Monday, October 30, 2006
MCM results: Silver Standard
I laughed, I cried, I sweated like a tattooed stevedore.
It's 6:18 a.m. on the day after the Marine Corps Marathon. My calves feel like rocks and my left ankle's a bit dodgy. But the soreness is worth it. I PR'ed: 3:56:54. Not quite the gold standard of 3:50. But closer to my silver goal of 3:55 than my bronze of 3:59:59.
I cut 19 minutes off my previous marathon time of 4:15 and change, at the inaugural hilly and hellacious National Marathon, where I didn't have the best experience.
A Turtle with the Hares: I was on the MCM club team for my local running club. All that meant was that my name was put on a list. Of the team's three members, I was the slowest, by about 20 minutes (!). I was also the slowest when compared to the the club's male masters marathon team members. Although I was in striking range - within a minute or two - of at least one of them.
I'll Take What I Can Get: However, I still did okay. I placed in the top 10% of female finishers as well as in the top 10% of age-division finishers, and in the top 18% of the 20,855 runners who completed the marathon. More than 32,000 runners started the race.
I was on track to reach 3:53 when I crashed into the wall around Mile 21, over the seemingly-endless (though only 2+ mile) 14th Street Bridge. My hamstrings felt like tightened violin strings that were about to snap, and my quads spasmed every once in a while.
But you know what? It wasn't nearly half as bad as my first marathon, when I fell in Mile 1 and gashed my right knee, which swelled like a grapefruit for the rest of the race.
Here are two apres-MCM photos. The first is of me and Richie holding our medals. Richie knocked off close to 10 minutes from his previous marathon time. Congratulations, Rich! I know it wasn't quite what you wanted, but you improved a great deal. Next time? Sub-4!
The second photo is of me, Richie, and David. David was on track to a great marathon time, when his knee told him otherwise in the later miles. But what's important is that he finished and was otherwise happy and healthy.
Gaining Perspective: There is a very sobering and sad story in today's Washington Post about a runner who died just before Mile 17 of the race yesterday. He was 56-year old Earl Seyford from the D.C. suburbs. My thoughts go to him and his family. More on this later.
Giving Thanks: And I have to give a big shout-out and thank you, thank you, thank you, to P. and A. P jumped in with me at Mile 4 and ran with me until Mile 14. A. jumped in at Mile 10 or so, and ran with me until almost Mile 21. A huge help. You have no idea.
More thoughts and a blow-by-blow account of my adventures at MCM later tonight.