Missy’s Marines Corps Marathon

31 10 2007

Written by Missy Brooks, October 30th, 2007

Wow. What a tough course that was! I felt like the course never really opened up. Too many runners maybe? I ran the best first half of my life. I was on target for my goal of 4:45. And then, the wheels came off. My left knee got a little niggle in it at mile 13. By mile 14, it was full-on IT Band Syndrome. Yikes! I remembered something that Lea and all of the coaches have taught me in the last two years. Find comfort in discomfort. I stopped and stretched and put on my game face. I set my sights on my second goal. (Another thing I’ve learned from my F4 coaches.) I wanted to break the five hour mark.

So, the last half mile of the race was pretty much all uphill. But, the final hill seemed awfully familiar. It reminded me so much of Folsom hill in the Bolder Boulder. I reached into the dark recesses of my oxygen deprived brain and pulled out all of the hill advice we’ve been given. I drove with my elbows. I leaned forward. I set my vision past the top of the hill. I did it. 4:59:38. And then I burst into tears. (Not very marine-like, I’m afraid.)

I tried to find the FastForward group, but the finish line was mass chaos. It took me almost 40 minutes just to get to the family link up. I found my mom and then we walked (limped) two miles into Arlington Cemetery. I rested my forehead on my grandpa’s tombstone. I could hear the finish line festivities drifting down the hill. He could hear it, too.




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