Wow it is hard to believe it has been almost a year since I have blogged. During my Betty the Boot phase and injury I just wasn’t motivated to write. Life was in a bit of a transition (good part being that I was getting to know Dean!) and blogging about not running just did not seem appealing.
But flash forward to now and I have an awesome race recap to share! I completed the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday, October 23rd and it was such an amazing experience! I think a race recap is a perfect way to re-launch the blog 🙂
We decided to fly in Saturday and take Monday off, so we could enjoy the day after the marathon (and do something Dean wanted to do haha). So I started off Saturday morning with a quick shake out run. I don’t always do shakeouts before races, but I wanted my legs loose before the flight.
The flight into DC was really quick and easy and we then just made our way over to the expo on the metro. I have to say DC really has Boston beat on public transportation. Dean and I both wished the Greenline could hurry up and get faster!
The expo was a little crazy, but I did get to see my friend Becca from Boston, whose dad was also running! So awesome connecting with people at race expos. We toured around a bit and I bought a new running hat and some gu.
After finishing up our expo fun we made our way over to the Air BnB in Crystal City. I cannot say enough good things about our spot! It was a private “cozy bungalow” in a very sweet neighborhood, with easy access to the metro. We had our own little kitchen, which was great for prepping my breakfast and storing snacks (total musts for a marathon). I would highly recommend this area if you are thinking of running MCM in the future!
After several episodes of The Office and a few Spindrift setlzers it was time for bed!
Before I knew it was race morning! I was definitely a little nervous, but not as much as previous races. Since my injury I have the attitude that any day I get to run and race is a win, so the expectation jitters are a lot less intimidating. Good attitude to adopt if you get really anxious before races 🙂
We made our way to the start of the race, which was SO EASY! Honestly, if you are intimidated by a long race start (aka New York and Boston) this is your race! I obviously loved my previous big city marathons, but this was such a great pre-race experience. Dean literally came with me all the way to my starting corral! Number 1 Sherpa!
After a quick pic I maneuvered my way closer to the front. I had heard from others that MCM can be really crowded and slow to start, so I was glad that I moved my way up a bit.
It was a perfect morning and the energy was really special with all of our Marines out there providing support. I chatted in the corral for a bit with another Oiselle lady named Sarah who just moved to Boston! Definitely hoping we can connect back here in our hometown.
With the gun shot we were off!
I wasn’t really sure how my pacing for this race was going to go. I knew if I wanted to get a BQ I had to stick to 8:00min/mile pace, but I also didn’t know if I had this in me. My training had not been stellar, with moving, PMC training this summer, and just being busy. So I figured I would settle in around that pace and just see what happened haha.
MCM is also a great race for spectators, so Dean was able to see me at mile 6, 10, 18, and 20! I could have probably used him at 23 when I was dying, but having him at the finish was perfect.
Of course I was sporting my Oiselle tank and roga shorts. And I heard a few birds out on the course cheering. Love all the lady support!
I was keeping a pretty strong pace with miles just above or below 8:00min/mile pace. At about miles 18 when I saw Dean for the 3rd time I thought I might just get a BQ! I didn’t think a big PR was in the cards, but I was really excited about re-qualifying.
Most of the course through DC was flat and had good crowd support, so that kept me feeling strong. But around mile 21 we hit the 14th Street Bridge and I started to really feel like “Oh crap, this marathon hurts!!” Getting to the end of that bridge was a godsend! For those last three miles I just keep repeating my mantra “hold your pace” as best I could, hoping not to loose too much time.
Once we were back at the Pentagon I knew I had just the last hill everyone talks about to get to the finish. My legs were pretty smoked, but I wanted to try and come in strong.
Well, that sorta happened haha. The hill is no joke a quick climb straight up and I had no gas left to pick it up. But I powered through to the end as was so excited to see the clock under 3:30! I had requalified with a 3:29:04 time and a 4 second PR!
As happy as I was my legs were completely dead. Dean and I sat on the grass for a bit and then slowly made our way through the finish area toward the metro. As we walked a bit my legs loosened up and I was very happy to have a relaxing afternoon with a hot shower, icy hot, and my iced coffee 🙂
Later that night we ventured into Georgetown for dinner at the The Sovereign, which was fantastic! It is a German style gastropub with great food and a really nice beer selection. I would highly recommend it and while it is right in the heart of Georgetown it is a little off the craziness of M Street.
The next day we checked out some museums and relaxed around DC before flying back. Overall it was a fantastic race weekend and runcation! Here are my ratings:
Overall Experience: 5/5
Race Swag: 4/5
*I loved the medal and longsleave shirt, but was not super impressed by the items at the expo.
Race Logistics: 5/5
Thanks for taking time to read my re-cap! Definitely let me know if you have any questions about the race!
P.S. Lola had a lovely staycation with her Uncle Mark, so she likely didn’t miss us at all!