Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Marine Corp Marathon 10K

Marine Corp Marathon 10K Recap

Ok, so this race was back in October, but I just started my blog so I thought I would start with the race that had me hooked on running!

First, I stayed up way too late before the race so I could watch Iowa beat Michigan State (Stanzi threw a touchdown on a play that started with only 2 seconds on the clock) so I was too excited as a result. As I was trying to fall asleep in my cousin’s guest room—I was running with her husband in the morning—I had a ton of anxiety. I had never completed 6 miles in my training—the furthest I had gone was 5.7 miles. What if I couldn’t finish? What if I got lost? What if I had people saying “run faster fatty, run faster” as I ran by? Suffice to say, I did not sleep much at all the night leading up to the race and 5AM came way too quickly.

As we got ready to leave, I made sure to grab a bagel to chow on during the commute in and felt like throwing up the WHOLE time. When we arrived on the mall, and dropped off our bags, I was really proud to be part of this big group of people. CDH (cousin’s dear husband) and I ran some warm ups and stretched, and eventually made our way to our respective corrals (me in the 70Mins +, CDH in the 50 Min) and got ready for the race to start. After a nice rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by Miss Washington DC (where the vast majority of the runners were signing their hearts out aside from a few girls who were mocking the singer—very annoying and disrespectful if you would like to hear my two cents).

Once the race was under way, it was a bit of a mad dash. I had never run a race of this size or that started on such a narrow pathway. I felt squished. The problem with being in the 70+ corral is that there was a wide assortment of runners at different speeds. Once the pack started to thin out and groups started to form, the race became a bit more comfortable in a sense that I did not feel like I was going to be trampled.

Running through the streets of DC (my favorite city in the WORLD) and surrounding areas, I was able to enjoy the views, even though we headed over to Crystal City, VA shortly after the race started. I was feeling really good, no pain, not too short of breath, and enjoying a clear, cool morning. While running through Crystal City, there was an area where runners looped around and were running against each other. It was nice to see the support the runners had for each other; high fiving each other and yelling out encouragement. Along the run, I noticed a spectator wearing a hat with the Iowa Hawkeye logo, so I had to swerve and give him a high five. I was unsure how far we had run as I did not feel like I saw many mile markers until 4 miles into the race.

Running past the pentagon was a somber experience. I moved to the DC Metro area 8 months after 9/11 and remember driving past the Pentagon daily and watching the construction crews work on the project. It’s truly a site to see and running past the building, with Marines posted along the way.

The final portion of the race puts your right by Arlington National Cemetery (I remember thinking “Gosh, I am tired” but seeing those headstones gave me an extra push). The race finishes straight up a hill and I just pushed myself hard through that .2 miles. I remember finishing the race and grinning like a big dope. I felt so wonderful; I was truly experiencing my first runner’s high!

The MCM 10K was a great experience! I was happy I ran it, because I signed up for the challenge, but it totally got me into running.

I hope to (maybe this year, maybe next) to run the whole Marine Corp Marathon. As for now, I have signed up for a few more 10Ks, a couple of 10 milers and probably a half marathon in Baltimore!

Does anyone have any good 10 Miler plans? Any recommendations? Any thoughts on how to get past the mental hurdle of running a marathon?

1 comment:

Sheryl said...

Congrats on your first 10k! =) It's always so inspiring reading about other people's race experiences and learning about what got them into running. Can't wait to read more! Thanks so much for sharing and keeping up the good work!