Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap

This past Sunday I ran in my first marathon - and I LOVED it! It was everything that I imagined and better. Thank God. Ahem. OK, let me start at the beginning.

The Ride
When Husband decided to come with me to the race we immediately thought a road trip would be the way to go.It was icing on the cake when the good folks at GM provide a brand new Chevy Equinox as our official “Ride to Run” vehicle. Not only were we riding in style, but comfort is even more important when you are traveling to and from a marathon. Let’s just say the Equinox passed with flying colors; Husband and I will share our thoughts about the ride, the Equinox, and how to survive 12 hours in the car with your spouse in another post.

The Expo
I love going to expos! I’m cheap as hell financially responsible so most of the time I don’t buy anything, but this was my first marathon so I picked up a few goodies including a cute MCM 26.2 shirt. I also splurged on two head-bands and a little bling for my car.

Yes, I really will run for beer. So.

While I was there I did pick up my race number and goodie bag. Um, yes I know that’s the most important thing - not the shopping or running for beer. Ahem.

The Marine who handed me my goods.

They were awesome throughout the whole weekend ...and extremely helpful see.

Before I left I had to spend a little time with the MCM’s most famous finisher - Oprah.

Yes, we chatted about my race plan, wardrobe and what I was going to do afterwards. Can you say ice bath?

The Race
I woke up around 5:45 a.m. after a surprisingly goodnight sleep. I was due to meet the crew from my running group, Get Fit Atlanta, in the lobby at 6:15 a..m. After snapping a few pics we headed out to wait on line for the free shuttles to take us to the start. Everything at the race was so well organized and manned by the Marines. They loaded us on the shuttle buses, handed out Powerade and water, and even put the medals around our necks - but that comes later.

Once we got to the Runners Village I waited on line for a port-a-potty pit-stop but realized I was too close to start time and wanted to find my running buddies for the day - Jamie, Bo, Michael and Doug. We trained together doing 2:1 run/walk intervals in Atlanta and planned to run together for the big day. Once the race began it took about 25 minutes before we got to start so I sneaked into a port-a-potty on the side of the start and was fresh and empty for the race. Good move.

As if running a marathon isn’t a big enough challenge I added tweeting and take pictures to the mix. I was chosen with a handful of runners by the Washington Post to be tracked online during the race. Good thing I wasn’t actually “racing.” I wasn’t concerned about my finishing time, I just wanted to enjoy the experience and adding the interactive social media element made it even more special. Once people realized I was tweeting live while running a marathon they were cheering me on in full force. The love and support I got from my Twitter friends was priceless. I had my own twitter cheering section and it gave me lots of great energy . Surprisingly, I didn’t tweet and trip once -Yikes! - I sent most of them out during walk cycles.

I felt awesome throughout the entire race. I kept waiting to hit the dreaded wall but never did. I trained properly, followed my race day plan and it paid off - big time. I stayed with my running buddies until around mile 20 and we all kind of spread out. I loved having people to share my experience with and definitely recommend group running. Even though I still felt good, Mile 25 was the longest mile ever made on earth. For real. At that point I was ready to just be done and wanted that medal hanging around my neck - oh, and a chair would’ve been nice.

Here’s some of my favorite pics from the race ...

My pre-race self-portrait. "Cheese!"

I put “Believe” on my shoes so I could look down and see it if I needed to.

Doug, Me, Bo, Michael and Jamie

OK, it was Halloween but really? He had to be uncomfortable - Yikes!

The Start!

Marines lined up to send us off.

Mile 3 came quickly.There were Marines at all the mile markers.

I ran into one of my Get Fit Atlanta buddies, Kimberly, at mile 7

The juggler. Show off. Just kidding. Sort of.

One of my only running shots. I think this was somewhere around mile 10 or 11.

Yup, I was sightseeing. The course was so damn pretty.

See. Beautiful, right?

This was one of my favorite signs. Tee hee hee

This is my favorite Husband. He was there cheering me on at mile 16, 18 and 23.

What a relief to see these signs. People get swept at the bridge if you don’t make the cutoff time.

So glad I wasn’t on clean up duty.

The longest mile EVER.

The finish line - Whoo hoo

The Marine who “medaled me” Gasp!

Me showing off that beautiful medal.

So, 5 hours and 53 minutes after I crossed the start line I became a marathoner - and I loved every second of it.

Winks & Smiles,


@PamelaMKramer - A Renaissance Woman said...

Well aren't you just a BAD A**! I'm inspired!!! Great post and what a send off with the Marines lining up. That rocked my socks.

workout mommy said...

HOORAY!!!! great job wifey! you look so awesome in your pictures! :)

Liz said...

Congratulations! I would have loved to see your tweets during the race. The marines really were great.

Heather @ Not a DIY Life said...

Awesome!!! Congrats on being a marathoner!! Your recap and pics made it seem so much fun! I'm not ready for a marathon yet, but I want my first to be this much fun too!

The Broke Socialite said...

I can't say enough about how proud I am of you. You truly inspire me. Going for mine NEXT!

merrymishaps said...

Sounds like you had a perfect first marathon! Congratulations!

Jewel said...

Congrats on your new title-Marathoner! One never knows what they can do until they actually do it! What an inspiration...


Congrats on becoming a marathoner! I love all the photos! It looks like a great time. And mile 25 is ALWAYS the longest!

Elz said...

Congratulations! I couldn't believe you were tweeting during the run. I'm going for 13.1 and that is long enough for me!

Morgan said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome! Glad you had such a wonderful first experience!!!! Bask in that afterglow and remember: You don't have to come down from Cloud 9 anytime soon! :)

Nicki said...

I am so impressed. You did great!!

I still haven't managed to complete 26.2 but have done three 13.1's this year and am going for a full marathon Feb in Myrtle Beach.

jen said...

Seriously, you make a marathon sound like a walk in the park on a gorgeous fall don't even look like you were sweating....girrrl, you make it look easy! and you look fantastic doing it. I want that exact experience if I were to ever embark on a full marathon. You amaze me!!

Much love, jen

Krystal Grant said...

Wow! That is awesome. Congratulations. Love the "believe" on your shoes.

Wifey said...

Thanks, Everyone, for the wonderful comments. I appreciate you! ;)

Kelli said...


Candice @ I Have Run said...

So so awesome. Such a great race report!! I am so happy for you. And glad you got to chat up Oprah =)

Jennifer G said...

So thrilled for you! I run the NYC Marathon this Sunday so I was so excited to read your report. Awesome job! And, hello? A M A Z I N G MEDAL!

Quinton J said...

Hold on...did you just say "My favorite husband"? There are others?

Anonymous said...

I got chills reading this post! I am so very happy for you!

Congratulations on a great accomplishment!

Justice Fergie said...

Ok you are so friggin' awesome that i want to cry!!! GO YOU!!! what an amazing, amazing job you did!! such an inspiration. xoxoxoxoxoxo.

Marcela said...

Congrats to you!!!!

You did awesome!!!

You look beautiful wearing that medal!!!

All your hard work.......celebrate! You deserve it!!!

Alison B., "Runbuggy" said...

Awesome!! Your post got me psyched yet again for NYC this weekend. Congrats on finishing your first marathon. You will never forget it!

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Ahhh, I can't wait til I can say the same thing!! Wonderful freakin' job, way to go! <3

ScrappinMichele said...

I can't believe that I'm actually going to say this, but after reading your post. I want to run a marathon. I know I know..I haven't even done my half yet. Your psot was so inspiring and I like that you just enjoyed the run and the scenery and you didn't stress over it. You look like you were having fun in your pictures. That is the first time I've read a marathon story and seen pics where the person seemed like they were honestly having fun. You are such an inspiration!!!

Shelley said...

Congratulations - what a great race you had!!! I'm so inspired that you had fun with it and really seemed to enjoy the whole experience - I will take that with me as I do my first half marathon next Saturday. Thanks for sharing this momentous event with us! :)

Monique said...

Belated congratulations! I also just ran my first marathon. I did the Amsterdam marathon in October and while I said it was my first and last while I was training, half way through the race I was thinking about when I'd do it again. I've been bitten. Keep running.

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