2013 Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap: My First DNF #marinecorpsmarathon


After running the Omaha Marathon and the San Francisco Marathon this year, the Marine Corps Marathon just did not come to fruition for me. Lesson to self, "don't try to run two marathons back to back in a two week span of time. My hip joints started to hurt at mile eleven, and I have never had pain like that early in a long run.

Every thing about this race just did not seem right. I was not happy and excited, like the other marathons. I learned I did not like this race at all if I was honest with myself. The race started in some huge parking lot, and there were no Starbucks I could walk to before the race. I hated standing in line to use the porta potty for an hour. I was spoiled in the other races because there really was no wait line for me.

You would not believe how angry I was when there were no energy gels left, in my other marathon's, they did not run out! Then I saw runners with several packs on their belt, and then knew were they all went. I was tempted to ask them if I could have one of their gu bloks, like 10 was not enough for them. Then someone hit me on my back, because she said I threw a water cup at her...totally not intentional.

Something was just not right about this race. There were lines of people and they were not cheering, my music on my phone died at the start of the race, so I saw the spectators just stand in silence, just a little eerie. Then I passed some amazing people the lady who was running her 100th Marathon, the Marine dressed in full combat uniform, the lady that lost both arms in combat, and a older gentle men with the big number 36 on his back. I always see the number 36, it was my soccer number in high school and it's a number I run across during the day for some reason, not that I am superstitious or anything.

Mile 11 came and that is when I made the decision to not run with the pain in my hip joints to the finish. I want to run a marathon again soon and there just does not seem like any point in running this one if my heart is not in it. My heart was not in this race, and my body hurt too much too early to have a injury free finish.

What I Learned From This Race:

1. I don't like standing for an hour to use the Porta John

2. I don't like running marathons that don't start in a major city with tall buildings all around.

3. Don't try to run two marathons back to back in a two week period.

4. Listen to my heart, if my heart is not in something don't invest time and effort.

5. Don't take the metro to a race again, I don't like being around herds of people they are annoying as fuck and slow everything down.

6. Bring your own gu gels.

QOTD: Your worst race experience and why you wont run it again?

Comments

  1. Sorry MCM was not a good experience for you. It's good that you listened to your body - I cannot imagine pushing on for 26.2 miles if you're hurting and your heart's not in it!

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  2. Sorry to hear about your experience. I had the complete opposite experience. It was my first marathon but it set the bar very high for the next one. I thought the crowd support was absolutely amazing! So sorry you didn't have the same experience. You should give it another shot next year without having having run two marathons in subsequent weeks. Good for you for trying though.

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  3. Yea..totally agree, plus I took a sleeping pill the day and night before the race..and those pills turn me into a total bitch...probably why my attitude stunk...just could not wake up and really enjoy this race and day.

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  4. So happy you had a great experience! No lie every time I passed a band, they happen to not be playing...it just really sucked, if you were one of the slow ones. Its like they put on a show for the first two hours then got tiered.

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  5. The Omaha marathon was small, loved that one, the San Francisco marathon was huge loved that one too, but you have to be in it 100% and obviously for me, and early pain in my joints, it just was not my time.

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  6. That stinks Caroline! I wish you had a better experience. I had an awesome run yesterday and I wish your's was equivalent. Like Sue said, maybe next year you can do it and have a better experience.

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  7. Yea, the sleeping pill always puts me in a negative mood, and I see only the neg, and not the positives! Lesson learned, don't take a sleeping pill prior to race day!

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  8. So sorry you had such a disappointing experience : \ This was my 2nd marathon (my 1st was the NJ Marathon in May) and I thought it was incredible being a part of something so huge. I have to admit, I got a little emotional as we passed by the line of posters with the faces of so many fallen Marines. All of the bands were playing when I passed and they were still handing out gel packets when I passed the last stop (I finished at 4:35)...however, I always bring enough GU pouches to get me thru + one extra just in case. I also thought it was awesome that they handed out the jackets, food boxes, Gatorade, water, bananas AND fresh cut watermelon at the finish line. I TOTALLY agree about the metro...that's the only place I needed to wait online for an obscene amount of time, but I guess for the 3rd largest marathon in the country it was to be expected! Rest up, take care and I hope your next is a far better experience!

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  9. Sorry about the DNF. I took the metro to my first marathon. It broke down and we sat in a tunnel for 30 minutes in a beyond capacity train!

    I read somewhere that DNF stands for Did Nothing Fatel!

    They'll be plenty more races.

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  10. Sounds like a tough experience. I bet you that two in two weeks thing really got you. I did that with MCM one year (13 days apart for the marathons) and it was SO hard. I'll bet the other things wouldn't have bothered you as much if you weren't so worn out from that. I am always afraid there will not be gels/fuel left at the aid stations so I always over stock in my spi belt so I don't have to worry about it. That's one way to avoid feeling anxious about that aspect at least! The metro in the morning has always been fine for me but afterward, it's terrible. I have ended up walking to Clarendon every time to avoid the Rosslyn mess. Anyway, I hope you have a better experience in the near future! -- Ericka @ The Sweet Life (sweetlifeericka.com)

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  11. Yes...good preparation is key...and I was a total mess in this race..lol

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  12. I am so sorry you had such a bad experience! I ran the 10k in the morning then went back to the 20 mile marker to jump in and finish the last 6.2 with one of my best friends. So just shy of a half marathon day for me, haha! I was at mile 20 handing out stinger waffles and stinger gel blocks to strangers before my friend arrived and would have recognized you from your blog! Wish I could have helped!

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  13. Oh my gosh, this just wasn't your race. Talk about everything going wrong that could go wrong! I'm so sorry it was a less than positive experience, but I'm also glad you listened to your body and knew what you needed. Definitely sounds like you made the right choice.

    I hope your next race is a billion times better!!

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  14. There will always be races but you only have one body and I'm glad that you listened to it, that's a much harder decision than most people realize. I hate that it was such a bad experience for you but I think you'll come back even stronger and kick some major butt in the next one. :)

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  15. Awe that is awfully sweet. Great to know there are people that care and you are not alone, thanks for doing what you did helping out your friend and other runners!

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  16. Thanks...so funny, that was going to be my opening line, everything that could have went wrong, just did, I did not even mention all, but no need to rehash all the negativity right? Next time and better preparation will make all the difference for sure!

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  17. That is really disheartening. I know that there are times where I just blow up in what should be a fun and/or easy run. Some days it just doesn't work; I'm sorry it happened during a race.

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  18. Sorry you had such a rough time. MCM was my first marathon and I had a great experience overall, from way in the back. Took me a over 5:30 to finish. The bands were great and I loved the crowd support. I didn't have to wait in line at all for the bathroom before the race, but I wad hanging out with my charity.

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  19. It's not failure when you recognize your limits. There will be many opportunities to excel.

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  20. I'm so sorry to hear that you had a bad experience!! I absolutely loved this race last year, but I guess everyone has a different perspective on things and what they like!
    I'm also sorry to hear you might have an injury, hopefully you have caught it and can correct it!
    When I ran marathons back to back or a week a part, it took me 1 year to work up to doing them 2 weeks apart, and 2 years to work up to 1 week a part. There is a lot of pain involved, and pushing your body into it gradually is best. Hopefully, you can get recovered, and have some great race plans in 2014 to look forward too!!
    P.s. If you hate long lines at the port o potties, avoid all large races, LOL they are all like that:) However, the secret is to go to the potties that are the furthest away, sometimes those lines are smaller:)
    Recover soon!!!

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  21. This was a day, when things just did not work, for sure!

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  22. I was always supper early to the races and never had to wait in line..taking the metro was a big mistake it set me back in so many ways, I didn't get my coffee..and the list goes on.

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  23. Sorry:( Well hopefully your next race is better! Guess you could always bring your own coffee with ya on your way to a race next time, just in case:)
    I took the metro last year, but got there early and onto the first train so I didn't have to wait, but I guess I am weird I liked the crowds that came behind me.. Well until after the race, I think it took me 2 hours of waiting in the line to get on the metro to get back to my hotel:) The only bad part about last year, is the hurricane moved in later that afternoon and the town shut down and I couldn't go out and eat exactly what I wanted, just had to eat at the lovely Embassy Suites hotel instead:( Must mean I have to run the race again, so I can finish my trip:)

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  24. I ran the marathon this year and was able to finish, but I agree with you-- you're in a disadvantage if you're in the back of the pack. I passed a few bands that weren't playing and would pass people who weren't cheering anymore. The course was so crowded that you would have to zigzag around people to pass them. Also, at the end of the race they ran out of beer. Really? All those signs I passed said free beer up ahead, but I guess that's only if you get there quick enough. I also read they ran out of finishers medals. I guess I can be glad I got there in time to receive mine from a marine.

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  25. Wow that is great, I need to read your recap...headed to your archives right now!

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  26. Yea, I am glad I am not the only one, fact is the race sucked! I am angry beyond words, that you did not get beer and they ran out of finishers medal...one bullshit of a race!

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  27. Im sorry about the DNF but in the same token I'm so glad you listened to your body especially when hips joint start hurting. never a good thing. Maybe you will try it next year? :)

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  28. So sorry to hear about your experience at the MCM! Seems like you made the right choice though with not finishing, especially when you weren't having a positive experience, the stress of everything not going so well probably would have just put extra stress on your body and led to injury. It's amazing what the mind can do! I think your next marathon experience will be a much better one as long when you're not so mentally fatigued (and can avoid dumb people, not that that's ever possible ha ;)...I can't believe someone thought you purposefully threw a cup at them..that's ridiculous!)

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  29. I'm sorry your experience wasn't positive. I loved this marathon - it was my first! And I have done super crowded, popular races before, so I guess I am used to the port-o-potty line! Try again next year - I think it's an amazing race :)

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  30. Thanks, would like to do the MCM 10k next year and try for the Richmond Marathon instead.

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  31. So happy you found it amazing!

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  32. Yea, the sleeping pill always puts me in a negative mood, and I see only the neg, and not the positives! Lesson learned, don’t take a sleeping pill prior to race day!

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  33. I did, but I was also more personally invested in it being a military spouse, raising money for a charity, and having it be my goal race. I definitely had my own frustrations around it, though. But you know, sometimes you just aren't feeling it, and you have done so many other marathons recently that it's okay to bow out!

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  34. So sorry that this race sucked so much :( At least you knew enough to get out when you did, and you have other races to look forward to.

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  35. Yes, by body needed rest!

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  36. Yea, there wasn't enough support to carry me through, that is the key to success, a great support system, I was lacking this go around.

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  37. Yea, an injury and pushing my body when its not ready would have been a bad idea.

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  38. I'm sorry the race didn't go the way you'd have liked, but I think you made the right choice by not continuing to run, especially if you were in pain. You already pushed yourself SO hard by running so much before, and you should be really proud! There will always be other marathons, and it's good that you know now what kind of race you like, and what kind you don't. I admire that you ran for you, and when you knew you didn't want to and shouldn't continue this race, you didn't.

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  39. I have run the MCM twice and I think I am over runing super big marathons -- it's just too crowded! But, if you ever decide to give it a go again, book a hotel in Rosslyn just so you don't have to stand in line for the Metro or check a bag. Both years I made my reservations in January (assuming I could cancel if I wasn't able to go). It was a good decision!

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  40. Sorry about your race. I had one like that this fall too and even though I managed to finish it, I hated every minute of it. Everything started to fall apart at about mile 8. I guess some races are just not meant to be, and the ones that aren't well, those are the ones we learn from for next time around. I know I will be running until I am 80 and you will too, so what is one stupid race on the scheme of things? And if I had to wait an hour for the porta potty, I would be so pissed!

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  41. ok so i want to know what happens when you DNF? you talked about the pain in your knees as to why you stopped running, but you could still walk? so did you just stop doing the marathon all together? my situation is a little similar or maybe not..lol i have missed about 2 months of training for my first marathon. my longest run is 15 miles. i dunno i guess part of me wants to try to complete the race, but there is another part of me that is thinking the shipped has sailed off already...i have just 2 weeks before my big day and i still do not know what to do. i suppose i could show up and DNF, but then i think at least i showed up right? the course limit is 6.5 hours?? which means i need to walk a 14 min pace in order to become a finisher??? when i say it outloud it seems crazy that i would want to press on...right? oh and i ran the 15 miles at a 13 min pace. it hurts to come so far and get so close....

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