Thursday, October 29, 2009

MCM Part Deux

Where were we? Ah yes, the Mall. V and I were feeling pretty good but decided to reserve some energy for that silly bridge. We passed a Sport Bean station on the way so I grabbed a pack. Seemed appropriate since I really hadn't consumed anything since random pretzels near the Lincoln.

Normally I think Sport Beans are gross - way
too strong of a taste and I think they even taste a little mediciney. However, at this point in the run, they were the best thing EVER. Just the sweetness I needed. I ate them slowly as we ran and felt a second wind coming on!
V and I agreed to pick up the pace a bit once we hit the Castle and we could see the rest of the pack making their turn onto 14th Street...
uh oh, here we go!
As usual the gradual hills of the bridge (I think there are
3 inclines over the 2 miles) slowed us down. I think this was when our estimated finish went from 4:54 to 4:56 to 5:03. This was also when I accidentally hit stop on my watch. Oopsie. Good thing I knew we were 9 minutes off the gun time :)

I got another
burst of energy just as we said bye to the bridge and entered Crystal City...which was promptly squashed. Why? Um, my foot got stuck to the street at the water stop and I almost fell over! Wtf?!? Spilled Powerade makes the streets sticky! Lots of spilled Powerade makes it extra sticky! Gah! Knee felt weird after that and I tried to shake it off. V and I wound our way through Crystal City looking for our cheering section and passed a bunch of people handing out beers - um, not feeling it at mile 22, thanks.

Crystal City was PACKED with spectators and random flags on both sides of the street.
We ran past Jamie & company at mile 22ish and 23ish and realized we were approaching the home stretch! Only a little over 3 miles left! By the way, no one said it would be a lonely 3 miles! Columbia Pike to 110 felt like the longest run ever!

We ran through the Pentagon parking lot and then had to loop around onto 110, back where we started. MJ was blasting from the speakers (you bet I got a bounce in my stride as Thriller played. psh) when we hit mile 25 and V was getting ready to start her big push for the finish line. I on the other hand, was just starting to feel a not so cool pang inside my left ankle. I knew we still had that monster hill to tackle so I held back a bit - no jogging it in!

Dear monster hill to Iwo Jima, I hate you. You were terribly steep and painful when I ran up you during the 2006 10k and didn't know the finish line was still a bit further. How dare you challenge my 26 mile-tired legs!

I charged up the hill and was almost out of breath at the top, but found enough energy to sprint to the finish, though my sprint must have resembled marching...hi jelly legs.
Final time - 5:10. One minute faster than Chicago. With hills. With an injury. With 4 weeks off. I'll take it!
So I'll aim for under 5 again next year...maybe I'll tackle the streets of Chicago once more, or maybe I'll explore a new city. Any suggestions?

I learned a few new things this time around:
  • Next year I'm upping my longest run to 22 miles.
  • Cross training is my friend, not the enemy.
  • Running with a friend makes everything more fun.
  • Having cheerleaders means no bag check ;)
  • If I can PR with hills 'taking it easy', I know I can dip below 5 hours.
  • I'm allergic to temporary tattoo sticker sheets.
  • Tattoo stickers do not hold up with sweat.
  • I actually like sport beans late in a run.
Check out the massive medal ;)


rUntoNamAste said...

Wow, that's some heavy duty bling. Congrats and great race report. MCM is definitely on my to-do list!

Jessica said...

That metal is awesome! I'm debating what to do for my first marathon next fall. I'd like to do one with lots of support but I'm nervous to travel for one at the same time! Would you recommend the MCM for a first marathon?

Morgan said...

HOly Bling Batman! Awesome!!

Loved Part II and sorry about your ankle getting wonky!!! I hope it's feeling better.

I def recommend Chi-town again (obviously) but then again, I'm biased. :)

Congrats on an excellent race and PR! I heard all about those hills!

Anonymous said...

those medals are awesome!!! I'm jealous - gotta snatch one of those next year ;)

You can Definitely get under 5; I can't believe you could do 26.2 after 4 weeks off. Amaaaazing. You'll come back stronger because of it :)

lauren said...

just reading this - congrats on finishing MCM! that was my first marathon and I agree - that hill at the end was BRUTAL.

You should do Baltimore next year - my favorite race and where I got my PR. There are some hilly parts in the race, but the last mile is all downhill. :)