Title: Oops, I Did it Again!
I came in 3rd Place! ....at a Halloween costume contest as a Stromtrooper (SW Geek) the night before. Then got home around 1:30AM and couldn’t sleep. I actually saw my cable box clock change back to 1:00AM for Daylight Saving Time.
Got up around 5AM and wore my tuxedo bike jersey in keeping with the Halloween spirit and will forever be known as “Tuxedo Man” for the 2006 MCM. Drove down and parked at Pentagon City Mall and Metro it to the Pentagon. From the Pentagon Metro, walked with several hundred other people for about 2/3 mile to bag check-in and then another 1/2 mile to the start line.
This was supposedly the largest MCM with 34,000 registrants and the 4th largest marathon in the US. The scheduled start was for 8:25AM but delayed last minute to 8:35AM. Apparently, hundreds of people were still pouring out of the Metro and walking to the start line. At least the ten minute delay gave me and couple hundred other runners the last minute pit stop by the trees.
The first mile passed the start line was littered with scattered clothes and several runners who didn’t take advantage of the delay and on the side watering the local forestry.
Kept a slow recovery pace and deactivated my competitiveness to allow runners to pass me without speeding up. Redirected my run into a Tour de DC and tried to enjoy the scenic course and the cheering spectators.
This was my first time running the MCM course but realized I ran most it of it this year just from doing the local DC races: Army 10, Cherry Blossom, DC National Marathon (half), and DC Nations Triathlon.
My left leg/knee (ITB) was a little sore the first ten miles. Still recovering from Baltimore two weeks prior. Eventually the soreness subsided or my legs went totally numb.
Reached the half way point and 13 minutes slower than Baltimore. This was the slow recovery pace I wanted to continue. Also kept an eye out for the cheering Maura and clan but missed them around the Smithsonian.
Made it to East Potomac Park around mile 16, which became the windiest and chilliest part of the course. That would also explain the lack of spectators. Mostly saw runners on the side nursing their cramps. The highlight of park was at Hains Point where I saw the huge statue of the arm and face coming out of the ground. This was the same statue in the Rebok running magazine ads.
Then at mile 19 my left knee finally gave out. Which was the same knee I had problems with at Baltimore. I hobbled to the next water stop and then walked. Later, the sharp pain subsided enough and I started again at a slower pace. Only picked up my pace when passing the cheering crowds and then hobbled to back my slow pace.
Got the munchies around mile 21 and then the race became a buffet run. Grabbed anything edible, sugary, or drinkable. Around mile 22 in Crystal City, I in advertently grabbed a cold cup of beer. Took a couple sips and remembered a race report of the ill affects of drinking beer during a race. So I chucked the rest to the side of the road. (Krupa, you owe me a cold beer!)
Strangely with this race, I noticed several runners talking and texting on their cell phones. Even worse, they were passing me. Two neat technical features available at this race were email/text alerts at splits and real time runner’s tracking map. We also got to keep our MCM chip as a souvenir, that’s a first.
Eventually, it wasn’t pretty but I finished with 4:45:24. That’s 44 minutes slower than hilly Baltimore (Jenn? Michelle? where were you?). Bob, that Darn hill at the end is definitely still there!
Well at least, that’s two marathons more than Lance Armstrong (until he runs NYC)! He does, however, have six little Tour de France champions over me. Anyway, next year’s MCM, I plan to beat Oprah’s 1994 MCM time of 4:29:20. Which reminds me…the Philadelphia Marathon is in three weeks…should I? C'YA-Gotta catch my flight soon for a marathon recovery mini-vacation.
Been There, Done That, Got (another) T-shirt...,