Hello everyone and a very happy Sunday!
I am happy to say I completed the Quantico 12K Saturday August 25! This was the first run I’ve done since moving to Virginia. Overall it was a good run for me. I have slowly started to increase my mileage in running and the 12K proved to be a good start before training for longer runs.
And this is how the story goes:
I was a little stressed out about picking up my packet. The packet pick-up time was the day before the race on Friday. I was in no mood to drive in DC traffic after work to pick up the packet, 23 miles there and back, then get up at the crack of dawn to go there again. So, what did I do???? I waited until the morning of. The website said that packet pick-up the morning of started at 5 am. I left for the run at 5 am and a 7:25 start time. I found myself trying to get on I-95, ended up on the Easy Express, got off that and finally got on the correct interstate. Arrived at Quantico around 6 am and couldn’t find my ID to get on base. Ugh…. Had to pull over to the side and finally dug it out and continued on to the designated parking lot. About a quarter-mile to parking, single lane traffic was backed up. Again stress. One thing about showing up for racing events, never ever think you are the earliest, because I guarantee there are about 500 people thinking the very same thing. Twenty minutes later I was in a parking spot and headed towards the tent to pick up my packet. Score! I even had time to use the Porto Potty – twice, with 300 of my closest friends!
The run opened with the posting of the colors and an invocation. The announcer made some small talk and then decided to point out the youngest runner was 9 and the oldest runner was a female of 69 years young. Remember the 69-year-old later in the post….
I popped in my ear buds and started off with some Imagine Dragons, there goes the gun and off I go. There was a 100 yard stretch of black top before the road entered what seemed to be an enchanted forest with improved gravel. There was a very thick canopy that covered the trail for about 96% percent of the race. The weather was cool and the canopy made for a nice run.
About a half a mile in, there were portos to the left ~ people were already stopping to go to the bathrooms. Oh well, when you gotta go you gotta go! The first two miles are always a bit of a warm up for me. I don’t feel bad or good. Just need to find a good running rhythm. There were a lot of hills. Just think of it like the surprise in a box of Cracker Jacks© you never truly know what you’re going to get. A little hill there…a big hill here. It was a cornucopia of trail running goodness. Fun to be had by all! Around mile 3 I started to “hang” with people in the same pace group. It’s funny how this happens. You pass them, they pass you, you stop at the same time for water and so on…. You even start to notice their running attire. Hmmm I like that top…I wonder where she got that….hill!
Water points were plentiful. Which was nice because I was really sweating this one up. Around mile 4 I decided I needed to use the porto potty. Yes, sigh, I know. It’s almost like it was calling me. “Laurel, Laurel…can’t have the full race experience without the stinky porto stop”. I glided on over and there were a set of four lime green portos with grass surrounding them about a foot high. One’s door was wide open…like choose me. I did. Now these portos looked to have been constructed when Jesus was in the Marine Corps, but I’ve been down this road so many times I looked for the Holy water..in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost ~ let’s go…literally. Did what I came to do and noticed that there was a hand sanitizer machine on the wall. Hmmm… should I? Heck yeah! I used the hand sanitizer that probably was installed by George Washington…glop… a nice bit of what I think was clear goo came out and I clapped my hands together and noticed that instead of that nice alcohol dissipating gel feel there was a tacky gooey feel. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I shot out of that porto hands splayed trying to dry them off and decided to wipe them on the back of my shorts. To answer your question…yes they stuck. I’m surprised I didn’t run the rest of the race with my hands stuck to my bottom. Moving forward….
Ahh mile 4…the woods, the smell of nature and running BO, the Marine smiling at the turning point before … oh damns that’s a big hill!! Not only was it a big hill, but it was switching back and forth…a couple of times. I’m not going to lie, there was some walking involved on this one.
Mile 5. You remember the 69-year-old runner? Well, at the beginning when they announced her she kind of did a little pageantry dance and started running through the crowd. The first thing I noticed was she had her hair in a bun with an American and Canadian flag stuck in the back. Kind of like a nation sharing placard. You know, the kind of flag you wave at a parade. I was slowing down a bit. I was passed by the 69-year-old with the flags in her hair. Sigh. I should have said look, I would be a whole lot more impressed if you had the flags of the United Nations on your head! Now that would be impressive! There are two take-aways from this…1) I’m happy I was passed by a 69-year-old ~ it lets me know at that age I can still do this; 2) I have a hell of a lot of work to do….
Around mile 6 we started to cross paths with the triathlon participants. The trail was divided down the middle and they were running towards us. There was a turn around point for them and then they were on the same finishing path until the end of the race. No big deal, just a fact.
Finally, mile 7! Wait, it’s a 12K… 7.45645 miles…
I had a half a mile to go and I won’t lie…I did slow down a bit and put my hands on my hips. Chump move, but I did, especially so late in the race. As soon as my hands hit my hips; I hear this barking behind me “Get your hands off your hips”! I turn around and there’s this old guy, I don’t know maybe in his 60s or 70s, no doubt a former Marine aaannnnd doing the triathlon, telling me to get my hands off my hips and get a move on… Oh, no you didn’t! Who did he think he was??! I turned back around, took my hands off my hips, and got a move on…. don’t mess with a Marine and I did show him my respect. I love it! I love military people, as a veteran I think they are some of the best in my book.
I finished the race in 1:26 with a 11:26 pace. This is the longest I’ve run since I’ve been here and I am pleased with my progress. I have a lot of work to do, because I’m not satisfied with my result. After the race we got a nice little swag bag of eats and some hot dogs. I should have took two of those! I did have this after at IHOP:
The Nikes© are officially retired.
Total miles completed in my journey = 5588.81. Miles gratefully remaining 5726.19. I have 68.69 miles left till my halfway mark. Kingdom Half Marathon ~ here I come!! I hope this post finds you at peace, grateful and with much joy in your heart. Happy Miles to you!!
You know I had to play this!