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2010 Marine Corps Marathon – Lessons Learned

MCM 10K Medal

On October 31st, I completed a 6.2 mile (10K) race in support of two fallen soldiers -  Travis Manion and his best friend, Brendan Looney. First time participating in a 10K race and doing so in the spectacular environment of the Marine Corps Marathon was so memorable.

Yep, I was absolutely star struck at this event and terrified of the unknown as well; the sniper issue was adding to my pre race jitters. My main fear was simple really; I did not want to crash and wind up walking during the race.  No way on this earth did I want the Marines that lined the course to think I’m a wimp. Thankfully, that fear never materialized during the run.

I would not have attempted this race if it were not for some specific individuals who graciously shared their knowledge to this novice.

  • RJ – You sarcastic wit pushed me through some tough patches in training. I’d imagine you on the side of the road doling out sharp critiques of the run.
  • John Ruberry – A marathon runner extraordinaire – your blogging inspired me to lace up the shoes and keep going. I’ve adopted your quote – But pain goes away–glory remains until I find my own.

The most important take home lesson of this race is that we are stronger than we imagine ourselves to be. See the photo below taken during the race, notice the man running although he is a double amputee. What ever struggles I had at this point in the race vanished as I witnessed the tenacity of this amazing runner.

True Grit on Display

Other important lessons learned during this race:

  • Familiarize yourself with the race route noting elevation as well. Don’t let hills sneak up on you!
  • If possible, take a day or two to take in all the events surround the marathon. It can be a great way to learn something new about running or check out the latest and greatest in training gear.   I picked up a few items that are quite useful during a typical run.
  • While perusing the health and fitness fair, don’t forget to check out the latest flavor of Chobani Greek Yogurt .
  • Most importantly – don’t forget to eat a healthy breakfast before your run. A minute after I snapped my self portrait at the starting line of the MCM 10K, my stomach grumbled and I realized I had completely forgotten to eat prior to arriving.  Essentially, I started the race on empty and prayed the water stations were doling out gatorade.  Thank heaven they were handing out gatorade, which powered me through the miles.  I won’t make that mistake again.
  • Drinking (water or gatorade) while running is an oxymoron.
  • Those who come out and cheer from the sidelines are angels sent from heaven.  You are encouraging more people than you realize. THANK YOU!
  • RELAX AND HAVE FUN!!! The finish line is closer than you imagine.

At The Start of the Race

It was encouraging to run with an assortment of skill levels and body shapes. Anyone can pick up the good habit of running and reap its benefits. This run was unique from the start, I was able to easily find my pace and not feel compelled to ‘run with the pack’. My left knee behaved beautifully, not one little twinge or throb of pain. It was if the damage from the strained ligaments never happened. Yet, another worry was put to rest during the run. I easily kept control of my breathing, outside of one incident of the dry heaves which I attribute to the forgotten breakfast. Oh yes, I know how to run through dry heaves.

Along the Route

This finish line. What a beautiful sight to behold! I’ll admit I did get a bit choked up when I approached the finish line. Still amazed I was able to take a fairly decent photo while running. All systems felt good as I made my way to collect my medal. Good enough for me to inquire about the 2011 Philadelphia Broad Street Run and Philly’s Rock and Roll half marathon. Oh yes, I am coming back the DC next October. Until then, happy running everyone!

YES!!!! I DID IT!!!

Below are a few of the goodies I purchased at the health and fitness expo prior to the race. I really took a liking to the Armpocket. It’s a waterproof arm pocket large enough to carry your cell phone, keys, credit cards, cash or supplements.  Crafted out of recycled materials and memory foam in order to fit your arm without if feeling like a blood pressure cuff.  It worked quite well during the race and I recommend it to anyone looks for a better way to store life’s little necessities.

The reGen is good stuff which does not taste like cardboard. A big plus for me and a great after run recovery drink.

The pretty sweaty band works quite well, I’ve yet to have it slip off my head.

Marathon Goodies

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