- By goodluckbox
- In Blog
- Posted December 11, 2015
Boxes for Blogger Winner – Frances Wolf
A big congrats to our first Boxes for Bloggers winner, Frances Wolf. Read below as she shares her and her husband’s journey to finishing the MCM 10K and marathon respectively. Mission accomplished!
MCM 10K and Marathon Race Re-cap!
By Frances Wolf
I had this great idea….sign up Big Daddy for the Marine Corps Marathon. We would have been moved to the area by then (no travel) and he could sign up early, sounded like a good deal to me!! So I sat at the computer on the day he could sign up and got him registered for the 40th Marine Corps Marathon. It was months away, he had plenty of time to train!
Fast forward to July when I registered for the Disney Princess Half Marathon and needed to submit an official race time, well conveniently there was a 10K the same day/time as the Marine Corps Marathon. I signed up and we had a race date!
I trained my rear off (not literally, it’s still back there) because I wanted to PR (personal record) the race and get a great corral placement for the Princess Half. I stuck to a plan focused on getting your best time. It had speed work in it which was great! I got a little derailed when I filled in for a missing runner on a RAGNAR team but got right back on track after that. I felt prepared, I decided on my goal pace and mentally prepared to race by myself (Big Daddy is always my racing partner).
Night before the race I was prepping my gear, clothes, etc. and realized my headphones were NO WHERE to be found. I can’t run without music, seriously, it’s in-human. So off to Target we went to get me a pair of headphones. Grandpa had come in to town to help with the tiny princesses so we headed off without them, a rare treat!
After getting all of our gear ready (including toss away sweatshirts since it would be cool and raining in the morning) we crawled in to bed for much needed sleep. We had every intention of going to bed early but ended up in bed at our normal time (damn headphone run). Set the alarms for 3:40am (are you kidding me???) and closed our eyes.
Good thing Big Daddy had some pre-race anxiety and got up at 3:32am because my phone decided to update it’s software over night and my alarms never went off. Not cool. But we still managed to get up and get going with plenty of time. Left the house at 4:45am to head to the Metro station. I found a friend from my MRTT chapter on the train and we left the station for the Pentagon. The marathon start was near the Pentagon so I left Big Daddy there and said good luck!! A few of us from MRTT hooked up and headed for the 10K start which was near the Smithsonian Natural History museum.
After seeing a DC rat and cursing the rain that was starting we made it through security (no lines!!) and headed for our first port-a-potty visit. It was dark in there and thank goodness because when I went to use the hand sanitizer something fell into my hand and I am not sure I want to EVER know what it was. Big Daddy was hitting the port-a-potties too and updating me after every visit, not sure that I needed to know but he was missing his running buddy (aka ME!).
We gathered the MRTT gals running the 10K and a random guy to take a photo before heading to the corrals. It was rainy, cold, and we were all getting anxiety (either about making it through the port-a-potty line or the actual race).
MRTT group pic (bonus point if you can find me!)
We all said good luck and headed our separate ways. Since I was shooting for a time I headed up farther in the corrals than most. I found my 50:00-59:59 corral and wiggled my way in, tossed my sweatshirt in a donation bin, and got ready. Of course it chose that moment to start pouring rain….damn cold and wet to start. My feet were freezing, despite my Smartwool socks. Time to get this show on the road.
Finally the cannon, or tank, or Howitzer or whatever went off and we started the shuffle toward the start. Boom, across the line, Garmin on and I was off on my mission. MISSION: PR your 10K
My goal pace was 9mm or under, I did a pretty good job of that and got out of the mass of humans pretty quickly. Ok just a warning, rant coming again…..seriously people that I passed WALKING at 1/2 mile….you were clearly in the WRONG corral. I get it, you want the extra time but seriously you are mucking it up for those of us RUNNING. Get to the back and start in the CORRECT corral. Ok rant over.
It rained through most of the race and my fingers were frozen but I kept going and sticking to my pace. Big Daddy thought I could maintain an 8:30mm pace so I actually tried to keep close to that without going over 9mm. Up and down, around, and through a relatively quiet course…the real fun was at the marathon. A few people seemed to struggle so I yelled at them along the way “come on yellow shirt guy” “keep going orange shorts guy just 2 miles left” because I know what it would mean to me if I was struggling. About a mile and a half left and I started having some pain in my lower left leg, not sure if it was a cramp or what but it was not good. I pushed through it and kept on pace (it still hurts now….gotta get that dealt with and gone before I run again), Coming near the end and of course race directors are some sort of a Satanic cult and put the end of every race UP HILL. Ouch, I thought about Big Daddy and finishing the marathon up that hill…oy.
As I came across the finish line I saw that clock was under 59 minutes and I couldn’t wait to see my actual time. I stopped my Garmin (which read 53:39 but the mileage was off) and walked to the medal lines. I looked to the left and saw Arlington Cemetary, I thought about those that have given their lives in service to our country (being a military spouse this is NEVER far from your mind) and of course it got really dusty just then. A Marine put a medal around my neck, shook my hand and I walked over for a picture (that I guarantee will look like total crap). Moving on through the line to snag some food and mostly hunting a Gatorade (I have learned that I need electrolytes immediately after a hard or longer run and I was afraid to pack my NUUN tablets in the rain). Thank goodness they handed us a bag for all of the stuff (banana, box of food, water, Gatorade)! Then came the cool part, we got a MISSION ACCOMPLISHED jacket!!! Sure it’s not the best quality but I was excited since I thought they were only for marathon finishers!!!
Since all of my MRTT buddies were behind me I headed over to grab my checked bag and then back to the finish to figure out where to wait for Big Daddy to cross. I made it back and it was relatively empty by the gate so I stood there watching 10K runners finish, wheeled athletes finish, and the first marathoners come in. MCM had a handy app so I could stalk, I mean track, Big Daddy and my other MRTT buddies running the marathon. I stood there for 3 hours…good thing I did too, I had an AMAZING view of everything and when I left there was a dense crowd of people. I was watching and watching and finally I saw him coming up that hill, chugging, that hill sucked. I yelled my head off but he turns his music up so loud I wasn’t sure he would hear me or see me but I saw him and got a great pic!
Big Daddy about 30 yards from the finish line
After I could no longer see him I hightailed it out of there and headed for the port-a-potty (I had held that in for 3 hours, I needed to pee….yeah yeah TMI I know, but someone has to talk about it) and then to find him.
After a quick (and not entirely pain less) walk toward the finish I saw him through the fence and we met on the other side where there was an opening. With tears in his eyes he came and hugged me, which of course made me burst in to tears. He said “I did it, I didn’t think I could but I did” and then immediately asked how I did. He was emotional (which he doesn’t get very often). We started to walk and talk about the races we had run and he and I said the same thing, “you were in my head the whole time”. I had him in my head telling me I could run 8:30mm and apparently I was in his telling him that he could do it. He had some cramping issues and ended up using too much caffeinated fuel (so he felt weird and jittery). Apparently there was a stop with Marines and Icy Hot….he yelled at the guy to spray his whole leg with it, pretty sure the guy thought he was nuts.
After some recovery walking, a banana, Gatorade, and more talking we decided we needed our free beer ASAP. We almost always have to rush home to the princesses so having Grandpa at home we sat and drank our beers. It was lovely.
We did it, we both set goals and we both achieved them!!! Add more bling to the medal rack and decide what our next race will be, and we will for sure be racing TOGETHER!!!!