formats

It’s a week later and I still kind of can’t believe it. I still don’t know just what to say.

My partner in crime before the race

My partner in crime before the race

The first 16 miles were amazing. The five after that, not the worst thing ever. The final five? Torture.

Okay, maybe not torture. But really, really hard.

Me, post-race

I don’t look like I’ve been tortured, do I?

I had a few problems:

  • My shoes were too loose until mile 16; I think this is why I hurt so much at the end.
  • I didn’t give myself enough mileage in those shoes – they weren’t broken in enough and weren’t similar enough to my old pair of Nikes to be okay with that.
  • I didn’t bring my own water.  This was absolutely, no doubt, my biggest mistake. I thought, with the cooler weather and the many water stops, I would be okay, but I was wrong.  My fingers started to swell up around mile 19 and I couldn’t drink enough to help after that. I just know by now that I need a lot of water and plan accordingly.

But lots of things also went well!

Somewhere around mile 18 or 19

Somewhere around mile 18 or 19 – we still look good!

  • The pacing was dead-on perfect throughout the race for the five-hour mark we were  looking to hit.
  • I had two amazing support crews! I saw Team 1 (my parents, husband, and college friend) three times! I saw my grad school friend and her super-cool sister twice! It was so amazing and they are all so wonderful for coming out to cheer us on.
  • I felt absolutely, 100% legitimately great for the first 16 miles. I can’t reiterate how great that makes me feel.
  • I had no chafing and didn’t lose any toenails.
  • I didn’t get sick and I only had to stop to use the bathroom once during the race.
  • It didn’t rain! The hurricane held off until Monday afternoon so while it was windy, it wasn’t terrible and it was nice and dry.
  • My recovery was extremely smooth, thanks to an ice bath, stretching, and Ben Gay. YESSSSS.
Post-race, with my mom and a medal

I SURVIVED! Thanks, Mom!

I also learned a few of really race-specific things. For instance, don’t pee at the runners village! There will be more port-a-johns at the start and they will be less crowded. The overpasses at the end – specifically the ones after Crystal City – are just miserable. Also, when meeting your family at the family meeting area? Always pick the letter A, not the actual letter of your last name. So much less walking, especially if you have a late-in-the-alphabet name.

Tomi made it too!

Tomi made it too! Faster than I did!

Will I do another marathon? I’m…not sure. Other runners have advised putting at least a year between your first and second marathon. I think that’s absolutely sound. While I feel incredibly proud to have finished a marathon, I’m not 100% sure I want to put that much time into competing in another one. I’m thinking about it, but I think it tells you something that my first reaction on finishing Marine Corps was: “I don’t think I want to do that again.” Telling in that I didn’t think I wanted to do it again, but also that I wasn’t sure. So it’s still on the table! But not for quite some time.

Here are some pictures, in more-or-less chronological order:

Heading to the start!

Heading to the start!

We look fresh and ready for the race!

We look fresh and ready for the race!

In Georgetown

In Georgetown

We see our people just before we get to the 14th Street Bridge

We see our people just before we get to the 14th Street Bridge

Blowing kisses

Blowing kisses

We lived! And found our people! And man, are we TIRED.

We lived! And found our people! And man, are we TIRED.

Post-race celebration

Post-race celebration

And a special, enormous thank-you to my family, my husband, my dear, dear friends who put up with all the nights I said, “I can’t, I have to run tomorrow.” You guys are the best and I couldn’t have done this without you.

 

Comments

  1. Sara says:

    Congratulations! That’s pretty amazing for so many reasons. And I’d been waiting for this recap of the race.

    1. Megan says:

      Thank you! I had meant to have it up last week, but I didn’t know quite what to say for a long time. It was such a big experience putting it into words was tough.

  2. Tomi says:

    I love the picture of your parents taking care of us! As always, they did such a good job.

    1. meg says:

      They are pretty great. We were pretty pathetic.

  3. Quin says:

    When I finished my first marathon, I said, “Never again!” And I meant it…for about 2 months. Then the little voice in my head starting telling me that I could run faster. I could have a better race next time. So, here I am four marathons later 🙂 If you never run another marathon, that’s cool. If you do run another marathon, well, that’s cool, too. There is a statistic out there that only 0.5% of the US population has run a marathon. You are a part of that tiny number now and I think that is pretty doggone cool. Congrats, again!

    1. meg says:

      Glad I’m not the only one! I expect I will run another one eventually, but I think I need some time to think about it some more.

      That is a crazy tiny amount! I feel all elite now. 😉

      Thank you! Congrats to you and Kristi too!

  4. Cyndi O'Brien says:

    Megan…..You were stupendous……I am sooooooo proud of you……it was the least we could do to cheer you and Tomi on……..the Daring Dragons loved the pictures of you in the race…they all wanted to know how you liked their posters…I told them you loved them…..we were so lucky to be able to be there and witness your awesome race!!!…………….Love you lots…always and forever……Mom

  5. Rob Weir says:

    Oh man. We’re not worthy. Congratulations!

    1. meg says:

      Thank you!