Monday, October 29, 2012

Cheering on the Marine Corps Marathon Runners!

Yesterday Becky and I met to drive over to cheer on all of the marathoners running the Marine Corps Marathon yesterday.  It was also Megan's first marathon, so of course we are cheering extra loud for her :)  I know some people running it, so it should be lots of fun..who I am I kidding it WILL be lots of fun, I love cheering at MCM!  We arrived pretty early at Crystal City.  I knew we were going to see lots of the really fast runners.  We parked and unloaded our car.  We were unloading so much stuff that I thought we were moving into Crystal City.  Chair...check, tons of candy ...check, umbrella...check...signs...check..backpack...check.  Who knew that a bunch of candy could be so heavy.  We ended up meeting some random stranger who was headed to the grocery store.  He was looking to add some more running to his morning so offered to take two of our bags of candy and "run" with us to our spot near Army Navy Drive.  It was very nice of him.  We ended up being the first to set up on the street (other than the three Marines with their bullhorn announcing Dunkin' Donut holes and water around the corner). 

We decided to start off with our signs...

Those fast runners wouldn't want to stop for some of our candy, so we held some signs and cheered really loud.  It was a really nice day for a run.  Overcast, upper 50's, the only issue was wind.  Man hurricane Sandy was throwin' around some wind.  At one point we had to chase down our sign.  We knew once we started handing out candy the signs would go away.  We did figure out how to have one sign on our chairs without it blowing away, but you couldn't really read it..oh well. 

As we started seeing a little bit more runners, we started passing out some of our candy.  We had lots of bags with us.  Last year Megan ran for a bunch of bags of pb cups since we ran out so early..this year I didn't see that as a problem.  We had lots. 

Becky and myself were yelling out our goodies to all of the runners.  At times I felt like I was working at a carnival trying to get people to throw a dart at the balloon.  It was lots of fun.  I was tracking some runners and was also on the lookout for them as I was yelling about my swedish fish and sour patch kids.  At one point someone ran past yelling my name.  I couldn't place who it was and then he yells his name.  It was Mark who Megan and I met at the Marine Corps Historic Half in June.  We had dinner with him and his wife.  It was great yelling to him "Good Luck"

Next up I saw my friend Keith from high school.  He was doing a great job and knocked off an hour from his previous time.  Way to go Keith!  Becky and I  continued to hand out our goodies.  People really loved candy at mile 23/24.  We got a lot of thank you's and you're the best! 

Soon we see Megan.  She is looking great.  I start yelling for her and waving her sign as she entered Crystal City.  She looked so much better than I would at mile 22. 
Someone looks happy to see us!

Megan sat down to enjoy a pb cup and a quarter of a pb sandwich that I made for her.  She caught us up on her race and then she was off!  It was great cheering her on, but really we had a job to do..we had candy to hand out and a few more people to look out for.  :) 

Now we started to learn something about marathon runners and candy.  Some candy I was doubtful would go.  Really who would want a Kit Kat while running??  Well turns out runners love Kit Kats, Snickers, Hershey bars along with the normal PB cups (a true favorite), Swedish Fish, and Sour Patch Kids.

As we are handing things out..Becky sees him..The Juggler...ugh..I think he follows me.  Not only does he mock the half marathoners with his "this is so easy I can juggle while running 13.1" he also mocks the marathoners.."and this is pretty easy so I think I will juggle while running 26.2"  "Oh you juggler!" *shaking fist*

After seeing Megan, Ryan from run club ran over got a pb cup and gave us kisses and was off to finish up his first marathon.  He was looking great for his first marathon too! 

We were starting to run out of some of our candy.  Becky was down to a few pb cups and Almond Joys.  Now really, you can't give Almond Joys to runners!  Well once again, I was wrong.  She offers up Almond Joys and next thing you know a runner is hugging her telling her she is the best and takes the Almond Joy.  I just didn't realize the love for Almond Joys!  The smiles that we saw on faces because of on little Almond Joy was amazing! 

We then saw Jen from runclub and gave out some Swedish Fish.  It was her first marathon and I thought she was looking great too.  It was amazing how great those first time 26.2 people looked! 

Next up was Gary. 

Gary took  a pb cup and was off.  I ran a little bit with Gary until he hit the water stop.  He was looking great while running too.  I loved seeing all of my friends running!  I would never run 26.2 but I really do love cheering on those who are running that crazy distance! :) 
Becky and I stuck around till almost the end.  We ran out of everything but whoppers.  Some of my walking friends enjoyed the whoppers we had left and our cheers while they were heading to the finish.  Some of those back of the pack people I think really enjoyed our cheers and our sign (once we ran out of candy the signs came out).  Even though most of the people left our street we stayed to cheer extra loud.  If people had their name on their shirt/arm we made sure to include their name in our cheering too! 
Great job to all of the Marine Corps Marathon Finishers!!  Oorah!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Trick or Treating at the Marine Corps Marathon

So Megan is running her first marathon.  Becky and I will head over to cheer her on.  I think Marine Corps Marathon could be my favorite race to cheer.  Now how do you cheer on runners at mile 23ish? 
Why with candy and signs of course!  I have lots of pb cups, Swedish fish (my favorite) and sour patch kids to hand out to all of those runners who pass mile 23.  Last year Megan thought I was nuts to take candy.  Those runners loved the candy!!  They crossed the street when they heard my loud voice yelling "peanut butter cups!"  Yeah it was a good call to take candy. 

This year candy will be provided too.  I have more candy for runners than trick or treaters at my house!  Not sure how the little kids feel about that, but I won't tell them if you don't tell them.  I may have a small stash for all of the people I know running MCM.  If I run out of candy, don't worry free high fives will still be offered too.  I don't normally run out of high fives, so if you are a slower runner worrying that I won't have anything left for you, I will still be able to offer some high fives and loud cheers! 

Hopefully the weather stays rain free and wind free on Sunday for all the runners.  Sandy is supposed to bring some rain late Sunday and into Monday.  Lets hope the rain stays away.  Megan and all of the runners would rather run in dry clothes than in wet ones. So please Sandy..stay away until Monday and then I would like a day off b/c of all of your rain potential. :) 

Good Luck to all of the MCM runners!! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Army ten miler = sucktastic run

So today was the Army Ten Miler, my favorite ten mile race.  Now that may not really be fair since the only other ten miler that I have ran has been the Cherry Blossom Ten miler (which I do not care for).  I have been sick for almost two weeks with a head cold/ chest cold.  I have been feeling much better these last few days but nowhere near what I should feel like.  Before I continue please be warned there will be some excuses and maybe a bit of whining. 

But before I get to the excuses...

We picked up our friend Glen who was running with a random stranger's bib (Peter). 
For the rest of the day we referred to Glen as Peter or Pete as I liked to call him.  We also enjoyed making up Peter's back story.  This was going to be Glen's first ten miler.  Megan and I hooked him up with some gu and a garbage bag to start the race with or as we referred to it, racing chic. 
We arrived and headed to the mall to use some bathrooms with running water.  Because that is how we roll.  After we enjoying the running water we headed to bag check at the Pentagon.  Megan is not a fan of the Army Ten Miler, so she was hoping that it was going to be a different experience than last year, which she didn't enjoy.  Well it was different..not always in a good way for her.  As Megan was grabbing a bag to put her backpack in we ran into Gary, Kevin and Adrienne.
Always great to run into friends.  And once again, Gary finds us in 30,000 people with no problem.  We are convinced he has a tracking device on either Megan or myself. :) 
Before the race starts some Army guys parachute down.

We checked our bag and headed to the portapotties.  What a mess.  Last year our corrals lined up on the street.  This year they had the corrals in the middle of the parking lot right up against the portapotties.  Ugh.  Talk about not having room to form a line.  I found an endish portapotty and talked the people around me to make a new line.  People were in a super long line and sending people down the line to get in the portapotty.  That's not how it works.  So the people to our left had 3 portapotties and I stood poised to take the one in front of me when the person came out.  Turns out that was a great plan that the guys beside us used too.  In no time we were in our purple gate waiting for our long walk to the start line. 
Glen decided he was going to run with me.  I didn't know how long I would be able to run since I still wasn't feeling the greatest and I didn't know how the whole breathing thing and running thing would work out.  Turned out it didn't last long.   I sent Glen (I mean Peter) on his way before mile two.  I was quickly realizing it was going to be a sucktastic run.  I started walking around mile 3 and was hating life.  I did really enjoy the mile three water stop Army guys.  Ah the bright spot in my lack of a real run.  I ended up walking a large portion of the run since I just felt tired and sucking wind when I tried running.  I guess when you don't eat right the days before a run, you don't have a lot of energy to run.  That and I haven't moved off of the couch for 2 weeks (well other than going to work) (I warned you that the excuses would be flying). 
I wanted this run to be better than last year.  I really felt like I could PR on this run.  Well sometimes what we plan on, just doesn't happen.  It wasn't my day to conquer this race.  Next year I will return to PR!!  I like the race, just not when i am sick. 
 We ran into Bill and Jeff and Marie!  Always good to see friends.

 Skipping through the lot with Peter.
Always fun riding the trolley back to the south lot.

Afterwards we headed for some french toast.  Yumm!!! 
Army Ten Miler, it wasn't real fun this year, but next year watch out!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Up Next: Army 10 Miler

Tomorrow I will be running the Army 10 miler. 
This will be my second year running this race.  I really liked this race last year (might be my favorite 10 mile race to date).  I love the crowd support.  I love seeing all of the wounded warriors running.  I just like the atmosphere.  I will say I do hate the bridge at the end.  The endless bridge with no crowd support..yuck!

I am hoping that I will be able to breathe tomorrow during the run.  I have been sick all week with a head cold.  I am now just hacking and I should be fine...hopefully. If not I guess I will be walking lots of the 10 miles tomorrow.  I don't feel like that will be my fate, but I haven't ran all week we will see.  I was hoping that this would be the race that I PR but I am thinking that it just might not be in the cards tomorrow..we will see. 

Megan is running the race too ( I know shocker!)  and our friend Glenn will be running his first ten miler tomorrow.  So exciting!  And I am sure we will see some run club people too.  Bill is supposed to be around the tents so maybe this year we will actually be able to find him. 

Megan and I already picked up our packets yesterday after school, so today all I have to do is rest up and then head out for some pre-race dinner with Megan.

Driving to the expo we realized that we were probably following an army ten mile person. They seemed a bit confused just like us. Every turn they made, we ended up making the same turn.  At one point I  missed a turn and we got turned around and we were yelling, find our friends!!  And of course there they were a car ahead. 

I made sure to say hi to our new Army ten miler friends. :)  Not sure if they got the humor of the situation like Megan and I did, but oh well. 

When we walked into the expo to pick up our packets here is what we were greeted with...
 Can't say many races offer this kind of music. 
Then we were off to pick up our bibs. 
 Opps Megan ended up dropping an entire box of safety pins.  Yikes! 
It was a great expo.  We got there with 45 mins to shop.  We stayed the entire 45 mins to see if we could find any good deals.  After the expo we headed off to find some food.  We ended up in Crystal City and ate some very yummy hamburgers, fries and a yummy  milkshake. 
 Who could say no to a burger and a cookies and cream milkshake?  Not I! 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Alex I'll take how many toenails can I lose for $300..and a PR please

So today I ran the Heritage Half.  It is a pretty local race and my money goes towards the local schools in my school district so really I couldn't pass this race up.  That and it was the race I PR'd last year.  I had a feeling that maybe, just maybe I could repeat a PR this year.  Becky decided she wanted to run the 5K portion so she signed up too. 

It was a perfect morning for a run.  I however was hating life when the alarm went off at 5am.  Why is it I say I can't get up early to work out but give me a race to run and I am up before the sun comes up?  So I dragged my butt out of bed and got ready for the race.  I headed out the door to meet Becky at the race at 6:35.  Race start was 7 am.  Well technically 7 for Becky, 7:05 for me.  Yesterday I was a bit perplexed on what to wear for today.  With the temp changes I never know what to wear..I don't want to be too hot when I run.  I settled on my RnR VA beach shirt and some capri's.  I figured I would throw on a garbage bag to keep warm.  I didn't want a repeat of the running jacket that had to be left at behind at mile 2 never to be seen from again.  So I felt smart this year with the garbage bag.  Turns out I was smart.  It kept me warm until the start and I dumped it before mile 1. 

It is a rather small race but well stocked with water and gatorade.  I still decided to bring my handheld.  I am now hating my handheld because for some reason I can't close the stupid thing.  This is the second race that I have ended up with wet stuff from the stupid cap spilling.  And during the run some of my water was spilling out while I ran.  I did end up fixing it but I decided that I still hate that water bottle!  I love how it fits and feels in my hand but the spilling really defeats the purpose.  It should keep the water in not throw it all out of the bottle! 

I took off with the rest of the runners and really stuck with a group for at least 4 to 5 miles.  Which is not bad considering that there were only 800 runners for the half and 5k combined.  I was loving the 50 degree weather.  I ran pretty consistently, which makes me happy.  The last 5K is where I start to fall apart.  I did look at my watch and thought I may be able to PR.  Since I thought I could PR I kept on running (slowly but still running).  The end of the race is on a track.  That freakin' track is the longest track known to man!  It felt like it was at least a 3 mile track (at least!)  I did hear my name announced as I was running the back half and then Becky came on the speaker to cheer me on!  Yeah!!  I crossed the finish and thought..damn I didn't make my PR!  GRRR

After the race we headed over to meet with Megan and enjoy some brunch.  Megan ran an 8K this morning too.  As we were driving I sent her a sad message how I thought I would PR but I didn't...stupid race.  Boo!!
As we were sitting there enjoying our breakfast I checked to see what my official time was..wait could it be??  I PR'D!!!!!!!  Yippy!!  I knocked off  a little more than a minute off of my old time.  I will take it!  So excited!! 
Now on to my toenail.  I may be down 1 or 2 toenails.  I find it odd that only my left toenails hate running.  My second toenail is in the process of falling off..I think this run might have been the final dance for the piggy's nail.  The third toenail..who knows..I have lost that one so many times this year that I have stopped counting. I thought increasing my shoe by half a size would help..but who knows...who needs toenails anyways!?

Monday, October 1, 2012

October here's what I want from you

It's my favorite time of the year..hoodie season!  I love fall!  I love the fact that you could wear a hoodie one day and shorts the next.  It does make for some issues when figuring out what to put on to go running, but that's ok, I will figure it out eventually. 

Some wishes for October:

I just signed up for a new half.  I know I said the Navy/Air Force Half was my last half of 2012 but I decided to add one more to the calendar.  It is a small local race.  I ran it last year and PR' fingers crossed that I have a good run on the 14th.  You really can't turn down a local race that benefits the school district that you work for.  So I didn't, I signed up.  Now the Heritage Half will be my last half of 2012! 

I also have the Army ten miler.  I really liked this race last year.  I loved the crowd support and seeing all of the military guys running (really who doesn't like seeing military guys running?!)  So I am hoping to enjoy my second Army ten miler and I would love to sub 2.  We will see.  If I keep running the low mileage of September that will never happen.

I'm also hoping to get out there and run more this month. This is perfect running weather.  This is the time of year that I just want to head out the door for a run.  I couldn't really say that when the temps were in the 90 plus this summer. There really is no excuse not to get out there and run some :)