Blaine Moore finishing the Marine Corps MarathonI felt pretty strong in the last few hundred yards. I waved for the crowd, got them pumped up when my name was announced over the intercom, and hammed it up as I sprinted in. And by sprinting in, I mean picking up the pace a little bit over what I had been running. It is an uphill finish, after all.

The Finish Line

After I passed the bulldog mascot and got into the finisher’s chute, I hung out near the finish line area to congratulate all of the runners that came in after me that I had passed over the last few miles. I was waiting for the marine and for Paul to finish running so that I could chat with them.

A Navy runner finished and had a little trouble after passing over the line, so a couple of marines put his arms over their shoulders and walked him over the medical tent. He was in heaven. “First I run a marathon,” he said, “and then I get escorted around by a couple of lovely ladies.” They just smiled and kept leading him away.

Erin and Blaine MooreAfter catching up with a few folks, I advanced through the food tables and headed up the hill to the road. From there, everybody was going left so I followed them. Of course, going left when you get to the top of the road brings you right back to the finish line, so I was where I started. I chatted with some folks that had finished running in the mean time, and then headed up the hill to try my luck going right.

The second time was the charm. I easily found my wife and friends, and we headed over to get my baggage and to find a secluded area that I could strip down, baby wipe the salt away, and put on some clean and dry clothes. There was an ice cream truck nearby, but both Beth and Erin were disappointed because it was just parked and there was nobody selling ice cream out of it.

Post Race Thoughts

Blaine Moore and Adam CrossThe water stops were not quite as frequent as I would have liked, and the places where they had food stations or gel packets were usually not within a mile of the next water stop. Food in general and gel packets in particular need to be taken with water so that the stomach can break them down and make them usable. If you do not drink any water, then you are going to just have a lump sitting in your stomach.

The only food that I took along the course was a water bottle from my wife around mile 14, and subsided the rest of the time on what I had brought with me. I did not even wind up using all of the gel packets that I had, but I did not feel as though I needed to.

Every aid station had quite a few marines at them, and it was pretty cool getting cheered on by them as they handed you water and yelled and screamed at you. I made it a point to thank every one that I could, which led to a lot of them “OohRahing” at me.

Very few of them left garbage cans where it was easy to throw your cups, though, which meant that I had to drop them on the ground in most cases. In the places where I could see the garbage cans, they were too far away for me to accurately toss the cup and I only made it in a couple of times. There were a few garbage cans by the side of the road in the parks, though, that I was able to reach easily.

Marines at the Finish LineThe monuments were pretty cool to run by, but I honestly missed most of them. I got to see the Washington Monument over and over again, since you turn on a regular basis and you can see it from almost everywhere. Other than the National Mall, though, I really did not look up often enough. The next time that I run, I am going to aim to slow down a little bit and to let myself get distracted a little more easily from the task at hand.

I do appreciate the speed at which I run, though. With frequent out and backs on the course, I often got to see what the crowding looked like 4 and 5 miles behind me. I much prefer having everybody around me nice and spaced out with plenty of room to maneuver.

Marathon Aftermath

Post race, I felt really good. The last couple of miles I was struggling and my pace shows that, but as soon as I stopped running I recovered and felt as though I could go for another run. I think that I felt even better than I did after New York City. We made our way to the Metro, which was crowded with people trying to get to the finish line, and then walked around half of the city. I was a little sore after sitting down for an hour at brunch, but not too bad.

The real problem lay in ignoring the first rule about marathons that I learned all the way back in 2000. Because my wife had classes on Monday, we had to come home the night of the marathon. Standing in line at Dulles for 90 minutes because they had closed the security check point and then taking two flights with a long layover really killed my legs and knees. The altitude combined with the compact area that I needed to fit myself into were not conducive to adequate blood flow. At least I got to watch the Red Sox win the world series.

Monday morning, I was back to normal. And not only back to normal, but there was no soreness whatsoever. I spent 2 hours raking the lawn without any trouble other than a bit of fatigue towards the end, but raking leaves is exhausting even when you haven’t run a marathon the day before. In the few days since then, there has been no soreness and no real fatigue.

Other than raking leaves, I have not been working out so far this week. I have been too busy catching up on chores that had been neglected while I was training and have been taking the opportunity to rest. My lack of running is most apparent in my weight, as I have been losing about a half of a pound per day since I got home. I weighed in on Monday morning at the same weight that I left at on Friday.

I am planning on swimming at lunch time today (assuming that I have the cash to get in anyway) and then going to the gym to lift weights tomorrow morning. This weekend I will decide on an exercise regimen for the next month, and will be heading to the weight room 3 or 4 days per week starting next week. That should leave me hungry enough to stave off the weight loss, and when I start running again in December I will hopefully be right back where I belong.

I do plan on running the Marine Corps Marathon again. Next time, however, I will wait until I can spend more than just a weekend in town. Other than the friends that we stayed with, I do not feel that we got to spend enough time with the people that we know that live down there, and we did not really get to do very much in the way of touristy activities. My wife used to live in DC, so she has already been to all of the museums, but I had not been down there since I was a kid and would like to revisit them. The race is a lot of fun, and the course is probably one of the easier ones that I have run to date.