SPOILER ALERT: Even though I’m still waiting for the MRI results, the Dr. just confirmed that I have a Tibial Stress Fracture. Not cool. I wrote this recap with what I thought were shin splints from rain and hills. With the injury now in perspective, I am completely impressed with my results. #badass
Race Report – Marine Corp Marathon – October 27, 2019
Going into this race, I was excited. I followed the Another Mother Runner “Go the Distance” plan and felt that it was the best training cycle I had in a long time. This was my 4th marathon, even though I swore I would never do another one after 2017. My secret A goal was to beat 5:30, my B goal was to beat my best time of 5:43, and my C goal was to beat the bridge and not get picked up in the SAG Wagon.. This was the first race I have ever run with mid-race time gauntlets.
However, Mother Nature had different goals than I did. There was 100% chance of rain at the start, with periods of heavy rain coming. And oh boy, did it ever.
I don’t remember much about the first few miles, all I saw was the pavement underneath my hat. It was raining so hard at time I could barely see 10 feet in front of me. It was crowded, there were hills, but they felt good, and I knew they would end around mile 8 or so. Even with the rain, I felt pretty strong through the first half of the race.
Just when I thought I was getting used to the rain, it actually started getting harder and blowing in off the Potomac. Just after the Blue Mile at Mile 12, the road was flooded with water up my shins and it became pretty difficult to navigate through the traffic and flooding.
My support team was awesome, standing through the rain, refilling my Nuun and taking my music player to recharge. It was good that my group took a shakeout run on Saturday to see the monuments, because I barely remember looking up to see them in the rain.
I started to fade around Mile 17 and I really had to pee, but Dear Hubby met me just before the bridge to give me freshly charged music and headphones to help. But I still REALLY had to PEE. I didn’t see any bathrooms, there were no bushes on the National Mall, and I’m pretty sure it is a felony to urinate on a National Monument. So, there I was on the bridge. Nowhere to go. Literally. And in my most BadAssMotherRunner moment ever, I sat on the soaking wet curb, in my soaking wet shorts, pretended to tie my shoe, and just soaked them a little more. When you gotta go…you gotta go.
After that, I felt immensely better! I ran into Crystal City, drank a Dixie cup of beer (or two) with the Hash House Harriers under the overpass, and loved the crowds. Around Mile 22 I saw a very familiar face in purple shirt with a Team 261 logo, and I shouted “Kathrine Switzer, Oh my God, I love you. Can I have a hug?” I hugged her like some drunken hobo. She was very sweet. She told me that Kathy was a “very strong name” (my name was on my shirt), that I was doing great, and sent me on my way. Around Mile 24, I got to run alongside my friend Ty, who was completing his first Ultra Marathon. We shuffled and chatted for a bit. He was at Mile 29 of his race. He’s amazing. Mile 25 going around the Pentagon was quiet, and the sun had come out strong at this point. My legs started to give, and it felt as if someone took a baseball bat to my shins. I mostly walked Mile 25 but managed to shuffle up the hill and cross the finish line strong and happy with my effort. I missed both my A and B goal, but I beat my last marathon finish by over 25 minutes. Given the absolute crazy weather, I am happy with my effort and training. I would love to run this race again without the monsoon get the full experience.
Thanks Roger, Jim, Nick, and PH for getting me through the tough miles!! I am not here, not to do the impossible….. Here’s to life! #RCPM.