MCM - First Full marathon

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ceileigh
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MCM - First Full marathon

Postby ceileigh » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:17 pm

Well I ran my first full marathon. Guess I should do a race report. Go grab a coffee and settle in for a long read LOL

Short version. Despite an injury in August I managed to finish training and get to the race. It was hard and the injury made me slow and forced me to run / walk the last 10K but I did it.

Long version:

My first full was Nike Womens in 2010. Six weeks before I missed a basement step and that was the end of that. Then I tore 2 tendons in my shoulder and between the 2 did not run for almost four months.

My second full was New York 2012. Hurricane Sandy had other ideas.

My third full was MCM 2013. When it was announced that the gov't shutdown might cancel it I decided to never ever train for a full again :) But that didn't happen! I entered via the Runners World Challenge and used their training plan. I started off well and training was going quite well through July. Then in August I had a freak run in with a dog - it rammed into the back of my legs. I had my legs / knees locked and did not see the dog. I ended up with back spasms and could barely walk for a week. I did miss one long run and the next week had to be shorter but that was all. It was early enough not to worry. But now when I ran it felt like a rod was ramming the back of my leg. MT/ART found adhesions on the hamstring but after working on it the pain did not ease. So off to physio. Assessment was a strain to the tendon at the head of the hamstring. I had to totally change my running / training program going to a much lower mileage and to a run / walk. In fact at the end of August I was run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute. I gradually built to run 5 walk 1 and held. I also had to go slow. It was end of September before physio felt I would be ok to do the race. The hamstring did gradually heal with treatment and the change in training. However I developed shin splints and an irritation to the tendon of my ankle from compensating and not striding like normal. Sigh. Still physio felt if I kept it slow and easy, like 5 steps ahead of the sweeper, I'd be ok. So off we went. My goal was a slow 7:50 - 8min per KM (yes turtles pass me and laugh)

Life in marathon world for me is not easy. My mother got a call saying she was booked for hip replacement surgery the Wednesday before the race. She is 83. I am the only child living in town. Oh my. Between my brothers they all arranged to come down and help her and my 88 year old aunt (who lives with her) so I could go. So I went. Surgery seemed to go well. The day after was a bit rough but seemed ok. Then sitting in the airport in Toronto my brother facetimes me to let me know my mother has no use of either of her legs and her blood pressure is totally out of whack, she is dizzy, can't stand up, can't eat, etc. They are now talking weeks in rehab, but nothings wrong have a nice trip. I called her physiotherapist at the hospital as I was one step from going home. The physio assured me it was ok, go race. So we did (my friend came with me)

We got to Washington and the airport shuttle didn't know how to find our hotel. The ride was 3 hours (it is actually 45 minutes). We arrived at 6PM and the expo closed at 7PM. We decided to go anyway. Thank heavens as most race merchandise was already sold out! I got my jacket after a 30 minute line up to pay (after the expo closed and my friend was locked outside that whole time as she had to get her 10K bib in the tent, I got to go directly to the expo).

We found an italian restaurant that served gluten free so I was set for the night before meal.

So the race. I kind of enjoy the whole pre dawn walking in the dark to the race thing. It's pretty neat. Loved getting close to the runners village and hearing the marines yelling at you to encourage you! I really enjoyed the RW heated tent in the cold morning! Marg found me a few minutes before it was time to line up for the chute but otherwise I just had a few minutes to sit and collect my thoughts and mentally prepare for the run. Standing in the chutes was cold that morning! I kept on my throwaway pants to keep my legs and hamstring warm right up to gun time. I was near the back so it was over 20 minutes from gun time to actually starting. This is a long time ...

The first few KM's were ... well UP hill. :roll: Almost 3 miles of uphill. My hamstring started griping 2 miles in so I gave up and walked where I had to figuring it had to go down somewhere and I'd make up time. It did and I did. For a long time I was running just under 8 min / km as planned and holding steady . My ankle tendon started to hurt at mile 10 but was ok. Between miles 19 - 20 though both the hamstring and ankle were really hurting. I knew I was in trouble. So it was either give up, keep pushing and hope to not further injure, or back off. My physio had talked to me about this and the plan was run 2 walk 1 or even run 1 walk 1, just do what I had to to keep the tendon from straining or tearing and finishing strong and injury free. If pain increased I needed to decrease so I did. I walked every incline and did run 1 walk 1 to the end. It was freakin' hard to keep on at that pace especially after a strong and well paced start (and my body did not feel tired or like it had to slow down other than the pain which was horrid and growing every time I pushed the pace). The beginning and end of this race has a lot of hills though the end is more rolling hills (like the parkway in Ottawa if you have run Army half). Hills were not my friend at this point. But I got to the end that way, walk, run, walk, run, then walked the last killer hill, and ran the finish. I high fived every single marine at the finish line and a lot on the route.

Runners World should give an additional medal to their runners for walking the hill to their end of race reception. Seriously. Worst hill on the course. But the massage post race was wonderful! She worked my hamstring and foot extra. Ahhhh a post race foot massage. Thank you runners world!

MCM has a lot going for it. The marines on route are great. They are amazing at cheering you on! Every mile they are there. The crowd support is great. It's not everywhere but you don't go too long without someone or a clump of people cropping up to cheer you on. Between miles 12 and 13 though is what I think makes this race unique. There is a line of photos of marines killed in action. Each photo has a name, age, date of birth and date of death. After this long line of signs beside the road way was a long line of people. Each person held an American flag. These were large display flags with a black tag at the top. The black tag had the name of someone on it. I recognized the names from some of the signs. So there were relatives of the marines killed in action. Some stood alone. Others had other family behind them. The mother with the baby in her arms (and flag) and tears running down her face ... if that didn't push you to the end then the little boy (5 or 6 years of age I think) standing alone with a black tag that said 'dad' would have. What a humbling moment to run by these families who had lost a marine and then around the bend to have marines cheering you on to reach a goal / dream of your own. Trouble is it makes it hard to breath for a bit.

Then there are the local people handing out snickers bars, starburst candy, licorace, and kleenex all along the route. Even to us back of the packers they had them there waiting to give us. Kleenex is really nice to have offered on a race route! I made a note of that for future cheering myself!

The other thing that stands out is that at the end you are presented with your medal by a marine. They place it on you, congratulate you, step back and salute you. Class act finish!

So I finally ran my first race. It hurt ... a lot. More then it should have. There were a lot more hills then I'd have liked (or then my hamstring would have liked). I was way off pace, even for the slow pace I knew I had to do. In peak form I should have been a slow 5 - 5:15. In injured form around 5:40 - 5:45. In reality 6:06 but I played a mental game with the pain and discouragement of the injury coming in to haunt me and pushed through to the end strong and I"m proud of my effort. For someone who could not walk outside just 8 years ago due to illness I am pretty damn pleased to have run for 6 hours, outside! The change from then to now is amazing!

MCM is not an easy run but it is a classy affair and a really good first marathon! As for the next ... well first up is to let this hamstring finish healing, then I'll think about it ...

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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby HCcD » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:21 pm

It's about time, Jane, as I have been waiting a couple of years to say, Congratulations, Jane, You Are a M-A-R-A-T-H-O-N-E-R !!!! :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
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ceileigh
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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby ceileigh » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:30 pm

ha! Thanks Andy. though after I read Marg's post about hardest she's ever worked for a marathon and your reply that it is the hardest one you've run I thought "NOW YOU TELL ME!!!!!" :evil: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby Habs4ever » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:47 pm

Yay Marathoner! (I feel like I should say finally, phew!). :wink:
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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby barebuns1 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:50 pm

Congrats on completing the MCM. It is supposed to be a pretty good marathon organization wise. :)
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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:06 pm

congrats. very moving report.
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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby ceileigh » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:42 pm

Yes very well organized. A lot of security and a lot of line ups because of security but those lineups moved! There was a power outage in the registration tent Saturday that I guess caused a problem (not for me) but otherwise it moved well. Oh yeah people said it was 1 1/2 hours to get on the metro or shuttle afterwards but I went to the RW event post race and by the time I left things had cleared out. So I had no complaints on organization.

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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby Sandra » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:02 pm

Congratulations on finally being able to finish the marathon and for not giving up even with all those obstacles in the way. :D
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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby trixiee » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:57 am

congrats!! :D :dance:
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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby Jo-Jo » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:33 am

Wow...talk about tenacity! :D

A very moving race report...well done Jane.
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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby fingerboy » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:41 am

Congrats!

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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby marymac442 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:57 am

Congratulations, I'm so glad the stars finally aligned so that you could run your marathon. Hope your mother is recovering well.
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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby purdy65 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:08 am

Congratulations Jane!

Tenacity indeed! That took a lot of mental!

Heal up! Hope your Mom is OK!
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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby ceileigh » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:52 am

My mom was discharged Monday. My brother is with her until today. She is doing well but is quite weak and takes weak spells. It looks like I will be there each evening to assist her to get changed and in to bed and again each morning to get dressed and ready for the day. Also have to make sure they have meals ready for each day for a while. My mom is very stubborn. It is annoying but that stubbornness is, I think, going to help her now to regain her strength. I think I have inherited it and it is what keeps me going when things get tough in a race! All in all going to be a very busy post race time. Yesterday Hannah and I did an agility workshop all day. The instructor kept saying "I think you can run faster" and I'd say "normally but today not so much" One time I tried and my legs almost gave out on me :lol: :lol: :lol: Seriously agility is an all out sprint! It did seem to help to be moving though and it was a great day with Miss Hannah (and Jenny Damm and European and World Agility trainer and winner). I was moving easier by the last run but seriously, non runners do not get the after effects of marathon racing on legs! :roll: :lol:

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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby Robinandamelia » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:01 am

Congratulations to you! All the best to your mom as well.

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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby 5km » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:58 am

Congratulations!

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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby Tori » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:22 am

Congrats for finally getting to do your marathon! :D

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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby La » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:57 pm

Remind me to never sign up for a race that you're registered for! ;) :lol:

Congrats, Marathoner, on finally getting it done! :)
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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby ratherawkward » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:54 pm

Well done!! I can totally relate to this:

and my body did not feel tired or like it had to slow down other than the pain which was horrid and growing every time I pushed the pace
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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby Jwolf » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:04 pm

Congratulations Jane on getting it done. Glad it worked out for you this time. :)
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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby IronColl » Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:37 pm

Congratulations!!
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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby Ken B » Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:39 pm

Congratulations on completing your first marathon despite so many difficulties. The race report is topnotch! I not only enjoyed reading it but felt as if I was there with you. That is talented writing. Thank you!! :)

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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby n_fraser » Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:36 am

Wow. Congratulations on your first!! The race sounds amazing and very moving. You should be super proud of yourself.

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Re: MCM - First Full marathon

Postby Avis » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:48 pm

Congratulations on your first, hard-earned marathon. Very inspiring report, and the word that comes to mind is: perseverance. You've got it in spades, woman!
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