 8 and 9 on the way back), but it was only on one side of the road!  As a slower runner, I was trying to stay to the right, but the water stop was on the left.  Normally I would say no big deal, but the water stops in the race were over 2 miles apart and I could not skip any of them.  So, I had to somehow cut across to get to it.  It would still be on the left on the way back, so I just stayed there.  I apologize faster runners, but this was better than me trying to cut across everyone again.

Around mile 9 they were supposed to have orange slices.  There were barely any left by the time I got there.  I had just been passed by the 5:00 pacer and so there were still plenty of people behind me.  I knew that there wouldn’t be enough for everyone.  This is also where I saw the buses.  They were on the other side.  I was about 3 miles ahead of them.  Based on my pace and the pacers I’ve seen so far, that didn’t seem right, but at least they were next to me and not behind me.


It’s like he made this sign for me!

I kept on trucking.  I still wasn’t feeling right, I was dehydrated, the lemon lime Gatorade was not mixing well with my honey stingers and my less than half eaten bagel (yes, I ate less that half my bagel for breakfast.  I tried to eat it all, but I was making myself ill trying to force it.  Sorry for the TMI).  Around mile 10 shit hit the fan.  I mean, we were leaving the park area which was great!  And we were running along the water!  But my stomach was sick.


Not THE bridge

After that, I was so scared of pushing myself too fast, too hard, I started to switch up my run/walk intervals.  I decreased the run time and increased the walk time.  I was still moving as fast as I could, just as fast as I could without feeling like throwing up.

Other than that, the only (and I mean ONLY) other time I stopped moving the entire race was to take this selfie.  I’m sorry, it was just too good to not stop for.  But it was for all of 3 seconds.


Using all my strength to fake a smile

Mile 12 is known as the Wear Blue Mile.  This mile is lined with pictures of marines whose lives were lost in service to our country.  Each sign had a picture of the marine, wear he/she died and how old they were.  The list on my arm with all the mile dedications, I left this one alone.  I left this one dedicated to the marines.  When I approached the mile, I turned off my music and tried to read every single name.  At the end of all the photos are members of the Wear Blue group all holding flags with names on them.  Each person was so supportive, high fiving us, giving words of encouragement, thanking us for running.  This mile was every bit as emotional as you think it is and more.

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This mile takes you to just before the halfway point of the race.  I had a little extra from the amazing people I just ran by. But it was short lived.  I was so thirsty.  My pace had slowed significantly.  My half time was still on PR pace, so I tried to maintain that.

By mile 17, I slowed even more.  Miles 15-17 is another little out and back section (there’s multiple out and backs) and I was just feeling defeated.  I had built a cushion of time to beat the bridge, but I was quickly cutting into that cushion.  Instead of counting down to mile 26.2, I was counting down to mile 21.  If I could just beat that bridge, I would finish!

I would look down at my arm to see who’s mile I’m on and try and keep moving for them.  I was getting a lot of “I love your sign” as people passed me (this happened all throughout the race actually, I’m glad my sign was a hit!).  I ever got an international long distance call from Canada (because Lisa is awesome) because I was falling about and needed the support.


Sweat and rain did some damage to my list of names…

One of the biggest disappointments was the Capitol Building.  I see these amazing pictures of people running in front of it and it’s this great shot!  Apparently, it’s currently under construction.  Boo.  That’s not the race’s fault but still.

Mile 18 is where I had my meltdown during Goofy.  But I wasn’t melting down.  I didn’t have the energy to.  I didn’t have the time to.  I had 3 miles to go to beat the bridge and I had to keep moving to do it.  I got my 30K time update and it was even slower than the half marathon pace.  BUT, it was still faster than Goofy (barely).  A PR was not impossible.  My run/walks had slowed even more, but I was still moving forward.


Then there it was!  The bridge!  Or rather the first part of the bridge (apparently in order to beat the bridge, you actually have to be over it entirely by the allotted time, not just reach it by then.)  There’s a first part too it and a second part too it.  I saw the mile 20 marker.  I knew I was going to do it!  Then the instant I reached the marker, when my foot hit the pavement on that run, I felt it, one of my blister’s that I had been nursing for about 16 miles, it popped.  OMG.  I have never had a blister pop before and it is WAY more painful that I could’ve imagined.  I’m pretty sure I yelled “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” (in slow motion like in the movies) when it happened.  I was still on the bridge.  I wasn’t over it yet.  PLEASE NOT NOW!  I couldn’t run again after that.  I was limping.  But, like Dean says, when you can’t run, you walk.  And dammit I was!  I was walking as fast and as hard as I could to make it across that f*ing bridge!



When I THOUGHT I had made it over the bridge…smile through the pain for the camera!

There is was!  The other side!  Mile 21!  I was done!  I was over it!  But this didn’t meant that I would finish.  There’s still only a certain amount of allotted time to finish the race and walking now, although power walking, was significantly cutting into that time.  After the bridge it’s a stretch of highway.  No crowd support.  And now, no music.  My headphones conked out and so I was walking as fast as I could in silence.  I kept staring down at my Garmin to check my pace, to see if it was still possible to finish.  I kept trying to channel my inner Kim (seriously, she power walks faster than my PR pace!)  My feet were hurting so badly, a weird pain in my hip joint had been forming and I just wanted to stop moving for a second.  But I knew if I did, I wouldn’t start again.  So I just kept going.


At the ACTUAL end of the bridge! …getting a little harder to smile.

Miles 22-23 you’re in Crystal City, ANOTHER out and back area.  But there was tons and I mean TONS of crowd support!  Including someone actually there to cheer for me!  My friend was running in her first marathon, and she had already long finished, but her husband, her father and her kids stuck around the extra 2 hours (no, I’m not exaggerating) to wait for me to get there.  That meant so much, especially when even my own family didn’t do that.


Yay for familiar faces!

Mile 24-25 was the best and worst mile of the entire race.  There’s no scenery here.  No real crowd support.  It’s kinda like back roads.  The second I hit the mile 24 marker, a blister on my other foot popped.  It almost stopped me in my tracks (but didn’t).  But the pain on my face, the change in how my body was moving, hobbling on both legs, this was not going well.  I just kept hoping that they don’t sweep people at this point.  Then another runner, she came up behind me, placed her hand on my back and said “You’re strong than a Marine.  Come on, you got this.  Just keep moving.”  It’s moments like that that make the running community great.  That moment got me.  Shortly after that is where I got PUMPKIN MUNCHKINS!  Let me tell you, I had been running on empty and was looking forward to that munchkin so badly.  But, when I finally got it, my stomach remembered the events of mile 10 and I decided it was better to not eat the 2nd one.  Also, another cool things, not one, but 2 Marines (and we’re talking young guys here) liked my shirt!  And not the back part, the “Accio Wine” part!  They were Harry Potheads!  Sorry, I just got excited that these bad ass marines are Harry Potter fans, anyway…


I kinda wish I had the other one to eat now…

Mile 25-26 was when it was starting to sink in, I was going to finish.  I didn’t slow down.  If anything, I actually started to walk faster…


How could you not pick up the pace at mile 25 with eye candy like that to motivate you?!?!

Then, there is was, the mile 26 marker.  Then, I could see the finish line.  I could also see the hill right before the finish line.  I was going to try and run up the hill through the finish, but I could barely hobble up that thing.  It was a quick hobble!  But still a hobble.


At the top of the hill, I could see it, I was there.  I tried with everything I had to run that last little stretched!  I was holding back the tears…and then, the floodgates opened!  I FINISHED!  HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN?!?!  WHO CARES?!?!  I FINISHED!!!


This picture sums up my finish, so happy to be done, and trying so hard not to cry… *photo by marathonfoto

I met up with Nicole who had been patiently waiting for me, and we were off.


Because this is already the length of a novel, I will share some of my thoughts about this race in another post (including my disappointment post race).

Overall, I know I was a snail.  I know I was slow.  I know I walked WAY more than some people think is OK to in a race.  But I don’t care.  I’m actually kinda proud of myself.  I did a marathon.  So suck it haters! :)

I LIVED!!!!….Barely.

28 Oct


Full recap coming, but just so you all know (and in case you don’t read Nicole‘s blog – which you really should because she’s amazing) I FINISHED!!!!! It was hardly the finish I wanted or expected, but slow ass time or not,  it’s a finish I’m still proud of.

The ABCs of MCM

22 Oct

A while ago (and by while, I mean just over a year), I started setting race goals in levels.  I forgot who I got it from, but I know it was from one of you fabulous bloggers that I read and have been in love with the idea ever since.

Level A – this goal should be the everything is going right goal. The better than everything is going right.  The OMG there must be some magic going on goal.  For me, this is the goal that I would REALLY like and it’s somewhat possible, but most unlikely.  This is the “hey, you never know, hell froze over” goal.

Level B – the standards for you level B goal should be not as high as level A, but they should still be a little high.  They should be possible, but not a definite.  This is the “Dear Santa, I’ve been a really good kid this year and so if I can’t have a puppy, can I please have that Barbie Dream House?” goal.  See, it’s still asking for something big but not TOO big.

Level C – this is the bear minimum goal.  This is the if all else fails, if everything goes wrong PLEASE LET THIS MIRACLE STILL HAPPEN goal.  It should be doable, possible, probable even, but not a given.  Nothing come race day is ever a guarantee, so you should never take advantage and automatically assume that this will happen, but it usually does.

And so with that unecessary background information, I given you my ABC goals for the Marine Corp Marathon on Sunday.

FINISH.  I very much would like to finish this race.  If I can just beat the bridge, I know I’ll be ok.  I’ve been plagued by injuries this year.  Ankle sprains, calf sprains, an irritated/herniated disc which has kept me away from CrossFit (yes, I’m in hell) and a mysterious quad pain that appeared after the Bronx 10 Miler (yes I know I still owe a recap).  Basically, my body has been failing me recently.  It’s been affecting my training and forcing me to not be at my peak shape or prepare as much as I would want.  This has made me very nervous about accomplishing this goal.  The hardest part is that since my body has been letting me down, it’s up to my mind to carry me through this.  Anyone who knows me, knows I am a negative person so depending on my brain to carry me through is hard.  I have to know I can do it.  I’m hoping that the overwhelming emotion of this race will help do that.  Speaking of overwhelming emotion…

Finish and finish feeling like I just did a f*ing marathon!  I want to feel that utter joy and happiness and possibly even tears when (if) I cross the finish line.  I want the “I did it!” sensation.  I know, I know, I have technically “done it” already.  But I never got that feeling.  Maybe it was because (other than my emotional/mental breakdown at mile 18) I had too much fun.  Once I hit Epcot during the Goofy challenge, I was having a blast!  I was singing and drinking grapefruit beer, I stopped feet in front of the finish line to take a picture with Minnine Mouse…that last mile literally erased the feeling of dread and doom from the 25 miles prior.  A marathon is a challenge and I wanna feel like I walked away from one.  I know this all sounds crazy and weird and makes no sense, but, this is my B goal.

This goal is actually going to be broken up into 2 parts.  My A2 goal is I would like to PR.  If hell freezes over and my broken body miraculously cooperates, I could be able to accomplish this.  But again, this is an everything is going right, I won the lotto kinda of goal.  Speaking of winning lotto, my A1 goal is to PR BIG.  I want to beat Pamela Anderson’s marathon time and if things are going REALLY well, I want to beat Katie Holmes’ time.  (No, they aren’t particularly fast, but other celebrities are just too damn fast to have them as time goals.  If it starts with a 4 it’s too fast for me.)  Is there anything from my training that indicates I will hit this goal?  No.  Is there anything that indicates I deserve to hit this goal?  No.  But that’s why it’s the “hey, you never know, hell froze over” goal.

And there you have it.  Not that you asked for it.


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