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.


  1. Good for you to snag a silver medal!
    I apologize for taking so long to get to the meet up. I am glad you waited so we could say hey one more time.
    It was a great race day and everyone was so supportive. I appreciate all the RBF coordination you did to get us together before the race. Thanks so much. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

  2. I don't recall you looking like a tattooed stevedore! Tattooed maybe, not a stevedore ...

    Top 10% finish is very very impressive! I'm happy for you.

    Ditto David's comments. You are an awesome host. Hope to return the favor one day ... Dallas White Rock Dec 10? :)

    Can you believe my 7:05p flight was delayed until 9:45p, and then took off at 10:30p? My flawless "late" record stayed intact all the way to the end!

  3. yeah YOU!! you had such a great race!! i can't wait to read alla bout it.

    I'm sorry I couldn't see you all at the end...if you all would have just SLOWED the heck down for me. sheesh.

    You done good kid. And thanks for taking care of the guests. And thanks for getting me to MY pr, too.

  4. A 19-minute improvement! That's excellent! Congratulations on a new PR. :)

  5. Congratulations on having a great race when you had serious ITB and ankle problems just days before. That is so outstanding.

    I hate hearing about people dying on the marathon course. That happened in my last marathon, too. A 40 something, healthy man died at mile 23 or thereabouts. So sad. Condolances to his family.

  6. 19 minutes!! Woo hooo !!

    what i want to know is what is the OTHER medal around your neck for??

  7. Way to go Bex!! Thanks again for arranging all the details of dinner. So sorry we couldn't stick around to visit after the race. Well done, you!!

  8. Congratulations on breaking the 4-hour barrier! You cleaned up nicely for someone who sweated up a storm on the course.

  9. congratulations, you did great, nice pr

  10. It was so great to meet you. I loved the RBF meet up and am so proud of you for that silver medal.

  11. Congrats Bex! You did awesome! I followed you on race day and was amazed at your pace. You are so fast. Great job.

  12. Way to go, Bex!!! That's a tremendous result. Congratulations!!!

  13. GREAT job!!! I couldn't figure out your real name so I couldn't track you on race day. That's an AWESOME time!!!