Monday, May 20, 2013

Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon

The Red Felts descended upon Fredericksburg, VA, this weekend for the Marine Corps Historic Half.  As I've learned, the Marines put on the best races. Well organized and awesome course support!!  And when you need a push, there's something about a Marine yelling at you to "keep going" "you've got this"!!  

Pre-Race:  About 40 Felters met up for dinner the night before the race!!  A bit overwhelming at first, but completely awesome to meet up with friends who I usually only get to chat with online! 

Race Day:  A 5am wake up call is never fun.  I always question my sanity about racing on race mornings :)  We unfortunately didn't make the large RFRC meetup due to the road closures, but we had a small mini-meet up at the hotel.  The hotel location was perfection!  Walking distance to the Start/Finish/Expo!  It was nice staying inside until it was go time!

Course:  Holy Hills Batman!!   I was warned about "Hospital Hill", but I had no idea about the others that were thrown in for fun.  Gotta love the Marines sense of humor !!   I found a really great pace for the first 3 miles, then hit the 1st hill and completely lost steam (and started feeling the affects of the humidity).  After mile 5, I just couldn't get my groove back and then luckily met up with a couple friends along course!  Always a pick me up!  Running is such a mental game for me.  At mile 10, I can usually "suck it up" and say "only a 5K to go"!  Mile 10 for the Historic Half is where Hospital Hill started, so the last 5K was primarily all uphill!  OUCH!   Luckily Will.I.Am came blasting through my headphones with #thatPOWER right then.  Miles 11-12 were really, really hard.  I wanted to stop, I wanted to quit.  Then I found Ed on course again - gotta love the RFRC shirts!  I finished strong for the last mile in and my time was 2:18:07 for the Half.  Not my best, not my worst, but definitely my most challenging race to date, both physically and mentally.  And being presented your medal (which are HUGE) by a Marine is humbling! 

Running has shown me that you CAN do it, not to ever give up, and running with friends is the best gift ever!  This weekend was wonderful even though I sit here the following morning nursing sore muscles!  

If you've never run a Marine Corps race, put one on your to-do list!  They are the most organized and well supported races I've ever had the pleasure of doing!   Looking forward to October where I can see all these wonderful people again and to run with the Marines!

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