Race Recaps

I’m Back and my MCM 2017 Race Recap

Hi Friends,

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 🙂

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Literally drank and entire case of seltzer this weekend

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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

Spectators: 5/5

Thanks for taking time to read my re-cap!  Definitely let me know if you have any questions about the race!

Pug hugs,

Meg

P.S. Lola had a lovely staycation with her Uncle Mark, so she likely didn’t miss us at all!

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