ORN: 26.2 miles, 6:22:00
WOW. It's been a number of years since I ran the Marine Corps Marathon. I've been here every year since I ran it the first time in 1994, and ran it several times since, but recently I've been "working" the race for Team in Training, usually chasing around on a bicycle.
THE BAD NEWS: I travel ALL the time. I'm very careful about packing, especially on a weekend where I'm going to run. I lay everything out before I pack. I check, double check, and check again to make sure I haven't forgotten anything.
Guess what? I forgot my running underwear! I cut the "briefs" out of my running shorts and use the Under Amour tight fitting "boxers" [more like compression shorts] so that I don't have to deal with the dreaded CHAFFING! Saturday night, laying everything out for Sunday morning, I discovered that somehow I had forgotten to pack running underwear. NOW WHAT?
I'd come too far to not run, so I grabbed a pair of trusty cotton boxers, loaded up on A&D ointment and Body Glide and hoped for the best. I'm happy to say that it worked. But just!
THE GOOD NEWS: The course was new for me, and I must say that it was the most beautiful but most DIFFICULT course I've run here. The opening miles through Arlington were HILLY, the run through Rock Creek Park was HILLY, and that took care of much of the first half. With all the security they've had to take out "Capitol Hill" so most of the second half was dead flat.
The weather was near perfect. I've run this race on some UGLY days, so it was a gift to be out there on a coolish, clear day. My plan was to run 3 minutes, walk 2 all the way around. It was a good plan, as far as it went.
I ran into a friend at about mile 6 and we chatted away for the next few miles. He wasn't having a great day so we switched to running 2 and walking 3. Eventually, even that was more than he wanted so about mile 16 or so I went off on my own again. I went back to 3/2's until I got to the bridge at mile 20, then relaxed back to 2/2 until mile 24.
I felt great, and as I said the day was perfect, so at mile 24 I decided to walk it in. I met some nice folks, had a good conversation with a guy who was running in honor of his son, and just tried to soak up as much as I could of the atmosphere.
MCM is a great race. There's a reason why it closes. It's unique with all the Marines, the sites and sounds of Washington, DC, and the true amateur spirit of the event. If you haven't yet run it, I encourage you to. It's an experience you won't forget.
So the question is, now what? Honolulu is coming up in mid-December. Could I do a third marathon this season?? YIKES. I feel great. Nothing's banged up or twisted. Honolulu has virtually no time limit. I could WALK the whole thing just for fun.
I'll see how I feel in a few days!!!
Waddle on, friends.