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 

The Race Recap: Marine Corps Marathon 2016

“Run for 20 minutes and you’ll feel better. Run another 20 and you might tire. Add on 3 hours and you’ll hurt, but keep going and you’ll see—and hear and smell and taste—the world with a vividness that will make your former life pale.”

Scott Jurek

In honor, of the Marine Corps Birthday, (that was on Thursday), and Veterans Day Weekend, I thought it would be a perfect time to post my race recap on running the 2016 Marine Corps Marathon. 

(Warning: This is a long detailed post about my experience, mile by mile.) 

On Sunday, October 30th, 2016, I ran my fourth Marine Corps Marathon. Although, it was my fourth MCM- this marathon was my first full marathon I ran, 14 months after having Zoe, and my fourth postpartum race.

When I registered for this race, I kept it a secret. I was really worried if I would be able to fit in the training,  being such a huge time commitment, new mom, and working mom. Would I be able to juggle everything? Turns out I could and did. Running mamas let me tell you… It is totally possible to train for a full marathon after baby! I did it and you can too. I ran all the miles! (Curious about my training read all about it here.)

Marine Corps Marathon 

THE EXPO

The Expo was held at the Gaylord Resort in National Harbor. At first, I was a little annoyed that they moved the Expo to Maryland instead of having it in DC. There is no metro located on National Harbor, so I feared there would be a lot of traffic and no parking. Turns out it was perfect. Not to much traffic, plenty of parking, and beautiful views of the Potomac river. 

We normally see these view from across the river, from the VA side. 

The Expo was held on both Friday and Saturday. I went on Friday afternoon hoping it wouldn’t be to busy. There were no lines getting in and no lines to get bibs. However, there was a line to the check out to get MCM gear, and because I had my 14 month old with me, there was no way I could wait in it. 

I ended up just getting my bib and skipping the MCM gear area. (I’ll purchase some gear later online. 

I wore my Oiselle sweatshirt to the Expo, talk about flystlye. This sweatshirt is so warm, cozy, and stylish.

Again, I brought my daughter, Zoe, with me to the Expo. The majority of my training was done with her by my side, so I wanted her there with me to experience the excitement of the Expo. It feels great to be a BAMR. (Read about being a BAMR at the Navy Half Expo, here.) 

Some runners hate expos and avoid them if they can. I, on the other hand, love the Expo. The Expo always gets me pumped! Plus, who doesn’t want to shop for more running stuff?!

I ended up shopping around, and purchased a running skirt from Mana Threads. I bought a sports bra and tank top from them at the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler Expo, and I was excited to see them again. I’ve never run in a skirt before, and honestly, never thought I would. I actually use to “roll my eyes” at runners who wore skirts. But I’m at the point that I’ve been running for 8-10 years now, and it can be difficult to find something new and different. So I’m going to give the skirt a try. Might as well… I might love it. 

I also checked out HOKA shoes. The guy was very knowledgeable. I’m pretty loyal to Newton, but want another type of shoe in my shoe rotation. So in the future I might give HOKA a try. 

NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE

The HEAT

Every long run I ran this summer was in record breaking heat conditions. Just my luck… the weather man was predicting unusually warm summer like conditions on race day. 

In my running groups, everyone was worried about the heat. We even received an email from the Marine Corps Marathon organizers, saying – to slow down race pace, and to hydrate and dress for hot conditions.  

Every time I run MCM the weather is perfect. I checked back on my blog post from a couple of years ago, when I ran my 3rd MCM and it was 30 degrees cooler that day. 

I don’t do well in the heat, and I also was pretty congested because of a cold. However, I trained in a heat wave of a summer in 80-90 degree record breaking weather, so I wasn’t too worried. I also wasn’t going to put my mind in a negative state. Positive vibes only.

I was just going to run my best and see what I could do. I was confident. I put in all the miles during training, and I knew once I got around the energy of the other runners, my excitement would keep me going strong. 

A lot of runners chose to wear their hydration packs on race day. I thought about it, but I really didn’t want the extra load. So my game plan was to rely on water stations, hoping they wouldn’t run out. 

I also planned on starting at 7:55, when the gun went off. Because the metro wasn’t opening early for us, due to safe tracking, MCM organizers were leaving the start open for a full additional hour. This meant late runners could cross the start line as late as 8:55. But this also meant that these late runners would cross the finish line later in the day in hotter conditions. My game plan, get there early, start my race when the gun goes off, run my race during the gorgeous morning, cooler temperature, and finish my race before the afternoon heat. 

NIGHT before RACE RITUAL

Saturday night, I spent some time trying to decide what running outfit to wear on race day. I decided on my oiselle singlet, and I’m so glad I did!

I stayed comfortable and cool up until mile 24. And wearing the oiselle singlet helped my oiselle teammates see me easier. I really love running for oiselle. I joined the team after having Zoe, and the support has been amazing. 


I did my,”Night before Race Ritual,” which is laying out my race day outfit and taking a picture. Above picture is my, “Flat Meg.” 

I also laid out Zoe’s outfit. My sister had a shirt made for her that said, “My mom runs faster than your mom.” 


I also carb-loaded for two days straight with spaghetti and sauce that I made homemade.

I was as ready as I could be. 

So it was time to just try to get a good night sleep. But before shutting my eyes, I checked social media to support other runners and gain some inspiration. 

This is what I found on the Marine Corps Marathon facebook page. 


I laughed when I read it! Because no one sleeps well before a marathon. 

MORNING OF

My alarm went off at 5:20 am. I tiptoed through my dark house and got dressed and ready. Grabbed my iPod shuffle (which I didn’t use, I just had it as a back up) and Garmin.

By 6:00 am, I was off to my mom’s house. Because the metro wasn’t working- I parked my car at my mom’s house, and she dropped me off in Pentagon City. A ton of other runners flooded Pentagon City, so I just followed the crowd walking over to the start, eating my pb&j. 



THE START

Like always, the Marines greeted us, and welcomed us with excited faces. They checked our bags, getting us through security quickly. 

I was there pretty early, and because I had time, I decided to hit up the porta potty, making conversation with the guy in front of me. It was his first time running MCM, so I let him ask me all of his nervous questions.

Unlike years in the past, I wasn’t shivering. It was close to 60 degrees already at 6:30 am. I was in long pants and my long sleeve zip up MCM shirt from the previous year. It was time to strip down into my race clothes and drop my long sleeves at baggage claim. 

(Side note: I saw a lot of people wearing bath robes. Have you seen that before? I’ve seen people wearing trash bags in the past, but never bath robes. I don’t see the point. But to each their own.

When I was at baggage claim the sun began to rise. 

My dad was also running the marathon. I received a text message from my saying he was on Memorial Bridge running to the start. He asked for me to wait for him so we could get a picture together. 

CORRAL AND START LINE

My dad and I walked down to the start line at 7:30ish. We squeezed our way up to the 4:10 and 4:15 corral – standing with a view of the 4:15 pacer. 

The Marine Corps Marathon is The People’s Marathon – which means they do not assign corrals, instead they allow the runners to choose a corral. Because Marine Corps Marathon has 30,000 runners, the first three miles can be crowded and slow, so I always try to stand in the corral ahead of my ideal finishing time. 

Let’s talk about timing… 

My goal finishing time for this race was 4:15. Maybe I could run it faster, because I ran my last half marathon, a month before, in 1:53, and felt good! But I finished my last full marathon in 4:19, (2 years ago) so I would be happy running that, or a faster PR. 

So standing in the 4:10-4:15 corral seemed to be a good place to start. 

The actual start didn’t seem as exciting as years past. It actually didn’t seem crowded at all. But maybe that’s because of the option of starting later. But in the years past, people are normally packed in, clothes going everywhere. One year a beach ball was going above our heads. Everyone cheering! 

The EXCITEMENT 

The real excitement happened when they flew military planes over our heads. 


And then we were off… 

Mile 1-3

We ran down 110, up through Rosslyn, up Lee Highway. My husband, daughter, and Mom were waiting for me at mile 2-3ish on Lee Highway. It was easy to spot them because my little Zoe was on my husband’s shoulders. It was so fun seeing them, especially Zoe!! She was excited seeing her Grandpa aka Poppy. My dad showed everyone his 1989 MCM race shirt. As I looked at my watch, my dad made observation that we climbed that hill pretty fast. We were on our way to Spout Run.

MILES 3-5 

We ran through Spout Run during miles 3-5. This is one of my favorite parts of the marathon because it is by far the prettiest part of the race. Trees shaded us while we ran up and down slight rolling hills, as we approached the Key Bridge. My Dad and I were still running side by side. 

MILES 5-7

Over the Key Bridge we went, leaving Virginia and entering D.C. I love running over the Key Bridge. And Georgetown is usually a very exciting spot during the race because the spectator support is so huge and energized. There is normally a band playing from Georgetown University, and a group from Lululemon cheering while sipping mimosas. However, this year I didn’t see any of that and to my surprise it seemed like a ghost town. But, we continued on, down Wisconsin we went, and up to Rock Creek park we headed. My dad and I were making great timing! 

MILES 8-10

Usually, Rock Creek Park is up one huge hill and then a crowded turn around, then a down hill. But this year they cut it short and it wasn’t crowded at all. My dad and I both looked at each other with a smile, when we realized we didn’t have to run the hill. 

MILE 11 – The BLUE mile


Mile 11 is called the Blue Mile. This mile is lined with photos of fallen soldiers. It was very emotional. Many people stopped in front of their fallen solider to cry, or get a picture. American flags lined the end of the mile to uplift us. 

MILES 12-14

Haines Point is normally the boring part, but we got through it – still feeling really strong and on pace.  

During one of the water startions, my dad grabbed a GU (energy gel) and I lost him. But my cell phone rang, and it was him, and he was coming up on the left hand side. Off we went to the National Mall. Dad shouted we were over half way through. 

MILES 15-18

At mile 15, I told my dad we only had 2 miles until mile 17. Mile 17 is a significant mile in the marathon, because you only have 9 miles left which means you enter single digits. We were both running on pace, but it was then that my dad told me to go on ahead, if I thought I was going to break 4 hours. I didn’t know if I could do that, but I was going to try. So I picked up the pace on the National Mall and headed to the 14th street bridge. 

It was awesome that my dad and I ran 15 miles together. 

MILES 18-20

I left the National Mall and was heading on to the 14th street bridge. The bridge is normally mile 20, but because of the late start, and the eagerness to open DC streets, we had to leave the city on time. So they made the bridge mile 18 instead of the normal mile 20. 

The goal to the bridge is to, “Beat the Bridge.” Many people hit the wall here and begin to walk. It can feel really hot, or super windy. But I actually always love the bridge. And I never walk. 

Once I was on the bridge, still running, I texted my husband to let him know I was on the bridge heading to Crystal City. He was shocked I was calling so early, ahead of schedule. He was on his way to meet me in Crystal City. 

I also knew my Oiselle teammates had a cheer station at mile 21. So I was keeping a look out. Mean while, I was still on pace and feeling strong. 

MILE 21

There they were! My Oiselle teammates cheered the loudest cheers ever at mile 21! So happy I saw them. I was now super pumped and on my way down Crystal Drive to see my husband, baby, and mom. MILE 21 was the longest distance I ran during training. This mile marker is significant for me because during the week I run a 5 mile easy run, and during the marathon when I hit 21, I tell myself, “Its just my 5 mile easy run.” 

MILE 22

I ran through Crystal City, eyes wide, looking for people I knew. Around mile 22, I saw my husband, mom, and baby, again, waiting to cheer me on. Zoe was so cute having fun watching all the runners, smiling big when she saw me. I got some pictures and I told them I was feeling good and making great timing! 

MILE 23-24

After leaving my family, letting them know I would see them at the finish, I kept on pace.  I started looking for the mile markers.  It wasn’t until mile 24, that I started to feel really hot. 

But at mile 24, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It ended up being one of my runner friend, Raj Running Yogi! It was such a fun surprise seeing him. I hope I was friendly! At mile 24, looping around the pentagon, I was just trying to stay focused and look for my street signs, that always helps me get to the finish. 

MILE 25 – 26.2

I could see the finish line in the distance. Then the street signs appeared. I told myself just get to the Memorial Bridge street sign. Next thing I realize, I’m running passed it and seeing the Key Bridge street sign. Passing the Key Bridge sign, I made a left heading to the Iwo Jima memorial, uphill to the finish. Although, the finish line was moved to the right this year, it felt amazing crossing it! 


THE FINISH

This Marine gave me my finishing medal! 


Took a photo near the Iwo Jima memorial.

I met up with my family. And got to show my daughter Zoe my finishing medal. 


All of our hard training paid off! It felt amazing showing my daughter my medal. 

After the race was over, my husband, daughter and I enjoyed bunch at Lyon Hall.  

THE RESULTS

A NEW PR

Although, it was hot running conditions, and  a “difficult” course, I felt great most of the race. 

I ended up finishing in 4:17:01, which was a little over a 2 minute PR. I am very happy with this time, and over all had a very successful marathon. 

The most fun thing about this race was running the first 15 miles with my dad. I am very impressed with how fit he is! 

I’m also most proud of the fact that I trained for this race with my daughter by my side. Yes, my identity has changed now that I am a mother, but it has not changed my passion for running and living a healthy lifestyle. It is very important to me to show and teach my daughter- that with passion, dedication, and hard work, anything is possible. 

WHAT IS NEXT? 

I will be running a Turkey Trot this thanksgiving with Zoe in the stroller. But as of that, I’m still trying to decide which marathon I want to run next. 

In the mean time, I’m hitting the weight room again consistently. Its time to get stronger again.

THANK YOU

Thank you to everyone who inspired and supported me through this marathon training season, and the marathon. This includes MRTT, Oiselle, and everyone that followed along on IG, FB, Strava, and this blog. 

Also I want to give a special thank you to the Marines, race organizers, volunteers, and race spectator support for another amazing Marine Corps Marathon experience.

Thank you!

It’s so amazing to be a part of something this big!! And the running community is incredible! 


Now let’s set new goals, and run all the miles! 

copyright 2016 sweatdaily 

1 2 3 4 7