June 18, 2015 I committed to the 40th Marine Corps Marathon. This was my email and FB page info to everyone:
Hello family and friends,
I've officially lost my mind, fallen off my rocker, yes, I've possibly gone a bit overboard. Or maybe I haven't!!!
Why is this different from any other day?
Well, I've committed to run a marathon...26.2 miles; the .2 makes a difference!!!
***insert awkward silence here***
So here's the skinny…
I'm running with the MARSOC Foundation, a Marine Corps Marathon Charity Partner team. To motivate and not wimp out, I'm committing to training, running ALL 26.2 miles on 10/25/15 while raising funds. This is the least I can do to give back to these soldiers for laying down their lives for me, you and our loved ones. I don't just want to run a marathon…I want to have a purpose.
LOOK A SISTER OUT!!!
I need your support…spiritually, mentally, emotionally and financially. My goal is to raise $750 for active duty and medically retired MARSOC personnel and their families, as well the families of Marines and Sailors who have lost their lives in service to our Nation through the MARSOC Foundation. I'm welcoming all donations, no amount is too small!!!
Where can you donate for moi?
If your company matches, kindly consider donating with your company's support.
Organization: MARSOC Foundation
Address: PO Box 2018 Temecula, CA 92593-2018
Contact: Sarah Christian Director of Operations
So, yes, this married, full-time working mama is layering in a training plan into an already hectic schedule. One thing is for sure, IT FEELS RIGHT!!! So yea, I need your encouragement as much as possible :) Whether it's a silent prayer, a monetary donation, or a message on my FB wall, "You ARE crazy," or a text "want to grab a beer and burger after your long run"...I NEED IT! Beer and burgers, carbs and protein…totally need it for my race :)
So let me close with this question: Do I have your exclusive commitment to support me on this journey?
Peace and love,
Training was not as consistent and strong as I would've liked...
1. I nursed my left leg because of previous stress fracture from training for Disney Marathon
2. I was traveling at least once a month for work for a week at a time
Not strong excuses, but toss in there work life balance, social commitments, vacation, etc...I did what I could.
Training in the summer was HARD. Training while traveling and on a major project made it that much more challenging. Taking a 10 day vacation at the culminating point of training, just crazy. But with God and support of my family, I persevered.
September 20, 2015 For a pulse check of where I stood training wise, I did the 18 miler Tune Up in Central Park. The run was a reality check of what lay ahead. The hills, the cramps, the fatigue all were great indicators of what lay ahead.
September 26, 2015 I did the Beat the Blerch Half Marathon trail run in Morristown, NJ. Uhm...train run? I was expecting the pretty trails of the Super Spartan race in Vernon. NOT dirt mountain trails. Yea...that was the toughest half marathon ever.
October 3, 2015 My 20 miler was in town. I looped a 10 mile radius around our house. Cooks decided to run the last 5 miles with me. He was hurting because he played a ton of basketball before running with me lol.
October 23, 2015 Started the day a nervous wreck! could not believe I was going to run 26.2 miles. I was excited, happy and giddy. Drove down to DC with Cooks and our boys with an honorary stop at Chaps Pitt Beef for yummy pit beef sandwiches. Made it to our hotel pretty late and met up with Stacy. The extra cot took some time so lights out was pretty late like 1AM late.
October 24, 2015 Woke up tired and early. Started to motivate and get ready. Drove into DC, grabbed Starbucks and walked to the Expo. Toured the Expo, got taped up and left with some chotchkies and a expo only bargains. Walked to Chinatown and hit up Noodle Factory for lunch. Headed to the hotel, took a refreshing nap and made it to 5:30 PM mass. Was pleasantly surprised with a blessing for all the runners. I was spent. Walked toward our hotel and stopped at a La Botella for dinner. I was planning take out but don't know how we ended up waiting to be seated. Waited for what seemed like forever. I was exhausted, hungry and upset that I was not in bed resting yet. Finally had a half decent dinner. Chicken marsala is what I chose and I wish it didn't taste as sweet and weird as it did. Made it to Stacy's hotel and spent the night with her by 10ish with lights out around midnight. Five hours later...I wake up.
October 25, 2015 Woke up exhausted. I was upset with myself for not being rested. Of all my long runs, the biggest of all, I was not rested. Got ready and headed out. There was a Starbucks in the hotel where I should've gotten my shot of espresso that I normally take before a run. Again, disappointed with myself for not following my routine pre-long run. No breakfast too. Took the Metro flowing with runners and got off at the Pentagon. It was still pretty dark. Saw some Port-A Potties and decided to go. Took a long time because of the long lines. Walked over to where the metal detectors were and there was a standstill. The crowd just seemed to get bigger and bigger. It was starting to get light out and rain. As it got brighter, we were getting closer to the the start time, but the crowd wasn't budging. We missed the official start and watched the jumpers from the planes from where we stood. Turns out there were not enough metal detectors...they ended up opening up the gates and it became a dash to the start.
Somewhere in between waiting the metal detectors and heading to the start, I lost my extra pack of Tailwind; Tailwind was my only source of fuel. I had half a pack mixed in my water bottles and the rest in my front pocket. I crossed the start, thought I turned on my Garmin and Nike app to track my run. Garmin was good to go. Something told me to check my Nike app .5 miles into the run and it was still on pause. I unpaused it and just took in the energy of the cheering. It was raining so I was trying to be mindful of my steps to avoid slipping. The first few miles were hills and a huge amount of cheering. Around mile 7/8, my tummy started to bug me. I stopped at a Port-A-Potty. I got impatient because the line was long, I was getting cold and started to feel the pressure of not making it to the bridge and potentially getting picked up by they bus. I decided to run again. Ran a few more miles and stopped at another Port-A-Potty. I tried to keep going...my momentum was disrupted. I text Cookie to tell my him that I keep stopping at the Port-A-Potty and was so upset. He replied saying I can do it and will meet me at mail 18 by the Smithsonian. I got it together and entered the Blue mile. Three quarters of this this mile were photos of fallen heroes with their birth dates, when they passe and how the passed. It was moving. The last quarter of the mile were of American flags with medals. I was moved to tears. It was so humbling and beautiful to be able to run through. I tried to read as many names as I could and their respective details.
I kept running and took in as much of the cheering as I could. I stopped at another Port-A-Potty and as I left, my left hand moved in a way where it paused my Garmin. Rather than un-pausing it, I saved my run and had to start over. The rest of the run was a mind game. I kept telling myself get to mile 18 and find Cookie and the boys. I pushed and walked and pushed as much as I can. I got to the Smithsonian, saw Leah and kissed her hello and she pointed out Cookie and my boys. I crossed the street and kissed and hugged my family. I ran and walked and took in the cheering. Mile 19 I saw the whole cheer squad with my boys, Ekie, Ekie's cousin, Leah, Mark, Gemma, Zerene and Lyndsey. It was so awesome to experience that because I totally didn't expect to see them there. I ran and walked as much as I could and just made it to the bridge. I ran the first quarter of the bridge to the mile 20 marker. I took a selfie and pressed on. While on the bridge, I totally slammed into my wall. I trotted at some points but literally walked. After crossing the bridge, ran/walked passed our hotel. I desperately wanted to leave!!! I saw a Port-A-Potty and stopped again. I stayed in there the longest out of all my stops. My stomach was ANGRY, my body was beat and my mind was sad. I barely ran and walked a lot...I felt so defeated. I felt like my whole marathon experience was ruined because I spent so much time in a Port-A-Potty. I don't know how I got by, but when I saw the starting line and the Pentagon. I was trying to push myself to start walking fast or light jogging. I wanted to get to the the finish. I was embarrassed of how long it was talking me to finish. I felt terrible that all these people could've been waiting for me. I finally saw Mile 26 and started to run. The last .2 of the race was uphill by Arlington cemetery. When I got close to the top of the hill, I saw our awesome cheer squad. I started to tear up and pushed to cross the finish line, and I did :) There were Marines with medals everywhere!!! I spotted a Marine with one medal left and went up to him. I wasn't too sure what to do hahaha...he asked me how I felt and I said, "I feel phenomenal!" He put the medal around my neck, took a step back and saluted me. He said, "Thank you Mam for your service." I CRIED! I was beyond words. I said, "Thank me? THANK YOU for YOUR SERVICE!!!" I found Stacy and met up with our loved ones and friends.
If I could do it again, I would arrive 2 days before the race, bring my own food and change up my training. I wrestled with the thought to do the marathon because of my tummy issues the last half of the run. Who knows. I got my medal and some cool 40th MCM gear. I got my marathon experience at 40 years old and I not only exceeded my financial goal, almost doubled it. The Marines were awesome! The cheering was amazing. Thank you Lord for this experience and everything that came with it. It was not a perfect run, but certainly an experience that was only possible with God.
Been forever since I wrote here...