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That Time the Wheels Came Off

31 Mar

In honor of today being the day everyone found out if they got in the Marine Corps Marathon, I thought I’d share the post I never published. My 2015 MCM was not my favorite experience, other than running with my girls


As a reminder, I had done the Hershey Half Marathon the previous Sunday and was still in the early stages of my new job – still computer free if I remember correctly…Anyway after a quick trip home and a few days of work, it was time to hop in the car again for another race weekend.

Friday afternoon I took off early from work again to head down to DC for the Fortieth Marine Corps Marathon (and my fifth!) with Phred by my side as usual. The drive down was pretty uneventful which is always a good way to start these things off!

And as usual, I had chosen to stay pretty far out of town in Tyson’s Corner. Before getting to the hotel, I stopped off at Trader Joe’s for some munchies. The plan was to sleep as long as I needed to and head to the expo to meet up with Pam and Kimberlee. And since Team McGraw had put up a team again this year I was hoping I’d run into a few of those running friends as well.

I got to the expo about mid-day and ran into Kristine and Norman at the Metro stop. Kristine was doing some more shopping and we got a couple of pictures (as we tend to do!)

When I got into the expo, I was THRILLED to realize that I was picking up a very low numbered bib for the first time EVER in a big race. It should be noted here that MCM does not number your bib according to pace 🙂


This fine young Marine got me started on my way to Iwo Jima


Whoa!! Corral A!!! Not really – MCM is self-corralling

After picking up my bib I headed to get my shirt and bag. Since 40 is the Ruby anniversary the shirts are a gorgeous ruby red color.


A nice winter weight mock turtleneck –

Then I decided to wander the floor while waiting for Pam and Kimberlee

I stopped by the USAA booth and asked about the Challenge Coins that they used to distribute since I hadn’t gotten on the previous year. Due to costs they’ve stopped giving them out but the awesome lady there gave me a special USAA coin when she discovered I’d been a member for 25 years!


When I eventually met up with Pam I ended up trying out the SparklySoul headbands – another company that promises that the bands won’t end up sliding off of my big round head! There were some on sale so I grabbed a couple and would give them a try the next day. I also went through the Official Merchandise room and picked up a beer glass and a shirt. The line was long but moved pretty quickly so once we finished up there we went back out on the expo floor to do more exploring!

Of course we had to take a picture with Coach Galloway!


We found Kimberlee eventually and did a little more wandering before deciding to call it a day and make plans to meet up in the morning.

On my hunt for meat and potatoes I decided to just call a local diner and grab a burger and fries to go so I picked up Phred from the hotel and after a quick walkies he came with me to get my dinner. Another quiet night in the hotel with plans to get up and get on the first train possible in the morning. Bonus with this hotel is there was a metro station within walking distance! Yay!

I did get out there early enough to grab one of the earliest trains. While waiting I chatted with the one other runner who was there, running his first MCM. We made it out to the Pentagon station with little trouble since the crowd wasn’t too bad yet.

The biggest problem came when we got to the security checkpoint. Here the crowds were really backed up – this is the first time I’ve encountered this at Marine Corps and people weren’t too happy about things. After a wait and a screen with the wand (since my pump set off the metal detector) I made it to the runner’s village. I ran into Jeff McMahon and one of the Team McGraw marathoners on my way to the potty and it was good to chat with him – since the last time I saw him was at LAST year’s Marine Corps Marathon. We chatted a bit then I needed to get my bag checked and find all my peeps!

My Racing the Dream people met up for pre-race pictures and then split up and I had told Pam where we were so she headed that way. We were still waiting for Kimberlee who was stuck in that horrible security traffic jam.


Pam and I heading to the start. Notice the ponchos…

Eventually we headed out to the start area to stake out a spot an luckily Kim made it out before the cannon went off!

Our plan was to stick with 1:1 intervals for as long as we could and then switch over to 30:30’s when we got a little tired. This worked really well for the first five miles or so but once we got into Rock Creek Park we started to slow down pretty significantly – or at least it felt that way. But we were still in pretty good spirits


Lioness in Tantrum, and wear blue: run to remember

Pam started to hurt fairly early on and we could see how far behind we were once we made the turn around at about Mile 7. But our goal was to Beat the Bridge and I thought we were still going to be okay, even though my blood sugar was dropping pretty fast and we were all feeling a little more pain. Once we got into East Potomac park we were doing more walking than running and we stopped off at a medical tent along the way.


Me and Mr. Lincoln — sort of 🙂

Once back out approaching the mall we were actually PASSED by the tail car and realized at that time that there was definitely a possibility that we weren’t going to get to the bridge on time. At mile 19, when we had a mile to go, it became every woman for herself and Kimberlee pushed out ahead first and got in front of the car. I’m not sure how I did it but as I got closer to the Mile 20 marker I managed to get in front of the car and was seriously concerned for Pam but really couldn’t turn around to see if I could see her. I got onto the bridge and was gaining on Kim and finally got close enough to call out so she turned around and held out her hand and we pushed on, wondering if Pam had made it.

About half way across the bridge we heard it! A voice behind us yelling “Anne!! Kim!!!” and turned around to see Pam coming!! We slowed down and she sped up and we made it across the bridge as a team!!

The next 5 miles we knew we could take a lot slower but we still managed to pass a few people. It was fairly disappointing that the remaining fuel stops had already been dismantled but the water stops were still manned and the Marines and others were just as encouraging as they could be!

I was feeling some pain when walking and felt better at a slow jog so I pulled away from the girls but turned around every now and then to check on them. As I approached the final hill I got a little encouragement from this service dog before turning the corner to take on the last hill.


Best character stop ever – and no line!!

Again it was a little disappointing that instead of the usual crew of Marines cheering us up the hill there was …. no one but I totally get it. We were late.

I tuned halfway up the hill to check on my girls and saw them coming so I made the final push and ran the rest of the way to the Marine who was going to put my medal around my neck.


Once out of the chute I waited for Pam and Kimberlee to head to the monument for the all important finishing picture.


We walked together through the finish area where again, there was no food remaining or any of the warming blankets or jackets (we later learned that runners and non-runners alike were taking multiples of all the runner goodies… sad face)

Pam had a flight to catch so we said good bye at the fence and as Kim and I headed to get our bags I saw that the beer garden was still open so we split there, thinking that we may or may not see each other later at our RTD dinner. Which ended up being canceled since people weren’t going to make it on time, yours truly included :/

I went in to the beer garden where a very nice lady handed me a beer she had just got for her daughter but couldn’t bring out into the street. And yes, I then went over and turned in my beer ticket so I double-fisted my drinks and hung out for a bit.

By the time I got my bag and got onto the Metro the crowds had pretty much died down and since I was the next to last stop I had a good rest. I got back to the hotel and took my buddy out for his walk and headed over to WalMart to see what I could find for dinner. What I found was a really good loaf of bread and a cheap bottle of wine that went really well with the cheese I had picked up at Trader Joe’s.

A quick shower and then I hopped into bed with my delightful snack where I pondered what had happened that day and the things I learned about myself.

1. I am now past being able to half-ass my training just because I know I can cover the miles. I’ve never been so close to getting swept in a marathon (except for Paris where they don’t actually sweep, they just close everything down!)
2. I need to put in the work. REALLY put in the work. Just because I know I can do it without great training doesn’t mean I should. I was completely mentally and physically unprepared for this to turn out the way it did.
3. I am stubborn and I am sure that is at least 80% of why I was able to finish this. The other 20% was having the support of my friends and knowing they were struggling as much as I was.

This was quite possibly the toughest 26.2 I’ve done since the first time I ran a marathon. I went through a whole range of emotions during the day but at the end of it all, I’m really proud of myself and my girls for pushing through and finishing. I’m not at all proud of my performance and know I can do better .

All in all, I still LOVE this event and will be doing it again. But I will definitely be more accountable and responsible with my training. It’s the adult thing to do right?


Congratulations to everyone who got in today!!! You are in for an amazing 26.2!!! Hope to see some of you out there!!



New Month, New Attitude!

3 Mar

bright side

Last week I posted about a few things that I think are standing in the way of me doing what I need to do. Or, to use a familiar word, my excuses.

And, the first thing I need to say is thanks for all of the supportive messages I got through various channels — I didn’t set out looking for anything, it was really just a “throw it out there and get it out of my head” kind of post. But every word of support is appreciated. Always.

I really don’t want people to think that I dwell on the negative though. I honestly try not to. I wake up every morning thankful for all the good in my life because I know it could disappear in an instant!

I have some really amazing people in my life, most importantly, my Pop — I am sure when my mom used to tell me “You’re just like your father” it wasn’t *always* a compliment. But it’s pretty true! I also have other family members that I know I can lean on 🙂

To kind of follow up on all that has been (had been?) dragging me down…

  1. That financial thing that was really weighing me down – it’s gotten better thanks to my guardian angels. I have a way to go to feel comfortable again but things are looking up!
  2. My job angst is coming to an end. VERY soon in fact 🙂 I’ll miss a lot of the people I’m working with now, but that is no reason to stay
  3. The body image thing…that’s been around ages so it’s going to take more than a couple of weeks to clear up. But I can definitely change things up a little, at least!!

Every morning is a new start – and I need to start taking better advantage of that!!

Thanks again to everyone who played a part in turning my attitude around in the last couple of weeks — every word and every action, no matter how big or small, helped so much and reminded me that things are not so bad

thank you so much


Time to Come Clean

20 Feb

So, I started the year with high hopes, great ambitions and all that.

I have been less than successful in, basically, getting off of my butt! And it’s been killing me. Mostly because I KNOW what I can do when I put my mind to something.

But there have been obstacles. All Mental. All of them…it is all in my head. And I’m putting it all out here because I hope that will help me get my ass in gear. The last 6-8 months have been really hard for me on a few fronts.

  1. I have been a financial disaster since about October. Those who know me know that I *hate* to spend money. I really do. I’ve got some innate hoarding thing that tells me I need to be ready for anything. So I save. And save and save. But for the last several months I haven’t been able to do that. And it has been way more stress than I can deal with. I blame this stress on #2 here.
  2. My job is ridiculous and makes me crazy. It is a complete cluster and has been from before the start. Started after I thought I would, minimal training, system screw ups that STILL haven’t been fixed….it’s not great. But…as a contractor I have to show up and do the job so I can get paid. And I do. As much as it stresses me out, I do.
  3. Personally I’ve had a couple of things go completely batshit crazy – in the super subtle introvert way my life goes batshit crazy – and even if I don’t want to admit it all the time, it hurts and makes me second guess myself. When people you thought would never let you down or turn their back on you do in fact turn their backs and let you down…
  4. My usual body-image issues (which I haven’t actually ever shared here) are raging out of control!! And not at all helped by my complete inertia. Or the fact that I’m creeping back up to my heaviest and squishiest on a pretty fast pace. This one is a vicious cycle I tell you

I have finally started taking steps to get things back on track.

  1. I asked for help. Not something I necessarily wanted to do but when I got mail from the mortgage holder on my home telling me that they were “worried” about a very late payment I *had* to do something. And I’m no Kanye, ain’t no one setting up gofundme pages for me!
  2. Honestly, I have been looking since about a month after I started and things are kind of hopping now so fingers crossed something will pop soon!
  3. I don’t really have a whole lot of control over this stuff….and so it will be my motivator to get out there and keep going no matter what others may think or say about me. Kind of a big one finger salute if you will…
  4. Ugh. This is the toughest and the one I have never actually dealt with in a constructive way. And, frankly, I’m still not. And not completely sure I ever will.

So there you have it. No cute memes, no pictures of puppies. Just me.

Yeah, I’ve been stuck for a while. But I’m working on getting unstuck and getting where I need to be. And I am hoping that being able to share here is part of the process will actually kind of push me to do more sharing here….

It’s not *all* bad, of course. Nothing ever is. I am so very very grateful for the ones who have reached out and the ones who have believed my side of things and the ones who’ve stepped in to help me out. And I’ve got that dog who can always make me smile!

Thanks for hanging in with me, really. It’s appreciated more than you might know

The One with the Resolutions

1 Jan

happy new year 2016

First off I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year filled will all the good things!! It’s always nice to have a clean slate. Hopefully this year I can make up for any shortcomings in 2015.

new beginning

And so with that….On to the resolutions!

Running Resolutions: 2015 got off to a good start when I was running Dopey, then the Houston half and then the Paris Marathon. And then, I just quit running. Yeah, I still signed up for races, and I showed up but…that was about it.

In 2016 I, along with a group of friends, have pledged to run 1000 miles. Someone else did the math and it’s a bit more than 20 a week. I think 🙂  My current running plans are pretty unplanned at the moment. I will be running the Houston Half marathon again in a couple of weeks and I am registered for the runDisney Dark Side Challenge in April. I have plans to go for redemption at the Marine Corps Historic Half and will likely repeat my October trifecta – the Hartford Half, the Hershey Half and the Marine Corps Marathon (got my “club” number so get to bypass the lottery!!)

There are some events on my “want to do” list — Hershey’s 10K, the Skirt Sports 13er (which will combine and ambassador retreat with my return to Boulder after too many years!!) Run With the Amish, Hogsback Half, Shipyard Old Port Half…and I’m sure a few more will rear their heads in the next few months! And there will also be multiple 5K’s and possibly more 10K’s.

So I resolve to actually be more diligent in training – and will work my hardest to make it to 1000 miles! And I resolve to actually show up for races I register for — so in full disclosure I will say that I was registered for a 10K this morning that I did *not* go to, but I *DID* run a bit more than 10K at home!!

Health Resolutions:  The addition of an insulin pump to my arsenal this year has made it much easier to track my sugar numbers so I’ll continue on that path! I will also head back to Bikram on a MUCH more consistent basis. I plan to also throw a Whole30 or two on the pile this year — or at least eat more cleanly more often.

Blogging Resolutions: Yep. More consistency! More posting! More pictures! More fun! I hope to have a lot to share this year in all areas of my life.

Random Resolutions: More quality time with the Phred – working away from home takes away a lot of the time we used to spend together and he’s a good dog and deserves more attention!! And, I resolve to make my bed every morning.I will also work as hard as I can to be less road rage-y and angry when I’m driving! And finally, I will take time every day to express my gratitude – there is so much in my life that makes me thankful and I need to acknowledge that much more often!

Do you make resolutions? Do you keep ’em?!! What is the easiest resolution that you’ve made and kept?

dust off self

Wrapping Up the Year

31 Dec

goodbye 2015

So the first thing you’ll notice is that I’m actually publishing a post today!

Not sure how things got so far off of the rails this year, but you’ll see tomorrow in my resolutions post, that I’ll work to change that in 2016

resolution post it

Another great use for my favorite post-its!!!

Without too much yak yak — A quickie review of my year, in pictures and some words 🙂

It was a good year and it was a not so good year. Did some GREAT fun running thing (Dopey, Paris!) some super travel things (PARIS!!), and made some great new friends. This was also the year I became a Skirt Sports Ambassador which has been a super experience and I’m looking forward to repping the brand again this year!! This was also the year that I went on an insulin pump and I have to say, that having such great control is really helping to keep my numbers in line.

Since I prefer to not dwell on the disappointments of the year I’ll just say – things change and we move on and around the challenges. Buck up and figure out how to get back on track.

I started 2 new jobs this year – one only lasted a few months. That made me sad since I really enjoyed it! Now I’ve got a job that took some time to fall into place but now that I’m settled I think it’s a great opportunity to learn and grow.

And now, on with the fun stuff!!

In January I ran my first runDisney Dopey Challenge.  And most people will tell you, that if you’ve trained – which I kind of did! – the toughest part is waking up before dawn for four days in a row!



Quite possibly my most ambitious costume to date 🙂 Final 26.2 of Dopey



Dopey bling

Now if I could just find a kid to get that kid’s medal!!!

I also got to meet *this* guy at the Houston Marathon expo….


Me and my pal Meb


Once Dopey was over, the next biggie in my sights was the Paris Marathon!! Part of the awesome of this one was that I spent a week with my oldest friend in the world on our first ever vacation together!!


I did it!!! It was a warm April day in Paris


During the 5K breakfast run in Paris!!


2015-04-11 01.54.46


After Paris, things kind of hit a brick wall. You might remember this is when my posts dropped off and it’s also when my motivation disappeared. I did a 5K here and there, the runDisney Pixie Dust Challenge and the Marine Corps Historic Half in May but had nothing else on my calendar until the fall.


Pixie dust Challenge Weekend! Must get a picture with Mickey’s Wheel of Death


While I was in California for the TinkerBell weekend, I met up with this group of “kids” – they were my students back in the 80’s!! Great fun night!


Historic Half Character opp!!

I kicked off the fall running season with the runDisney Disneyland Half Marathon. I’d been wanting to make a ‘Mater costume for the longest time….


I LOVE this tutu!!! Love it!!

October brought the Hartford Half Marathon, The Hershey Half Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon. The MCM is where I learned one of my two biggest lessons this year – I can no longer get away with half-assing my training and expect to be successful. I actually wrote a post for this that never got published but I’ll throw it out here one day soon.

IMG_3558 (2)

Great finisher goodies!!!


Second year doing this one — and it’s a new favorite for sure!!!


My time wasn’t so great but we had a fun time anyway!!

End of October and early November was BIG-TIME Disney for me! I stayed at Angela, Nate and Na’Cho’s for a very long time and managed to hit Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, International Food and Wine Festival, Wine and Dine Half Marathon (half of a half it turns out!) and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.


My dream team at the Wine and Dine half of a half!

When I got home again things started to fall into place at work and planning for my January trip to cheer on my friends at WDW Marathon weekend and Ragnar Relay Key West in February.

Well, due to permitting issues, the Ragnar Key West event was cancelled (so yay me for putting off making travel plans, right?!). HUGE bummer since this is the one that’s been on my running bucket list for ages. Then as I started to make plans for January, I realized that I had waited too long and had gotten priced out of heading to Orlando to cheer. So, Big Lesson Two of the year – Procrastination doesn’t always pay, you might not get a better chance/deal/opportunity

Spent Christmas with my dad, brother and his family and it was all great!

IMG_3971 - Copy

He puts up with an awful lot…my own Angry Elf


My parent’s Christmas tree . This is home

I hope that your year brought you much happiness and love and I do look forward to more sharing next year!


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