MCM – The Race

Trust me when I say you should grab a drink because this could get long. I’ll mention the expo but the pre-race fun will wait until another day.

I spoke briefly with Marie, the 5:30 pacer, at the expo. I took a pave bracelet but was totally unsure I was going to be able to run with her. Ten days earlier I had torn, small but still a tear, my upper calf muscle. I’d done a lot of walking since then but no running at all. I was hoping I could run the race but, if need be, I’d walk all 26.2 miles.

Race day dawned warmer than I had anticipated. The hotel opened breakfast at 5 for racers. They also ran a special shuttle to the start. I am a be at the race early person so was down waiting for the shuttle by 6. The shuttle, a 15 passenger van, had 20 of us in it. Once at the parking lot, it was easily a mile or more walk to the security check point. Then, on to the UPS trucks for baggage check and a meet up with friends from the charity I ran for.

Ann and I liked to be at the start early. We headed off to the port-a-potty and then the start. Ann had run the race many times previously so she knew where we were headed. She left me at the 5:30 anticipated finish and moved further up the starting corral.

As always, I talked with others around me. I also took in the sights.

image

image

Off we started.

I didn’t run with the pace group. I was slightly ahead of them for the first 14 miles. To hit the 5:30 time, I needed to average around a 12:30 mile pace. I was certain I could do that but since I had trained alone I thought alone would be the best way to start the race.

The first five miles, which includes running party the 26 mile sign we will see later is pretty intense. I had already cried during “The Star Spangled Banner” and as the parachutists had floated through the air with American flags. The firemen running in turnout gear also did a number on me. I managed to get through the first five in just a second over an hour so a 12 minute pace. So far, so good.

Miles 6-10 consist of an out and back through Rock Creek Park. As a slower runner, I enjoy our and backs as long as the road is wide enough. I enjoy seeing other runners. Mile 10 included such sites as The Kennedy Center and the Marine Corps Base Quantico Band. I ended ten miles at 2:01 duo still under the pace time but with my calf starting to hurt a bit.

image

Miles 11-15 contained some tears. Mile 12 is full of signs with photos of service members who have died along with family members holding flags. Tears are hard to contain. Mike 15 contains views of some of our nation’s memorials, like the Jefferson Memorial. My cumulative time at the end of mile 15 was 3:09. I wasn’t horrible off pace but my leg was causing serious issues and I knew I was going to have to walk a bit.

image

Miles 16-20 were where I walked a couple miles. I also passed other monuments, including the US Capitol. I was way off pace by mile 20 but still Beat the Bridge. Cumulative time 4:30.

image

My leg started feeling better, having been given a walking break so miles 21-25 should be good. I still wasn’t truly running but I was picking up my walking pace and passing others again. Then, I turned just right at mile 25 to grab a last bit of hydration. I felt the muscle in my calf give again. No stopping for pain now, though. I managed to get to the finish and, though almost in tears, ran the short uphill to the finish line.

There is nothing like finishing a race and having uniformed Marines shaking your hand. That finisher photo in front of the Marine Corps War Memorial brought on more tears.

Finishing time: 6 hours, 17 minutes which includes six miles walked in the middle due to my calf muscle.

Hydration

After spending three months out of the last five in the desert, hydration is always on my mind. I know that as the weather here gets colder, I have more and more trouble staying hydrated. Add to that a red-eye flight back from California which means I did not drink as much water on the flight as I would normally and I am sure that I have been dehydrated for a while. Not so dehydrated that I need IV fluids but enough to affect my body so a week or so ago, I started a new habit.

glass-of-water

In the colder months – which generally means every month but July and August here in Upstate NY – I make a French press of coffee first thing in the morning. I then make a pot of herbal tea. Now, when I get up in the morning, I immediately have a 12 ounce glass of room temperature water while awaiting my coffee. I also fill two water bottles – on a 20 ounce bottle, the other a 24 ounce bottle – and put them in the refrigerator as I prefer my water cold. I also make a water bottle of Nuun to have some time throughout the day.

The goal is to drink all of this throughout the day. While I do not always get it all drank, I usually get to two bottles from the fridge. I believe I am getting back to a state of being properly hydrated.

How do you stay hydrated throughout colder months? 

Winner, Winner

I’ve been really lax at keeping up with my blogging. That stops now. I know that I am not the most popular blogger on the block but I have a lot coming up for y’all. First, I ended a giveaway last week and didn’t post about the winner. I did notify her of the win and will take care of all the other details today.

Congratulations to Nicole who entered the giveaway for WIN Sports Detergent and now has two bottles coming to her.

I want y’all to know what you have to look forward to this week. I’m finally going to review both the Marine Corps Marathon Expo and the race itself. Yesterday, while volunteering at a local race, I spoke with several other runners who ran this year and we all agree – LOVE IT!

I’m also going to show you a bit of the display at the Tioga Historical Society. You see, I went home over the weekend and took my camera -not just my phone – with me. All the trees and wreaths are available for auction. Details in the post.

I also have a couple of book reviews that you all will see here in the next week or so. I’m reading a lot but am sadden as Penguin is closing its facility here in the area and with that goes the annual book sale. I used to score at least ten books a year, usually many more.

So get moving on your Monday and know that this week is going to be a busy one.

Running for Charity

Ten days ago I ran my first race for a charity. Many of the races I have run donate money to local charities but this race I ran as part of a team of runners for ZERO Prostate Cancer. I just want to tell you all my experiences in raising money – something I am still doing and you can donate here - for this group.

First off, let me tell you that the people in the office of the charity in Alexandria, Virginia are amazing. They not only kept me up to date on what was going on with my donations, as there is a minimum to raise, but also with information they received about the race.

The Marine Corps Marathon was the largest group of runners ZERO Prostate Cancer has had at a race yet. We all received a red “Team ZERO” singlet to wear to race in and a HeadSweats hat. We also received a 1/4 zip jacket to keep us warm. Of course, all of these items are branded and make for recognition for the charity as they are worn.

The day before the race the charity treated almost 50 of us runners to a luncheon where we could get to know the others on the team and we could also do the infamous, pre-race carb loading. On top of this, it allowed those who work for the charity to talk with us individually – as many as they could anyway – about why we chose this particular charity for this race.

While my life has been very hectic, with my mother being seriously ill and my traveling cross-country frequently, I was happy to reach $375 of my $550 fundraising. I really wanted to raise more than that but just did not find the time. I will say I did cross the finish line of the race and would love to run it again.

As we promote screening for prostate cancer in November, please consider donating to ZERO Prostate Cancer by visiting my page here.

WIN – A Product Review

 

image

(Sorry my blog format distorts the photo.)

Disclaimer: I received two free 32 ounce bottles of WIN Detergent because of my association with Fit Approach.  All opinions are my own.

I am loving WIN Sports Detergent. Prior to trying WIN Detergent, I would rinse out my running gear after a run and wash it every few days. I know that sounds gross but good tech gear is expensive and I hated to wash it too much. Now I wash my running gear after each run.

WIN Detergent is specifically designed to remove sweat, oils, and odors from technical apparel, meaning all that tech gear we wear while running. The original version is scented but the scent is not overwhelming. I also love how the scent continues to linger as I workout so I do not smell horribly.

WIN Detergent also had a dye-free, scent-free GREEN version. The smell of “nothing” on my tech gear is amazing.

I have used WIN Detergent both a high efficiency washing machine and when washing out my gear in the sink by hand. It works great either way.

Thanks to WIN Detergent one lucky reader will be able to receive a free 32 ounce bottle of both detergents. You can enter art the Rafflecopter below.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Taper Madness

barn-with-hay

“The hay is in the barn.” That would be my motto right now if I were a farmer. I’m not, though. I’m a runner and I have hit that infamous period of training known as taper. I’m going to be starved all the time while running less and less as I allow my broken down muscles to re-build for the October 26th Marine Corps Marathon.

I had been, the last two weeks or so, felt this small pain in my upper left calf. I have ignored it as it went from a running painto a ‘I sat too long’ pain. Yesterday,fully embracing the idea of healing in taper, I took a rest day. I went out to run today. Two-tenths into what Ihad planned on being a five mile run, I felt an intense pain in that spot. I stopped. I stretched. I walked three miles as running hurt.

Home from those three miles, I’ve had some ibuprofen and started icing. I’m hoping for several walks today but am also hoping the running pain disappears. While phantom pains usually seem to manifest during taper, I know this is not a phantom pain.

Pain or not, I’ll be traversing 26.2 miles in 11 days. You can still donate to the charity I am running for here.

It’s a Lovely Day

I want to start today by saying I’m embracing my smartphone and doing this blog post on my phone. The only problem I’m having is getting the photo I want into this post.

lovely-blogInitial shock was my reaction to being nominated for the One Lovely Blog award by Erin at OneHundredTwentyThreeDays.com. The following are the guidelines for this award.

  • Thank the person who nominated you. 
  • Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post. 
  • Share 7 facts or things about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform them via a comment on said blog.

 7 Things About Me

  1. I’m a runner. You probably know that but in case you missed it.
  2. I am a vegetarian. This is the second time in my life I’ve gone meatless. The first was in college.
  3. I have a degree in forestry and a degree in business. (Can I count that as two thīngs?)
  4. I’m single and have been for a while, hence my online dating posts that appear occasionally.
  5. I have allergies, which were lived with for years as I was either pregnant or nursing, so I now take allergy medication daily from April until October (longer if running in the south in March or California in October).
  6. I have six children, all adults.
  7. I love to cook.

Now nominating 15 bloggers is a lot but here I go.

Now off to comment on blogs.