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Mission Accomplished: 40th Marine Corps Marathon Recap

A marathon isn’t just the 26.2 miles ran on race day. A marathon is the blood, sweat and tears that go into the weeks of training. Late nights traded in for early morning runs. You learn things about yourself; your doubts fade as your accomplishments shine. My marathon wasn’t 26.2 miles in 5:18:26. My marathon was 16 weeks, 315.2 miles, 59:41:12. Every second was worth it. I’m a marathoner!

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WOW! What a ride. I think I’m finally coming down off of my marathon high. I haven’t been able to sit down and type out everything I wanted to say, which is why this recaps is a few weeks late!

I want to start by saying how happy I am that I chose MCM as my first marathon. I feel so blessed to be able to run in our nation’s capitol alongside 30,000 amazing people, many of whom are veterans and active duty members of our armed forces. I didn’t take a minute of it for granted.

We arrived in D.C. on Friday afternoon and headed straight for the expo. My 6-year-old was running the kid’s run in the morning and we needed his bib (and mine!). The expo was huge, crowded and slightly overwhelming. We didn’t spend too much time there because after 8 hours in the car, we were ready to relax at the hotel.

On Saturday, I met up with other members of the MCM & 10K club Facebook group. We did a 2.5 mile shake out run through the National Mall. It was nice to be around other runners and calm my nerves. Afterwards, I headed for the Pentagon to meet my family at the Kid’s run. Over 3,600 kids were running that day. The race was very well-organized with waves going off every 45 minutes or so. The kids had so much fun. I highly recommend signing your kids up if you’re from the area or in town to run MCM.

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Onto race day…

I was up early due to nerves and excitement. The day I had been anticipating for months was finally here! I arrived at the Metro around 6:45 and got ride on. I was staying in Crystal City so I had 2 stops to the Pentagon. I arrived and waited in the security line. It wasn’t fast by any means but I didn’t have the delayed start that many experienced. Luckily I made it through with plenty of time to enjoy all the pre-race activities. The atmosphere at the start was amazing and I was incredibly emotional.

I decided to line up with the 4:45 pace group. My training had that as my projected finish time but due to knee pain I hadn’t proven that I could maintain a 10:53 pace for that long. My main goal for my first marathon was to finish and being in D.C. I wanted to take in the sights.

7:55 the Howitzer went off and the crowd began to move. At 8:15, I made it over the start line.

The race course was crowded and would remain that way the entire time. The pace felt good even for an uphill climb. The spectators were amazing!

Around mile 7, I started to fall behind the pacer. I also felt the need for a pee break so I decided I would stop. I didn’t want to be uncomfortable for the next 4 hours just to save a few minutes. Luckily, the line was short and I moved as quickly as possible.

At this point I was on the return trip of an out and back loop. I could see the back of the pack on their way out to where I had just run. Anyone who completes a marathon is an inspiration to me. Whether you run a 5 minute mile or a 15 minute mile, you are a badass!

I planned to see my family around mile 11 so I shot them a quick text and realized I had missed them. This would happen several times. I had a moment of utter despair. I really needed to see them. I felt fine and everything was going well but in my mind I was supposed to see them and it wasn’t happening. It took me a few minutes to get over it and just focus on my run.

Mile 12 was hosted by Wear Blue: Run to Remember. They are an amazing organization that honors our fallen services members. There was a half mile lined with the faces and names of fallen men and women followed by a half mile of *Wear Blue* volunteers holding flags and cheering us on. It was an amazingly emotional and encouraging mile.

At the mile 13 water stop, I topped off my hydration pack. I run with Tailwind, so having it available (in my water) is key. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized my knee was pain-free. As I mentioned before, my last few long runs ended in a strong discomfort in my left knee.

Miles 17-19 run up and down the National Mall.

Mile 20 is the infamous “Beat the Bridge” point. Runners have to be here by 1:15 or they are scooped up by the van and taken to the finish area. I stopped here to take a picture with a handsome Marine and rejoice in the fact that every step from this point on was a personal best for me!

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That bridge was awful!! It was hot, uphill and wide so runners were very spread out. I had been waiting for more elbow room the whole time but it felt LONELY!

Mile 22 brings you into Crystal City. At the end of the bridge, I saw more MRTT mommas. They had an amazing presence along the course.

Just after mile 23 you turn back and head for the finish. They had a HUGE fan blowing water across the road to cool us down. AMAZING.

One of my favorite parts was hearing a Marine yell “WHY ARE THEY MARATHONERS *WALKING* ON MY RACE COURSE????” I was running, but it still made me chuckle.

We passed mile 25 at the Pentagon right where the kids had run the day before. Then we ran along where the start line had been. A half mile up was where I saw my family, ***finally***. I stopped for hugs and a picture and dropped my hydration pack. I was ready to bring it home. I ran down, passed the sign for mile 26, turned left and charged the hill. The Marines were VERY motivating on this torturous hill. One more turn and we were headed towards the finish. I had made it. I threw my hands in the air and started to tear up a bit.

5:18:26

I was a marathoner! All my months of training had paid off and I felt on top of the world!

I couldn’t believe how good I felt, physically.

I snapped some pictures in front of the Iwo Jima memorial, grabbed some food and water and joined the mass of runners slowly walking out of the finish area.

I grabbed my free beer, chatted with a few fellow runners and made my way back to the metro. The line was about 4 blocks long but moved fairly quick. The atmosphere was just as amazing as it had been at the start. Everyone was so happy and full of life. Runner’s high at its best.

That night, my family spoiled me with Hibachi and I went to bed pretty early. We’d be heading home the next day but not before walking over 6 miles around the city seeing more landmarks and checking out the Museum of Natural History.

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As funny as I must have looked walking around that day, I truly think it is the reason I had a fairly unremarkable marathon recovery. Besides a little stiffness after not moving for a while, ie. the car ride home and sleeping that night, I felt pretty darn good.

As wonderful as my first marathon experience was, I won’t be running another one anytime soon. However, one day, I will get that sub 5:00 marathon😉

Oh… and I raised $1,674 for Girls on the Run. Thank you to every one while supported my goals.

Mission accomplished!

MCM Training Week 13

Training for: Marine Corps Marathon – October 25, 2015 in Washington, D.C

Method: Run Less, Run Faster Novice Marathon Training

Goal: a) under 5:00 b) 4:45:00 – I truly just want to FINISH. This will be my first marathon and probably last (for the foreseeable future anyway).

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19 days until Marine Corps Marathon!

This will be a quick post… I can’t even do a day by day because there is just nothing to post. The week got away from me. I did however run 20 miles yesterday. It went as well as my first ever 20 miler could go. I ran 7 miles and then jumped right into the Smuttynose Half Marathon in Hampton Beach, NH. I’m hoping to have the recap ready for tomorrow’s link up.

Sunday: plan: 20 miles at MP+30 (11:23/mi) actual: 20.23 in 4:02:54 12:01/mi

I will say that I’m going to embrace this taper period. Training has taken a toll on me; mentally, physically, emotionally. This week I plan to get my runs in and focus on some core work. I will start with some yoga tonight to stretch out after that long run. Luckily I woke up, this morning, feeling much better then I had when I went to bed last night!!

Next Sunday I’ll be running the B.A.A Half marathon in Boston. My training calls for 13 miles at MP which would be a PR for me. I’m going to go out and give it my all and see what I can do!

I’m raising money for Girls On The Run, my goal is $1500 and I’m 67% there! If you are interested in helping me reach my goal please donate here, thank you!

GOTR SoleMate

GOTR SoleMate

Race Recap Link Up {19}

Welcome to the 19th Race Recap Link-Up!!

I love reading recaps from other bloggers. Its a great way to learn about different races, support other runners, and gain motivation.

A recap is the final leg of the race. It’s your chance to relive your race and allow others some insight. The training miles, the race day jitters, the glory of crossing the finish line.

the good – the bad – the ugly

We want to hear it all….

Please follow me on social media Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Bloglovin’

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Head on over and check out the Big Cottonwood Marathon recap. Written as a guest post on RunningwithSDmom by Jamie!

About this link up…

It is active every Tuesday – Friday.

Link up your most recent recaps, or throwback to an old favorite. *If your post is unrelated to the theme, it will be deleted.

One recap will be featured on the next link up!

Read at least 3 other posts and leave them some love.

The more the merrier… share on your social media so others can link-up. #TuesdayTales

Grab the code to the link-up image below on your post or somewhere on your blog.

The Silvah Lining
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.thesilvahlining.wordpress.com" title="The Silvah Lining"><img src="http://i1017.photobucket.com/albums/af296/jsilva814/race%20recap_zpsky3snowg.jpg" alt="The Silvah Lining" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

MCM Training Week 12

Training for: Marine Corps Marathon October 25, 2015 in Washington, D.C

Method: Run Less, Run Faster Novice Marathon Training. I love this training because it focuses on 3 key runs per week. I used it to train for my first 10k and noticed much improvement.

Goal: 4:45:00 – I truly just want to FINISH. This will be my first marathon and probably last (for the foreseeable future anyway).

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26 days until Marine Corps Marathon!

I’m once again slacking on the cross-training. I need to step up my game a little. Some weeks, just getting the runs in is hard enough but, I want to focus on some core work for this month leading up to the race.

Monday: plan: 3x 1600m with 400m rest actual: 3.75 miles in 36:45 met all intervals – the last was pretty tough on me.

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: plan: 10 miles at marathon pace actual 10 miles in MP-36 seconds! completed in 1:42:52 with an avg pace of 10:17 I set a new PERSONAL RECORD for 10 miles!!  This run was one of the best runs I’ve had – even though nothing was right going into it. I had come off the overnight at work but this was the only day I could get this run in. Luckily I had beautiful weather!

Thursday: rest

Friday: rest

Saturday: plan: 13 miles at MP +15 actual: 12 miles in ~2:28:00 avg pace of 12:20/mi. This is an estimation because my watch died just after mile 10 (I was purposely testing the limits of it) My run started off okay – I should have worn capris because my thighs were cold! Around mile 2 I already knew it wasn’t going to be like Wednesday’s run. They can’t all be great! My pace started off where I needed it but then there were a lot of walk breaks in the last few miles which killed my overall pace.

Sunday: rest

And now? I’m looking forward to my upcoming 20 miler. It will be a new personal best for me no matter the outcome. I am going to run the Smuttynose Half Marathon in Hampton Beach, NH. I plan to get out there early and run 7 miles and then line up at the start for another 13.1! I think it will be a great race and I’m looking forward to the after party. I can’t believe I’m finally at the longest run in my training. Nothing left but 26.2 after this!

I’m raising money for Girls On The Run, my goal is $1500 and I’m 67% there! If you are interested in helping me reach my goal please donate here, thank you!

GOTR SoleMate
GOTR SoleMate

Surfotwn Half Marathon Recap & Link Up

Surftown Half Marathon Race Recap

I guess it’s finally time for me to write that recap I promised you last week. #slacker.

So on September 13th, I finally got the chance to run the Surftown Half Marathon in Westerly, RI. I had signed up for this race in 2013 and my car broke down ON THE WAY THERE. (more about that here) And then last year, I was pregnant and not half marathon ready.

My running club was looking for pace teams for this race and I was quick to volunteer. This would be a training run for me so pacing would allow me to get the miles in without feeling the urge to run all out. I requested the 2:30 finish but was asked to run the 2:45 finish. Slower than I needed but good for my first time pacing. It’s a big responsibility! There would be two runners per time to keep each other in check.

Let me just say that this was a really great experience. If you’re ever given the chance to pace, take it!

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We were scheduled to meet at 6:30 to get our pace shirts, signs and bibs from our team coordinator. Of course I was late… oops. Only by about 8 minutes but enough to get a text from the “boss”. Sorry! Once we were there and I got all my gear, I waited in the enormous line for the porta-potty. *key info for any race* The line seemed really long but moved pretty fast. They had a nice set up where each line went to a bank of 6 johns in a U shape.

Moving on….

It was overcast! There was a threat of rain but somehow we avoided it the entire race!

The race had a 7:30 start time. The announcers were doing a good job of keeping everyone aware of the time. Packet pick up was available the day of and the two days prior. Traffic was a little heavy getting down the beach where it started. They were allowing cars in on two roads leading from inland to the beach. Luckily it was early and a Sunday so there wasn’t traffic for any other reason and the parking attendants were great at pointing drivers in the right direction. I dropped my friend off so she could run over and grab her bib while I went to park. (She was running the 5K)

At the start line – the pacers all lined up in order and spaced out slightly to help guide the runners. There were no official corrals or waves. We had several people come up to us and let us know that their goal was to stick with us. **Note: the course had a 3 hour cut off.

We started off a little fast to get some time under our belts and allow us to walk through water stations. (they had seven by the way)

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The course was nice and flat with the exception of a few rolling hills and one steep one just after miles 10. I mean, why not, right?

I had a great time running and chatting with others. I tried to encourage everyone that I could. We had a nice group going for awhile there and then people starting trailing behind. It killed me to not be able to keep running with them but I. had. to. keep. my pace. BOO! That was the hardest part.

After mile 11 people started cursing us when they saw us pass them with our 2:45 sign. Nothing personal they said. I understand the feeling. Again, I kept trying to encourage them to keep up or pass us.

Our overall pace needed to be 12:35 to finish at the right time. Some miles were a little faster while miles with water stops were a little slower. We each carried a pace sheet with our cumulative time for each mile. Here’s where we ended up…

1- 11:57        8- 13:11

2- 12:00        9- 12:32

3- 12:13       10- 13:14

4- 12:43       11- 12:21

5- 12:36       12- 12:00

6- 13:05       13- 12:01

7- 12:42        0.22- 2:28

Total: 2:45:04

(my watch read 13.22)

Unfortunately we finished alone, with the exception of one girl we passed on the final stretch. I turned back and said “I expect you to beat me to the finish” AND SHE DID! Check out the pic….

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I took this time to wait and cheer on the friends I had made along the way. Afterwards, there was chocolate milk (which I missed), water, bananas, chowder, beer and maybe a few other things. One thing that irked me was with a 3 hour limit, they were already packing up some of the refreshments and the time clock only read 3:10 (some people started after the official clock…) but come on man! these back of the packers need these things too.

It wasn’t that they ran out – they were handing out cartons of chocolate milk. Can you tell I’m upset about the chocolate milk?! LOL However, the chowder was really yummy! I gave my beer ticket to my pacing partner as I had to work a little later.

*Pictures courtesy of my friend who was running the 5K

Welcome to the 18th Race Recap Link-Up!!

I love reading recaps from other bloggers. Its a great way to learn about different races, support other runners, and gain motivation.

A recap is the final leg of the race. It’s your chance to relive your race and allow others some insight. The training miles, the race day jitters, the glory of crossing the finish line.

the good – the bad – the ugly

We want to hear it all….

Please follow me on social media Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Bloglovin’

featured

Check out Mary Beth’s post recapping the last race of a 4 race series.

About this link up…

It is active every Tuesday – Friday.

Link up your most recent recaps, or throwback to an old favorite. *If your post is unrelated to the theme, it will be deleted.

One recap will be featured on the next link up!

Read at least 3 other posts and leave them some love.

The more the merrier… share on your social media so others can link-up. #TuesdayTales

Grab the code to the link-up image below on your post or somewhere on your blog.

The Silvah Lining
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.thesilvahlining.wordpress.com" title="The Silvah Lining"><img src="http://i1017.photobucket.com/albums/af296/jsilva814/race%20recap_zpsky3snowg.jpg" alt="The Silvah Lining" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

GOTR SoleMate
GOTR SoleMate