Marine Corp Marathon 2005

I ran my first marathon back in 2003 at Washington D.C. I hoped to try another one last year but I could not do because I was busy with my job search, and had no money. So it's payback time for me. I did not start training until the late spring when the registration for the marathon started. I thought it would be a bit too late. I did my best(?) to prepare for it, I have lost 25 pounds, worn out 4 pairs of Asics Kayano X. Well, let's see if I am good enough to compete in a marathon!

Note: My best friend was supposed to run but decided not to because of her injury. She's been my motivation for the running, so I hope I could finish for her, too.

2005/10/28 Going to Washington D.C.

Woke up at 5:00am but stayed in bed until 6:00am. I did not get home until 10:30pm yesterday in order to do the last portion of my assignment before taking few days off so I was a bit tired. I left my apartment around 9:00am, considering taking 45 minutes to the airport, I might be late so I drove a bit faster, I made my way to the parking, and the security check was not that busy so I proceeded to the gate right away.

The flight to Chicago, AA4212 ERJ-145, took off in a partly cloudy sky. Took only 40 minutes to get to Chicago and it was amazing. It reached O'Hare International airport in no time. It flew up north, over the Midway airport, then straight in toward the runway to the north. At the airport, I had to move from one concourse to another. There have been some construction works going on at the airport so I had to move around. While waiting for a flight to Washington D.C., I had a lunch from McDonald's. I ordered one sandwich and a bottle of water, and I made the clerk confused. I guess there aren't many people only takes a burger not with fries. Anyway, I was sitting in a seat, watching people talking on the phone, Blackberrying, working on their PCs, reading magazines, and of course, talking about the marathon!

The plane heading to Washington D.C. was an S80. It's a familiar plane for me. The passenger next to me was working for Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing. Because we are in the same field of business, we talked a lot about work. I did not know they had a factory in Illinois. AA1482 arrived to Reagan National Airport around 3:00pm. The guy in front of me was using his digital camera all the way 'til the landing. I was a good passenger so I missed all the good shots he got. Man...

S80 arrived at Washington National

The baggage claim was switched from 6 to 5 during the operation so people got confused. My baggage came out okay. Good. Grabbed my baggage, and walked out from the airport to get on the METRO. I took blue line, and transit to orange line at Rosslyn then got off at Ballston station. The Holiday Inn I was staying was about two blocks away from the station. Ballston area has some government offices, including old INS. There is a shopping mall south of the subway station, and some other businesses around. I am not sure what will happen in the night so I was quite worried.

Holiday Inn Arlington 
$119/night for Marine Corp Marathon Discount
4610 N Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA  22203
(703)243-9800  Fax (703) 527-2677

After checking in to the hotel, I decided to go to the expo, being held at an armory. I think this place is a lot better than at Crystal City's Hyatt Hotel because the whole place is flat. I picked up packet, the number, registered my chip, received a shirt and buying some Marine Corp Marathon items (I bought a Jacket and running shirt, they were quite expensive, though)

D.C. Armory. There was a security check at the entrance

After spending some time (and money), I decided to go back to the hotel. It was a boring ride because take a while to move from Stadium station to Ballston. When I got back, asked a hotel clerk about the restaurant nearby, and I picked Chipotle for tonight. I bought a fajita burrito, and a fruit juice, come back to my room and ate it. I don't want to spend too much money. Going to bed around 10:00pm.

2005/10/29 Getting ready for the marathon

I woke up around 7:00am. I had very good night sleep because I have not slept enough in a while. Stretched my muscles, and had breakfast which I bought at Seven Eleven by the Metro station. Left the hotel around 10:00am to go to the Washington Mall. Took orange line again and got off at Smithsonian station. I have talked with few people on the train participating the marathon tomorrow. I could tell from the way they look. After getting out to the ground, I was surprised to find out there is no fence around the Washington Monument at this time. The last time they had pretty nasty looking wall all around the place but I think it is a lot better now. I walked to check out the WWII memorial, which was under construction back in 2003, and the reflection pool filled with water (which was also empty because of the construction). Turned around at Lincoln memorial, kept walking toward the museum. I went to National Museum of American History for the first time. They had many exhibitions that I found interesting because I am not an American and don't know much about the history here. I will certainly visit here in next opportunity.

Washington Monument WWII Memorial Lincoln Memorial
This was a flag from Pentagon after 9-11 General Motors EV1 Space Ship One Space Ship One

I also stopped by Smithsonian saw Space Ship One which won the Ansari X prize last year for going to 62miles up back to back in two weeks. I thought I had enough so I decided to go back. Taking a train was not that easy because it was clouded over the weekend. Came back to the hotel, thought about either paying $12.50 for the spaghetti dinner, or eating at somewhere else. Because the outside was not dark yet, I decided to check out the mall near by. I ended up going to Macaroni Grill but place got busy, took me 10 minutes to get a check after the dinner. Hmm, I should have taken the pasta dinner. (At least I save a couple of bucks.)

Stopped by Seven Eleven before heading back to the hotel. I think I will be ready for the marathon tomorrow. Going to bed around 8:30pm.

2005/10/30 The day of the marathon

Woke up at 5:30am. The daylight saving time was ended over night. I must have been sleeping very well, because I missed the alarm on the cell phone which did not adjust the time over night, I had to reboot the phone to get the right timing. Took shower, drinking more water, had breakfast. I am on the second wave so I did not have to be there at 8:15am starting time. I know it is going to be chilly in the morning and hot in the day, I rather take risk to lighten my gear weight. So, I wore my running shorts and shirt. I left my room around 7:15am, hope to arrive at the start on time. The train was packed and made many stops along the way. I was standing so I already had good exercise before getting off the train.

I got off from the Metro at Pentagon station, started to walking toward the outside. There are many signs saying "Photograph Prohibited" so I could not take any picture. It was a bit long way to the start, and on the way to the start, I had to hold up my clear bag in the air so security personal can check. On the total, I walked almost 20 minutes to get to UPS trucks to hold my baggage. I was wondering what if I have to come back here to pick up the bag after the race? It's a quite long way from the Iwo Jima monument... 10 minutes til the start, I lined up to use restroom but the count down was already started. I wanted to line up at the start but I also know it is going to be so many people using the first restroom stops, so rather than use them after crossing the line, I just waited. In fact, there are so many people running into trees after they cross the start line. Too bad, hahaha.

Start of the race, here I go! (Course Map, click here)

Mile Lap Duration Comments
0 8:43 0:00 Time took me to cross the start line
1 ? ?:?? I missed the timing.
2 29:56 29:56 First two miles. I did not see one mile marker... So many people and hard to move around. First water stop
3 11:02    
4 10:02   coming down from the highest point, still trying hard to make my way out
5 10:15   Running in the middle of Georgetown.
6 9:46   Started to head north to the Naval Observatory
6.2 ?:?? 1:04:15 10k Lap time
7 9:51   Got a water but there was a bug in it. I drank the whole. I can get sick later but I cannot get dehydrated now!
8 9:14   Turn around at the end, going back to south
9 9:30   Finally out of the wooded area. Seen the bus to pick people dropping out on the other side
10 10:03   Passing by Lincoln memorial
11 ? ?:??:?? From Lincoln memorial to Washington monument. Who cares about W? I kept running
12 20:03   Passing Smithsonian Museums... , and got a water stop, used a restroom
13 9:36   Turning around the Capital building. The casket of Rosa Parks to be here tonight but I don't think I can be that energetic to pay respect.
13.2   2:11:36 Half Marathon point
14 9:54   Passing 1/2 marathon mark. Got a coffee taste gel. WWII memorial near by
15 10:46   turned around and coming back. The scenery look familiar
16 10:08   Passing the monument
17 10:38   Phew, my legs are getting tired
18 14:29   Stretched a bit. Reached at the tip of the park. I just need to head back to the north
19 10:48   Getting tired
20 15:37   Decided to walk because it's up hill to the bridge, and I will need all the energy at the last mile
21 14:51   Keep walking on the bridge. What a shame. Passed cut off point and now I can finish the race
22 15:02   Got a cookie provided by Subway. I needed a bit of more water
23 14:52 4:16:33 Getting my time checked at the 23rd mile mark
24 12:36   I tried to run but not much energy available and my legs are killing me.
25 14:12   Okay, now I just need to
26 12:08   Coming down from highway to the last stretch. Started to run again. I am almost there and I want to break my personal record.
26.2 2.37 4:59:16 Crossing the finish line. I am done! (Total time 4:59.16)

After the finish, I got a vinyl blanket, and my finisher's medal. Getting out from the finishing zone is such a mess. It took me a while to just get some water and Gatorade because there are so many people around. I know I have to drink a lot, eat a lot and rest a lot. My right knee was taking a whole a lot of beating so I had problem walking around. I climb up the hill to get my bag back. Then went to get something to eat! I had a banana, 4 bottles of water, two Gatorade (6x12oz= 72oz, almost 4lbs of fluid), and a bagel. I also had to take Tylenol 8 hours to relieve pain in my body. I was hoping my friend is still around so I made couple of calls but no answer, so I decided to head back to the hotel.

Coming back to the hotel was a nightmare. Someone collapsed at Subway station floor and the hallway was mostly blocked. With so many people waiting on the lines to get to the subway, the heat built up and saw some tired people threw up.(Yikes!) The one good thing is that there were not many people wanting to go west bound from Roselyn station, so I was able to avoid packed train. I then got off at the train station, used escalators to the ground, began walking toward the hotel. Ouch, ouch,...

Then I finally came back to the hotel, took a good long shower, rested a while and headed down to the restaurant in the hotel. I had 12oz beef steak but I became feeling ill as I finish eating it (no, not the price I concerned). My body began building up a whole a lot of heat, and I think Tylenol cannot cover it anymore. I think it is a side effect of running a long distance, my body is overdriven like out of control nuclear reactor...

With the fever, I woke up once in the mid night, but otherwise okay. I kept drinking more water...

2005/10/31 Coming back to Indianapolis

Woke up around 6:00am, felt better than yesterday but my muscles sore very much. Had poptarts, orange juice, and water. Took shower, got changed and started to work on my journal. I did not get a chance to do this yesterday. Check out around 9;00am and believe or not, it took me almost 50 minutes to the airport. Just because I was having hard time walking around. Took me a while to go to the Metro station, took me another while to go down the stairs step by step (with a lot of PAIN!), and... Okay, I quit here.

Anyways, I got to the airport, and get my baggage checked in, got it X-rayed, proceeded to the gate after passing the security. Had another McDonald's chicken sandwich. Man, I need to quit eating it.

See you next year!

The flight to Chicago departed the gate on time. AA809 took off to the south, turned around to north bound. I got to see the D.C. for the last time. The plane flew over

I finish drinking water again on the way to Chicago, so I had to buy another one when I arrived at the airport. There was not much wait there since the airplane was already at the gate for boarding.

The airplane to Indianapolis, AA1284, was very spooky, because the flight attendants were claiming themselves as witches. However, they could not penetrate the bullet proof cockpit door so the pilots were able to fly to Indianapolis. The door must have some FAA approved spell repeeler or something...

Back to Indianapolis in 35 minutes. There were 4 flights using one baggage claim and it was a mess. Waited about 10 minutes to get on the economy shuttle bus to the parking. After getting off, I walked a distance to get to my car. It was around 4:30pm so I start seeing people driving back to their houses like crazy. I was scary to drive a car with sore shoulder muscles at high speed. Got home safe. Start to unpack everything.

It was a good trip to run a marathon. I think I will be back next year, with better performance!


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