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Marine Corps Marathon - RunMarathon

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Washington, DC, Washington, D.C.
United States
Marine Corps
60F / 16C
Total Time = 4h 09m 9s
Overall Rank = 5143/
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 324/1595
Event warmup:

Walk the however many silly miles to the start line.
  • 4h 09m 9s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 31s  min/mile

I was pretty excited to do this race even though I knew it wasnt going to be the best I had. I was trained to try and run a Boston qualifying time but the patellar tendonitis reflared this year about 1.5 months ago so I had only completed about 50 percent of my training since then and it never went that well. I debated for couple of weeks before the race if I should even start the race or not because it has progressively gotten a bit worse when running, but made the decision to try it.

Once I made the decision to go ahead with the race, I was mentally prepared to be ok with however it turned out or if I needed to pull out of the race at some point if the pain got too bad.

I had a couple of my teammates here with their significant others and families so trying to meet up with them before the race didnt go too well with that many people! But I managed to run into a couple of them. One stood in line with me at the bathrooms and we finished there at about 7:50. Race starts at 8, so we made our way to the start line. Didnt QUITE realise how far that start line was down the road, so the gun went off as we were just hitting the back of the people waiting to start. Sue was still on track to go for the Boston qualify, so we had to be "those guys" squeezing through anyone we could to try and get her up as close as we could before crossing the start line. We ended up moving the barriers and running along side the road and moving a barrier to get back in before the start line, but still only made it up to about the 4:30 mark! So that sucked. Then there was no where we could move anyways. The first 3 miles were just jammed. I ran a 30+ minute 5k! That was interesting. I havent ran over 30 minutes for a 5k since my first 5k ever and that was just a hair over 30 minutes. I didnt run much faster through the 10k mark because this was still the hilly parts of the race, and I couldnt find a clearing, ever. I also was at a bit of a disadvantage because in order to not hurt my knee even more I had to stick as close as possible to the middle of the road where the slope was much less. So that kind of confined me to whoever was also running around the middle and made it hard for me to do much passing. That many people in a race was unreal I thought. There wasnt much you could do for the first few miles without taking people out :)

The first 8 miles didnt go well for me, pace wise, or knee wise. I was most worried about this part because this was the only hilly part and there were a couple good sized downhills which really puts the pressure on the quad and patellar tendon to brake going down them. Making it worse, I had to brake even more because I could not keep my natural momentum with all those people. Through the first 8 miles, I was in debates the whole time over if I should continue since the pressure and aching was not going away and got to be bad after the last downhill.

I got to mile 10ish, where I knew Ron would be, and I really thought I should stop. So I slowed down for a while and looked for him, I could hear him cheering but couldnt see him. He was up on the bridge apparently. I knew he was there, but decided, you know what, lets make it through Haines Point, and see if now that were done with the hills, if I can get in a groove and maybe if I can run my comfortable pace it will calm down enough to keep going. By mile 15 it had started to calm down a little (or I just finally got my brain to turn off the signal from my knee?), so I kept going. By this point my left quad and calf were very sore. Clearly I had really been favoring that right side for the knee. But I had figured out a groove and pace that seemed to work better and I could FINALLY keep it since we had spread out a bit more and the roads had widened when we hit actual DC area. By the time I got through 15-17 miles, I had saw a lot of things that inspired me. I saw a few marines running with only one leg, lots of handcarts fighting those hills, one marine running in his full uniform and boots, and TONS of people wearing shirts made by them honoring fallen friends and fallen fellow service members. It made me feel very lucky to be there, and able to freely do things I want in life. I stopped thinking about everything and just completely enjoyed the last 10 miles of the race. I never felt labored, and cardio wise I felt fine and never like I was pushing. I just let the knee dictate the pace, find a groove that would work and stick with it at that particular time. Since the pace was under what I had trained that, I never really hit the wall. By mile 21 my legs were VERY sore, but I never had any mental breakdowns or felt like cardio wise I was not going to make it. I saw all the people lined to the finish and was soooo excited that I stuck it out. Then I turned the corner to finish and there was a nice mean uphill to finish. HAH. I thought people were joking a little about that. NOPE. That was just mean! But hey you were close enough that you didnt care :)

While this course wasnt necessarily the best to set a PR at or try to qualify at due to the sheer amount of people you had to fight through, this was one of the best big races I had ever participated in. Almost the whole course was lined with people cheering. There were plenty of Marines out there supporting us along the course, and at the aid stations. A couple times I had to walk when the knee was flaring, and it would calm and I would continue on. They made sure you didnt get babied. HAHA! I loved that part though. WALK LATER! RUN NOW! I heard that a couple times lot to people walking or if they were lounging around in the aid station, area and once to me when I was walking and letting the knee calm down.

All in all, a good race, a pretty cool one to add to your marathon list of fun races to do.
What would you do differently?:

Find a way to not keep having the tendonitis reflare everytime I only run.
Post race
Event comments:

Getting through the finishers area and to meet up with anyone was a big pain with that many people! But other than that, they actually did a fairly good job getting everyone to and from, through the registration and expo, aid station stocking, etc.

Last updated: 2008-06-24 12:00 AM
04:09:09 | 26.2 miles | 09m 31s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/1595
Overall: 0/
Course: Through Arlington, Georgetown, DC, Crystal City.. all over
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2008-10-27 7:36 PM

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Shelby Twp
Subject: Marine Corps Marathon

2008-10-27 8:08 PM
in reply to: #1769154

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Fishers, Indiana
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
WOW! Great job on running a solid marathon despite the knee giving you the aches the past 1.5 months!  Glad you were able to still knock it out in style.  Get rid of that tendonitis and you're headed to Boston for sure!
2008-10-28 10:48 AM
in reply to: #1769154

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Canton, Michigan
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon

Congratulations Kellie, now rest that knee so you can kick butt next season.



2008-10-28 11:17 AM
in reply to: #1769154

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Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Awesome job Kel!!!! WOO HOO drink a beer for me!
2008-10-28 1:43 PM
in reply to: #1769154

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
I know you've been fighting through this injury both mentally and physically, and it looks like you made the right decision in running this one. Great job this weekend and enjoy your recovery!
2008-10-28 6:11 PM
in reply to: #1769154

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Farmington, MI
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Awesome job Kelly, I'm glad that, all things considered, you seem to feel lots better about this race than Detroit last year.  And how big, exactly, was that PR?  I seem to think it was huge.. but correct me if I'm wrong.  

2008-10-28 6:52 PM
in reply to: #1769154

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Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Great job!
2008-10-28 6:57 PM
in reply to: #1769154

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Olney, MD
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Nice job out there   Sorry you're having some knee issues!
2008-10-28 7:41 PM
in reply to: #1769154

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Lansdale, PA.
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Hey, sounds like my story, read the race report if you wish. An amazing race but I really don't like sharing running space with so many others. at least the first 25% was jockeying for position. No more huge races like this.
I was feelin' crappy about my performance but kept thinking of our soldiers who can't race due to death or injury and kept telling myself to STFU and keep things in perspective.

Wat to tough it out!
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