November 4, 2013

My Top 5 Marathon Moments

There were a gazillion parts of the Marine Corps Marathon that made it special but there were a few distinct moments that definitely stand out in my mind (and I hope they always will!).  These are in no particular order, because there really isn't one that's better than the other.

1. Running with Danielle.  What more can I say?  I was so grateful to have a running buddy for most of this race.  And while we trekked 20 miles through VA and DC together, she provided tremendous support to me leading up to the race.  She helped calm my nerves and truly put me at ease.  She was a great pace car for the last few miles that we stuck together and kept me smiling and laughing for much of the race.  It's hard for me to remember another race that was "high stakes" for me where I felt so at ease.  I can't wait to see her at Wine and Dine where we both plan to goof off a bit and maybe someday, we'll run another "big" race together!
Hanging at Lululemon in G'Town the day before the race!
2. Seeing Bart Yasso at mile 25-ish.  Here I was plodding along in the final mile or so of the race and I spotted his familiar face on the right side of the course cheering on runners.  I yelled his name and got a warm, momentary hand shake and good wishes for the remainder of the race…I'd like to think his magic fingers helped propel me to a 4:30-something final time in that last mile!

I've met Bart before and heard him speak.  I started his book (the one autographed for me) a few days before the race.  He is awesomely entertaining and an incredibly accomplished runner; I'm always excited to see him.  It was a real treat to see him on the course and have a moment to interact.

In the video, you'll hear me yell, "Bart Yasso, only one mile" and him say something to the effect of "good job, girl, good job" - around the 21 second marker.  SO AWESOME!

3. Seeing my sweet friend Jamie. There really is nothing like a familiar face of a dear friend when you're starting to feel drained during a race.  I really needed a pick-me-up when I saw her at mile 17.5-ish.  And seeing her again at 19.5 and then after the race sweetened the deal.  For anyone who spectates a marathon, shoot to be on course towards the end - your runner friends will thank me for sharing this nugget with you.  I will never forget the feeling of her fantastic hug and soft fleece and how that translated into instantaneous energy and confidence.  She was a real trooper to trek all over DC to cheer for me.

4. Taking it in.  Sure this isn't a moment in time per say, but I really felt like I absorbed the course.  I noticed monuments and memorials, read the back of fellow runners' shirts and thanked the Marines.  I know that someday the memories of this race will fade, but I hope to remember trekking through the crowds in Roslyn, the quiet of Hains Point, the roar of the crowds through the Mall and the tears that fell as I hit the mile 25 marker and realized I could do it.

5. Crossing the finish line.  There is nothing, absolutely nothing like crossing the finish line of your first marathon.  The pride, the ecstasy, the relief, the permission to stop running…it's all incredible.  The other part of crossing the finish line that was amazing was the fact that I had absolutely no regrets about this race. I was proud of the way I paced it (especially since it was my first 26.2), pleased with my fueling and I just had a GREAT time!

A few less-momentous, but still meaningful moments of the race:
1. Seeing my coworker, T, at mile 19-ish near the Capital and getting a great hug!
2. Knowing Susan and her family were out on the course cheering for me.
3. Running down Rock Creek Parkway jamming to Van Halen (Panama if you must know) and thinking that I loved running and couldn't wait to run another marathon.
4. Passing a whole lot of people on the 14th street bridge.
5. Passing the 4:45 pace group (also on the 14th street bridge) and realizing I would totally eclipse my goal time (4:59.59).
6. Jamming through Crystal City to the beats of Lil' Wayne and continuing to pass loads of people.
7. Looking up to see the finish line and deciding to run up that little hill (it wasn't the Everest that I anticipated) as fast as my tired legs would carry me.
8. Watching the paratroopers at the starting line with Danielle and Lisa.

What is your best race memory?
{Christine}

22 comments:

  1. Crossing my first finish line was epic...and that was only a 5K. I can't imagine what it will feel like one day to cross that marathon finish line :)

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    1. Each race distance you conquer is so satisfying and the marathon is the culmination of tons of training and hard work. Congrats on your 5k and keep it up!

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  2. Still relishing in the experience myself - WHAT A DAY! Haha Bart is the MAN!

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    1. Glad you are still basking in marathon happiness! It was a fabulous day and what fun to see Bart at mile 25!

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  3. Those sound like great moments!! My favorite race moment was running towards the castle during Princess half weekend (my 1st half and runDisney event), and after running through it, seeing my husband cheering for me!

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    1. Lauren, that is really sweet. We both love running through the castle during Disney races....it never gets old!

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  4. What great memories, Christine! My favorite race memory thus far was crossing the finish line at my 10k in September when I PRed by more than 7 minutes!

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    1. Wow....a 7 minute PR in a 10k is fantastic. Congrats to you!

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  5. Awww, Christine! Seeing this post this morning definitely brought a tear to my eye. I loved running with you, I knew we'd be fast friends, and I LOVE that I shared the experience with someone - as much as I tell other people about the race, it's not quite the same, it's great to know I have someone else who experienced it almost exactly as I did that I can talk about it with! (Although I'm disappointed I missed out on your epic Bart Yasso sighting!)

    My favorite race moment was probably crossing the finish line of my first full marathon - of maybe even passing mile 22, like I told you for some reason that's the moment it hit me that I was going to finish.

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    1. Thanks so much Danielle. You helped make my first marathon really special!

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  6. Congratulations again about finishing your first marathon! Your memories (both top 5 and otherwise) sound so amazing, I'm sure they will last forever! I still remember the image of my (now) husband jumping up and down, screaming, as I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon (Princess 2012)...plus he wrote me this amazing card that he gave to me right after I finished, still brings a tear to my eye :)

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    1. Kellie, it sounds like you have a wonderful supportive husband!

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  7. Great post and congratulations again! Last year when the NYCM was cancelled, our coach had Bart Yasso come give us a pep talk and we all acted like star struck groupies! I'm glad your marathon experience was amazing!

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    1. Thanks Jamie, Good luck with New York next year. That looks like a fabulous race!

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  8. Those are some awesome moments girl! Congrats again!!!

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    1. Thanks Mindy! I feel like so many great memories were made in just one race. It was a fantastic day!

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  9. I think one of my favorite race memories is seeing my oldest at the halfway point of January's WDW marathon, right outside of Animal Kingdom, and she gave me the biggest high five ever. Totally awesome :)

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    1. It is always fun to have friends and relatives cheering along the course!

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  10. AH! I am so happy you accomplished this heck of a race!! Nicely done, nicely done! I feel like if I did a marathon, EVERYTHING would be a BLURR! I am impressed and glad you could remember little tid bits! Next time, you should bring a tape recorder and just tape record notes to yourself every mile you go!

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    1. Thanks Gigi....love the idea of a tape recorder, but it will have to be my running partner carrying that beauty!

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  11. You had so many amazing moments during this race, but I definitely think the Bart Yasso one tops them all! Love that you have it on both camera and video! So cool!

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    1. Thanks Karen. It was so much fun and now I want to do another marathon! Oops....I am in January!

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