Honestly, I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for a while. When I opened up the draft, all I had written was “This past Sunday…” Since then, two months have passed since the Marine Corps Marathon. I initially started writing the few days after the marathon but life has gotten in the way and I have been SUPER busy, but I want to get this amazing experience down on the blog.
I gained entry into this year’s marathon via the lottery, with low expectations since I never win anything! (Jokes on me, I got into the 2019 MCM lottery and just a few weeks ago found out I got into the 2020 Berlin Marathon lottery) But when I got the email, it felt like it was out of the blue. Most people I know have down a reminder when the results for the lottery come out so they will know when to expect that email, but I completely forgot and was taken by surprise (for both lotteries LOL)
To be brutally honest, I did not prepare for this race as well as I should have. Last year, I got a last-minute bib transfer so I didn’t have a lot of time to train, this year I knew, but wasn’t disciplined enough to follow through on the training.
But finally, it was race weekend. My mom picked me up and we drove down to D.C. together.
I really don’t remember at this point if we went straight to the expo or the hotel first, but when we got to the expo it was fun showing my mom everything the race had to offer.
On the morning of the race, my mom dropped me off near the runner’s village. It was raining and I started following some fellow runners but then, fortunately, asked if they were running the marathon or the 10k, and thank god I did because none of them were going to the marathon start. So I went off on my own towards the marathon start and managed to step into a puddle on the way, so my feet were already wet before getting to the starting line.
Once getting to the runner’s village and checking my bag in, I walked towards the start to wait. It was pouring rain and everyone was waiting under the bridge until it got closer to the starting ceremony. By the time we started walking over to the start, it seemed like the rain had passed. The first mile was relatively warm and dry, so I tossed my poncho and was ready to rock the next 25.2 miles.
I could not have been more wrong. It POURED. I was nervous my AfterShokz were going to get water damage! Fortunately, I wore a hat that really helped with keeping the rain out of my eyes. There were people with signs and cheering “Just keep swimming!” and “Let’s go swimmers!”
Overall, the race went really well, all considered. I had hoped for a better time but honestly, once I finally finished I was just happy to be done. At the end, I went to the medical tent to get ice for my shins. When I finally met up with my mom I laid down and stretched (which she decided to capture below).
After the race we walked back to the hotel, changed, and then started our journey back home. Last year, I had to drive myself the 3 hours (it was complete torture). This year was so nice having my mom there to drive so I could sit in the passenger seat and complain about how sore I already was.
Going into the race, I knew I was undertrained. At the finish, once I found my mom, I was telling her how I prefer the half marathon distance. In retrospect, while I still prefer the half, I think with PROPER training, I’ll love the full just as much, if not more.