Monday, October 26, 2015

40th Marine Corps Marathon: 40+ Race Recaps and Reviews

On Sunday, October 25, 2015 Malinda started her 19th marathon - the 40th Marine Corps Marathon.

Malinda's 1st marathon - the 20th Marine Corps Marathon - was 20 years ago on Sunday, October 22, 1995.

Malinda is currently writing a recap and will post soon. In the meantime, here is the short story: after 2 hours in the claustrophobic crush behind the security gates at the Pentagon with a painfully full bladder, Malinda ran 17 miles then left the course with her 1st DNF* and then ran 3 miles back to her hotel. Fortunately, she did "beat the check-out clock" so all was not lost! ;-)

Did you #RunWithTheMarines? Did you cheer? Did you volunteer? Did you write a recap? Share your link in the comments and we'll add to our list:

Race Recaps & Blog Posts
(Listed alphabetically by blog)

Whine Now, Wine Later, Go Ann! by Ann K. Howley

Marine Corps Marathon by Athlete IQ

2015 Marine Corps Marathon Goals by Bailey Squared

Marine Corps Marathon on Bibrave

Volunteering at the Blue Mile via The Blue Room Blog

How I Ran Two Marathons in One Week by Capital Runner Girl

Marine Corps Marathon 10K by DC Dana

Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap by Eat Pray Run DC

Marine Corps Marathon - Oorah Mission Accomplished by E. James White

Official MCM Cheer Squad by Elbow Glitter

Marine Corps Marathon Race Review by Endurance on the Mind

The Marine Corps Marathon by Fanatical Runner

Marine Corps Marathon Audio Tour Expo - My First 26.2 Miles by Get Motigo

2015 Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap by Heart and Sole

Marine Corps Marathon Recap by Infactorium

Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap Parts 1 & 2 by I Should Run

Marine Corps Marathon Recap by Kim Run Miles with Smiles

2015 Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap by Live Run Grow

Marine Corps Marathon 2015 Race Recap by MCM Mama Runs

Marine Corps Marathon 10k Recap by Mile Posts

Marine Corps Marathon Review by Minnesota Don (Make it a Masterpiece)

MISSION Reflections - 2015 Marine Corps Marathon by My Pretty Brown Fit

Mission Accomplished by No Guilt Life

Marine Corps Marathon Recap by only26point2

The Marine Corps Marathon - Part 1 by Ordinary Marathoner

Marine Corps Marathon 2015 Race Report by The Pursuit of Awesome

Race Report - Lessons Learned from the Marine Corps Marathon on Reddit

Collection of Race Reports on Reddit

Race Report - Marine Corps Marathon on Reddit

Marine Corps Almost Marathon by The Glass Slipper Catalyst

Marine Corps Marathon Recap? No, Rather Short Story! by Runner Girl Me

Security Lines at Marine Corps Marathon Keep Some Runners from Reaching Start on Time by Runner's World

It Pays to Break Running's Rules by Runner's World VIP

2015 Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap by The Running Blonde

Marine Corps Marathon Team Chris by Running on Candy

Marine Corps Marathon 10k by Running and Enjoying the Journey

Race Recap - 40th Marine Corps Marathon by Running the States

Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap by Run Swim Bike Teach

Luckily, It's How You Finish via Run Washington

The Wheels on the Bus - Marine Corps Marathon Race Report by See Mommy Run

Mary's Marine Corps Marathon 2015 Race Recap by Sisters Running the Kitchen

Volunteer Recap Review by Sparkly Runner

2015 Marine Corps Marathon - Who I Run For by Still Easier Than Chemo

Goals for Marine Corps Marathon by This Mama Runs for Cupcakes

Marine Corps Marathon 2015 Recap - Mission Accomplished by Travelingsaurus

My Marine Corps Marathon Story by Twins Run in Our Family

Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap by Unapologetically You

Marine Corps Marathon 2015 | A Spectator's Recap from Laurentina Photo

My Goal Was to Run the Marine Corps Marathon... by Washington Post DC Sports Blog

Runners Take to the Street for Marine Corps Marathon by Washington Post

40th Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap by We Run Disney
Inspirational Stories

For Marine Widow Emotions are Biggest Marathon Struggle

Marine Corps Marathon will be full of reminders for Seamus Donahue

#RunWithTheMarines Tweets

Follow official Hashtag: #RunWithTheMarines

Run the @Marine_Marathon yesterday? If so, would you run it again? @iRunFitDC

A big thanks... by @USMC

Marine Corps Marathon Results & Photos

40th Marine Corps Marathon Results**

Marine Corps Marathon on Fliker

Marine Corps Marathon on Instagram

Marine Corps Marathon on Facebook

Marine Corps Marathon on Twitter

Photos from the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon via Runner's World VIP

Marine Corps Marathon Photos by MarathonFoto

2015 Marine Corps Marathon Video by Devann Murphy

News Reports

2015 Marine Corps Marathon on NBC Washington

Marine Corps Marathon - 2015 Winners on CBS DC

2015 Marine Corps Marathon Results by Bleacher Report

USMC Major Son Runs Marine Corps Marathon in Honor of Slain Father

2014 Marine Corps Marathon Recaps and Reviews

Marine Marathon Part 1 by Casual Runner

Marine Corps Marathon Review by The Panda Post

*Malinda's DNF Theme Song

Have you ever had a DNF? Have you ever had a disappointing race? How did you cope with the disappointment? A few good posts about DNFs and race :

Emotions of a DNF by Happy Fit Mama

Recover and Retool: How to Overcome Post-race Letdown by ASICS

Three Ways to Cope with a Bad Race by Runner's World

When to Drop Out of a Race

Dealing with Disappointment

We Need a Medal for Dropping Out by Leah Connor

When Should You Drop Out of a Marathon by

First the Marathon Lottery Then the Pressure to Finish by NY Times

** You won't see Malinda's splits on results page since they delete the splits of those who started but did not finish. She finished just over 17 miles on the course and was on pace to finish in the same time as her 1st MCM (4:13) so it was a good long run. Just wish they had separate list of all those who started - we still ran even if we didn't finish. :-(

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

2015 Chicago Marathon Race Recap

2015 Chicago Marathon Race Recap by @LeahCville

So I've been procrastinating on writing up my race recap for the 2015 Chicago Marathon because I've been in a bit of a funk with the post-marathon blues. Many runners get a little antsy in the taper phase, but I find recovery is even worse. Taking time off from running gives me more time to over-analyze my race performance and find ways to criticize myself despite having achieved my goal of sub 3;50. Ugh!

I pretty much lost all confidence in my ability to ever BQ again after running my slowest of 3 Boston Marathons in April (4:08, previously ran 3:53 in 2013 and 3:53 in 2014), And when the news came out that entry into the 2016 Boston Marathon required a -2:28 BQ, I really started to panic. I had been hoping that a 3:53 would be good enough to get into 2017. Since I've run that time or better three times since 2013, I thought I could probably do it again, but trying to run in the 3:40s seemed daunting. However, once I accepted that the only way to BQ without extreme squeaker anxiety for the next year was to get a -5 minute time, I decided it was sub 3:50 or BUST!

I met with my coach twice in the the two weeks before the race because I needed a serious pep talk and reality check. My last twenty miler three weeks before the marathon totally sucked and I barely finished. It probably wasn't a wise idea to do that crucial long run the day after a 10K race, whoops! But I thought since my 10K wasn't as fast as I wanted, that meant I could still do the 20 miler. Yeah, I could do it, as my coach said, but I shouldn't have expected it to go well! #truth

He told me that my last long run should be 12 miles at marathon pace and if I couldn't do that then I needed to come back and talk to him and re-evaluate my goal. The next day I ran 12 miles at 8:15 pace and felt more capable of achieving the 3:50 time.

Since September I had been obsessively putting my race times into race prediction calculators to see if I could still run a decent marathon and also comparing my performances in the same races the other years I ran Chicago (2011, 2012, and 2013). My Women's Four Miler time 5 weeks before the marathon predicted a 3:33 in the Runner's Ally app (yeah right!), but my Pepsi 10K time 3 weeks beforehand predicted a range of 3:42 - 3:51 based on my coach's chart. When I met with my coach the second time I questioned whether I wasn't being aggressive enough with my goal, but he pointed out that even though I did have a couple decent races this summer, I also had some bad ones so it seemed right to go out with a conservative goal and if the weather was ok, maybe I'd surprise myself and run faster in the second half.

I've only run a negative split once in my life - my 2nd marathon when I finished in 3:54 and ran the first half in about 2 hours. I really wanted to get as close to a negative split as possible in Chicago. I knew the only way to do this was to go out with the 3:50 pace group.

I've had problems with my Garmin in Chicago before, and this year it was no different.

I knew the displayed pace would be almost useless when it beeped before 1st mile marker and progressively got worse as I made it through the race. I stayed with the 3:50 group for about 10K and then I turned around to look for them and couldn't find them. Another woman asked which group I was looking for and said they were definitely behind me. She said she was hoping to get a couple minutes ahead of her pace group.... as if that was a good plan of action. There's no such thing time in the bank in the marathon people! For ever minute you go too fast in the the first half it'll come back to slow you 2x or 3x as much in the 2nd half. #beentheredonethat

Since I definitely didn't go out too fast for the first 6 miles, I decided to listen to all those friends who told me "run by feel" and I hoped for the best as I ran without the aid of the pace group. I looked down at my watch a few times over the next couple miles and saw my overall pace go down by about 5 seconds per mile and thought, uh oh. I tried to keep it more consistent and knew that once I saw my half split I'd be able to better gauge how things were going. I hit the 1/2 way point just under 1:54 which is the slowest I have run the first half of my 3 Chicago Marathons and 3 Boston Marathons since 2011. However, I also knew this was a minute too fast for my 3:50 goal and worried that I would be slowing down in the second half, but hoped I wouldn't hit the wall.

I still felt pretty good through mile 18, but soon after that the sun and heat started getting to me. I couldn't bear another cup of Gatorade so I switched to water. I kept checking my fingers to see if they were puffing up, but I seemed to be handling the switch ok. I struggled with opening and eating the Clif Blocks and Gels, but I knew I had to consume some calories along the course.

Once I hit mile 20 I noticed my overall pace was slowing down and I tried my best to keep it from creeping up more than 1 second every mile. I knew the 3:50 pace group would be coming for me and I was trying my best to not let them pass me until there were less than 2 miles to go. And that's about when I saw the 3:50 flag that I started the marathon with. It looked like there was only once other woman with him. I talked with the pacer at the expo a couple days before so I knew he planned on finishing the race around 3:49;47. I figured that even if he was ahead of me, as long as I could see him I would still be able to achieve my goal.

At mile 25 started thinking about how I was going to explain on social media and to my friends how I let everything slip away in the final mile of this race. I already started to accept that I wasn't going to get get sub 3:50, and rationalized that maybe 3:51 or 3:52 wouldn't be so bad. I still had a shot of getting into 2017 with a -3 minute time.

I was thrilled to see the 1 mile to go sign and 800M to go signs, but somewhere before the 400M sign I had an intense wave of nausea which has never happened to me before. I started to panic, thinking OMG it' s ALL OVER with the equivalent of a lap to go! NOOOO!!!!! I was seriously worried that I might not even finish. I think I briefly stopped and dry-heaved a couple times and then realized I just had to push through it and puke once I got to the finish line. I remember wanting something to hurt so I could push through the pain and just get this damn thing over with. I'm not sure how, but somehow I made it... I crossed the finish line! And then I went to the side and threw up. Well,, I tried, but not much came out. And almost immediately a volunteer came to help me and make sure I was ok. I kept apologizing to her and she said it was ok, I just ran a marathon and I could lean on her. I walked with her a bit and stopped a couple more times to try throwing up. Then we saw some guy about to fall over and I told her go take care of him, because I was fine.

I was so focused on trying to stop feeling sick that I never even looked at the time on my Garmin. I took out my iPhone and saw I had a bunch of texts congratulating me which made me feel good. I still didn't know my official time, but I had to text my coach first, before anyone else. And at 12;32 I wrote "Holy f--k." And then typed a riddle: "What takes less time... Me finishing marathon or de licing Annaliviai's hair. I win". Yeah, i forgot to mention that during the marathon I was expecting a text from my husband to tell me if the Lice Doctors came and found anything on my daughter's head. And when he texted me "Oh yeah, she's got a full-blown case" all I could think of was the show "Life's Too Short" when Liam Neeson was trying to do improv and said he had full-blown AIDS. I laughed to myself and tried to text my husband back but the damn autocorrect was screwing everything up. At 10am my husband wrote back "How was yr race?" And my reply was "Dull inning" which I think was supposed to be "Still running" - HA! and "Only 1/2 way." At 11:11am he replied she was "only halfway through alps hair." That's when I realized that I was probably going to beat the lice lady and be done first. I was right. by A LOT. :(

So what cost more? Two nights in a Chicago hotel during marathon weekend or the Lice Doctors? Yeah, that was a tie. YIKES!

A few random thoughts:

I was so excited to get my photo taken with Deena Kastor holding my Flat Twin on Saturday morning. I had met her before in Boston 2014, but I had forgotten how small she is! I'm pretty sure my calf is bigger than her thigh. I couldn't help myself but say, "You're so tiny!" And she replied, "Don't let that fool you! I'm fierce!" I wished her luck with her race on Sunday. She's soooo amazing! Every time I looked at the blue line on the course (and I was on top of that line from about mile 3 on), I kept thinking Deena just ran these streets and I'm so lucky to be following in her footsteps.

There's only one post-race photo of me which shows you just how sick I was feeling that I didn't even stop for congratulatory photos. On the other hand, I got like 5 pre-race pictures!

I loved splurging on a ticket to the Balboa Hospitality Tent. I was the first person to use one of the portapotties and never had to wait in line before or after the race. The post-race massage was heavenly and even though I had absolutely no appetite after the race, there was great food.

I had the best time taking an architectural boat tour after the race, although it might have been a good idea to do that the day before the race instead.

I woke up in the middle of the night before the race with my foot hurting. I'm not sure how I did it, but I got a cut under my little toe on my right foot and it was painful. I was panicking wondering if I should go to the 24 hour Walgreens for a liquid bandaid, but I ended up running through it. Boy did it hurt for days after the race though!

I ended up walking for 4 hours on Friday because I thought it would be nice to walk to the Expo from my hotel on the Magnificent Mile, but then I couldn't find the shuttle to take me back. Whoops!

I'm probably the only person at the Balboa Tent who wanted a photo with race director Carey Pinkowski, but was too afraid to ask. As a marathon race director myself, I really admire the job he does!

I was happy with my race performance for about 24 hours before the negative thoughts started creeping in. I wish I could be satisfied and content with achieving my goals instead of second guessing and criticizing myself for shortcomings. This is something I'm working on, but it's hard to not expect more from myself.

When I finished the race I told myself I would never run another marathon until April 2017 when hopefully my twin will be running her first Boston Marathon and I just might be running my last. I really want Malinda to qualify this fall and for both our times to be good enough to get into the race. I've dreamed of running Boston with my sister since 2013 and want it to become reality.

Even though I said I'm done with marathons, within 48 hours after the race, I started thinking that if I got into the lottery for Chicago in 2016, then I will have run my 5th Chicago Marathon and will be considered a legacy and get guaranteed entry in the future. Help me! :)

Well, I didn't run a negative split, butI was just 2 minutes slower in the second half whereas in previous years I was 3-4 minutes or more!

My splits, from fastest to slowest. Yeah, my last 10K was my slowest!

Even though I was sad that my real twin sister couldn't be in Chicago with me again this time (she joined me in 2012 and 2013), I had Flat Twin to take around the town! :)

The last photo of me with LONG hair. Deena Kastor broke the American Master's marathon record!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Marine Corps Marathon

The 20th Marine Corps Marathon in 1995 was Malinda's 1st marathon! 

Twenty years later, Malinda has finished 18 marathons and 1 ultra marathon

When was your 1st marathon? Did you run the Marine Corps Marathon?

Will you be running the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday, October 25?