Monday, October 28, 2013

MCM Race Recap!

Weeks leading up to this race I began questioning what my true goal was going to be.  When I signed up for MCM my original goal was to use this as a fun race.  But then when I started training I switched back and forth between wanting to go for a PR vs. the experience.  It truly came down to race day morning.

 This was such an emotional race for me and made me see the big picture .. these young men and women are THANKING ME and cheering for ME when I should be thanking them for all that they do for us and our country!!!  Before the race even started I was crying! 

The blessing was my hubby was able to ride the shuttle from Crystal City with me to the start of the race and hung out with me in the Runner's Village.  I NEEDED him there!  I have felt very "alone" this training cycle so it was very nice to have him with me at the start.  We walked a short way to the race start area and he was able to stand to the side near me until the cannon went off to start the 38th MCM.

The start of this race was like no other marathon I have ever experienced!  The singing of the National Anthem and the skydivers/parachutes with gigantic American flags was breath taking. 

Since there really weren't corrals I lined up in the 3:20 - 3:39 area but somehow ended up closer to the 3:15 pace group once the race started.  I was very surprised how crowded the first 4-6 miles of the race was and I felt like I was going way to fast for my liking.  I got tripped at mile 2.5 because someone kicked my heel and thank God I did not fall because that would have been a disaster!!!  The first few miles the wheelchair racers were one the right side of the course so everyone was yelling "move to the left, wheels on the right".

  I decided not to look at my Garmin at all from this point on because when I saw a 6:58 mile I decided to go by feel and not stress over my pace! I knew my hubby would be around mile 10 so I kept my eyes peeled for him.  I was doing OK at that point and felt pretty good...I stuck to drinking Gatorade at the early water stations before switching over to water.  I also saw Bart Yasso around mile 11 cheering all of us runners on which was pretty awesome!

I again saw my hubby at mile 16 and was starting to feel a little crappy at this point ... I decided to use a honey stinger gel at mile 18.  That seemed to help get me to mile 20ish but then ...TMI ALERT ...Being a female I had to take care of a girly issue around mile 20-21 and just couldn't recover after that moment!  Thank goodness for port-a-potties. 

We were in Crystal City at this point and I kept trying to get out of my head but I gave up at this point and just focused on finishing...and looking forward to my goal race in December.  I really wish I would have taken pictures along the course because it was absolutely gorgeous!  The signs for all the fallen soldiers,  the section of all blue in support of Boston, the encouraging signs all over...the list goes on and on!  Here are some of my hubby's pictures during the race:



Pace Car for lead runner!
Lead Runner and Winner!
Best Medal Crew EVER!

And yes I cried at the finish but it was because of my gratitude for these Marines!  In the end they are my heroes and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to experience such an EPIC event! 

Super proud!
I finished with a 3:30:24 and I am ok with that .. I walked A LOT the final 4 miles .. I now know what I need to do for my goal race and I will get my secret time I want.  This race helped me realize I am capable of reaching my goal.  I am surprised how tough this course was on my quads... and some how I ended up with close to 27 miles on my Garmin.  FYI:  It is very hard to run and cry at the same time!

The Finish Line goodies:

LOVE that they gave us bags for all our goodies!! I filled the bag with Gatorade, bottled waters, bananas, and sports beans!

Not the typical space blanket!
 They also gave us these awesome thermal jackets with a hood!  Love the back MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!
Upside down!
And a yummy goodies box filled with treats!

The Watermelon Princess
Plus the best watermelon I have ever tasted in my life... Not kidding!  I think I ate 3-4 containers. 

Who doesn't love a mini Dunkin Donuts after a race!  Oh yes...they also gave out Munchkins on the course around mile 22 I think but I did not partake in one.

And the post would not be complete without a picture of my favorite Mizuno Wave Sayonaras and Feetures compression socks!

A huge THANK YOU to the MCM and all the Marines involved in making my race day epic....You all are the true champions and heroes!  OOH-RAH!

Happy Running!

Marine Corps Marathon Expo Recap!

We decided to head to DC early Saturday morning and went straight to the expo....So glad we got there when we did!!!  We got there around 8 a.m. and the expo/packet pick up opened at 9 a.m.  We decided to get in line and chat with fellow runners while we waited to pick up my bib #... this turned out to be the best decision ever!  The security was fantastic and they checked EVER single person and bag that entered the packet pick up and expo area.  This made me feel very secure and at ease especially after being a part of Boston this past year. 
Best Packet Pick Up EVER!!
Walked right up to get my bib!
The line when we were leaving the expo around 11 a.m. was crazy long ... at least a 2 hr wait to get in! 

We ran into STUFTMAMA as we walked into the expo.  She is one of my favorite bloggers from the
West Coast and fellow Mizuno lover! 
I also discovered an amazing "new to me" product that I cannot wait to try and will definitely do a whole post on it in the future!  It is a company Generation UCAN and the employees/ambassadors were super informative and friendly.

Some other cool sites at the expo:
Love this but bad picture quality!

This company was started by 4 military wives and has gorgeous charms and jewelry!

Love my NUUN and new water bottle!
The famous Marine Corps race shirt!
After the expo we drove to our hotel and checked in ... I went for a quick 1.5 mile shakeout run before we went to Crystal City and grab some lunch/dinner!  I also wanted to drive to the start of the race to make we knew exactly where we were going. 
Found where I need to be!
I was a little nervous about the lack of corrals but this seemed to be a good range to go for!  After my hubby came up with our race day plan we went back to the hotel and I laid out my race gear, said my prayers and crawled in bed for an early night!

I went with the gray shorts!
The only thing missing in my picture are my Mizuno Wave Sayonara! 

Race Recap in next post ... Photo overload!

If you are planning on doing this race next year plan to get to the expo early to avoid long lines!!

Happy Running!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Keep Calm!!! Marine Corps Marathon is in 2 Days!!

I cannot believe MCM is this weekend!!  All the weeks of training, early mornings, HOT HUMID runs, sweat, and a few tears have all prepared me for this Sunday.  I am actually very proud of myself and actually for once I think I may have tapered properly! 

This week has looked like this:

Monday:  Planned on 8-10 miles ... did 8.3 miles in 65 minutes and ended there.  My back and ribs were tight which made my breathing very I did the wise thing and stopped before I hurt something even more! 

Tuesday:  Amy's spin class ... 22 miles in 60 minutes.  Amy is on a whole different level when it comes to spin class.  I was dripping sweat during the warm up portion of the class and she kept it going from the beginning to the end!  After class Angel and it trotted over to the park to run a easy 4 miles...
Rocking the PINK!   
I wore my new FAVORITE Oiselle shirt!  I LOVE the design and feel of this shirt plus it has thumb holes!!!  After a quick shower and change of clothes I went to lunch with my mom & brother and made sure to refuel on delicious healthy food!  I also had a much needed Chiropractor appointment scheduled.  It is amazing how just the slightest imbalance can throw your whole body off.  This time my neck was the main issue .. so ice, stim, and a little crack-a-lack and I was good to go. 

Wednesday:  Rest Day.  I made an appointment for a Deep Tissue Massage at the Limestone Therapeutic Massage Center ... I carry all of my stress in my upper back and neck area so I had some pretty mean knots that had to be broken down!  One of the knots was just under my scapula and was putting so much pressure on that area that I could not take a full deep breath.  Well,  my massage therapist was amazing and she took care of all the trigger points, knots and myofacial tension/pain.  If you are from the area and need a good massage go visit Sarah @ Limestone Massage!

I actually took the rest of the day easy, hydrated and refueled properly then enjoyed some snuggle time with my little man while my hubby and oldest son were at football!
Perfect night time treat!
I even enjoyed a cup of calming hot tea while we watch a Halloween movie!

Thursday:  Met Dawn and Katie at the park to run a few easy miles!  I tested out my race day outfit and decided I need to rethink my shorts!  I am so glad I took them for a test run before the big race... I kept having to adjust the shorts and think I need a smaller size.  I did 5.2 miles with the girls then they kept going and I went to help with Kindergarten gym class...Woohoo!

Today:  After working all night I went to see my amazing PT friend for a final tweak before the race...I now have my Rock Tape tattoo on my back and am ready to take on MCM!!  I would have posted a pic but it is very hard to take a "good" picture of your own back!

My favorite pre-race meal is always pizza ... so tonight we made homemade cheese pizza which was delicious!  Now its time to snuggle up with my boys, watch a movie and continue my positive thinking!

Best of luck to everyone racing this weekend!

If you are in Delaware head south and checkout the Sea-witch Festival, Rigby's Halloween Party on Saturday, or Fins Oystoberfest!!! 

I cannot wait to meet up and see other Oiselle teammates this weekend!! 

Happy Running!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Almost time for MCM, Fallapalooza, Boys Birthday Party

So the difference between last week and this week is amazing!  I did a lot of reading and research on "mental outlook and training".   It is truly amazing how not only do you need to train your body but you also need to train your brain.  I don't know why I am putting so much pressure on myself to do something that I love to do?  I run for me and my family but for some reason I have changed my outlook and it made me become negative and question my abilities.  So after doing my homework and turning my thinking around I have a new excitement for MCM.   I mean who would not find humor in this course:

I also felt the love and support from all my friends and I THANK YOU all for you kind words and belief in me!!!!!!!! 

So this week was a busy one but what else is new for us?! 

Tuesday:  Amy's spin class ... she LOVES her hills and standing climbs!  I followed spin with core work.

Wednesday:  6 miles in 42 minutes and kept it pretty light and easy at the park.

Thursday:  I needed to flush out some speed in my legs so I did a 2 mile warm up at 7:17 pace then  I did some form drills and wanted to test out my 5K pace:
Unofficial PR

I felt great, the weather was perfect and my legs were happy! 

Friday: I planned for 8 miles but ended with 6 miles in just under 44 minutes.   I felt like I was going very slow and the headwind was very strong but actually I was going way faster then I wanted too!  I saw my friend Erin zipping around the park also so that made me keep going!   I also work the next 3 night shifts and have 2 parties this weekend so I didn't want to over do it and end up sick for MCM!

Saturday:  Fallapalooza!!  Every year we celebrate Fall with our friends and kids and have a ton of fun Fall activities.  We had a delicious spread of Fall foods including these beauties:

We also had "bobbing for donuts", a flash light candy hunt, and pumpkin carving!
My hubby carved this one
Rory's Scary Mermaid!
Unfortunately, I had to work all weekend and could not partake in the "pumpkin beer tasting"!

Sunday was our boys birthday party at our house!!!!  Boy was I suffering with the lack of sleep but it was so worth it!  Thank God for my mom ( made her signature meatball, homemade sauce, ziti and Italian sub salad ) , my hubby (for organizing everything) , my mother-in-law ( made the best Fall dips, spiked cider and drinks,  Lauren ( for making her AMAZING cupcakes and Pumpkin Ooey Gooey Bars ) and Nicole for whipping together spinach dip, pizza dip and beer bread!  And the boys loved their birthday cake!!

My boys are slightly hooked on WWE and love the ol' school wrestlers Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy!!  So when they saw the cake they were super excited!  It was the perfect day for a party and everyone had a blast!  I got an amazing workout jumping in the moon bounce with the boys and my hubby as we all displayed our BEST WWE moves!

I hope everyone had an amazing weekend... I followed along with Instagram and Facebook for all the blogger/runners at the Runner's World Festival ... I was very jealous of them but I hope and pray to be there next year!! 

Happy Running!