Introducing the 35th anniversary Marine Corps Marathon medal along with the front of the race shirt. Best race shirt EVER by the way, I’ll take better pictures of it later because it really deserves to be cataloged. I have to say there are very few things in this world more extraordinary then starting a race course surrounded by members of the military and running past the gravestones of all the soldiers who laid down their lives in defense of our nation at Arlington National Cemetery. It’s truly humbling.
That being said there is something you should know. That’s not my medal.
Really, it’s not my medal. You see I started the Marine Corps Marathon but I didn’t finish it.
And let me tell you it is really temping to end this blog entry there. I tried and I failed right? We can add MCM to a long list of diets, piano lessons and high school calculus.
I’m sure if I asked some key people I could add to that list pretty quickly but you get the picture.
I know some of you are disappointed. Really truly disappointed. Maybe you’re disappointed for me. Maybe you’re disappointed in me. Maybe you’re doing the crazy fat girl mind meld and thinking “hell if she can’t do it and she’s done all these other races I’ll never do it.”
Stop that! Seriously.
I have failed all over the place in my life. Hell look at this blog. When we started this we promised to blog daily. Um…yeah big fat failure there too. Heck, if you think about it Failure is just about the scariest F word out there. But I did fail. I failed at 14.6 of 26.2 and had to get on a school bus because my foot was so beat up I needed a ride to the finish line (or preferably to my hotel but I had to settle for the finish line).
That being said I have to tell you a secret: even as a big fat failure the Marine Corps Marathon is AWESOME. If you get a chance click HERE for the course map. (Beware it’s an Adobe PDF document and it might take some time). Any course that runs past The Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetary, along the Potomac River, past the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and along the entire loop of the Mall in DC past the Capital Building and back towards the Pentagon to end at the Marine Corps Memorial (the Iwo Jima Statue) is pretty amazing. I’m more upset about missing the chance to run the rest of the race course then I am about missing the medal (and we all know how much I love medals).
At the same time I don’t want to mislead you. I’m not feeling jolly and Tigger-like about not finishing. It sucks. I knew a couple dozen people on the course from my various running experiences and not finishing in front of them stunk. Returning home to California without a medal also stunk. The Marine Corps Marathon was celebrating it’s 35th Anniversary and I missed the ANNIVERSARY medal. But you want to know the biggest stink bomb of all?
The DATE of the Marine Corps Marathon? October 31st? It was the 2500th Anniversary to the day of the running of the first marathon in Greece.
And really when you fail in the attempt to celebrate 2500 years of history you’ve pretty much hit rock bottom.
Or so I thought.
A week after I royally failed MCM Edison Pena one of the miners trapped underground in Chile for 69 days finished the New York City Marathon.
Isn’t that horrible? Don’t you feel sorry for me? I mean from all appearances I have every reason to plop my ass back on the couch and pretend this running thing was a bad dream right?
I’ve learned a lot in the past year but my most important realization is that in life there are only two kinds of people: people who show up, and people who don’t. Whatever else happened, even if I’d had a cramp and quit the course before the first mile, I still showed up.
At 4:30am on October 31, 2010 I took the D.C. Metro to the Pentagon station. I was nervous, I was excited and I was determined. On that day my determination didn’t carry me across the finish line. It did, however, carry me 14.6 mile.
Next time I will go the distance.