Sunday, November 29, 2015

Marine Corps Marathon Recap

I know it has been a long time coming for this recap, I am so far behind but life sometimes gets in the way and 24 hours never seems like enough hours in the day.

So here I am over a month late finally writing the recap of the most important  race of the year.

As you all know I was fundraising for this all year.  I hosted a virtual run and also a paint nite along with flooding Facebook, twitter, Instagram and this blog with posts asking for donations.  And thanks to all the donations I raised just under $3600 for Team Chris!  I can not thank you all enough!!

Well all of a sudden it is the end of October and Colleen and I are boarding a plane for DC.  The flight was on my 42nd birthday and was delayed 6 hours.  So I headed to work for a few hours before heading to the airport.  They had some sort of selfie station set up so we of course had to take pictures.

We got to BWI, jumped in the rental car and headed to the expo.  Because of the delay we were rushing and finding the parking garage at the expo was not the easiest.  We were only able to get one loop of the expo in because we needed to meet up with the team for the Friday night hang out. I knew there was going to be some sort of birthday thing for me happening as that is the way of Team Chris LOL I was right, there was singing, yelling, cake and shots to be had.  I wish I took some pictures.  Seems like if there are not gorgeous Marines I forget I have my camera LOL

After dinner we headed to the hotel to check in drop our stuff off and head across the street to the finish line area just like last year.  Boston Bob took the team picture and I have yet to see it but Colleen and I did get a one.

Saturday morning Colleen, Katie and I headed to the runners brunch.  I had no idea it was usually a run but not this year.  It was nice and we got to listed to Bart Yasso and meet him too.  BONUS!!

Not much else happened on Saturday, but that night we had the team dinner and the ceremony.   Both of which are highlights of the weekend except when I get called up in front of everyone as top fundraiser.  Now don't get me wrong I was very happy and proud that I was but getting up in front of everywhere is one of the worst things EVER.  I was given a bracelet with Chris' name on it and a special coin which was a huge honor and now I am in front of people with a red face and tears.....jeeze.

After dinner we headed back to our rooms to get ready for tomorrow and try to get some sleep.  We laid out our outfits and all the things we hoped to not forget and that is when I opened my garmin case and guess what was not in guessed it MY FREAKING GARMIN WAS NOT THERE!!!!!!

 I had a bit of a panic and I walked over to the Conlon/Chan room and Kate made everything all better.  She remembered that Natalie just bought a new garmin so we asked if I could use hers and she said OK but then Timmy also had his and was at our hotel so I got his.  Kerry had a charger for that one too.  Crisis adverted!!  Mostly I just needed it for my run/walk beeps.

So we of course get up at dark o clock in the morning.  What wonderful things are also happening when we get up?  Well it is raining and I got my period.  Really?

Luckily I packed a couple of dollar store ponchos so we got ready and headed to meet up with the team for breakfast, pictures and heading to the start.

We headed to the start and it was pretty unorganized.  We got stuck trying to get through metal detectors.  Everyone said this was not the way it usually is so I am not sure why it was this year.  Once we got through we stopped at the very first porto potties since we figured the ones at the start line would be more crowded.  We got to the actual start and the nerves hit.  We were scared but excited to get this going.  We saw the helicopters and sky divers that started the show which were amazing!!!  Took a couple off pictures and we were off!!

Colleen and I stayed together for the first 12 miles.  We stuck to our 1:1 pretty religiously.  It was super crowded and our pace is a bit off so getting around the crowds was annoying.  She was pretty nervous about beating the bridge since our miles were over 13 min per mile.  Once I realized that she was thinking we needed a 13:43 to beat the bridge and not the 14-15 min to beat it she was better.  BTW 13:43 is if you want a sub 6 marathon.  We saw Katie and Flat around mile 8-9, she was not having fun so we took off.  Around then is also when we say Katie, Deb and Cathy cheering and I can speak for both Colleen and I when I say that it was like a mirage in the desert!!

Around Mile 10 we saw Alanna and the girls and that was awesome but also gave Colleen a much needed boost.  Sometimes you just need your BFF to tell you how awesome you are doing to get you moving.  Just as we hit the blue mile at mile 12 my back was really starting to hurt so I took off ahead, I needed to run it out a bit.  

Colleen took this of me and Chris <3

The next few miles went really well.  I was feeling great and I even started thinking, maybe this won't be my last one, who knows.  I saw Meghan and Timmy a couple of times and was getting update on everyone from them.  At mile 19 I hit the Red Felt tent and  saw my friend Darling...we were too busy hugging to get a picture.  I really just miss her so much.  I also got a bottle of water from Grovia too, and headed to the bridge.  I beat it!!  Woohoo.

Well half way across the bridge I saw most of my team....I was so confused.  That is when I found out that Katie had to pull out of the marathon.  She passed out and was enroute to the hospital.  We were all so upset for her.  We started running through Crystal City.  

As far as I knew Colleen was just a little bit behind me....however when I made it through the turn around in Crystal City and did not see her and we had to turn out of that area I started to panic and emotionally shut down.  My teammates were awesome and especially Dave, they tried to cheer me up but in my head I was the worst friend in the world and if she didn't beat the bridge it was all my fault.

Each mile it got worse and I was hardly even running now since I just kept thinking "I am an asshole"  Good thing I walk fast.  But not too fast to miss these guys......

Once hit mile 25ish I was still upset but also getting excited that I was finishing and not alone with so many of my teammates and that was so comforting.

And all of a sudden I saw a bunch of my other teammates that were cheering for us then I made the left ran up the hill and finished the 40th MCM.  It took just a little longer than Wineglass but I didn't care.  I was done.  I got my medal and sent a text to Alanna, I knew she was tracking Colleen.  She told me the last text she got was 30k.....however I had no clue how to math at that point so it took a few minutes to figure out that was 18 miles....CRAP did she beat the bridge???????  I logged on to track her and was so relieved when she crossed the 40k mark.  That meant she beat the bridge.  At that point I relaxed a little.  I apologized to Dave and gave him a hug then proceeded to wait for Colleen.

We thought she finished but she never came so the panic set in again.....we then realized it was a false finish on the app.  We heard from the people cheering that she was about to finish...I was waiting right after the finish and we had a good long hug, she got to hug the rest of the penguins and we got her medal.  Took more pictures and headed back to the hotel.  We also got to say Hi to Alanna, Steve and the girls too.

We had to shower in the Conlon/Chan room since we had to leave that night and they wanted us out of our room.  We got clean hung out for a bit waiting for Flat to come back.  After Katie was OK at the hospital he went back to finish the race for him and Katie.  Flat is one of the most amazing humans I have ever met.

Another highlight of the race was that Leo was the female winner of the 10k....she is amazing!!  I think she was 9th overall too.....what?!?!  I have told you in the past I know some super fast people.....I was not lying :)

Colleen and I headed back to the airport, ate and headed home.  Little did she know her weekend was still not done.....

We landed at home and I had to run a bit ahead of her without her noticing......I had a bunch of people at the airport waiting for her.  I felt bad her husband a few of our friends could not be there to celebrate her awesome accomplishment.

Just when she thought she wasn't going to cry again....HAHAHAHAHA I was so happy that people helped me with this and didn't think it was a crazy idea.

As per usual a weekend away with Team Chris is unlike any other.  These people are not just my friends they are my family and I love the crap out of all of them.  Kate summed it up perfectly in a shirt she got made for us.


  1. Love love love this post! Way to go GiGi and the rest of Team Chris!

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