Sunday, October 25, 2015

2015 Marine Corps Marathon

October 25, 2015 7:55 AM
Arlington, Virginia

Time Pace Division Division
Bib #
Owen 4:57:16 11:20 M40-44 1,384/2,146 7,928/12,771 12,654/23,185 23169

Written by Owen:

Malissa had to work on Thursday and Friday, so the kids and I drove up to my mom's house on Thursday, then Malissa caught an Amtrak train at 2:00 in the morning on Saturday.

Goosebumps in 3D!
We got up somewhat early to go pick up Malissa at the Amtrak station.  We then went to a really fun corn maze.

Answering trivia for our next clue on which direction to go.
 Sunday morning we got up really early to go to the marathon.  We rode the metro, everyone was really sleepy.

I had heard such great things about the Marine Corps Marathon, that I couldn't wait to experience it.  It was a complete DISASTER.  The security lines to get to the marathon (for runners and spectators) was HOURS long.  We got there over two hours before the race started, and I was late to the start.  It had already started by the time I got there.  So I spent two hours in line, followed by rushing to the start and just kept going for 26.2 miles.  Not the way I wanted to prepare myself for the race.  I can't understate how bad it was, NOT IMPRESSED!

The line to get past security about a mile from the start

Before the race I had some friendly photobombers.

My support crew

This race was very painful, I was grossly undertrained, and my pelvic issue throbbed the entire race.  Add to that the bad weather and the terrible race organization, and this is definitely my least favorite marathon out of all of them.

Garmin Data:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

2015 St. Brons Marathon

October 11, 2015 8:00 AM
Plover, Wisconsin

Time Pace Division Division
Bib #
Owen 4:35:23 10:30 M40-49 2/3 10/14 13/22 382

Written by Owen:

My friend, Chris, was signed up for the 2015 Chicago Marathon.  This would be his first marathon.  Because I'm trying to run a marathon in each of the 50 states, and I already ran Chicago, I thought it would be cool if I could find a marathon in a nearby state on the same weekend.  That way we could do a road trip together.

I wanted to find one on Saturday, because the Chicago Marathon was on Sunday.  That way, I could run mine, then cheer for Chris in Chicago.  The only nearby marathon I could find was the same day in a tiny town called Plover, Wisconsin.  It was a small race (only had 22 finishers).

We rented a tiny car to save on gas.  When I picked it up and realized it didn't have cruise control, I was really disappointed.  I didn't know they still made cars without cruise control.  We left Thursday night with the plan to get a hotel when we got tired.

Road trip!!
 Friday we got up and drove the rest of the way to Chicago.  Chris had already made plans to share a room with his long-time friend, Pete.  So I found a cheap place to stay on  It was actually a cot in someone's spare bedroom for $25/night.

We did some sight-seeing, including going to the observation deck at the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower).
At the base of the Willis Tower

Chris, myself, and Pete
 When you go to the top of this amazing building, they have these glass cages that extend out and you can go out there and take pictures.  Because it was marathon weekend, it was very crowded.

I had to force myself to look down.
 Saturday night, I drove up to Plover, Wisconsin, where I had hotel reservations just for the night before the race.  I got into town late, picked up my packet Sunday morning, and was ready to run.

It was a beautiful day, I had really let my fitness slip, so I was just trying to casually run this, with no goal in mind.  I was more concerned with Chris in Chicago.  I had signed up for text alerts whenever he crossed timing mats. After the first one came in (I checked it while running), I immediately texted him "OMG, Chris, slow down!!".  He was way ahead of schedule. I later learned he had airplane mode on so his battery wouldn't die while listening to music, so he didn't receive that text until after the race.  He finished with some pretty bad knee pain but did great.

My race was very painful.  You cannot fake your way through a marathon.  It doesn't matter how many you've done, they each require proper training, nutrition, etc.  I finished it, but it wasn't very enjoyable.

At the finish line, they had a local WWII vet putting the medal around the finisher's neck.  That was by far the highlight of my day.  Here is text of a Facebook post I posted after the marathon:

Will Lehner is a WWII Veteran and Pearl Harbor Survivor. What an honor it was to meet him. He put my finisher's medal around my neck as I crossed the finish line. I saw there was no one finishing for a long time, so I asked if he minded talking. He told stories of Pearl Harbor and how he sunk a Japanese sub then went back 60 years later when they found it at the bottom of the Ocean. What a treat it was to spend 10 minutes with him.

After the race I got in my rental car to drive back to Chicago.  I stopped at a truck stop and paid for a shower. It was so nice, I will for sure do that again in the future if I ever need a shower after I've checked out of my hotel.

On the way to Chicago, I stopped in Madison, Wisconsin to see if I could find some gifts for my family.  Madison is a neat city with a really cool part of town that is great for souvenirs.  I bought Malissa and the kids some University of Wisconsin tins. I went to Starbucks for my mom.

A gift for my mom, who collects these.
I got back to Chris' hotel room late Sunday night. Chris and Pete offered for me to stay in their hotel room in a cot that room service provided.  I was really thankful they did that.  The room I was staying in was not in a good part of Chicago and I didn't feel very safe going there at night.

Monday (Columbus Day) we drove back to Charlotte, where our families ambushed us with decorations, silly string, a cookie cake, and awesome matching shirts.  It was a really fun weekend.

They made sure the 26.2 was in large print, otherwise one might get the wrong idea

Silly string (that is still there today, almost a year later) and our rental car

Garmin Data: