Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Race Report, Part 1: Marine Corps Marathon 2011 (Expo and Sightseeing)

I've had a few days to reflect and sort through my emotions about finishing my first ever marathon. Just like with my first half-marathon, it is sort of surreal - like I didn't really do it. But there are pictures of me, and the medal is hanging on my rack, so I guess I must have done it, huh??

Where should I begin?? Well, we arrived in DC on Thursday evening and found that the weather predictions had really taken a turn for the worse, but the bulk of the bad weather was still going to be on Saturday. Since the race was on Sunday, I wasn't terribly concerned yet. Friday morning, we had a scheduled tour at the White House and then we planned to go to the Expo before going to our scheduled Capital tour in the afternoon. My aunt took us to work with her and put us on the Metro for the White House. Our tour was at 7 AM (ACK) so we were up and in the line for the White House while it was still very dark and very cold. Thankfully my aunt lent us coats all weekend because neither my BFF nor I had packed for the unbelievably cold weather that came in.

After our White House tour, we were to head back to my aunt's work to pick up our purses, cameras, etc. since none of those things were allowed in the White House. My aunt called and suggested that we change our plans because the weather forecast was now calling for heavy rain and snow and brutal temps on Saturday, which was to have been our sightseeing day. So we picked up our stuff and headed over to Arlington Cemetery to pick up the Tourmobile.

Even though we were riding on the Tourmobile, we still had to do a lot of walking, and my right knee started to bother me. I was really aggravated and nervous, but I figured it had a lot to do with the fact that I had not done my PT stretches that morning since we had had to leave so early that morning. We knew we weren't going to get to do all of the sightseeing we had wanted to, but we made the best of it and hit the bulk of the highlights. There is just so much to do in DC, and no way to fit it all into 2 days - let alone 1. This was my BFF's first time in DC and I felt so bad that she didn't get to see all she wanted to see. But I think we both had a great time!

We got home pretty late, especially considering the early start we had had, and after a yummy dinner, we all hit the bed early!

Woke up on Saturday to see that the weather was all that they had promised it would be, and more! It was so brutally cold and pouring rain! My aunt was going to drive us over to the Expo and then we were going to hit Walmart to get some sweats to wear over our race clothes while waiting for the race to start Sunday morning. When we reached the downtown area, all of the major roads to the Expo were blocked off. We kept having the GPS recalculate, but each road it told us to take was closed. Finally we stopped and asked a police officer (who was manning one of the barricades) and he gave us a way to get around. When we arrived at the Expo the traffic was a mess! There were so many cars all trying to file around the Armory, and it was horrible! Finally, the two runners hopped out while my aunt tried to find a place to park. We got inside the main expo building only to find out that we would have to go back out in the rain to a tent outside to get our race numbers THEN come back inside to get our shirts. We had assumed it would all be in the tent and we'd just get that when we left to go home. While we waited for my aunt to get the car parked, we ran over to the KT Tape booth and got our problem areas (knees/ankle) attended to. I had forgotten to wear track pants because it was so cold out, so I wrapped myself up in the long rain coats we had borrowed from my aunt and I dropped my jeans right there in the middle of the expo! LOL She taped me up and I was all set! When my aunt had finally got the car parked and sloshed through the pouring rain and met up with us, we ran outside to get the bibs while she waited for us. Then we stood out in the pouring rain to get through security (again!) to get back into the Expo. It was such a crazy mess!

This Expo was worth all of the hassle, though! I think it was the best one I've ever been to. There was a lot of stuff that I'd never seen before and a lot of different types of things. Most expos seem to have the same merchandise just from different vendors. I picked up a pair of Injinji (did I spell that right?) socks - the kind with the separate toes. Hopefully that will help with the water blister issues I have. I also picked up some of these ice pack things, but they are wraps so they aren't bulky. It's hard to describe. I'll have to go dig them out of the suitcase (since I still haven't unpacked!) and get the name later. I got my shirt and hat that I wanted - I especially LOVE the shirt. I coveted a jacket but they were $80 and that's just unreal! I also saw some really cool compression/recovery capris but they were $150! LOL Yikes... running can be expensive!

From the Expo we headed to Walmart to get some more throw-away layers. The weather was getting increasingly nasty so we decided to go on back home and just rest up. We were going to go out for our traditional pre-race pizza, but it was so cold and nasty that we sent my poor uncle out in the weather to bring pizza home! LOL After dinner, we hit the bed early again so we could get up in plenty of time on Sunday morning!

The Race Report continues in this post...


  1. hahah love that you dropped the pants at the KT Booth...I would have done the same thing though :)

  2. it's all so COOL! Rhonda