Fall is my favorite season of the year. It’s pretty much the only reason why I’ve stayed in the Northeast. You just don’t get the beautiful colors and the chill in the air down south or out west in warm Cali. The other reason I love the fall? Marathon season!

The next big marathon on the schedule is The Marine Corps Marathon this upcoming weekend. Runners are in their final days of the taper period and are prepping for a fun weekend in DC. I ran Marine Corps last year (check out my race recap!) and have some tips for making the most of the AWESOME race weekend.

Marine Corps Marathon medal

Tips for Your Best Marine Corps Marathon Experience:

1. Download the MCM app: It provides info for runners and supporters alike and was my go-to for answers during the weekend.

2. Download the iTrans DC app. The cheapest way to get around DC is via the Metro. The iTrans DC app provides schedule alerts, train delays, and maps all in one place. I must have used that app at least 50 times while we were in DC.

3. Plan extra time for the expo. There was a long line last year to get into the expo through security, and then another long line to buy any MCM official gear. Be patient and thank the Marines. Don’t go to the expo thinking you’ll “get in and get out.” It just isn’t happening.

4. Also allow for extra time to get to the race start and to get onto the train after the race. The Metro cannot handle the amount of runners that use it to travel to the race. There will be delays, there will be crowds. Make sure you give yourself a little buffer of time. Also, it will be insanely crowded after the race, so plan to take a cab (I did) or take a post-race recovery drink or snack with you to have after the race. You most likely will not make it out of the race quickly.

5. Go slow through the first 4 miles. It’s a bit hilly through the first 4-5 miles of the course and it definitely can steal some of your energy for the end.

6. Thank a military member along the course. Between the Marines at all the aid stations and the thousands of military members running the race and spectating, make sure to thank them for their support and service. I saw some pretty spectacular moments out there on the course involving military members. You can’t help but be inspired.

7. Check out the museums and monuments after the race. I made the mistake of walking around Arlington Cemetery a little too much the day before the race. I ended up being okay, but it definitely took a toll on my recovery in the days after.

8. If it’s sunny, make sure you stay hydrated and take in water and Gatorade. You run in direct sun for a lot of the race. So even if the temperatures are cooler, you can still get pretty dehydrated in the sun.

9. A Marine will put the medal around your neck at the end of the race, so be prepared to get emotional. If you’re like me, you might cry. It’s pretty powerful to have a military member in fatigues salute you. Enjoy it. Even ask for a hug! (I did!)

10. Have a BLAST! The MCM is “the people’s’ marathon” for a reason. There are no elite runners. Everyone is equal. You’re all running for the same reason; to have fun, be competitive, and enjoy DC.

 

{ 1 comment }

Chicago Marathon 2014 Race Recap

October 17, 2014

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed a certain little announcement…First of all, I want to thank everyone for all the well wishes and congratulatory messages. Bernie and I are so excited. I can’t believe I’m getting married! Now, let’s get down to business—the Chicago Marathon! Bernie and I arrived Friday morning […]

Read the full article →

Thoughts Going Into The Chicago Marathon

October 8, 2014

Here we are people. It’s race week! I have a lot things running through my head this week. My to-do list is exploding with all the things I have to get done before we head off to Chicago on Friday: clean the house, clean the (stinky) dog, get some iron-on letters for my race tank, […]

Read the full article →

Chicago Marathon Training Week 16

October 1, 2014

1 week of taper down, 2 more to go until marathon day! My body has really been craving the extra rest and I didn’t realize that until I hit the taper. My feet and calves have taken a beating this time around and I’m noticing everything loosen up with the extra rest. I still did […]

Read the full article →

Apple Picking with The Family (and Frenchie)

September 29, 2014

One of the big upsides to being in taper mode for the marathon is that I have a lot more extra free time on my hands on the weekends to do non-running related things. Apple picking is a family tradition that runs deep in the Matthews clan. If you’re new to this blog, you may […]

Read the full article →

Chicago Marathon Training Week 15

September 26, 2014

Otherwise known as, Peak Week The highest weekly mileage I hit during this training plan was 40. Way back when, over 15 weeks ago, I decided on this particular plan because I did it for the Marine Corps Marathon last year and it worked out. I also chose this plan because I knew work was […]

Read the full article →

A Day in The Life & Work/Life Balance

September 16, 2014

Over the last few months, I’ve been pretty absent from this blog. I used to post 5 days a week. Now, I’m lucky if I post twice a week…maybe. Work has completely taken over my life. And any other free time I have is devoted to marathon training. While I’m not posting this ‘Day in […]

Read the full article →