Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Pounding the DC streets:Marine Corp Marathon

If I were sum up my experience leading up to the Marine Core Marathon, I would say” cautious optimism”, with merely one 20 mile training run, and over 3 weeks of lay-off from running due to my calf injury. I entered the Marine Corp start line feeling much like an injured recouping Cheetah who thinks he can run faster and longer than the fastest antelope because he just devoured a dead one for the last meal.

With that being said here is a report. The start line was about a mile long, and I couldn't get to my corral. It was jam packed , and with streets that seemed narrower that what I had seen in a similar sized marathon in Chicago for upto over first 10 miles , I had to weave through the slower runners to get ahead so the target pace could be maintained. That was a big lesson, always start with your pace group in big marathons, if not you will have to work way harder to get ahead to a similar paced runners. There were a few hills, but overall the course was pretty un-daunting, when I compare to Little Rock or Atlanta. All until the 21st mile, my pace was on target to complete the desired goal of sub 3.55, and then I hit the wall. Not entirely surprised considering the volume of my training, but disappointed that the supplements and the other mumbo-jumbo didn’t help ( that’s the Cheetah metaphor!) , and the voice inside went “ Dude , marathons is all about training . PERIOD”. I has to zip it and agree to that, while my tired legs carried me through the finish line in 4 hours and 8 minutes.

Here is the profound part. While a lot of us runners obsess over our finish times and splits , in the end it boils down to the mere privilege of being able to complete a marathon, which in its 26.2 miles offers a simulation of our many life’s triumph and tribulations. There will always be people who are faster and some who are slower, and sometimes you surprise yourself by doing better than planned, but what matters is what you gave to the pursuit, and I confess I gave this run all I had, and rest my case.

The race course was beautiful; weather was a perfect autumn day. It was a memorable experience to run around the National Mall area, the Washington Monument, the museum district, the capitol and beautiful parks. My other running compatriots from the gang ( Suds,Pasha ,Sudhakar and Pramod) did well and reportedly enjoyed their experience of the race. My verdict, a highly recommended race to run!

( Pic above: At the expo..)

( Pic above : With Rohit and SI at the starting line)

( Pic Above: AT finish line posing with a Mascot)


Roopa said...

Congratulations on another successful Marathon ! You are an Awesome "Runner " ! You always give it your best and you always come back knowing there is more to give ! I am so proud of you ! Good luck for the next one !!

RK said...

& just like in life, it doesn't really matter what "the #" was, it just matters that despite setbacks, you did the best you could; were smart enough to realize when you "hit the wall", and didn't do anything stupid to hurt yourself for future marathons!! Good job!! A colleague of mine from GM ran the same one, hear all about how great the course was :)