One of the best things about running is the fact you can do it anywhere, anytime! I was all set to run from the Arboretum as I usually do, but Saturday night as I was getting on the highway I ended up hitting a huge pothole. Even though Val yelled out “mom there’s a huge pothole’ it was too late …the next thing I knew I had a flat tire.
While I was only about 5 minutes from home, I was on the on ramp to the highway. I couldn’t turn around, so with the four ways flashing, I slowly started backing up….stopping every time a car got on. It took about 15 minutes to get back home because I drove the car so very slowly because I didn’t want to risk any further damage. I called CAA and they showed up within 30 minutes. The guy changed the tire in no time. But with that tiny little spare on my car, I didn’t want to drive it unless absolutely necessary.
Truly running is such a flexible sport! I was able to start from home and still meet up with the run group for 8:00am. Starting out it was about -5 and -10 with the wind so a little chilly, but once I got warmed up and especially when the sun came up it was a beautiful day. I couldn’t believe though how good I felt on the run….it took me about 4:45 which is the fastest I have run in quite a few weeks. I am just so happy that I am getting my stride back!
Time has a way of curing all ails…..today’s run was absolutely fantastic!! I got a real early start this morning – 4:30 and although it felt like I was running in the middle of the night the temperature was not too cold at all. The sunrise was beautiful and as the sun started to shine I felt so good to be out there this morning and enjoying the beginning of the day.
What made me feel even better was the fact that nothing was hurting like it had been these past few weeks. I still took the first 26km pretty easy, but even those km’s were faster than I had been running lately and then the last 16km I ran with the group and was maintaining a 6:00 – 6:15 km pace! Unheard of for me for a very long time! I think by the end of the run the group was getting tired of me saying “I know I’ve said this a lot already, but I FEEL FANTASTIC!” I can only hope that the next 3 marathons feel the same.
A big thankyou to Gilles for the hot chocolate he provided at the 33km mark. Earlier this week he asked if I preferred coffee or hot chocolate…I wasn’t quite sure if he meant in general or on a run. So my answer was pretty general in that I said I liked both, but that if I were to drink one of these on the run my preference would be hot chocolate. That hot chocolate just hit the spot…it was so good!
As parents we want the best for our kids and more importantly we want to be around to watch them grow up. Julie although struggling with weight issues wanted to be there for her kids and she also wanted to provide for them in the unlikely event she couldn’t. With this in mind, she applied for life insurance. Within a few weeks she received the response back in the mail – Application DENIED! Reason given: MORBIDLY OBESE! .
Morbidly obese….those words hit a nerve because it means you are at increased risk of having many health problems and quite possible a reduced life span. This was the wake-up call Julie needed and she decided then and there to take action!
It’s one thing to want to take action, but it is quit another to actually take that first step to begin the long journey of getting healthy. But Julie started with baby steps and as she started changing her lifestyle by eating better and exercising which included running, she started to set goals for herself. Goals that for many of us who haven’t had to struggle with having to lose a lot of weight would never even think of. Thinks like being able to sit with your kids on a roller coaster ride or being able to sit in a swing at the park.
With these goals and with the determination to get healthy, Julie has become half the woman she once was! And that’s a very good thing because in two short years Julie has lost over 130 pounds.
So yes Julie can go to the park and sit on swings, she can take those roller coaster rides, but more importantly she has the energy and focus to be healthy. This new way of life not only benefits Julie and her family, but it also has an important impact on her work. Being healthy means she can be a more productive employee at work. And not only that but she is a role model and an inspiration to others who want to become more healthy and active and in the end more productive!
These marathons were much like numbers 44 and 45 in that they both very, very slow.
The routine of the marathons hasn’t changed either…..up at 3:30, out the door by 4:30, starting to run at 5:00am. Mother Nature for the most part is providing excellent weather for these runs. Although it was a bit rainy and cold on November 11, it could have been a lot worse in that it could have poured the entire time.
My hip, heel and toe issues are starting to feel much better though. And I know that even if they don’t there are only 4 more marathons to go!
What a great weekend it was….Run Ottawa organized a bus trip down to Washington for the Marine Corps Marathon. The MCM is known as “The People’s Marathon” because it is open to all runners ages 14 and above and is the largest marathon that does not offer prize money
There were 50 spots available but only 24 got sold. I’n not sure why it didn’t sell out as this year’s marathon sold out in a record two hours and forty-one minutes. The Marine Corps Marathon is one of the only marathons without a qualifier, lottery or fundraising minimum. 11,000 participants are first timers. 9,000 are armed forces members. Every aspect of the marathon, from setting up cones to running water stations, is run by 2,000 Marines.
Some interesting facts about this years race:
The marathon may be known for having Oprah run it in 1994 (4:29) but there are equally interesting happenings this year. Runner’s World magazine will have 300 people participating in the Runners World Challenge. Dr. Travis Taylor, star of the National Geographic Channel’s “Rocket City Rednecks” will run the race in prototype full-body armor. Lauren Lee, a contestant on last season’s “the Biggest Loser” will run her first marathon (5:53). Four men, Will Brown, Mel Williams, PhD., Matthew Jaffe and Al Richmond, make up the Groundpounders. This will be their 37th Marine Corps Marathon (they all finished).
Well for whatever the reason the bus didn’t fill, it sure was nice that we all had two seats to ourselves because it is a long trip down to Washington. It took us close to 12 hours due to road construction in one area. The trip was fun as we chatted with friends, met new runners, read, watched movies, etc. No pressure at all when you don’t have to drive.
Our hotel was the Grand Hyatt which was really well located (H and 12th street) for what we were doing. We were withing walking distance of many great restaurants and the “Mall” was about a 10 -15 minute walk away. As well the subway station to get to the race packet pickup/expo as well as to the start line was accessible through the hotel.
On Saturday we all headed to pick up our race kits – even though we were not all going at the same time it was fun bumping into people you knew at the expo. I went first thing in the morning and even though there were lineups it was pretty smooth sailing to get everything. Even going through security went very quickly considering all bags went through the xray maching and everyone was checked with metal detectors. I spent a couple of hours wandering around the expo and ended up buying a new pair of shoes.
There are 19 museums that make up the Smithsonian, but I only had time to visit a couple of them – the American History and Air and Space. The museums are big and there is lots to see – because I didn’t have a lot of time, I just did a quick walk through all the exhibits. One of my favorities was Julia Childs Kitchen.
By now it was getting close to 4:00 and I figured I should head back to the hotel and relax a bit before going out for dinner.
Saturday was a beautiful sunny day, but we all were watching various weather networks and it seemed that the rain was coming for Sunday.
Sunday morning the sky was overcast, it was about 14 degrees and the forecast did not call for any rain….and this is how it stayed for the entire race. In the evening though it really got windy and the rain started to come down.
Lots of security again – we were all searched as we entered the race start area. There was lots of space and lots and lots of porta-potties. I checked in my bag which was a two second process and headed for a line. I met up with George and then later as I stood in another porta-pottie line I ran into Dennis and Dave. When I have gone away to do races, I typically know no-one so it was a good feeling knowing that you had friends out on the course and especially so when you saw them during the day.
I was almost at the start line when I heard the starting gun go off…no point rushing because people were just walking very slowly to the start. So slow in fact I decided to make yet another stop at the porta-pottie. It took me 20 minutes to get to the start of the race. Even once I got to the start, running was very slow. With so many people there was a lot of weaving around folks. In fact it was like this for pretty much the whole race other than the odd nice and wide road.
I think that if you want a PB you have to be up near the front as it is very difficult to get into a rhythm in this race.
My pace for the first half wasn’t too bad, all things considering. But around 30km my orthodics really started to hurt (turns out there were a few big blisters on my foot) and all my issues were flaring up too.
At the very end of the course there is a hill! That was hard to do! Marines were handing out the medals and they saluted and shook every participants hand…very nice touch! Then we had to go through the photographers and that kinda slowed things down….from there it was a jacket and some food and then the long trek – at least to me it seemed long as I was walking ever so slowly – to the baggage pickup. Again, it took two seconds to get my bag. Then it was into the extremely long line-up for the metro, but luckily as soon as I finally got through the minute I was on the platform, the train came by. All in all it took two hours from the time I finished to get back to my hotel.
That evening Dave and Dennis hosted the after party where we went for a drink and to recount the days events. Chris placed first in his age (70-74) category with a 3:32 time – amazing! George had a PB and some others had great races and others not so much.
I had a great time and I am very happy to have finally run the Marine Corps Marathon!