The Marine Corps Marathon experience was more than I could have ever imagined. Despite all of my trepidation, vacillation and total fear about the event, on race day I showed up and showed out. Sharing the pavement with 30,000 plus like minded individuals, Marines, spectators and friends was totally overwhelming. Two weeks later I am still in awe of what I accomplished and how moved I am by this experience. I’ll start from the beginning, please bear with me this is a long one!
I arrived in Washington, DC on Friday because I wanted two nights (one) of sleep before the marathon. I also wanted to hit the expo so that I could free up my Saturday to relax. Things didn’t work out exactly as planned but I am happy with the way it all turned out. I took the Metro from National Airport to my hotel (Quick tip: if you plan to run a race in DC purchase a Smart Trip Card, you save $1.00 on every trip and it is reusable). After dropping off my bags and eating a taco salad, I made my way to the Armory for the expo.
Signage was everywhere and I didn’t have any problems navigating to pick up my race number. As soon as I stepped into the tent for packet pickup I was teary eyed. This was real, I was surrounded by service men and women who were there to make sure things ran smoothly and there was no turning back.
This two kind Marines provided my race packet and wished me luck
At this point reality set in, I was actually running a marathon and had my race number and patch to prove it!
I entered the expo, picked up my snazzy jersey and explored. The expo had the usual companies represented and I was especially drawn to the Aetna Everactive booth because FREE MASSAGE! I’ll have two, please and thank you. I stayed at the Expo for HOURS so on the way out I had a second massage! I am not quite sure why I spent 3 hours at the Expo but because I did I was able to meet up with some friends.
My virtual training buddy Sharon.I love her!
Friends from Black Girls Run! DC/Baltimore
And new friend, running icon Bart Yasso
By the time I finished meeting friends and looking at booths it was time for the 1st Timers Rally. There was a bus from the Expo that conveniently took us to the host hotel so my friends and I boarded and arrived right on time. We were greeted by cheerleaders at the door and provided with some lite bites to enjoy during the program.
I enjoyed hearing tips from veteran runners and the most important one was “bring some tp” although I rarely stop for potty breaks when I run, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared! I left the rally after the speakers were finished. It was getting late and I wanted to grab a bite to eat and turn in early. I had Thai food that I really wasn’t pleased with and was asleep by 10:00pm. Well rested two nights before the race….WINNING!
I spent Saturday catching up with friends from college in DC and waiting for my mom to arrive. The night before the marathon was interesting. I had to figure out my carbs and didn’t want to travel far so we went to a restaurant close by. I ordered a vegan calzone with a side of blackened salmon. The salmon was excellent but the calzone, not so much. I really just wanted some pasta with marina. I ordered penne pasta with shrimp and sauce from the children’s menu to take back to the hotel. It was good but not marinara sauce…I was fearful of the cheese but luckily I had no problems.
I laid out all of my race essentials
and around 9 pm I got in the bed, did a few facebook and twitter updates and went to bed.
Marine Corps Marathon YouTube Video (you really should watch this, I am emotional)