Don’t be too impressed by how cool I sound when I say that. I didn’t even know what “OORAH” (the marine corps spirit cry) meant until the night before the marathon. And now we have all decided to say it for the rest of our lives.
You know, wedding toasts, birthings, kids’ soccer games, that kinda stuff. OORAH.
After 3 hours and 49 minutes, I crossed the finish line of the Marine Corps Marathon.
26.2 miles. Done.
And man, does it feel GOOD.
Except my legs. They don’t feel so good. Or my toes.
But truly, Sunday was one of the best days of my life.
Flash back to Saturday at the D.C. Armory Expo in the freezing cold rain/snow. That was cool. We stressed over what layers we’d pack on for race day, ate about 16 samples of Clif bars and Gu shots, and my life was made when I stumbled across a pair of the new Brooks Pure Project Connect running shoes.
And as I was picking out my “Some girls chase boys. I pass ’em” headband for race day (it come in pretty handy and kept my ears from icing over), Ericka recognized me and came to say hi!
There was a hydrating/carbo-loading pasta party for 13. We all showed how cool we are and threw on our marathon shirts and took “team pictures.” You know, because we’re 8 years old.
And when 4:30 a.m. rolled around, we were up and at ’em, stressing over how may layers to put on in the 28 degree weather. I decided on the dainty race outfit of singlet and arm sleeves + wunder under leggings + short sleeve target shirt + blue running jacket + sweatpants + sweatshirt.
My partners in crime chose to take the appearance of skiers or criminals about to partake in some sort of heist.
I wish I could say we hit the ground running and were off like the WB cartoon roadrunner, but the bobbing and weaving in the beginning was unreal. At once point, I looked down at my Garmin and saw we were stuck a 12:30 pace and had a minor freakout. Thankfully, the crowd dispersed around mile 5 and I was able to choose my own speed.
A lot of people have asked if I’m happy with my 3:49 finish time. I say yes, I’m really happy, because I was running my first marathon to finish. I had no idea if I would hit a wall (I never did), how difficult I’d find it (I honestly thought it’d be harder), or how crowded it would be (we were sardines). I’m the tiniest disappointed in my time because I trained much faster than an 8:45 pace, but the pride in my finishing my first marathon and happiness of being with my family and friends won out.
We all got split up around mile 3, so I was on a solo mission by the time I saw my family at mile 7.
Somehow, it was pretty easy to spot them.
I thought I was seeing mirages at mile 7. “Why is there a 4 foot picture of myself from my first half marathon? What is going on?”
Note to all runners whose spectators make life-sized pictures of you for the sideline: Everyone will recognize you after the race. Some girls may be right behind you after the finish talking about how embarrassing it is, and those girls will be really embarrassed when you turn around and smile at them and tell them you loved it.
It’s so easy to be proud of yourself when your parents are so proud of you.
And it’s so easy to run a marathon with the knowledge you’ve raised $730 for prostate cancer. I cannot thank those enough who donated to my cause. Natalie, Allie, Kristine, Sara, Amy, Chip, Claire, Lisa-Marie, Rick, Linda, Brent, Cynthia, Maggie, Alyssa, Beth, Maleah, Lee, Linda, Kathy, Andie… you are all so amazing.
And it’s so easy to run a marathon when you do it with your closest friends.
More post-marathon pictures to come tomorrow… I’m still too exhausted, physically and mentally, to throw you guys anything else.
And now I’m off to write a thank-you note to Chris Hoffmann, inventor of the foam roller. The way I’m walking today closely resembles the gait of a flamingo.