“Hmm, should I run the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday?”
That’s what I was thinking starting Thursday of last week, three days prior to the race. Before Thursday, I didn’t consider it for a second, having just completed Chicago less than 2 weeks before. Well, after Chicago went so well and my legs feeling solid, the thought of running it crossed my mind.
Thursday came along, I got off the metro on my way to work, and I was greeted with a 14-foot tall Marine Corps Marathon tower used for marking off part of the course. Well that got all kinds of thoughts walking jogging running through my head. “Can I actually run another marathon so soon?” “Should I run another marathon so soon?” “Where is Carmen San Diego?”.
So the idea found a comfy spot in my head and stayed there all day and night and then into early Friday morning. At this point a coworker (we’ll call her Beth) mentioned that she knew someone (we’ll call him George) who had signed up for the race but might not run it. Fate! I then annoyingly dutifully asked “Beth” to check with “George” if he was going to run every hour on the hour. She patiently annoyingly responded to each of my queries with “no, I haven’t asked yet” or “he hasn’t decided yet”. The day wore on and I never did get an answer about “George”.
Well the idea that made a nice little home for itself in a cozy duplex in a nice part of town in my brain made it clear that it wasn’t going anywhere. I told myself it was still up in the air if I wanted to run it, but that was just denial. No one who is on the fence would then scour Craigslist every 10 minutes hitting [refresh] to see if someone was offering up a bib number. In the meantime I had some other pro/con discussions with a few people I trust more than my own judgment. We decided that the pros amounted to: fun and the medal. The cons came down to: injury. There were other thoughts like “am I recovered enough from Chicago?” and “if so, am I in marathon-race shape?”.
Sound the horn! We found a potential bib on Craigslist! I emailed back and forth a few times, hemmed and hawed if I really wanted to run, got the last “go for it” from Ev (Thank you!!) and set up a time to get the race number from him. I picked it up Saturday, about 20 hours before the race mind you, and headed back home.
The last decision to make was one I attribute to Colin and a forum posting that he read, and something I hadn’t considered. Should I wear the timing chip? The Marine Corps Marathon allows bib transfers, but that day was well passed. It could be a bit sketchy for me to register and then have a faster friend (ha! None of my friends are faster than me!) wear my chip to get me to qualify for Boston. For the record, I decided not to wear the timing chip.
As for the race itself, I got there bright dark and early, met up with “Beth” and team (“George” included) for a bit, and then was off to the races (pun? I think so). I felt fine for the first 8 miles through Georgetown and started to tighten up around the halfway point. I was able to run through 20 miles and then hit the wall. I would have only been able to run until 19, but a glorious spectator was giving out fun-sized Snickers. I did some research and can only tell that not enough work has been done on the study of Snickers being a superfood, but it boosted me to run for another mile.
The marines were awesome as always, and the course and weather were beautiful. As tired as I felt late in the race, I’m very happy I ran it. While living in DC, this has felt like “my” race and I didn’t want to regret letting it pass by. Next on the plate is Miami on January 31st, for which training begins in about 10 days. Gotta keep a race on the calendar to stay motivated! 🙂
2009 Marine Corps Marathon:
|Average HR:||Didn’t wear HR Monitor|