Monday, March 22, 2010

Run like a Girl

I finally got to run the Shamrock Marathon for my birthday this year. I trained for it two years ago as a way to celebrate my 30th birthday but ended up getting injured a month before the race. I had some trouble along the way this time too. My left leg was giving me trouble from my hip to my knee to my foot... but with plenty of visits to the chiropractor and some smart and efficient training runs and cross training I made it to the race ready to run!
Here I am with Aubrey heading to the start. It was only a five minute walk from my hotel and the race didn't start until 8:00 am. As a DC runner I am used to getting up at 4:00 am on race days in order to get to the city in plenty of time for the race leaving extra time to deal with the crowds. It was nice to sleep in until 6am and have plenty of time to get ready.

There I am off to take a spot with the other runners and wait for the race to start. I made that bib for my back. It said "MEGAN running 26.2 for my 32nd birthday." I am so glad I made it. Several people wished me a happy birthday along the way. By the end of the marathon I really needed that support. It was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday!

I stopped to take some pictures with the kids. The one on the left is us right before the marathon began and the one on the right was taken a few minutes after I finished the marathon. I have to say I think I actually held up better than the kids.

My marathon started out really well. I felt great. The weather was beautiful {the only type of weather I hadn't trained in.} I was well rested and ready to go. My pace was good maybe a little fast but it didn't feel challenging. Since they didn't coral us according to pace I ended up pretty far back among the racers, so far back that I was behind several people that were participating in the Marathon as walkers. I caught up to the 4 hour pacer around mile eight {wasn't trying to, just did} and finished the first half right at 2 hours. Throughout the second half of the marathon there was a local radio station that had several DJ's set up along the way playing music for us. They even played "Don't Stop Believing" which is our family's song. The kids call it "Don't Stop Believe It" and when the DJ played it I teared up a bit thinking about my family and how happy I would be to see them at the finish. I kept running and running maintaining an 8:30 pace for quite some time. I felt great like I was hardly exerting myself at all. The race was easy right up until it became hard, and there was no middle ground, it was like falling off a cliff. E...a...s...y...HARD, nothing in the middle just BOOM. At mile 22 is when it all changed. Ugh, THE WALL. Ok, I can run 4 miles. I can always run 4 miles. I kept repeating that over and over. It started to help me mentally through the wall but I had gotten some Gatorade at the water stop at 22 that hadn't been mixed with enough water and by mile 23 I was in trouble. I had a horrible side stitch on my right side and even threw up from the Gatorade upsetting my stomach. So right around mile 24 I decided I would walk. I was making great time anyway. Even though I only had 2 miles left I had put in a great run and I decided I would not be disappointed if I walked for a bit. So I stopped running took about fourteen steps before I saw the photographer. I couldn't run the whole marathon just to be walking in my photos so I started running again and ran the rest of the race.
The finish was AWESOME! So many people were cheering, Rob and the kids were right there cheering me on. Then the announcer said "Megan Carey of Bristow Va finishing this Marathon"... wow, what a feeling: 4 hours 7 minutes and 1 second of self reliance, determination and the support of everyone there and I had become a MARATHONER.I celebrated like a real runner... with a beer! I slipped off my sneakers and walked onto the beach into the race event tent and got myself a Yuengling. I stood on the beach wearing my medal and drinking my beer. Life is Good!


  1. Yeah! I love your race review, and am so glad you had such an amazing first marathon! Great pictures, of course!

  2. And I am jealous of the awesome start time!

  3. Meg, this is so great and your children are so beautiful!