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Marine Corps Marathon - RunMarathon

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Washington, Washington, D.C.
United States
54F / 12C
Total Time = 3h 26m 6s
Overall Rank = 973/21855
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 117/1898
Pre-race routine:

I had a bagel with peanut butter and jelly and a few sips of coffee and a small glass of milk. fairly standard stuff here.
Event warmup:

Not much here. I stretched and warmed up. There was not really any place to run near the start area because we were along the highway and there was not enough berm to accommodate the runners and spectators.
I just used the walk to the start area. It was a pretty fast paced walk.
  • 3h 26m 6s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 52s  min/mile

My thoughts during the race were pretty calm for the first 15 miles. I felt strong and comfortable, my pace in line with a Boston Qualifying time. I was on a BQ pace until mile 23.....then it fell apart....I knew it was coming but could do nothing about it. My mind was in the hunt, but I could not hold my pace any longer.
I started to get side stitches that had me audibly groaning as I tried to get them under control. It was not to be, I struggled to the end with those stitches. The last 5 miles were about pain management as I watched my pace fall. I could no longer take any fuel in, my body wouldn't take any more. My stitches so bad that it was hard to swallow water and Powerade.
I knew A BQ was gone at this point and I was, in some senses, trying to survive..........I WOULD NOT!!!!!!!!!!!stop running!!!!!!!! As my pace fell, I continually thought about our Marines and Soldiers in combat and how they CAN'T quit....I would NOT relent either! I held on to the end and was suffering from complete exhaustion.
After I crossed the finish line I wanted to stop and sit down but I knew I could not because I needed to keep out of the other finishers way. I walked to the photo area, then to get some water and Powerade and some food. I could hardly shuffle my feet. When I was well clear of the masses of other exhausted runners and their supporting families and friends, I sat down to rest but my legs felt like they were quivering so badly that I was unable to rest. I stood back up for a couple of minutes but couldn't stand either. I went back to a sitting position and Lis and the girls massaged my legs until I could walk again. I spent 20 minutes on the ground before I could move, then a very slow shuffle began to try to get back to the hotel.
I decided after walking a little longer I needed a massage and went to that area and had to wait for another 20 minutes or so. The masage was amazing and freshened me a bit. After the massage we went back the hotel for some food ans rest.
All in all I am very satisfied at my finish placement. There was nothing left! I had run the race according to my plan and failed to BQ. I am not disappointed in the least bit! My goal was to run and try to honor the Marines in the family and those they served with and all the others willing to sacrifice so much for me. My race is done, theirs continues. I wanted to run this race to a point of exhaustion to honor these men and women and I think I accomplished this goal. Since I cannot serve I hope this honors them. I am just a runner! Nothing more! Support our troops, they keep us safe OH RAH!
What would you do differently?:

I would try to hold back more in the beginning but not much. I planned this race and followed the plan pretty closely. From my pacing to my fueling, I was pretty close to being right on.
The only thing that I might have to really rethink might be the BQ qualifying attempt. But this was something I thought might have had a chance at. In the end, I probably would have still tried to hit it as hard because I was so close to that goal. If I had trained harder sooner I think I could have made it.
Post race
Warm down:

HA! I couldn't walk! Much less warm down.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training more. As stated above, If I had become run focused earlier i might have done better.

Event comments:

The Marines and volunteers did an excellent job. I would like to have had a couple of more water stations but I think it was in line with other races. I was just shot by then and everything seemed too far apart.

Last updated: 2009-09-25 12:00 AM
03:26:06 | 26.2 miles | 07m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 117/1898
Overall: 973/21855
Performance: Good
Course: Way more hilly than anything at home. Way more hilly. Did I mention it was way more hilly? A very nice course. The scenery was very distracting for most of the race, which was a good thing. We ran along the George Washington Hwy, which was very pretty. Then the "Old Town" look and feel of Georgetown was really neat. The course itself was very challenging but very fun. The hills in the first 5 miles made things pretty challenging to hold the pace I was able to run but I felt very comfortable. (I tried to keep from running hard uphill.) It flattened out after those miles until around mile 18, then it started with some smaller rolling hills that became very difficult for a first time marathoner. The last .2 miles were okay except for about 50-yars of a steep incline leading into the finish area.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2010-10-31 4:24 PM

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Fort Wayne
Subject: Marine Corps Marathon

2010-10-31 5:14 PM
in reply to: #3187523

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Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Dirk...great job today.  It sounds like you left everything out there...and I think it's awesome that you gutted it out in honor of our troops.  Very inspiring.

In training for my second...I can't tell you how much I have learned from my first and applying small changes to my training has helped a lot.  I'm sure you'll crush that BQ time in your second...whenever you choose to do it.

Again...great job
2010-11-01 10:48 AM
in reply to: #3187523

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Seacoast, NH!
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Very inspiring Dirk.  You put in the work and dedication and got fantastic results.  Very impressive.  Your support of the troops is not overlooked.  Trust me.
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