Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Marine Corps Marathon - Wrap Up!

The whole weekend feels like a dream now... kind of like my wedding. Boatloads of planning, money, nerves - then it all passed in a blur and I was left with sore feet and a serious case of exhaustion that I wouldn't trade for the world.

Super cool things about the marathon:
1. Marines parachuting onto the start line unfurling a 50 foot American flag as two Osprey's hovered above our heads - felt so patriotic!
2. The fall foliage and beauty of Washington D.C. We ran through so many lovely neighborhoods and saw all of the major monuments - from Georgetown to the Washington Monument. From the Lincoln Memorial, to the Capitol, the Mall and the Smithsonian - we saw it all!
3. The SPECTATORS were amazing. Upwards of 150,000 people lined the entire route and endlessly cheered us on. Some wore halloween costumes, hundreds held funny signs like... "3 Months ago, this all seemed like a great idea!", "Worst Parade EVER!", "If it was easy, I'd be doing it!" "You are the 1%! Who will ever run a marathon!".

Uncool things about the marathon:
1. A freak Noreaster blew in and it rain/snowed on Saturday with temps in the 30's. Not expected, anticipated OR appreciated. It was freezing at the start line. Literally. Girls should not have to wear trashbags!

2. Drumroll... I wore a jog bra, fitted yoga top, long sleeve wicking shirt, black running jacket, zip up throw away fleece jacket, another zip up hooded jacket, crazy fuzzy headband, two pair of mittens, running skirt AND yoga pants under my running skirt. I pulled the yoga pants on at the last second because Matthew told me that I would need them to survive the walk to the start. Sadly, I never stopped to take them off. I look like a crazy person who is afraid of sunlight running home from a funeral. Exactly what I was going for - awesome.

3. Because it was so cold, I knew I wouldn't be taking off my jacket to proudly display my "No Meat Athlete" tech shirt so I had to make a "No Meat Athlete" sign for my back. Less cool than my logo shirt for sure.

From a vegetarian perspective, I couldn't have run a stronger race. The sign on my back started many great conversations with other vegetarians & vegans. So yes, I represented! I ate a little something every 30 minutes or so and filled my water bottle at almost every water station. Basically, I chatting away and waited for "the wall" or something horrible to happen, but it never did. Runners were dropping like flies all around me after the 20 mile mark which really messed with my mind. Shouldn't I be losing it? When the 25 mile marker passed I realized that I had too much gas in the tank and that all that I had trained for would soon be over. After filming a short video that I can't seem to upload, I got up on my toes and raced up the steep hill to the finish line at the base of the Iwo Jima Memorial. It was everything I thought it would be. Not overrated in the least.

Darn that Colleen! Kidding... kinda...

I started crying post haste when I crossed the finish line and saw my awesome husband smashed up against the barrier of the finish coral, waiting for me. Cried some more when a Marine thanked me for running the race and placed this very cool medal around my neck.

I can't help but think... what's next????