Marine Corps Marathon – Runner’s World Challenge. I’m in!
The 4th-largest marathon in the United States, the Marine Corps Marathon has a course that gives runners the opportunity to see many of the most majestic and historic landmarks of our nation’s capital. Known as “The People’s Marathon,” the MCM has grown to include 21,000 finishers and is the largest marathon in the world that doesn’t offer prize money.
I am exhilarated. I am frightened. I am ready. Yes, I am ready.
MCM will be my second marathon.
I began running in my late 50’s, kind-of to participate in some small way in races my 4 adult kids and their spouses were doing… but really seeing that my grandkids were quickly getting to the age where they’d be running, too. I wanted so very much to be in on the fun, the excitement, the challenges, the pride of finishing something seemingly so impossible. I wanted to do this thing, not just watch this thing.
I was not a runner. At all. Never. Ever.
Over months and years, I self-trained, all by myself, with on-line programs for my first 5k, my first 5-miler and then my first 10k. Feeling more confident, I thought I might try an on-line program for a Half Marathon. Finishing my Half Marathon got me all motivated for a Sprint Triathlon. I re-taught myself to swim and using my old bike, finished the Falmouth, MA Sprint Tri to the cheering of my wonderful family.
So why not a Half Ironman? In 2010, along with my daughter Jane, son Keith and daughter-in-law Nicole, I got myself another on-line program and trained hard for and finished the Amica Providence Half Iron in 8 hours and 2 seconds… the greatest physical accomplishment of my life.
A Marathon was calling, but mostly in a dream. My fear was not finishing. Hobbling in. Markers, volunteers, cow bells… all gone home. But I decided to grab another on-line program and go for my first marathon, the close-to-home Cox Providence Marathon in May, 2011. A Marathon. A dream. A great big long 26.2 mile dream. I kept thinking one and done. One and done. Just finish this one. And I did it. I finished, smiling. 5 hours, 19 minutes of a dream.
Then, this winter, Keith and Nicole, four family friends and blogging friend Renee Ross began talking about MCM 2012. Really talking about it. Jane had run MCM in 2009 and qualified for Boston to boot. Nicole ran MCM the same year, her first marathon. Should I do it?
It was tempting.
So what happened to one and done? Marine Corps Marathon was calling… with 3 very important inspirations: 1) run MCM to honor family friend and fallen Marine Lance Corporal Dimitrios Gavriel, who died at age 29 in action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, 2004. Dimmy is interred in Arlington National Cemetery; 2) run MCM with (well, not exactly with, because they are all so much faster than me) Keith, Nicole, Renee and friends; and, 3) to celebrate my 60th birthday, October 6th. I want to welcome 60 running across a finish line of a 26.2 mile race.
But I knew I would need more than an on-line program this time. So I looked to Runner’s World, and this is what I found:
- Entry to the race (a $92 value). In 2011, the race sold out in just 28 hours!
- A 16-week training plan designed by RW Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso, who has coached hundreds of elites, celebs, and everyday runners.
- Weekly e-mails from Bart with guidance on training, nutrition, injury prevention, and motivation.
- One year of access to the RW Challenge experts on nutrition, training, and injury-prevention.
- Access to a private RW Challenge web site, where you connect with other runners training for the race.
- A copy of The Runner’s Rule Book, Going Long, or The Runner’s World Guide to Road Racing (your choice).*
- A technical Runner’s World Challenge T-shirt*
- A four-month premium membership to RW’s Personal Trainer, our interactive training log
This is what I need! (And oh, the technical Runner’s World Challenge T-shirt sounds pretty awesome, yes?)
And this is what I’m exhilarated, frightened… and ready for. In 19 days, on July 9th, I’ll officially begin the greatest athletic undertaking of my life… training for the Marine Corps Marathon with the Runner’s World Challenge.