Thursday, October 22, 2009

Haines Point: Marine Corps Marathon

I've been talking alot lately on my personal blog about Marine Corps Marathon(I'm running this Sunday). I've been getting alot of questions about the race and I think some of them may be beneficial for any of you mommies running on Sunday. So here is a bit of a cut and paste job from my other blog - hope you enjoy :) Run Happy Mommies!!

Haines Point(East Potomac Park) - These two words used to evoke fear among Marine Corps Marathon runners. This, the loneliest stretch of the race, came at about 20 miles. Not only were you already starting to possibly feel defeated or hit the wall but then you were hit with this windy, lonely, peninsula that is surrounded by the chilly waters of DC. Because it is a peninsula it is very hard for spectators to get too - so don't count on seeing anyone during this part of the course. I've never run it when it wasn't windy out there. So like I've said before if you like wearing hats, wear one so you can tuck your head down a little and avoid getting any junk in your eyes. Also depending on what time of day you hit this point it can be extra sunny as the trees do not cover the whole road. Try to stick to the sides of the road where there is the most shade and remember to put sunscreen all over, even though you will hardly think you need it before you start.

Good news though. YOU are stronger than this part of the race. ANNNNND no longer is this part of the race at around 20 miles. Last year they changed the course and so runners will hit this-not-so-fun little stretch at about 12-14 miles. So like I said YOU are stronger than this lonely little stretch. Be sure to have your race day mantras ready to tell yourself(in your head of course) through this bit and you will be good to go!

Next question to address is the corral system and going out too fast. I've been asked how you could start out too fast with so many people at the start slowing you down. Yes - there are a zillion and one runners out there. However it's really up to each individual to place themselves in the correct corral, meaning that some people who are slower than you will start in your corral and some people who are faster than you will start in your corral. So really there is no way of knowing if the person next to you is going too fast or too slow. You will also have TONS of adrenaline flowing through your body. There isn't a Marine Corps start that has not reduced me to tears. Tears of joy, of excitement, of pride in this wonderful country we call the US of A. So it's easy when the gun goes off to let your emotions get the best of you and take off like the wind. You will feel great, it won't feel fast, you will think WOW I am kicking butt right now....but it's too fast and you will pay for it later. Better to start out too slow than to go too fast. Also don't waste energy weaving around people. Trust me - it's very aggravating at the start and tons of energy can be wasted passing's part of the reason why I keep trying smaller unknown races. Just keep telling yourself though that you are running your own race and let these people do all the weaving - you will be passing them in the late stages of the race when you feel great and they don't. Run the pace you planned to start out at(everyone in my opinion should come up with a reasonable game plan before the race). For me this pace is going to be around 8 minutes - much slower than I started out at Freedom's Run....hopefully this will help me not give up in the later miles like I did there. PATIENCE is very very important when it comes to the marathon distance, it's like no other race, which is part of it's lure.

As for me - I went on my last easy run before MCM this morning - pushing the babies of course. Then I sat them in the grass to watch me run strides on my street. I may do some more strides early Saturday morning if I have time. I'm taking a Road Runners Club of American Running Coaching Class that meets all day Friday and all day Saturday - so I will be MIA. This means that I had to head to the store today to stock up on food for Sunday and my own food for the next two days. They will be providing food for us, but like I've said before - this is not the time to try new things. I bought four, yes four bags of brown rice - remember that we need to store up as much glycogen in our muscles as possible right now. Bananas for potassium, apples for fiber, water - to force me to drink the enter huge bottle each day - chocolate z bars, peanut butter puffins and sugar free red bull for before the race, and a magazine to take my mind off all this marathon stuff!

If you have any more questions let me know today!! Otherwise I'll be back Sunday afternoon!! Off to go do laundry and pack my bag for Sunday :)

Good LUCK all MCM'ers


morgan said...

I'm packing my bag, too. Expo on Friday. Taking the metro early on Sunday. Good luck -- have fun -- I was thrilled when they changed the course last year so Haines Point was early on.

I'll be behind you (you are a speedy woman! and I'm not slow!). But if you see a runner with the "ADAMS" on her blue shirt, that's me! My goal is to start at 9-9:20s and speed up to 8:30-9s (I can't believe it is possible to speed up -- but I'm going to trust). Or just stay at 9s. Plan A, finish in under 4 hours. Plan B: whatever!

Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal said...

My training partner didn't really believe in running slow at the start either. Last year she ran 3:34 at MCM. This year she decided to start slow at Columbus and just ran a 3:18! Her 2nd half was faster than the first half :) Now she is a believer.

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I’d sweetie to be sensible that too!

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