It’s never been much of a secret that I do not enjoy running. When I was in the army, I used to dread having to run 2 miles for the army physical fitness test. So, how is it that I have ended up running a 6.2 mile race, two years in a row… for “fun?” I’ve been asking myself that same question!
The Marine Corps Marathon is held every October in DC & VA. The race begins in Virginia and then winds its way through our nation’s capital, passing a plethora of monuments, before going back into Virginia and then ending at the Marine Corps War Memorial. People travel from all over the world to participate in this event. Even with Hurricane Sandy looming, this year’s Marine Corps Marathon was the largest yet!
In addition to the marathon, the Marine Corps hosts a 10K that begins along the National Mall and also ends at the famous Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, VA. Without any prior planning and/or proper training, I have managed to run this race two years in a row. Last year, my friend Heather asked if I would like to run with her because the person she was supposed to run with could no longer participate. The thought of running 6 miles was terrifying, but I didn’t want her to have to run it alone, so I decided I would give it a shot. It actually ended up being a lot of fun…despite all the pain from the actual running part of it. I rarely run further than 2 miles, so at about mile 4, my body started to let me know it was very unhappy with me. But, the course was lined with people cheering you on. In addition to regular citizens, there were also marines lined up in uniform ready to give you high-fives. Now that is what I call motivation! Even though I am sure we both wanted to walk the rest of the way, we stuck it out and we finished the race together.
About six months later, the registration for this year’s race opened up and Heather asked if I would like to run with her again. Ummm….no thanks. I tend to have a bucket list-type mentality. Meaning, if I have already checked that box, there is no real need to do it again. However, fast forward to 4 days before the race and I am somehow volunteering to run 6.2 miles again. This time, I am not feeling compelled to run out of friendly duty. Heather was running with her friend Andrea, so I was under no obligation to help a friend in need. But, after realizing that there was a bib up for grabs, I basically jumped at the opportunity to run again this year. Why? The truth…I have no idea!
It was pretty much the same as last year (although the weather was much nicer this year). The course was lined with people eager to cheer on the runners, the marines were lined up to offer high-fives, and my body started to curse me out right around mile 4. But, I was determined to finish the race without walking and I did just that. It wasn’t fast and I am sure it wasn’t pretty. Slow and steady is how I win (a.k.a. finish) the race.
So now I am wondering if I might actually register for the 10K next year? Or maybe my calling is just to adopt orphan race bibs?