Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Marine Corp Marathon 2014
A couple of days before leaving for DC my mom and I found my fathers Marine Dog Tags from when he was in the Marine Reserve from 1961-1968 or 1969. He went through Basic Training but they never called him back in to do his weekend warrior things or anything else. Kinda lost in the shuffle. Good thing because
Geoff was born in 1966 and me in 1968 so who knows if we would be here today and he married to mom if things were different. Anyways...I put his dog tags on my Umstead 100 necklace I always wear but they clanked with each other too much and I knew that would drive me insane...so I found a simple ball chain necklace in my drawer and wore only his dog tag for the run. I left Saturday morning to drive 8 ish hours and stayed with my friend Nicole and her husband Brett. Another friend of hers from high school was running Sarah
and she and her fiance Albert were staying as well. We had a couple beers and headed to this awesome place for sandwiches. I got to bed early because I knew i would be tossing and turning and even though the race does not start until 7:55am in order to get parking or even take the metro you must leave early. Albert stayed in bed and took the metro over later, we left shortly after 5am and where they are in the service we were able to park on the base and was a short walk to the start. We hung out in the car for a couple hours just resting then headed through security and stopped off for a quick potty trip and got into the start line right as the hand cycles were starting. There were about a dozen paratroopers jumping and in one group they were several jumping with the flag! Then the ospreys did a fly over and they were amazing! I already felt myself starting to get emotional just
watching our flags being flown in the sky.
I knew I wouldnt be able to keep up with Nicole and Brett but Sarah and I stayed together for a couple miles.
I kept hearing BEAT THE BRIDGE...you must be at the bridge which is mile 20 by a certain time. They said typically in order to beat the bridge you must be able to hold a 14 min mile or less for the first 20 miles, however those that start in the back of the race and this race does not have timed corrals will be a little less then that due to the amount of time it takes to get to the start. I really wasnt worried about not beating the bridge and we started in the back of the race, taking us I believe about 10 minutes to get to the start line.
I dont remember what mile we were on but I came across my friend and hero Steve Bozeman. I met Steve at JFK50 two years ago and got to see him again last year. This is one amazing man and athlete. Not only a running of marathons and ultras he has done the Double Ironman (4.8 mile swim 224 mile bike and 52.4 mile run 16 times) After meeting him at JFK in 2012 I thought someday I really wanna try a Double Ironman! He has also received two Purple Hearts for combat wounds as well as 18 Air Medals for meritorious achievement and is as humble as they come! I knew it was him from the back and came upon him and got to say hello...I decided to run ahead a little and stand to the side to get a photo of he and his friend as they ran with the flags. Funny too how the word facebook has become part of our daily conversations...he said facebook me with that one Jennifer :)
Sarah dropped off a little while after that to catch up with me a couple miles later. I had just dropped to either a 3 to 1 run walk or a 2 to 1 walk ratio and we got to run together for a little bit but it became a little too much for her. This was her 4th marathon and had not done one since last year. The temperature was super warm and sunny for the time of the year and I think that played a toll on many. Reading the FB post on the marine marathon page there has been so much talk about how hard the course was and how many people didnt get the times that they had planned or wanted. I kinda found it comical as I don't think I have ever had a time goal or time plan at hand...I just go out have fun and take it as it comes! If I worried myself with a time goal I would be totally stressed out and not having fun!
I came upon what is known as the Blue Mile...here are signs of fallen soldiers with their photos and memorial - then there are folks lines up holding the American Flag and seeing all this I started to hyperventilate and my emotions were taking over. I found myself looking to the right into the river just to get my barring's back but had to keep looking away. It is so sad to see all those young soldiers photos that gave their life in order for me to have freedom.
As we came into a park area and onto that running trail to the right was the river. There was a lady and her male friend making screwdrivers but they just offered a drink...I took a swig and didnt care about cooties or anything...heck there was enough vodka in that to kill off any germs. Just ahead a house boat came driving by and the man was holding up a sign that said KICK ASS! This was awesome!!! There were a lot of great signs on this trail and reading them kept me entertained for the entire time. There was a fire boat I believe is what they are called- it was putting on a great water show spitting water out in all directions. I don't recall seeing one of these in person before and I found it pretty darn cool. I am terrible when it
comes to remembering what mile was what during these events but I know it was super hot out there and I found myself cramping, I usually don't cramp during runs and I even took a small water from some folks handing them out and refilling at the aid stations so that I had water on me most of the time. I also recall after I BEAT THE BRIDGE my entire right leg and side went totally numb....this really scared me with all the hip,back and foot issues happening with it and running seems to be the only time I am not feeling pain. It scared me to where it has me questioning if I really cant feel the pain while I am running or if I have merely just taught myself how to ignore the pain with my "running highs" It took a couple minutes of rubbing and mind games to get the feeling back and I just continued on with a slog and walk. My foot never really recovered and still today is totally pins and needles. My calves seized up after the run and I tried to drink as much as I could to rehydrate myself. I got in line for a jacket and met up with Nicole and Brett and shortly after Sarah and Albert found us and we headed back to Nicoles. I took an amazing shower and Nicole had a glass of cold chocolate milk waiting for me when I got out. That was the best chocolate milk in my life and was so needed! I got on the road and headed home. I did have to drive without my shoes on as my feet continued to try to cramp up if I wore them. I had a super weekend and decided to get into the lottery again in hopes to
get in next year!
I am suppose to do Marshall Marathon this weekend but am considering taking a rest as I don't want to risk not finishing my 50 states. The next weekend is Georgia, one week off then AR and OK double and then Hawaii Dec 14th. I also have other events in the midst but the most important right now are these 4. I had a lumbar MRI done yesterday and the results from that came in today so am waiting to hear from my Doctor about putting together the back/spine issues with the Hip MRI results as well as the tarsal tunnel syndrome from 2011. And for any haters out there....THESE ISSUES ARE NOT DUE TO RUNNING....SHIT HAPPENS!!!