The Best Race of the Year! Marine Corps Marathon: Race Recap – Running in the Rain!

I never had the opportunity to write a detailed blog post about my experience at the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon. It was definitely my favorite race of the year. And now that today is 365/365 of 2019, I thought it was the last and perfect time to tell you my story. 

As you start setting 2020 running goals, and finalizing registration forms on future races, I hope you feel inspired and motivatedI mean, it was a decade ago, that I myself, found inspiration after reading an article on a flight to Massachusetts. It was about a man who set a New Years resolution to run his first marathon in Hawaii. Then I ran my very first 26.2 and got hooked, (this year I ran my 6th full.) So here you go, sit back and relax because this one is a good one.

Wow! Wow! Wow! – What a race!

Never have I ever, run a marathon in that kind of rain!

The week leading up to the Marine Corps Marathon, there was lots of chatter about the rain that was coming. It went from… “It’s not going to be a wash out. There is only a 50% chance of rain… to 80%, to 100% chance of rain. As more rain took over the forecast the temperatures also went up. The prediction: rainy, but warm.

It was all true. I woke up to rain drops making noise on the medal awning that covers my front porch.

“Oh, there it is – it truly is raining.” I thought.

It was 5:30 am, pitch black because the sun had yet to come up. I tip toed to the bathroom, where all my racing running gear was laid out, ready to go. I took a quick shower to wake up and warm up my muscles. I got dressed. After much debate the night before, I finally decided on my Oiselle team Volée crop and pocket joggers – hoping they would hold up in the rain comfortably without chaffing, or being to hot or to cold. 

Out the door I went, grabbing an umbrella and my breakfast – water bottle, applesauce pouch, and half of a bagel with peanut butter – it always does the trick.

Because my two daughters and husband were sleeping soundly, I drove to my mom’s house, who lives near the pentagon and I had her drop me off as close to the start as she could. Just like years in the past, I followed all of the other runners to the start, looking for familiar faces. But this year, it was hard to recognize anyone, because everyone was hiding from the rain under ponchos and umbrellas, desperately trying to stay dry. Even as I huddled under my umbrella, I could feel my socks and shoes starting to become soaked with rain.

“Well it is, what it is…” I told myself, “No matter what happens, I know one thing…. today we are going to get wet. Today we are going to be running in the rain.”

It was the mental talk I needed. I wasn’t going to let a little rain get to me. I’ve run in rain before and it can be refreshing and fun. I thought back to the 90 degree summer days when I was chugging along on the MVT during my long run, praying for any little bit of rain to cool me off.

Once at the start, I headed to the UPS bag check to meet my dad who also was running the marathon. When he arrived, I checked my bag and umbrella, and put on the plastic poncho, he gave me to stay as dry as I could.

THE START was rainy. We were all squished in, wearing ponchos trying to stay warm and dry, waiting patiently in the back of the 4:30 corral. But because of the rain it wasn’t as exciting as years in the past. There was no military jets flying above us, and no navy seals parachuting on to the course. No beach balls being tossed around. It was even hard to get photos, because my phone was tucked away in a zip lock bag.

However, the gun went off and the race began. And around 8:05 we were off heading down 110, through Rosslyn, and up Lee Highway.

My husband and daughters, along with my mom and friend, Elissa, were waiting for us at mile 2/3 on the right hand side. We saw them immediately, and after hugs and high fives, we were off again.

At this point, my dad and I decided that I should go on ahead. I was feeling pretty good and wanted to see what I could do. And because he had surgery in the middle of this marathon build up, he had to take a 3 week break from running. So he had no time goal in mind and was planning on “just finishing.”

I picked up the pace, and “politely” began to weave around other runners… “I got to find the 4:30 pacer,” I told myself.

Running up Rock Creek Park was beautiful, but the rain started pouring on us. Heavy rain drops made it hard to even see. At this point, I spotted the 4:30 pacer in the distance, but didn’t think I could catch him.

In the mean time, I realized that my watch was paused. Because I have a 5 year old Garmin – it is a touch screen. I must have wiped away rain to see the face and accidentally paused it. I wasn’t sure how long it was paused for, but once I started it up again my GPS was off. As I came to a mile marker, I realized it was catching up, and only 10-20 seconds off. Regardless, I wasn’t sure my exact pace and timing, and decided not to worry, and from then on I ran by feel.

On the Key Bridge, I ended up spotting two other Oiselle Birds, Meghan and Jen, from my running group Oiselle Volée. Which I chatted with them for a bit, but went on ahead.

Running over bridges is one of my favorite things, and the Key Bridge never disappoints. However, this time around, I forgot to take in the view, because I was more concerned about catching that 4:30 pacer.

Down Wisconsin to the waterfront, under the bridge, heading towards the Kennedy Center. Passing the Kennedy Center to the Memorial Bridge Stairs.

At mile 10, my pace was feeling good and consistent, and then I spotted Oiselle Birds, Courtney and Becca, cheering on the sidelines – it was awesome to see them.

Spectator support is what Marine Corps Marathon is known for, and is one of the aspects of the race that makes the experience so special. The fact that there might be a smaller “spectator” turn out, because of the rain had me worried. However, as I was running I only noticed it was a little less than years before. Because it was a warm rain, people still showed up to cheer, and I was impressed and thankful for it. Spectators are awesome – it makes a difference hearing their cheers.

Onward… I went running through the Blue Mile. The blue mile is a mile where we remember fallen soldiers. Their photos line the mile on both sides. It’s always an emotional mile. The rain really poured, almost as if the sky was crying, American flags blew in the breeze.

At this point I was half way through, leaving Hains Point and heading to the National Mall. The rain was still coming down, and my iPhone headphones completely stopped working. No music, at all! But the crowd was supportive enough, so I didn’t let it agitate me.

On the National Mall, I saw familiar faces cheering at mile 16. And then I noticed the 4:20 pacer. I asked how accurate he was, turns out he was on point. I couldn’t believe, I caught up and was splashing through puddles with the 4:20 pace group at the Marine Corps Marathon. – I might not break 4 hours, but the possibility of setting a new PR wasn’t far out of reach.

At mile 17, I was still rocking it with a smile. This marathon training cycle, I trained using the Hanson’s marathon method which has a 16 mile long run instead of the typical 20 miler. It has a focus on quality volume and balance. I customized the plan to fit my needs and did one 20 miler, however most of my long runs were 16 milers. I’ll write a detailed post about this training method and the benefits later. However, with that being said, when I hit mile 17, I knew I only had 9 miles left – entering single digits, and only had 3 more miles, until I BEAT THE BRIDGE – hitting mile 20, leaving Washington, DC, heading up and down the 14th street bridge to “Crystal City” Arlington, VA.

At mile 19, I pulled off to the side to text my husband, to let him know I was running towards the bridge. I was going to be in Crystal City in no time. The rain had stopped, so I ditched my plastic bag that was covering my phone, so I could continue communicating with my husband if needed.

At mile 20, BEAT the Bridge. It was slightly up hill, then on the flat service of the bridge I ran onward. The sun really started to shine bright, and it was getting hot. The bridge is always a hard spot because there are very few spectators, and a lot of runners “hit the wall” and start to walk. There was a self serve water station, but I didn’t need water, I could wait until Crystal City. Down hill I ran as I approached Virginia. I kept my eyes open for my Oiselle Volée running group who had a cowbell corner set up at mile 22.

Off the bridge a ran, and not long into Crystal City I spotted them, at mile 22, my Oiselle Volée team. They are the loudest most supportive running group of them all. Their cheers and high-fives definitely lifted me up.

Next up, looking for my husband and daughters. They were at mile 23. I pulled off to the side to chat with them. They gave me well wishes as I headed to the finish, and told me they were going to hang back to see if they could spot my dad, aka Grandpa Poppy.

Leaving Crystal City and looping near the Pentagon, at mile 24/25, I was then on 110… I could see the finish line in the far distance. At this point my pace was slowing a little, but my mental game was still strong. “Just get to the next street sign.” I whispered my mantra, “I got this! I was born to run.”

I saw the Memorial Bridge street sign and knew it wasn’t much further before I would be making a left up the hill to the finish.

Mile 26/26.2… I was there under a balloon filled arch with a sign that said HILL, heading up to the finish. It happened so fast, that the next thing I realized a Marine was draping a finishers medal around my sweaty neck. We shook hands, I thanked him for his service, and we snapped a photo…. It’s tradition!

As I wondered around the finishers village, I had received a text message from my husband saying he didn’t see my dad and that he was getting the car to meet me. I started tracking my dad and saw that his estimated finishing time was in 20 minutes! But it was too crowded to head back to the finish line.

The finisher village… I proudly walked around the finisher village with my medal shining. I went to the beer tent, and drank a cold one. I enjoyed the live music playing in Rosslyn. I headed to the UPS trucks to grab my checked bag. I chatted it up with some friendly runners from Boston who told me that the Boston Marathon has a lot of egos (first negative comment I’ve ever heard about Boston) and that there is nothing like running the Marine Corps Marathon.

Finishing Time … So how did I do?! I know you want to know. I didn’t break 4 hours, but I am very happy to say I finished in 4:18:06, which I actually didn’t know when I crossed the finish line. It wasn’t until my sister told me my official time (because she was tracking me) that I had set a new PR on this course. Wow! That was such a hard race, and I ran totally by feel, no accurate watch to show me time and pace along the way.

I eventually want to break 4 hours, but for several reasons, Marine Corps Marathon is a tough course to run fast on.

Overall, I am happy for a new PR and the experience and privilege to Run with the Marines! Plus look at this medal!

In 2019, I ran my 6th full marathon. I trained using a different training plan, the Hanson’s Marathon Method, while trusting in myself to customize the plan based on my own needs. I also (with my girls in the stroller), reached my goal of running a total of 1000 miles for the year. And I did that, while balancing work and motherhood (my babies always come first.) Maybe 2020 will be my year to break 4 in the marathon!? We shall see, one thing I know for sure, I’ll be running a lot, and mothering a lot, and having a whole lot of fun while doing it!

Happy New Year!

Boise Running ~ Marathon Training

~ BOISE RUNNING ~ Marathon Training Yesterday, I went out for my long run with no real goals, I’m in an area that I’m not familiar with on a family vacation. Mom guilt is real, and I didn’t want to be out there running for over 3 hours leaving the family. I can always squeeze one last long run in once I’m home. So game plan has changed slightly, and I confidently switched next week and this week’s long runs. So I will be running a 16-20 mile long run when I get home, then start properly tapering.

This running community of ours is pretty amazing! One of my favorite things about it is connecting with other runners! The running group I run for is the Oiselle Volee is nation wide. And because of how awesome social media is these days it’s so easy to be able to connect and stay in touch with others all over the world. Because I’m more active on social media now than before, I was able to get referrals of where to run in Boise and look up information, maps, etc through google and Instagram.

I ended up reaching out to Oiselle’s Idaho Volee seeing if there were any meet ups. And yesterday, I got the opportunity to meet up with another Oiselle Bird, Nicole from the Idaho Volee. She ran the first 50 minutes with me for my long run! It was awesome because she pushed me to run a little faster – which I know I can. I ended up easing into a rhythm and keeping my pace up – running a speedy 12 mile long run along the Boise River Green Belt.

It felt so good and easy, which is what

it should feel like at this point in my training. The Marine Corps Marathon is 3 weeks out.

Running in Boise has been an amazing experience. (For those who love numbers) I ran 40 miles this week in Boise. Started the week with a 10.5 stroller run + 2 mile cool down walk, ended the week yesterday with a speedy 12 mile long run, and ran plenty of miles in between mostly stroller miles. I mainly stuck to running the gorgeous Boise River Green Belt, but I did do one East Boise neighborhood run, with views of the Foot Hills and Canal!

Next time I come out, I definitely want to explore running the foot hills, or heading out further on the Green Belt, honestly any direction you turn the views are spectacular! Thanks for being so gorgeous and fun Boise! Now off another adventure – up next Idaho Falls, then Yellowstone, and ending the month with the Marine Corps Marathon.

Kisses after a 4 mile run

Nothing is better than a salty kiss from my three year old, after a four mile run. Little Miss Zoe made me a mother runner, and I am so thankful this child still asks to go running with me.

However, she did got through a phase where she hated it. She would strand up in the stroller. She was scream and fuss to get out. She would beg to do the running part.

I would try to engage with her, but at the end it was more time consuming and mentally challenging than it was worth. So I took a break from running with her.

Then this spring she started asking to come along. Our stroller runs became enjoyable again. She still talks my ear off most runs, and we always go to the playground after. But honestly, nothing makes me happier than to have both of my girls with me. They are my biggest cheerleaders, and their little high fives and kisses are the best!

The 35th GW Parkway Classic 10 miler – race recap.

It’s medal Monday, and I ran/raced one of my all time favorite races yesterday morning, 4/28/19 – the GW Parkway Classic.

One of my first blog posts or maybe it was the first post for this blog was a recap of this race. I run/race it every year, in exception for the years I was either pregnant or a month postpartum. With that being said, I didn’t run it last year because I was 4/5 weeks postpartum, recovering from a c-section birth and I was actually out of town in Nashville/Chattanooga, being a MOH at my sister’s wedding.

The last two months have been great running months for me. I was consistent, increased my mileage volume, and worked on running faster. And now that my youngest daughter is 13 months, I’m finally feeling stronger and faster with every run. So I was ready to race this 10 miler, plus I wanted to get a faster time than my previous 10 mile race, the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, that I ran earlier this month. I normally always have a faster time at this race and do really great on the rolling hills.

The morning started with me realizing I didn’t get a good night sleep, but I got going anyway at 5:30 and quietly tip toed out of the house.

At 6:00, I met my dad at the shuttle bus, then we headed to the start. This was my dad’s first time running the Parkway Classic (he normally runs longer distances,) but I knew he was going to love this race.

I ran into a ton of people at the start, but meeting up with my Oiselle Volee team was by far one of my favorite groups to see. It was fun catching up with them. A lot of them ran the North Face Endurance Challenge Relay the day before.

The vibe at the start line is awesome such a relaxed vibe. Because it’s a local race, it feels like everyone is just from the neighborhood – most people probably are. I love that about this race. It is also super organized and well planned, because it is put on by runners, Pacers to be exact.

Start- Once we started running, I didn’t get to start my Strava or garmin right away. So my timing was a little bit off, but I didn’t worry, I just went with it.

First 5K – I ran the first 5K or so with my dad, and then he pulled off to grab water and told me to go on ahead.

I really love a rolling hill course because it’s fun to strategize. I decided to stay relaxed and run fast, but smooth on the downhills, and then climbed the uphills. I took in the stunning views and it was perfect weather.

Mile 5 –Unfortunately, around mile 5, I fell. Like literally fell down on the pavement. This has never happened to me during a race, but there were so many pot-holes on the parkway. My right knee was bloody, and my left hand skinned up. My phone was fine – thank goodness. I got right up and started running again, people around me asked if I was okay, and I totally was, just clumsy that’s all. However, it did slow me down. I eventually got my pace up again, but it slowed me down.

Mile 7-8 –Then around mile 7-8, I stopped at a water station to pull out my honey stinger chews for fuel. I couldn’t get the bag open. So I said, fuck it, grabbed some water and continued on. That wasted a lot of time fiddling around with the bag and then trying to get it back in my pocket – it ended up being one of my slowest mile. At the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, I never stopped for fuel, and I skipped some water stations, I just didn’t feel like I needed them. But this time I was hoping to have that sugar, to get me going so I could finish strong.

Mile 9 – Turns out around mile 9, I found Meghan, my Oiselle teammate. I asked her if she wanted to run the last mile and to the finish line with me. She said she did, so off we went “Head up, Wings out.” Honestly, it was so great racing side by side, and crossing the finish line with a friend. I probably would have slowed down, but instead we both finished strong!!

I finished in 1:25:28 which is not a PR and 20 seconds slower than the Cherry Blossom 10 miler I raced earlier this month, but I’m still very happy with this time and my race overall. If I had gotten a good night sleep and started my garmin/Strava right at the start… If I hadn’t fallen down at mile 5 or fiddled around with my chews at mile 8, I would have definitely set a new PR.

On another note, my dad crossed the finish line right after me. He set an awesome time! He crossed in 1:29 running right under a 9 minute mile, which is really speedy.

What a race!!!

Finish line party – Another great thing about this race is the finish line. It’s in a really gorgeous park with green grass and water front views. They have a beer garden, so my dad and I grabbed a beer. I normally don’t drink that much, but it felt great to have a cold beer after, and chat it up with some of my Oiselle teammates.

Overall Cheers to another great race and another race medal to hang up.

Head up, Wings out!

Hi there, my name is Meghan! Let me introduce myself with some fun running facts about me.

(Photo taken at mile 26 at the 2018 Marine Corps Marathon.)

There are a lot of new friends around here, reading my blog and following along my mother running journey on Instagram @sweat1xdaily. So I thought it was time to introduce myself and share some fun running facts. Enjoy!

✨hello there, My name is Meghan!

✨ I live with my husband, two baby girls, and my miniature pincher. We are located right over the bridge from our Nation’s Capitol, Washington, DC. I was born and raised here.

✨I’m a runner, who prefers roads over trails, and almost loves the training build up more than the race itself.

✨ My absolute favorite distance to run is the MARATHON! No matter how hard you train, anything could happen during 26.2 miles.

✨I love the excitement and energy of a huge road race. There is something really special and magical about toeing the line with several thousand runners who traveled near and far to be there. Everyone at the start, with a different running goal, but the same passion for running.

✨I run with two running groups, Oiselle Volée and MRTT, but most days I’m running with my own little running squad, pushing my daughters in the double BOB running stroller.

✨I’ve been running for 10 years, and have completed 5 full marathons. Two of those marathons were completed when I was postpartum. The last marathon I ran was this October, while I was 7 months postpartum and still breastfeeding my littlest babe.

✨I took a break from running when I was pregnant with my first daughter in 2015. It just didn’t feel good, and was no fun running that slow. I found other ways to stay active. I started running again at 12 weeks postpartum and ran the Marine Corps Marathon that October, with a new PR.

✨During my second pregnancy I never stopped running. Because I loved running pushing my toddler in the stroller, most of my pregnant miles were stroller miles. I took 7-8 weeks off from running, after I gave birth, but then started running again, and ran the Marine Corps Marathon at 7 months postpartum.

✨I’ve had two c-sections.

✨I love travel, and my bucket list marathons are Big Sur, New York City, Paris, Hawaii, and of course Boston. But running the World Marathons would be a pretty amazing experience and accomplishment… so a part of me wants to do that.

✨My favorite running documentary is Spirit of the Marathon. I usually watch it as part of my marathon race ritual and it always inspires.

✨I don’t have much of a desire to complete an Ultra, (but never say never…. The Marines are now including a 50K along side of the Marine Corps Marathon and 10K.) At this point though, I just want to run more marathons and run them faster. I have a huge goal to break 4 hours in the marathon, and eventually get fast enough to BQ. But the ultimate goal is to run a lifetime.

✨I read a lot of running books, but my two favorites are Born to Run and Eat and Run. I’ve read them a couple of times.

✨My favorite running podcasts are Another Mother Runner or I’ll Have Another.

✨I recently became a certified running coach through RRCA, and can’t wait to start coaching.

✨When I’m not mothering or running, I’m probably at the salon. I’m a hairstylist. Or… I’m knitting, you can’t keep me away from color, texture, and natural fibers.

✨My guilty pleasure is an iced Soy Chai Tea latte and a beautiful hand dyed colorful skein of yarn.

✨One day, I will own and live in a small beach cottage, on a hilltop, that overlooks the sea. But until then you can find me running all around DC, with views of the river that always sparkles, and the Monuments that leave me in awe every time I see them.

Now it’s your turn to share… what’s a fun fact about you?! I’d love to here it!

Marine Corps Marathon 2018 : Race Recap

“So he educated me on the long run…

The Marathon is an energy game… a game he had my attention. Going out to hard and surging wastes energy. You want to be smooth and economical. In the long run we are training the body’s energy system, to more readily burn fats over carbohydrates. You see this kind of efficiency in animals that migrate long distances, whales and birds notably- who glide with minimal movement slowly releasing their energy.”

~ Deena Kastor

My white board which hangs from my fridge reminds me of my mantras, as I head out the door … I whisper to myself… Fight + Keep Moving Forward, celebrate my pace every five miles, smile + run happy.

Here I am again, walking over to the Pentagon, under the dark early morning sky, waiting for the sun to make an appearance. Ready to toe the line at the Marine Corps Marathon, for the 5th time.

This time is a little different than the last. Last time, I had a solid training cycle, starting when Zoe was 10 months old ending when she was 14 months. I was able to fit in seven weeks of strength training after my c-section to rebuild my core, before attempting to run. Then I had seven months to build a solid base. I had three previous races under my belt, two ten milers, and a half marathon – in which I broke 2 hours. I set a new PR in the marathon.

This time, I only raced one race previously, the Navy Half Marathon, which I used as a time trial. Making it to the finish line in 2:10, I knew that realistically I could finish the marathon around 4:20:00.

This time around, Zoe – my very smart and energetic three year old, and Ava my “cuddle bug,” 7 month old baby, keeps me busy. Plus, I only had 5 weeks to base build after my c-section recovery. No time to strength train or work on speed. And now on race day, I am only 7 months postpartum, still breastfeeding, a mother of two.

There has been plenty of busy days, and sleepless nights. But I made it! I managed to fit in another marathon training cycle. Although, not as consistent as what I normally accomplish, the work still got done.

On race day, I quietly walk over to the start. I follow all the other runners. I over hear them nervously chatting among themselves, as I reflect on my training, and run through my game plan for the race. I continue to whisper to myself, “When things get tough I will … Fight, keep moving forward, celebrate my pace every 5 miles, smile, run happy.”

This is NOT a goal race for me, so no pressure to PR. I used this marathon training cycle, to regain my fitness after pregnancy, plus I was desperately craving the long run.

I recently listened to the interview of Paula Radcliffe, on the I’ll Have Another Podcast. She is the Marathon World Record holder, running it in 2:15:25. In the interview, she talks about the importance of building season upon season. One marathon training cycle and marathon is part of a series of steps, to your next goal race. So often, we focus to hard on one race, never thinking about the future ones or the big picture.

There is a season for everything. And this season is not about setting a new marathon PR, but rather regaining my fitness after pregnancy, and learning how to balance my life while including my two passions – running + motherhood.

This season Marine Corps Marathon, marathon number 5, is one of the series of steps to build upon. During this Marine Corps Marathon, I’m running for the experience. Instead of racing right passed everything, it’s time to take in the whole race – high five every Marine’s hand and thank them, gain energy from the spectators, laugh at every funny sign or T-shirt. Next marathon I’ll run for speed.

This whole marathon training cycle, I consistently, just showed up, to see what I could do. Now, I’m at the start of the Marine Corps Marathon, doing the same thing showing up to see what I can do. Let’s go!

THE START

After standing in the porta potty line waiting behind forty so other runners, I begin to run to check my bag. The porta potty line was moving so slowly I wonder if I’m going to miss the race. Finally at bag check, I meet my dad and we head to the corral. It’s pretty cool to run this marathon with my dad! I’m excited to cross the finish line with him.

My dad and I get down to the start, but it’s already crowded, we zig zag between people, but the best we can do is squeeze in at the 4:45 corral. Normally, I would have stood with the 4:15 corral or even the 4 hour, but it’s so crowded, so this will have to do.

Just as in years in the past, standing around in the corral waiting for the gun to go off, brought on all the exciting energy. I really love a big race. Nothing feels better than running a marathon on a beautiful day, with 35,000 other runners. It feels amazing.

Miles 1-5

Finally I hear the gun go off and the race begin.

Our first mile is slow, but I’m glad, because I want to give my husband a little more time to get my babies to mile 2, where they will be waiting and cheering. Down 110, through Rosslyn, up the Lee Highway hill. I spot them smiling!

A quick photo with Daddy and Ava, and I’m off again! (Ava’s first time cheering mommy on. Zoe didn’t want a picture.) Next time I will see them is in Crystal City at mile 22.

Mile 3-4 , we are looping around Spout Run, down and over the Key Bridge – leaving Virginia and entering DC. The Key Bridge is so beautiful to run over. Mile 5, the crowd support in George Town is over the top. So far we are running a pretty steady pace, and there is enough space to zigzag around some people, but still I pay attention to the fun. For example this runner dressed up in a Red Skins outfit dragging a Cowboy’s jersey.

MILE 6-10

Up Rock Creek and then down, to Hains Point. When mile 10 approaches I yell to my Dad, “double digit time!” Still feeling really good.

MILE 11-15

At mile 12, Blue Mile makes an appearance. The mile is lined with American flags, and photos of military men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our country and freedom. It’s quiet, and emotional.

MILE 16-20

Running along the National Mall, Washington, DC is always a treat. The view of the monuments take my breath away. It reminds me of how lucky I am to live in the DC area.

At mile 16, as I’m running, I tell my dad, “All we have is four more miles until we make it to the bridge, and leave DC entering into Virginia.” Once I run passed mile 17, I tell myself, “Back to single digits. Only 9 more miles to go.”

Soon I see the bridge – the 14th Street Bridge, mile 20. Two marines stand there yelling, “Time to Beat the Bridge.”

On the bridge, I start to hit the wall and start to walk. My legs and mind need it. It’s sunny and windy, but I know I have to get down to Crystal City looking good, so I start running again… My two running groups are cheering in Crystal City, and my husband, GiGi, and babies will be there too – can’t wait to see them.

Finally, off the bridge, nothing feels better approaching Crystal City. I’m out of DC, and back in Virginia. I’m passing mile 21, and I think to myself… “Only five more to go, my five mile easy run.”

Mile 21 – 22 is impossible to miss, my Oiselle team is there waiting to cheer … at their famous cowbell corner. I hear them screaming my name – “MEGHAN!!!” They are the brightest, loudest, and most electric, group I know. I high-five every single one of them. Their energy LIFTS ME UP and I truly begin to soar high.

Among the crowd I see a neighbor, so fun to say hello to another familiar face.

I keep going looking desperately for my husband, GiGi, and babies. They are here outside of Good Stuff Eatery. It’s like a mosh pit of people, so I was afraid I might miss them… but then there they are. After some quick hugs and sweaty kisses, I continue on.

As I approach the turn around, on Crystal Drive, I hear my name again… “MEGHAN.” It’s my friend Raiza and MRTT (Mom’s Run This Town) group. After a big hug, and asking if I need anything, she yells, “Go, Go, Go.” And I begin to run faster to the finish.

MILES 23-26.2

I feel a second wind, a burst of energy. It’s amazing how the excitement and positivity from spectators can really up lift you and get you moving. Now my dad and I are leaving Crystal City, and heading to 110.

On 110, I see the finish line in the far distance. It’s time to count street signs. To the Memorial Bridge street sign, I whisper to myself… the finish line is right passed that sign.

Then up the hill, we climb.

And the finish line is so close I can taste it. Finally my feet run over the finish, my dad right by my side. A Marine places a heavy red finishing medal around my neck.

We are Marathoners, #5 done for me and number 30 something for my dad.

On October 28th, 2018, I ran across the finish line proudly, of the Marine Corps Marathon for the 5th time. I showed up to see what I could do, and at 7 months postpartum, I finished 26.2 miles in 4:44:21.

My goals for this race were to fight, keep moving forward, celebrate my pace every five miles, smile, and run happy… so that’s what I did.

Goal accomplished!

Mission accomplished!

FUTURE GOALS

Although, I’m still smiling and running happy, I’m already thinking about my next marathon, my next season. And next time there’s going to be less smiling and more speedy miles accompanied with a whole lot of GRIT! Stay tuned!

CONGRATULATIONS

A special Congratulations to everyone who ran/raced the Marine Corps Marathon this year. And also congrats to those who ran/raced a fall marathon!

Lightning before the Thunder!

“I was lightning ⚡️before the thunder ⛈.”

Hello there,

it’s been a while… I’m one busy mama of a 3 year old and a 4 month old. I’m currently training for the marathon, and update daily on instagram. However, plan to start updating the blog with a lot more running content, including my marathon journey postpartum. Hope to have you follow along!

Lately, if you have been following along on my Instagram @sweat1xdaily, you’ll know… I have been running my long run on Friday night. However, this last Friday, thunderstorms were rolling in at night, and my training plan called for a 14 mile long run.

I decided that I was going to run 7 quick miles to get done before the heavy rain started, and run my 14 mile long run on Saturday instead.

My 7 miles felt amazing on Friday night, the breeze came and rain sprinkled during my last mile. Saturday was a different story, I didn’t wake up early enough, and had a long day of errands. I headed out at 5:30 pm to get my 14 miles done. I’ve never run a long run on a Saturday night, because in the past marathon training cycles I always run long on Saturday mornings.

And let me tell ya, the vibe of the trail on a Saturday night is really QUIET and LONELY. I hardly saw any other runners, why? Because they either already got their long run done in the morning and were probably out enjoying dinner, or they are planning on a Sunday morning long run. I saw a couple of cyclists, but really the trail didn’t buzz with the energy it normally does. If I don’t have the stroller + my babes with me, I normally run solo with no problems. But on this long run, I kept wishing for a BRF.

I’m in two running groups, I could have easily found someone to run with…

So as you can see, I was mentally checked out, during this run – it’s so funny how the weather and vibe of the trail can really determine the mood of my run.

I started my first mile slowly to warm up with the idea that I would pick up the pace, I never did. Physically my legs felt heavy. I was definitely running on tired legs, probably because of the faster 7 miler I ran the day before. Totaling 17 miles in two days, and running back to back.

So at 5 miles, I decided to turn back. I ended up doing a total of 10

miles instead of 14. When I got home, my baby was ready to breastfeed and head to bed.

After that run, I was feeling a little discouraged… Maybe marathon training is too time consuming for me as a working mom of a toddler and 4 month old baby who is still breastfeeding?!

But then I saw some really great quotes and stories from other runners on IG, that totally changed my mindset.

For example “Never let one run or race own your mood.” – Hollie from @fueledbylolz… or If you are tired, rest, don’t quit.” And these quotes really rang true to me.

So what, I had a bad run because I ran 10 slow miles instead of 14 fast miles. Maybe that was a hard run for me, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to have a bad marathon, and it doesn’t determine my marathon training this cycle. Also if I feel tired, I’ll rest more, and cut back to running 3 days a week, a short run, a mid distance, and a long run. I’ve done this in the past, and it has made me feel well rested and helped me avoid burn out.

So with that being said… it’s time to celebrate this 10 mile long run, and the fact that I had my highest weekly mileage postpartum and hit around 30 miles for the week!

Flash Back Friday – Race Recap : The Parkway Classic 10 Miler

~ Photo taken by Swim Bike Run

The Parkway Classic 10 Miler (2017)

It is still dark, but I feel the vibration of my phone, (my quiet alarm). I tiptoe into the bathroom while my loved ones are still dreaming. Get dressed – my race outfit was already laid out the night before. I grab an applesauce on my way out, and sneak quietly off, to the start of the race.

The sun is starting to rise as I arrive. It is still pretty cold, so I wait until the very last minute to strip down out of my sweats, and check my back – my race outfit perfectly on, my bib number already pinned to my Oiselle singlet. I use body glide one last time as a precaution.

Five minutes to spare, bag is checked, so I hustle to my corral.

The gun goes off, and my feet leap over the start, as my garmin goes on.

I hear thousands of quick feet pound the pavement, as I turn on my iTunes playlist.

The views are breathtaking.

A canopy of green trees shade us as we go down hill.

The sun shines on the river making it sparkle as we go up hill.

These hills are rolling but mild, so they actually help my legs turn over faster.

It is such an amazing feeling, running fast, on a beautiful spring day, with a couple thousand of other runners.

Before I know it, I’m approaching Old Town, mile 8-9.

Up a hill, down a hill, and a sprint to the finish.

I hear my name announced as I cross the finish line.

A volunteer places a finisher’s medal around my neck.

Official time – 1:23:46.

2018 Goals

  • Support Community
  • Race a new and different 10 Miler

The Parkway Classic is one of my favorite races, and I run it most years. However, this year 2018, I won’t be able to run it… I have two good reasons though, 1- I’ll be at my sister’s wedding. 2- I will be 4 weeks postpartum cuddling a new born, and won’t even be cleared by my doctor to exercise yet. However, supporting the running community is very important to me, so even though I won’t be in town for this one, I do plan to watch and cheer at more races from the sidelines.

And just because I won’t be able to race this one, the 10 mile distance is one of my favorites to race and I know I can go faster. So as of now I’m on the look out for a different new 10 miler. I hope I find one as rejuvenating and refreshing as The Parkway Classic.

And as for the Parkway Classic… I can’t wait to race you many times again in the future.

Happy Running!

What’s your favorite race distance? Have you ever ran the Parkway Classic?

Reflecting on 2017

On instagram Best nine of 2017 was trending. Mine is in the far left corner, the rest are a few of my personal favorite photos of the year.

After looking through my photos and review my yearly stats on Strava. I discovered something very cool about 2017.

In 2017, I spent time outside everyday… running and mothering.

I ran all the miles…

Under clear skies and cloudy skies…

I ran solo miles, stroller miles, and pregnancy miles.

I ran early morning miles to see colorful sunrises…

I ran late evening miles to see colorful sunsets…

I ran city miles…

beach miles…

trail miles…

When I wasn’t running… I kept moving forward…

I marched for what I believe in.

I hiked to see waterfalls.

I jumped waves, and felt sand between my toes with my loves.

Ultimately…

2017 has taught me that you don’t have to travel far or experience something huge and impressive… in order to be challenged, learn new lessons, feel love, and find beauty.

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you can reflect on 2017 in a positive light, and create more beauty in 2018.

Operation Turbo 5k

Operation Turbo 5k


I’m excited to say, I am runnning a 5k this weekend!!

I honestly do not remember the last time I signed up for a 5k. I’m an endurance athlete, long distance runner, so I do not race the 5k often. However, a friend of mine, runs an organization called Operation Turbo, and is putting on a 5k race this weekend. So I decided to show my support by signing up. 
If anyone is in the DC area and is interested in running this race on Saturday, sign up here

If you are not in the area, you can always run the virtual 5k. 

Have you ever run a virtual race!?

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily 

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