Of all the races I’ve done, the Marine Corps Marathon is definitely the most patriotic, nostalgic, and supportive. This weekend was one of the best race trips; easy, laid back, and fun. And if I thought Austin spectators were awesome, MCM brings out the best of the best. Even through the rough stretches, there were cheers, signs, candy, high fives. And best of all was my favorite brother waiting at just the right spot to give me the boost of energy and confidence I needed to get through the end.
My #1 goal was to race strong and have fun. Yes, I had a huge time goal (ranging from 15-45 min). But through all my training I tried to not focus on it. I knew if I worried too much about my time, I wouldn’t enjoy the race for what it was. And despite surprisingly warm temperatures and crazy long Metro traffic, it was a fantastic race. Rolling hills at the start, tree-lined forest and breezy lakefront miles in the middle, a quick jaunt around the Mall, and a last push to the finish across the water in Virginia. Having Marines cheer for you, high-five you, congratulate you, and put a medal around your neck is surreal. A marathon is nothing compared to their service, yet they were the best cheering squad you could get.
My second goal was a 15 minute personal record. I knew from mile 3, I was going to definitely achieve it. Each mile I creeped more and more ahead of that 15 minute gap, and ended up finishing with a 20 minute PR. By the half, I had a slightly bigger lead, but the blazing sun later on and a pair of tired feet slowed me down slightly in the second half. I just tried to relax, have fun, and enjoy the race I was running.
Marathon #4: Mission Accomplished!
Next year’s marathon feat? Hit the stretch goal, which was a whopping 45 minutes off my Disney Marathon time, and is now (thankfully) only a 25 minute time gap.
But first, REST!