Monday, October 26, 2009

MCM Part I

As most of you know, I had a few goals for this year's MCM - finish under 5 hours, make sure V finished, and have a good time. Then the injury set in and those goals were swapped for another set - finish, don't f-up the achilles, and make sure V finishes and has fun. I knew I needed a backup plan, but really hated to admit it. I was actually consistent with my training this year and felt really strong. Of all 3 years of running, why did I have to get injured now?!?!

I eventually got over the frustration (and by eventually I mean Friday night) and accepted that this was not going to be a race. I mean, I took a good 4 weeks off of running (minus a few scattered 1-2 milers), what could I expect?

V and I planned to meet up at 7:15 near the Arlington Cemetery stop since neither of us was checking a bag (yay for cheerleaders!). I got a little delayed, thank you metro for your special detour, but still got there with time to spare.

We made our way to the start line and crept into the 4:30ish area. Yes, we were those girls. Whatever. We weren't alone and you know it. I ate a Mocha Clif Shot around 7:50, per race day ritual, and anxiously awaited the start.
We finally crossed the start around 8:09 (the importance of knowing this will come out later on) and V whipped out her phone to see if our cheerleaders received the text messages we signed up for (MCM offered a text or email option to track your runner). No such luck.

The weather was perfect and I really didn't need my top layer, but it wasn't a throw away! I knew my crew was going to be on the Key Bridge around mile 4 so that was my planned hand off. V and I were off and running through the streets of Rosslyn and all of a sudden there's Jamie, his mom and my folks. Woah, unexpected! No handoff but it was nice to see them early on!
We tackled the rolling hills of Lee Highway and Spout Run, enjoyed the gorgeous fall colors, ripped a sticker tattoo off my leg, text messaged and chatted w/our entourages, and got a good steady pace going during the first 4 miles. My original plan was to run the first 4 or 5 miles to break free of the crowd and then run/walk. I was still feeling good when we hit the Palisades so I decided to just keep chugging along. V and I shuffled up hills so we wouldn't waste energy and took it easy on the downhills. By the time we hit Georgetown, I was still feeling good and told myself I'd make the switch around mile 10.
Mile 10 quickly came and went and I was so pumped about seeing our cheering sections scattered along the steps of the Lincoln (and the crowds of spectators in general) that I just kept going. V and I kept checking in with each other to make sure we were okay and it was all systems go, go, go!
I revised the game plan once again when we hit Hains Point (oh, Hains Point). Since I had felt good through mile 10, I figured why not just run the first half and take the second half as a run/walk? Genius! However, my body had something else in mind...

As soon as we got to the TNT water stop at the tip of Hains Point, I was too excited and feeling too good (in the legs) to stop. My breathing got a little off because of nerves/excitement so I slowed down a bit, but those legs...they held up! This was also when I realized I had not eaten any of the gels I packed. Oops. I don't know if my stomach was upset or nervous or what, but I couldn't bear the thought of eating a Chocolate Clif Shot. I actually told V I wanted to suck on a salt packet. Bizarre-o.
Since you should never, EVER drink just water for 26.2 miles, I ended up taking some Powerade (it's like they knew I loved Blue Powerade) and water at every other water stop. More text messaging/calling took place and once we hit Mile 16/the Lincoln Memorial, V grabbed some pretzels from a random spectator and we saw our entourage waiting to cheer us on! Jamie and fam picked up a couple strays this time around - Susan, who finished the 10k earlier that morning, and Steph, who trekked all the way from Baltimore! SO excited to see everyone!!

By the time we hit the mall, the track your runner text messages finally started coming through. Based on our half marathon split, we were scheduled to finish in 4:54. NIIICE. V and I are Army Ten Miler vets so we knew what came after our little jaunt on the Mall...the 14th Street Bridge. GAH! Sometimes I wonder what I hate more, the bridge or Hains Point...


Anonymous said...

I haven't run around Hains Point yet - but THAT BRIDGE (it was at the start of our 10K)...whew.....

I'm loving this race report so far - Such a tease though! I was standing right at Lincoln probably around the exact time you ran by :) There was good crowd around both of those miles (10 and 16)!


Morgan said...

Great recap so far, totally LOL!

As for not drinking water, I only drank water the entire Chicago marathon and was A-ok... Hmmmm... I guess whatever works right?!?!

Anxiously awaiting the second half!!!

Karena said...

Agh! I'm so behind! I'm going to aim for a Part II posting tonight...omg, and I've neglected all the food that has been consumed since Saturday. SO much haha.

Heather - that bridge is no joke...i want to know why it must show up on almost every race in this area!

Morgan - usually i stick with just water the whole time, but supplemented with gus for salt/electrolytes and what not. i'm seriously amazed that i only ate a gu pre-race. so strange.

We Are Not Martha said...

Wow, very impressive so far!! I love the suspense :)