The time has come. Three short days until my only race of the year – the Marine Corps Marathon. I’ve been officially training for this one for 36 weeks now. I managed to stay healthy through the bulk of those weeks, yet I find myself dealing with a calf/shin issue in my left leg that is forcing me to skip my final training run today. Lots of ice massage and ibuprofen these last few days hoping for the pain to let up a bit. I don’t think it’s anything serious, but it’s seriously annoying and will be seriously trying my nerves on Sunday morning. Not going to let it rain on my parade, however. Come Sunday AM I will be drinking in the energy and setting out to try and lay down another marathon PR. If you’re going to do it, you may as well try and do it a little better every time.
As soon as I finished my first marathon last year I knew I’d be doing more than one, and I knew that sometime along the way I’d be running the MCM. I spent the bulk of my youth in Northern Virginia just a short drive from the start of this race. My father was in the Navy, so the military draw is strong. Something about this race just speaks to me. I don’t like crowds, yet I can’t wait to get swallowed up by the thousands of runners moving from the same point A to the same point B. Bring it on.
Lots has transpired in those 36 weeks, some good, some bad … such is life. The constant has been running, and it never fails to focus my mind and improve my mood. No matter how warm that bed may have been, or how ugly the weather may be, I always feel better after a run. Better about life, and better about myself.
I know there are an abundance of fellow bloggers who will be in DC running this race as well, and I’m hoping to stumble upon and meet some of them on Saturday at the Expo, or Sunday before/during/after the race. Even if I don’t, I’ll draw energy from just knowing they’re out there gutting it out with me. We’ve all put in the time, and we all understand the lure of the marathon. I hope I have my wits about me enough around mile 22 to spot the recently-engaged Morgan cheering us on. The story of her proposal is guaranteed to brighten your day. After all her struggles with running injuries she still goes and cheers for others to chase their running dreams. Her spirit is inspiring. She is a better runner, and a better person, than I.
For those keeping score at home, I’ll be wearing bib# 11782. I’ll also be wearing a frighteningly bright green tech shirt during the race. I brought my daughter along with me to buy my latest pair of running shoes, and asked her to pick out a shirt for me for the race. Probably should have narrowed down the color choices before I set her loose. The truth is, it could be pink mesh with sequins and I’d still wear it if my daughter picked it out for me. Fully wrapped around her finger … guilty as charged.
Good luck to everyone racing this weekend in any race, at any distance. I'll be cheering for you with every shared step.