Wednesday, November 16, 2011

MCM... I didn't do it alone.

So you would think the biggest race of my life I would have an update the day of but no instead I wait until all the Gu packets are cleaned up along Haines Point, the professional photographer has uploaded and photo shopped Every. Single. Picture before I start writing about the Biggest Race of my life. 

I will still call it the biggest race of my life because it is the race that has opened my mind up to so much. At this point it is not anymore about can I do it but more so when and how can I afford to do it. (Now if I could just get my hands on a Sugar Daddy then the only thing holding me back is “when”)

Texas, Cover Girl and I getting ready to ruin the potty.. I mean run the race.

Morning of the race, all the girls met up and we made our way to the bag check and the all important porta potty. I stood in line thinking I will just get this out of the way… maybe a little tinkle considering I left the other goods at the nice clean loo back home. Dear Mary Mother of anything unattractive and unsexy I apparently didn’t. After an almost devastating deposit we made our way to the start line. I say ‘almost’ because apparently I wasn’t done. My heart and soul was signed up for this race but anything and everything that had a way out of my body made a run for it. (pun intended). This is all before the start line. The person that put porta potties right before the start line is pretty much the smartest person alive.

At this point I was committed to running the whole 26.2 miles by myself as I lost everyone in the group. As I started jogging slowly to the start line I heard people yelling my name… it was the rest of the group (minus Tracy). They stopped right at the line to tie shoe laces. I will use another blog to express my opinions about shoe laces and races.
And off we go laces tied, potty destroyed and arm warmers gone.

The first 6 miles was pure torture despite the hugest smile on my face.

Somewhere in the race while still smiling

Every fear I had regarding the last 6 miles was coming true in the first 6 miles. First pit stop took an entire SEVEN minutes of waiting in line. I have always taken pride in running my races without ever needing to stop to tie laces, adjust watches or make stops at potties so this was beyond annoying. I quickly forgot my frustrations once I lost every ounce of nutrients, carb-loading, vitamins and electrolytes accumulated over the week. I was now running the next 20 miles on just what was stored in my muscles because the idea of eating a Gu, gummy bear or anything was out of the question. 

Around mile 9 I kicked it in gear and took off. The entire week of holding back in running, life’s curve balls and getting dumped got left on the road from mile 9 through mile 16. There is not a therapist on this planet earth that can do for me what mile 9-16 did.

Still smiling
Mile 16 through 19 was the most painful part. From my waist down everything hurt. I was too scared to stop and stretch because I was sure that would be the end of me.

Not smiling as much but this is were things hurt

At mile 19 all kinds of beautiful things happened. My girlfriends K-Dawg and Q, frantically waving their arms, came running up behind me screaming out my name. (getting teary just remembering that moment). They were suppose to meet me at mile 20 but were running behind on their morning run resulting in jumping in at mile 18 or so and caught up with me. I know it doesn’t quiet make sense but either way it was a blessing. I was in so much pain at this point so seeing them gave me much needed strength. Without even saying hello or so glad to see you guys or why are you here and not at mile 20, all I could say was “I fucking love you guys”. 

Mile 20 with K-Dawg, Q and Running Partner about to join

Around 19.5 there was this amazing beating sound and I would love to say it was my heart but no it was something even more incredible. Another girlfriend plays in a drum band and her band was beating those drums with everything in them.

Drumming her heart out

 I know she said she played her heart out because she knew she was playing for so many of her friends in the race. “Beat the Bridge” is a significant point on MCM. It is the start of a 2 mile bridge and from what I had been told mile 20 is the start of the most difficult part in any marathon. It also was the start of the furthest I had ever run in my life.

If you are someone that follows my training you will know I lost Running Partner to an injured foot…well I am happy to say I did not lose her completely. Secretly I think the drum band was there purely for her entrance to racing with me.  She stood on the sideline cheering at the top of her lungs and with no hesitation she jumped in and took her standard place right at my side. (Now I am sobbing just remembering all this again). We took that entire bridge down, curled around into Crystal City and looped back through Crystal City together like she was never gone. My favorite part was when she said to me

“You are running a marathon!”

I said “No, I am finishing a marathon”

Having her and the other 2 girls there was so fantastic and made it the biggest and most incredible race of my Entire. Life. We made our way through Pentagon parking lot all the while Running Partner darting ahead to get me orange pieces and water because there was no way I was going to stop now. As we came up on the homestretch the girls dropped off at mile 26 leaving me to laydown everything I had left in me.

Thank you guys, I love you, bye... see you at finish line

A very smart ultra runner once told me “You shouldn’t be sprinting the finish cos you should leave everything on the course”…I left everything on the course and still sprinted the finish.

Finishing this marathon would go down as one of the three most challenging things I have done in my life… you damn straight I was going to finish strong.

And I did.     5:02:01

Thank you everyone that trained with me, educated me, encouraged me, believed in me and came out to cheer for me. I am so blessed to have you in my life.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pre- the biggest Race of my entire life!!!!! (For now)

OH MY WORD the day totally came rushing at me like a bat out of hell. Friday I got a txt from one of my running buddies saying “Are you getting your bib tonight or tomorrow?” I was like Wait!!! What???

Yes the day is upon us and I needed to start getting everything together for 36th Annual Marine Corps Marathon 2011!!!! (Ok I will stop with all the !!! but gosh darn the excitement, no words to describe the excitement).

So after taking .05 seconds to decide that I was meeting up with him to get my bib I was out the big glass doors. It was 5pm somewhere and had my sights set on the Armory Stadium for some bib action, Marine viewing action and Expo action. All those actions were met. Good lord there are some good looking men in the service.

Couldn't decide which one to use.

Bib and shirt

Yellow is such a good color on and around me

My new fav numbers

At this point I was already 2 days into making every smart decision known to mankind regarding my food. If you are someone that reads most of my blogs you will know I discovered in “7 pounds of salt” that eating is everything. So once I spent way too much money at the expo on water belts and magnets we headed out for a very calculated pasta dinner with minimal cheese and only a beer. Something I have done time and time again. Saturday I had a great breakfast, ate during the day, drank some water, not enough and had my soda. Again this is all things I have done in the past. If you are wondering why these observations are so important… wait for it, I will explain.

My Saturday evening was spent getting everything together for Race Day and facebooking with anyone and everyone that wanted to talk about the race. I could lie to you and tell you it took my 3 minutes to put my things together but nope I could never lie … it took me hours to put together this masterpiece…

Sneakers check, Alka check, warmers check, sneakers check, glide check, sneakers check again.....

I was so proud of myself when I stood back to see my work of art. I had everything out and ready to go including my dollar store leg warmers that I use as arm warmers (by the way, why call your store a dollar store if you have crap that is $5?). I didn’t do anything with the patch but I did use the Alka Seltzer. That is a secret I am happy to share with you… Alka Seltzer is a good idea the night before or morning of race day. With all that done I crawled into bed a 9:30pm like a good girl. 11:30pm got woken up by a lonely puppy (roommates 8 yr old pitbull that I love dearly) then awake again at 2:30am. Ugh all I wanted to do was sleep but around 3am it felt like some evil spirit took my insides, tied them into a huge knot and pulled with all its evil might. Two Alka tablets later and curled up in a ball I was able to go back to sleep. Alarm clock went off at 4:30am….I love running and races but not really sure how I feel about a 4:30am wake up. Especially when I know I did not get enough sleep. Jumped (not really) out of bed, showered and ate 2 whole wheat thin bagels with Nutella. Usually I wouldn’t care about showering but I was about to go running for 5 hours…. I needed to shower. Honestly, I wish a few people on the course did the same thing. Plan was for running partner to drop off Tracy at my place, Covergirl girlfriend was walking over too and then we would do the 1.5 mile walk to Pentagon to get my Texas girl. To Tracy from NY surprise, I am an avid follower of her blog so it was great to have her there with us.      

Girls collected up and out the door we went…..

Race day events will follow shortly, with a side of porta potty devastation...