From the Halls of Montzuma…

IMG_272629 October 2013

Here’s another gushy post.  I spent a weekend running, drinking, eating gluten, and surrounded by people I adore.

Last Thursday I flew to Washington D.C. for the Marine Corps Marathon.  A race that I was registered for, but not planning to run — having not done anything of a physical nature, other than walking around — for at least three weeks due to the Aidan/Princess illness.  I also had been on restricted training for nearly two months due to the inflammed bursa.  When I had to let go of the Berlin goal, I also mostly let got of the Marine Corps Marathon goal.  Other than being a Sole Runners destination marathon, the race, itself, wasn’t particularly important to me.

IMG_2464 I arrived in Washington DC on Thursday night, met up with Kerry, Kathleen, Steve, and Dora and we all went to dinner at an Italian place in Georgetown.  I had salmon (I think…it was days ago).

IMG_2471On Friday morning, after a breakfast in the hotel (I love rambling, long breakfasts with LOTS of coffee), several people took the Metro over to the Armory

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and attended the Expo…picking up our Bibs and buying stuff we probably don’t need.

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I found Kelly Rogers and we ended up buying matching bags made out of last year’s finish line bunting.

IMG_2488IMG_2491Kelly had her picture taken with the MCM mascott, a bulldog that looks like a bear.  Steve had his picture taken with the Fasang family.

On Friday evening, Coach Steve was invited to speak at the First Timers Pep Rally,  A special meeting for first time marathoners.  What a great idea.  A race making a big deal out of people who trained specially for it.  Good way to build brand loyalty.  It was a goofy evening, but Coach was introduced along side Jeff Galloway as one of 12 nationally recognized marathon coaches.  Pretty cool.

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We returned to the hotel for the Welcome Party with the Sole Runners…Hector arrived about 12:45 AM…Russ didn’t arrive until after 2 AM and I was long gone by then.

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I drank 3 blueberry mojitos, which apparently had no alcohol in them at all, because I was still walking upright at the end of the evening.  When the party moved to the roof (in weather too cold for me to contemplate being outside — some of the Sole Runners were up until after 3 AM)…my wonder room mate, Monica, and I left for the warmer confines of bed…talking until I have no idea when…then she fell asleep and I lay awake for at least two more hours wondering what I’d eaten during the day that had caffeine in it.

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We all had a stinkin’ fun weekend with Monica.  Who I’d definitely marry if she was not already married, and didn’t live in far away, and didn’t run 20,000 miles a week– well, OK, we’re not the perfect forever match — but she is about as much fun as you can have….and there is that watermelon connection.  (Note the two fist-ed drinking about to get underway in the picture.)

Saturday was breakfast at the hotel, then off to the subway and a beadstore (that was completely underwhelming).  I did manage to find something for Maggie Richie, however.

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Saturday night was the Carbo load dinner with our Greek and Berlin friend, Abby.

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After which we went off to get ready for races.  It’s hard to know how much to wear…

10-26-13 Lay-Out

We met in the lobby at 6 AM to head off to the start line of the Marine Corps Marathon

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I had to leave a little earlier than the Marathon group, which was walking over to the start line.  I took the Metro to the Washington Mall for the start of the 10k race.  What I had decided to do was run the 10K and then walk the last 7 miles of the marathon.  The sun was just coming up as I was standing in the porta potty line.

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This would be my first run in nearly 2 months.  I decided early on that I would run 3 miles and then walk.  But at 3 miles I was feeling pretty good, so I kept running.  At mile 4 it became obvious I was not running fast enough to walk and make the cut-off (1:39 – I have no idea why), so I’d have to keep running.  I ran the entire 6 miles, as my first outing after the injury.  The top of my feet hurt and I have shin splints.  Of interest to me was the fact that I did not cough while running.  Very interesting.  The last .05 miles is significantly up hill — up a steep hill – to the Iwo Jima memorial.

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The 10K and the marathon finished in exactly the same space, so they needed those 10K-ers moving along to make way for the fast marathoners.

On the Marathon Course, just past the water station at Mile 19 was the world-famous Sole Runners Aide station staffed by Aide Station Sue, Abby, and Kerry.  Abby went to Greece and Berlin with us and is THE reason we picked the MCM for this race — and then of course she got injured and couldn’t participate.  (But she’s on board for France.)  Sue created the destination aide station in Vancouver, managed the aide station in Berlin, and was the ASS (Aide Station Sue) for DC.  (We gotta think of another acronym for Sue.)  This is at least Kerry’s second aide station for the Sole Runners – having served admirably in Berlin and now in DC.

10-27-13 Abby Kerry Sue

I finished up, wandered back to the hotel, and took a epson salts bath.

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In the early evening we met for drinks and pizza…

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later some of us went for Greek “tapas” with Abby.

The weather was very cold Friday morning, cold on Saturday morning, but luckily not as bitterly cold on Sunday morning.  The route was very difficult, I thought.  But the support on the course.  A huge number of people reached out and touched me and said “you’re doing a good job” or something else encouraging, as I walked along.  I liked the official race jacket, but as I wasn’t running the entire 26 mile course, I didn’t spend $85 on the jacket.  The food box at the end of the race, although nice in presentation, wasn’t early as well thought out as a Disney race box.  There was a very large – many blocks – post race festival, but it was too cold in the shade, a great many of the displays were uphill, and there were a ton of people.  The 10k medal was nice, for a 10K.  The marathon medal was the same shape as last year, but the gun medal gray color and black ribbon made the whole thing too dark, in my estimation.

Monday morning we were up for breakfast, then Mirella took me with her to the Capitol, where we got a free tour.  Did you know that virtually all the public tours and places (such as museums) are free?  Very tourist-friendly town.  We went to the Air and Space museum – supposedly the most visited museum in the world (all those 10-year-old boys).  We had lunch at the Native American Museum.

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Finally it was off to the airport and a flight home

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Today i had a massage and I’m still stiff and sore, but my feet and legs aren’t so swollen.  Tomorrow, I’m back on the food wagon and off gluten.

I had an amazing weekend, surrounded by people I adore, eating, drinking, and riding subways.  I totally get and appreciate the generosity of the Universe.

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