Sunday, November 7, 2010

Marine Report

So... the running is done.  I went to DC last weekend and finished my third and possibly last marathon (Pictures to come).  The weekend went really fast but it was good.  The marathon was amazing.  I got up and wasn't the least bit nervous.  I'm not just saying that... it's true.  Typically before any race I get pre-jitters and nerves and anxiety and stuff.  I woke up before the race and was just ready to do a run... sobeit a 26.2 mile race but it was a run.  Kelly and I got up and got ready and headed to the Pentagon.  We hung out in the Pentagon for awhile, listened to the national athem, talked to other spectators, and then it was time for Kelly to join the spectators and me the other runners.  Finally the beginning gun went off and me and 30,000 other runners (yeah... did you see all those zeros) start our trek around Washington DC.  I think this is one of my favorite runs so far but next time I might just stick with the 10K and be able to enjoy the city afterwards. 

The run started, I made my way through the city of Rosslyn, through Georgetown University, ran across the Potamac and onto the Mall.  We started weaving our way around all of the monuments.  We did a large outer loop and then made our way to the inside.  Right after passing the Mile 17, I saw Kelly.  I dumped off my long-sleeve shirt.  After several miles, everything you're carrying starts to get pretty heavy (including shirts).  At Mile 18 the scariest thing of the whole race happened.  I wasn't hitting any walls, I was just going from mile to mile.  My goal was just to get to mile 20 before they closed the bridge.  You had to "Beat the Bridge" and be on the George Washington Parkway (also known as a freeway... never thought I'd run on a freeway).  At Mile 18 a lovely little car passed with a lovely little sign on the back of it that said "if you can read this, you are not going to beat the bridge". Not a good sign to see since you're not to the bridge yet.

That's when I pushed it... I made the bridge.  The guy actually came by early so no one was happy to see the car.  At this point, I also had to use the bathroom.... First, I wasn't going to be like all those many many guys who stopped wherever they thought was convenient... Second, I needed to beat that bridge... Third... potta-potties only occur at certain miles.  I had to make it across the bridge and luckily there was those lovely potta-porties after I made it off that 1.5 mile bridge.  At this point, I had 4.2 miles to go.  Doesn't sound like a like at that point, now does it.  We headed into Crystal City, and then came back out and made our way back to the 9/11 Memorial Highway, past the Pentagon, past Arlington National Cemetary and finally made it that last loop off the highway, up the hill.... up a bigger hill and through the finish line and finally stopped my run right in front of Iwo Jima. 

It was truly amazing.  This was by far my slowest race but I took my time to not kill myself and I took pictures.  Mentally, this was my best race.  I wasn't nervous and knew I could do this.  I just focused on every mile individually and had to keep reminding myself that I was actually running a marathon.  I still can't believe I did it.  There were Marines on the course, there were Marines at every mile marker, there were Marines handing out water along the way.  It was incredible. 

Recovering has been slow but not imbearable.  I was sore for a few days and was more sluggish that slow overall.  My legs are still tired but it's okay.  I'm glad I was able to accomplish this goal.  It was a marathon I wanted to do from the beginning of my marathon days back in 2004.

But let's say this... the running is over... I'm ready to have a social life again.  Friends... I'm ready to play.