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2011 Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap

It’s a little scary to me that when I think back on the Marine Corps Marathon, the race is already becoming a bit of a blur. For whatever reason, that post-marathon amnesia has kicked in earlier than ever this time. If it weren’t for the intense pain in my quads that’s still making it difficult to go down stairs, I would be convinced that this race is one that I had run in the distant past.

I can’t really figure out why my brain has decided to start blocking out parts of this marathon already. Sure, it was painful – but not moreso than other marathons that I’ve run. And I ran hard, but again, not really all that much faster than I ran in the spring. I’d like to pretend it’s because I was just so darn focused for all 26.2 miles. But I think it might be because maybe (just maybe) after 6 marathons and countless other races, my body is finally starting to realize that it can survive the assault.

Anyway, I am going to try to do this race justice, and I’m sure despite my faulty memory, this recap will be wordy (just par for the course, right?) So settle in, my friends. And I’ll tell you how my second marathon in Washington D.C. this year went down.

The Start

Funny story: before the National Marathon last March, I got “introduced” to Dorothy on Twitter because we were both trying to break 3:20 at the same race. Even though we had never met, we made plans (online) to try to race together, figuring we could push each other to PR. But the craziness of marathon morning combined with the small fact that I wasn’t exactly sure what Dorothy even looked like meant that we never met up. And it wasn’t until Hood to Coast that I finally met this girl whose blog I had been reading with awe for some time.

Marine Corps was the “take two” of our plan. Luckily, this time, things went flawlessly. Dorothy picked EC and I up from my sister’s house at 5:40 Sunday morning to drive to the start. Or, I should more accurately say – the finish. In order to beat the crowds, we decided to go to Rosslyn, where there are plenty of free parking spaces and the starting line is an easy walk away. After a few slightly stressful moments due to roads being unexpectedly closed, we made it to Rosslyn in good time. I was nervous, but not incredibly so. Normally I’m so anxious about the marathon that I have a hard time forcing down a pre-race breakfast. But on Sunday, I ate my entire bagel without complaint. A weird sort of excited calm had washed over me. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t put any real pressure on the race, or maybe it was just knowing Dorothy and I were in this together.

We hung out in the garage for awhile, then started to make our way down to the start. It was dark and quiet – most of the crowds had been directed to Cyrstal City and the Pentagon.

As we walked down the finishing hill from the Iwo Jima monument, I tried to think about what it would feel like to race back up that thing in a few hours. But as the steep incline forced my legs into a run down the hill, I tried to push all those thoughts out of my mind. How bad could it really be?

MCM starting line arches

The walk to the start helped me keep my feeling of excited calm. I felt a burst of excitement as soon as I heard the music blaring and saw the arches that marked the starting line. And again when they started the pre-race ceremonies around 7:30. Two teams of tandem jumpers (including a Marine who was injured in Afghanistan over the summer) jumped out of a plane and carried the US flag.

MCM_prerace ceremony 1

MCM_prerace_ceremony 2

A firing salute, the National Anthem, and aircraft flying overhead just as the sun was rising? Pretty amazing stuff. And as cheesy as it sounds, at that moment, I was so excited and so incredibly inspired to be taking part in this marathon. It is unlike any other I have ever run.

MCM_planes_prerace

In the last few minutes leading up to the race, I made the final pre-race preperations as EC continued to snap pictures and fawn over celebrities.

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Let’s play guess the celeb! Bonus points to anyone who correcty identifies both. In case you need a little help:

MCM 2011.jpg

Finally, it was time to line up. As I mentioned in my last post, there aren’t any assigned corrals in MCM – you just line up based on your predicted finish time. Knowing how many people were running that day, Dorothy and I lined up near the front. It was freezing cold – all I could do was hope that the I’d feel good once I started moving.

DB&LB_MCM Start

At 8:00, the gun went off and I let out an excited yell (yes, I really did this. No, I didn’t exactly plan to. I guess I was that excited to run.) The 36th MCM had begun!

2011 MCM start

The Hilly Beginning

The beginning of the race is known for being hilly, particularly in the first two miles. Because of that, I’ve heard people say that you should look at MCM as an 8 mile warm-up and a 18 mile race. As thousands of runners streamed out onto the MCM course, Dorothy and I purposely held ourselves back. The plan was to go out relaxed and easy, and then negative split the heck out of that course.

MCM 2011 start 2

We fell into pace easily, chatting a little and reveling in the excitement of running. We had agreed not to waste energy weaving around people at the beginning, which meant that sometimes we ran side by side, and other times one of us was slightly in front. But Dorothy’s pink hat was always in sight, and knowing that she was there, prepared to run this race with me made me more excited than I could even describe. We cruised through the first mile right around 8 minutes; the second just under. I felt relaxed and excited – inspired by all the service men and women and wheelchair participants racing around me.

After the second mile, there was unspoken agreement to pick up the pace. We cruised along for the next couple of miles, not talking much except to point out random things – or Dorothy telling me what to expect coming up on the course. I knew we might be seeing EC around mile 5, so as we headed into Georgetown, I started scanning the crowd searching for a familiar face. When I didn’t find him, I settled back in again, knowing that I wouldn’t get another chance until mile 8 or 9.

MCM splits_1-5.jpg

Our pace had dropped below 7:30 but I was still feeling pretty relaxed. The only problem was – my legs weren’t feeling fresh. I didn’t feel like I was on the verge of falling apart, but my legs felt sore and a little bit heavy, as though I had run an intense hill workout the day before instead of just sitting around on my butt. But when you’re only a few miles into a marathon, the only choice you have is to ignore the pain – so I pressed on.

We hit another steep hill in the 7th mile, and then headed into Georgetown. People were everywhere. And because I had ironed my name onto my shirt (first time ever doing this!) so many of them were shouting my name. It felt pretty amazing.

And then, suddenly in the midst of all this, I felt an intense pain in my right quad. It was as if the entire muscle had seized up in protest of what I was doing to it. I had a quick panic attack, wondering what the heck was going on. But I didn’t stop. I just kept running, took a Gu, and prayed that I’d be able to just run the pain out. Fortunately, after what seemed like forever but must’ve only been a few tenths of a mile, the pain loosened up. Unfortunately, after that my quads didn’t feel quite the same.

Soon after the quad episode, EC came sprinting towards us out of the crowd. I was so incredibly excited to see him. It gave me a huge boost, and in that moment I convinced myself that everything was going to be alright.

DB&LB_MCM Georgetown.JPGHello, good to see you, now give me my things!

He ran next to me chatting for a bit, snapped a few glamour shots, and then we were on our way. It was then and there that I admitted something to myself that I had really known all along. I wasn’t just going out there to “see” how I could do. I wasn’t just enjoying the sights and sounds of MCM with the plan to stroll leisurely to the finish. No matter what my training had been like over the past few months, today I was there for one reason only – to race.

I was going to run until my legs fell off.

DB&LB MCM Georgetown 2

MCM Mile Splits_6-9.jpg

The “Flying High” Miles

The next several miles passed by in a bit of a blur. We had picked up the pace a lot and that fact had made me strangely giddy with excitement. Normally in marathons I get anxious about going out too fast and blowing up later. But not on Sunday. We were racing. And it felt.so.good. We passed the 3:15 pace group right at mile 10, and I told Dorothy that was the first time in any race that I had done so. That next mile was my favorite of the whole entire marathon. People were lining both sides of the course, holding awesome signs and cheering so loudly for us – as though #teamwatermelon were famous celebrities. I was never more in love with marathoning as I was at that minute.

I hadn’t really looked at my watch at all over the past couple of miles. My only thought was to keep running with Dorothy. I didn’t care what my pace was, I felt like I could run forever. So imagine my surprise later when I looked through my splits and saw that I ran mile 11 in 6:59 – my fastest mile of any marathon ever. In hindsight, this may not have been the smartest racing plan, but I’m glad that I at least didn’t see the split and give myself a chance to freak out about it.

And then, because a marathon is a roller coaster ride, everything suddenly started changing. The high I was feeling during Mile 11 began to slip away and I found myself starting to struggle in Mile 12. My legs didn’t feel right, and I was having trouble focusing. So I put in one headphone, turned on the music, and told myself to stay with Dorothy until the Half.

MCM Splits_Miles 10-13.jpg

Half Marathon Split: 1:36:55 (7:23/mile)

It’s All Downhill From Here

As bad as I felt to be ignoring Dorothy, the music helped with my focus. The next several miles were a bit lonely as we ran through Haines Point and around the Tidal Basin. I willed my legs to continue carrying me forward. I knew I would see EC again around Mile 15 or 16, so my new goal became to stick with Dorothy until I saw him. I didn’t let any negative thoughts about how far I had left to go enter my head. Instead, the race became solely about those next couple of miles. Finally, just before I saw EC again at Mile 16 I told Dorothy that I was going to have to drop back. I was struggling with a strange pain in my quads that felt like ripples of tiny cramps. And my legs just did not want to move. She told me to hang in there, that I would feel good again, and pressed on.

DB&LB_ MCM mile 16

When I saw EC again, I tried my best not to fall apart. I told him that my legs were hurting and that I could feel my pace crumbling. He told me to hang in there, and that he would see me again at Mile 20. I turned up the music, and focused on just making it to Mile 20. If I could get there, I could finish.

MCM mile 16Can we just take a minute and reflect on what is going on with my stride here? Apparently “tip-toeing” through the course helps you feel better when your legs are hurting.

MCM splits_Mile 14-16.jpg

Those next few miles were the lowest point in the race for me. I felt like I was literally watching my time slip away, and I was powerless to stop it. It’s one of the most frustrating feelings you can experience in a marathon – wanting so badly in your head to keep moving fast, yet feeling helpless to actually move your legs. The only saving grace for this part of the marathon is that you run through the National Mall. I tried to focus on the beauty of the course, but I was in my own little world.

MCM_pro.pngEyes closed = Lauren is in pain

Finally, after what seemed like forever, I was at Mile 20 and seeing EC again. He was standing with his cousin, who had come into D.C. just to cheer for me. Both of them were screaming and yelling my name – and I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t really give them the warmest welcome. At this point in the race, I was just mad. I knew I had no business thinking I could PR, but I had tasted it. I had seen what it felt like to run sub-3:15 pace and I wanted it. And now that my legs weren’t doing what my head told them to do, I just got pissed.

This is the first and last picture Evan tried to take of me around Mile 20. See that face? It’s not one that welcomes cameras.

MCM Mile 20

Despite my anger, EC did his best to cheer me up. He ran with me for a little while, and I tried to regain some of the positive attitude that I’d had earlier. I passed off my water bottle and arm warmers, and prepared to grit it out for the last 10K.

MCM Splits_mile 17-20.jpg

The Final Push

Somewhere after Mile 20, the 3:15 group passed me again. I tried to hang with them for a few minutes, but it just wasn’t happening. I remember looking off into the distance, seeing Dorothy’s pink hat bobbing among the crowd, and willing her to keep that group away.

As the course ran along the never-ending 14th Street Bridge, I started calculating how much time I had left for the last 10K. All I could think about was the 3:20 pace group. I could not let them pass me too. I realized that if I managed to keep my pace under 8:00 minutes/mile, I just might PR – or at least tie my time from National. From that point on, that became my sole goal. And when I reached Mile 21, something came over me. My legs still felt heavy, and I was still so tired, but I was suddenly hit with a new resolve. I picked up the pace (sort of) and knew with all my heart: I was going to run a sub-3:20 today.

We finally got off the bridge and ran through Crystal City. I saw runners coming at me in the other direction, and just focused on making it to the turn-around. I don’t remember much about this part of the course at all. I remember there were crowds of people, and I remember that at some point, I realized I was catching back up to Dorothy. I focused on her back and kept running. When I finally caught up, I asked her how she was doing and felt awful to hear that she too was struggling. I tried encouraging her, but at that moment, I really had nothing left. I kept running, half expecting that she would stay with me. Dorothy – I’m really sorry that I left you there. My head wasn’t thinking straight.

Miles 25 – 26 seemed to stretch on forever. I knew I was going to be so close to my time at National and kept trying (and failing) to will my legs faster, all the while dreading the hill that was coming before the finish. My watch finally ticked off 26 miles, but the finish was still nowhere in sight. I didn’t know how much further I could go.

Suddenly, we turned the corner and there it was - the wall. I felt like I had been hit with a ton of bricks. If I hadn’t been in so much pain already, the situation would have been almost funny. Scaling a mountain on trashed legs? I can only imagine what I looked like running up that thing. I gritted my teeth and tried to focus on taking one step at a time, but I knew my pace had slowed down to a crawl. I was afraid to look down at my watch, convinced that my hope of PR’ing had just completely disappeared. Somehow, I finally reached the top of the hill, but it didn’t matter. There would be no glorious sprint to the finish – my legs were shot. I saw the finish line and it was all I could do to waddle toward it. Apparently there were crowds of people (including EC and his cousin) cheering us toward the line, but I saw none of that. All I saw was that line, and a PR time that had gone out the window.

Finally, after an eternity, I crossed that finish. And I looked down at my watch and immediately burst into tears. I was shocked to discover that I had done it – I had PR’d by the skin of my teeth.

MCM Splits_miles 21-26.5.jpg

MCM finish pro.pngDear Marathonfoto – I’m sorry for stealing your pictures.

MCM finisher photo.png

Final Time: 3:18:09*

Pace: 7:34/mile

Overall Place: 578; Gender Place: 76/8,530; Division Place: 20

(*This originally said 3:18:08 when I crossed which meant that I PR’d by 10 seconds. The site now has me listed as 3:18:09. I know I shouldn’t really care about one little second, but I can’t help but wish I had moved just a teeny bit faster. Oh well. Next time I will crush that PR by more than mere seconds.)

IMG_0656.JPG

If you’ve read this far, thank you! Going into MCM, I did not expect to PR. But apparently 2011 was the year of the 3:18 marathon. I have so many thoughts about my training and what this means for the future, but I won’t bore you with them now. What I will say, though, is thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your encouragement and support throughout the weekend. Every time I crossed a mat on the course, I knew you would be seeing my times – which gave me strength and helped me keep going even when things started looking rough.

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Marathon #7 – I am ready for you.

56 Responses to 2011 Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap

  1. Great recap! Congrats on an awesome finish! I was definitely struggling to but still managed a huge PR for my 2nd marathon! That 3:18 is definitely within reach! Do you know what Marathon #7 will be yet?
    Christy´s last post ..October Recap

  2. Just reading this makes my legs hurt! You did amazing! 3:18 is awesome!!
    Lee´s last post ..That Wasn’t Supposed to Happen

  3. I am sitting here at my desk with tears in my eyes – what an amazing, inspiring recap. Congratulations! My best friend ran MCM last year and her account mirrors yours – the endless bridge, the hills, but the incredible crowd support. Way to go! #7 is Boston, right?
    Kate (Embarrassment of Riches)´s last post ..People-Watching on Halloween

    • Thank you so much Kate! As tough as the course was, it was an awesome experience and a course that I’d definitely do again. And yes – Boston will be marathon #7!

  4. You are amazing! Loved this recap! Congrats on your PR and the awesome time! Your definition of “crawl” is the equivalent to my fast pace! My marathon is next weekend and I’m trying not to get too anxious about it. It’s my second one so I only have one time to beat!
    Sokphal @ Life as a Classroom´s last post ..Justin Beiber and Halloween

    • Thank you! I guess I use the term “crawl” relatively. Sometimes during a race when my pace starts falling apart, I feel like I’m crawling, just because it’s so tough to keep my legs moving. Then when I look at my splits, I realize that things weren’t quite as bad as I thought. Good luck at your marathon next weekend!

  5. Great job, Lauren!

    Go for that 7th marathon! You are amazing!

  6. Wow, what an incredible recap. I completely understand what you mean about race amnesia – my memory of the race is slipping away and I haven’t written my recap yet. I think yours has inspired me to get mine done tonight before I forget more of it! Congrats on the PR, you deserve it!
    Melissa´s last post ..Marine Corps Marathon Expo

  7. What a fantastic recap Lauren!!! I loved every little bit reading this. You are so mentally tough, it really is so admirable. You struggled, but you never gave in. You so deserve that 9-10 second PR- you really gave that race everything you had while at the same time making it so realistic for a sub 3:15 in the future. Hey, did you hear Boston is a net downhill course? I think you did! hehe. Excited for what the future holds for you!

    Although I think you should have included some of those classic photos of the last quarter mile. They were pretty amazing : )
    LIZZY´s last post ..Why the New York Marathon is the Best Marathon in the World

  8. Phenomenal job!
    Mystery Guest #1 – Drew Carey. If interested, read his race recap: http://drewfromtv.blogspot.com/2011/10/ol-blood-and-guts.html.

    Congrats, what a great day for you.

    • Yes! Thank you so much for sharing his race recap! I’m excited to read it – it’ll be interesting to hear about the race from his perspective.

  9. Awesome job Lauren! I loved reading your recap and even though you had some less than stellar points in the race, you did amazing. I can’t wait to find out what your 7th marathon is going to be!
    Jamie @ couchtoironwoman´s last post ..Blogger Interview

  10. Though I’m NOWHERE as fast as you (not even close, but that just means I’m appreciating the scenery a little more, no?), I loved the MCM when I ran last year, and am totally jealous of everyone who ran it this year (and the medal is so much cooler than what I got!).

    I ran the National Half, and HATED the course, it doesn’t come close to the MCM!
    Carla Runs The World´s last post ..Do you train on a treadmill?

    • Yes! And the second half of National was even worse!! I’m guessing it’ll change this year now that it’s a Rock ‘n Roll race, but it’s not one that I’d do again. MCM, on the other hand, is definitely one I want to repeat someday!

  11. Lauren — you are amazing!! I love your recaps. Thank YOU for the inspiration :)

    PS – Paula and I are planning on watching Hood to Coast in the car on the way up to Savannah today (yes, I got the DVD)! Can’t wait :)
    Michelle @ Crazy*Running*Legs´s last post ..Let’s Get This Show On The Road

  12. Congratulations on your PR. I’m excited to read about your goals for marathon #7. :)

  13. I cannot even begin to describe how in awe of you I am! I can’t even run a 5k at your marathon pace! You are amazing, I hope you are SO proud of yourself!

  14. Wow lady you are a total rockstar! I am again and again impressed by you. Congrats!
    Stephanie´s last post ..Picture Perfect

  15. Wow!! This race recap was so amazing. I am so impressed by your ability to keep going through the pain. I have run a few halfs and cannot even imagine the mental strength it would take for the full. I’ve always thought that the MCM would be the full I’d want to do IF I ever decided to try. Congrats on your awesome finish time!!!

    • Thank you! MCM markets itself to first-timers, so I think it’d be a good first one to do. Some people hate dealing with the crowds on the course, but it really was incredibly well organized and the Marine volunteers are great. If you want to make the leap to a full, I’d definitely recommend MCM!

  16. I just love your race recaps! Congrats on the new marathon PR. The fact that you dug deep down and knew you wanted to race after all those months of training with a “we’ll see, no pressure” attitude is amazing.

  17. What a great recap! It was so exciting following you on Twitter during the race too. Thanks for doing that! Excited to see where your next race takes you… Great job girl!! You will definitely get your sub 3:15!

  18. I loved every little word of your recap! Way to (embrace?) the pain and PUSH forward. Amazing!!!!!

  19. What a great race report. I felt like I was right there with you. Wow…do run that time after feeling that crappy is IMPRESSIVE.

    You are awesome and that sub 3:15 is out there waiting for you.

    Congrats on a great race.
    Lisa´s last post ..Inspiring Woman Inspiring Women #1

  20. CONGRATULATIONS, Lauren! This is a stellar recap. I felt like I was running there with you the whole time…and I was exhausted just thinking about a sub-7:00 mile mid-marathon!

    It’s amazing to me that you hit a rough spot early on and continued to push hard and power through. I’ve learned that the mental battles can be so much more difficult to overcome than the physical ones, and you championed over both.

    I also couldn’t stop smiling when you wrote about your “happy miles.” You are one Hell of a racer and your determination is so admirable.

    IN-PERSON CELEBRATIONS IN 24 HOURS! CAN’T WAIT!!!
    Ali´s last post ..Thankful Things Thursday: On Good Food, Central Park Running & Living Alone

  21. NICE! Excellent race recap. So glad you gritted through the pain and PR’d!! CONGRATS!
    So – what marathon are you considering for #7??

    • I’m doing Boston 2012 (signed up in September) but am also eyeing another potential spring marathon. I’ve never done 2 in one season, though, so we’ll see…

  22. Awesome, awesome job! This is such a great recap. You should be so proud of how much butt you kicked (even when you felt like crap). I ran MCM too (albeit much slower) and Hains Point was the worst! Probably because it’s in no-mans land….anyway you did such a great job and I can’t wait to hear about Marathon #7!!!!

    BTW, how did you copy your MarathonPhoto pics? I can’t for the life of me figure it out.
    Steph´s last post ..What I Want Wednesday.

    • It’s actually just a screen shot. I just cropped the photo out (shhh! ;)) I thought about buying some of the prints, but even the digital ones are incredibly expensive!

  23. Congrats, Lauren! What a gritty race! I swear I felt the pain in your legs as I read through your recap :)
    Well done on the PR

  24. Excellent recap – congrats on the sub 3:20! I’ll be honest; I really loved reading this recap because when I see runners like you and Dorothy, I tend to think that races are somehow easier for you because you’re faster, stronger runners. (I know, there is some wacked-out logic in there). This post reminded me that we all have to work extra hard to meet our goals, whether they be 3:20, 4:20, or 5:20, and once those objectives are accomplished, we all deserve to celebrate the hell out of them. Thanks for sharing your recap!
    Megan @ On the Road Again´s last post ..October Opulence in Review

  25. CONGRATS! That’s an amazing race and an awesome recap too! You should be very proud of pushing through the doubt and pain. As Megan just said, it is somewhat reassuring to know that someone as fast and talented as you also have moments of despair when you’re just not sure if your body can do it. Way to go on proving that you can!
    Brigid @ Live Breathe Huzzah´s last post ..Comment on 30 Before 30 by A Day Late – November Goals! | Live, Breathe, Huzzah!

  26. What a fabulous recap! And what an amazing job you did :) Congrats on that PR!
    XLMIC´s last post ..It’s not a Lawn Jockey…

  27. I’m so happy for you Lauren! You totally kicked booty earning that PR. I’m so sorry you were in so much pain, but that just shows how incredibly amazing and inspiring you are- that you were able to PR in spite of it. I know one day you will stay ahead of the 3:15 pacer the whole race :)

  28. Love the race recap Lauren–great job representing PVD ;-) I am in awe of your ability to just power through!

  29. That is awesome Lauren! Congrats on running such a strong race and the PR!

    I hope to have the MCM on my race calendar for next year.
    jill conyers´s last post ..Three Things Thursday

  30. Congratulations!! You are a rock star & total inspiration. Hold your head up high – you dug deep when things got hard and completely earned every second of your PR!!

    I ran MCM this year too – my 2nd marathon. Tough day for me, but I loved the course & know I have a better 26.2 in me, so I’ll be back… ;)

  31. you are such an inspiration to me! your splits and overall times amaze me.

    i just have a few questions:
    -how do you fuel for the race? like do you carb load the night before or just eat normal. and then what do you eat the morning of the race?
    -then how many gu’s do you eat throughout the race?
    -and then what do you eat after the race?

    i hope it’s not weird that i asked all those questions haha. i am just getting into running marathons and i have been loving it so far :)
    Haley @ Health Freak College Girl´s last post ..why so serious?

    • Thanks Haley! I am so sorry for taking so long to get back to you about this. Instead of writing a novel in the comments, I will send you a very detailed email tomorrow!

  32. Phenomenal recap of the #MCM! Congrats on the PR. You are an inspiration to so many of us.

  33. WOW. I just found your blog this morning. I don’t even remember how I got directed here but the MCM recap was brilliant. I laughed and cried and was cheering for you (although the marathon had already come and gone!). Thank you for sharing.
    clarissa´s last post ..Moving to New York with pets.

  34. hooray! Nice work, Lauren! What a fantastic recap. I love this: “I was going to run until my legs fell off.” Totally keeping that in my thoughts for Sunday. Thanks for being such a great running inspiration. AND I’m excited to see you this weekend, I hope!!
    Kelly´s last post ..4 Days: Things to Know About NYCM

  35. AWESOME race report! It is getting me geared up for my marathon this weekend1 Congrats on an amazing PR, too! You are going to crush Boston!
    Katie´s last post ..Another NYCM post

  36. Congratulations on your PR. Before reading your race recap, I had no interest in doing a military themed race, but the pictures of the tandem jumpers actually made me cry.

    I’m glad you stuck it out!
    Lily Fluffbottom´s last post ..November Goals

  37. Glad I read this before NYC -thanks LB!!!
    Meggie´s last post ..Dear Self…

  38. what a great and thoughtful recap! i felt like i was running the marathon with you…

    oh man, that last trudge to the finish…i’ve so been there…when your legs feel like they weigh a thousand pounds and you can barely lift them..but still – you PR’d and that is awesome. i can’t wait to “virtually” train with you for Boston and hopefully we can rock some of those race miles together? 3:15, yeah?!
    Megan (The Runner’s Kitchen)´s last post ..Insider Tips for the NYC Marathon

  39. Congrats on the PR! A PR is a PR is a PR and you can’t complain about that! I loved this recap because MCM was my first marathon oh so long ago and I remember as a blur right now because I had no idea what I was doing.

    Even though those last mile felt like a march to the finish, you still always manage to impress me with your splits! All miles still sub-8? That’s pretty impressive! I know you weren’t sure how this was going to go as you headed into the marathon, but you always manage to race like a champ…something about that starting gun and the race atmosphere totally works. I’m excited for some hardcore training this winter and totally CRUSHING our PRs at Boston in the spring. It looks like with you, Dorothy, and maybe Megan (as I see above!), we could have quite the group going for us. 3:10 in 2012…
    Susan´s last post ..ain’t nothing as sweet as the sound of a crowd

  40. Your race recaps are the best..Congratulations (again) Lauren!!! I am so proud of you. You are such an amazing runner. I can understand the disappointment of running at your 3:15 pace and then having to slow down, but the fact that you came back mentally from that disappointment and still PRed is pretty incredible and says a lot about your determination! I love everything about this post and hope you are enjoying your trip to NYC!
    Corey´s last post ..Turning it around

  41. Way to PR by mere seconds! I did the same thing at my second half marathon earlier this year.
    I ran MCM as my first marathon and agree with you that mile 10/11 was my most favorite spot on the entire course!!!!

  42. Way to push through all of the highs and lows that came with your race. Fighting through the sharp pain and hitting the wall is down right impressive! Congrats on the PR and thank you so much for sharing it with us. You really attacked that race, and this experience is going to prepare you for that sub 315 in marathon #7.
    Nancy@triathletestrials´s last post ..Triple T 2012′s Epic Duo

  43. Congrats!!!
    Lauren´s last post ..Perseverance- Breaking 2 Hours

  44. Great blog Lauren, I always wondered what went through your head during winter track you were always appeared so calm. Couldn’t stop reading, congrats on your accomplishments!!
    Katie Obes

  45. Lauren,
    I just found your blog through Theodora’s. WOW. I am so excited to run MCM…(not like I wasn’t before!) Thanks for sharing, and congrats on your race!

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