Sunday was the 32nd running of the Marine Corps Marathon, also known as my first running of any marathon, after many years of interrupted training attempts.
As an indicator of how the race went, I have two times to report. My
chip time was 5:44:32. My chip time net time spent in port-a-pot
lines was 5:29:36. I made the newbie mistake of drinking the PowerAde
I hadn’t trained with, and paid for it dearly, in terms of discomfort
and time spent in port-a-pot lines. Girl or no, there are just some
things you CAN’T do in the woods off of Spout Run Parkway.
For one prolonged stretch of the course, I got to debate whether the intense cramping in my legs was (1) an indicator of something more unhealthy than an attempt to run 26.2 miles, (2) something that I could manage to muscle my way through, or (3) going to slow me down so much that I’d get picked up off the course and told to ride the bus of non-completers. I’d had rather turned myself in medically than get picked up by the bus. Eventually (and I mean miles later) the combination of walking and shuffling worked the cramp out, or my legs just decided that my brain was too stubborn and decided to stop yelling. From that point on, it was just a matter of making it through the miles.
On the more positive side of things, I completed my first marathon,
and managed to run up that last hill (thank you, baby bear, momma
bear, and papa bear, you hellacious hills on our training course!) to make sure I came in under the (adjusted) time of 5:30. I learned a few things that I’ll apply the next go around, and I’m mentally rarin’ to start running again in preparation for the
half in March. I made it up the stairs to class tonight, gingerly, and am thinking about what tattoo might best commemorate my first 26.2. Thanks to all the Striders who encouraged me on the long runs those early Saturday mornings. I’m certain I’d never have made it had not I had the structure of the program bringing me along.