Thursday, March 26, 2015

I'm Going Back!

If you follow me in other areas of these interwebs you know I've been joining in the excitement and chattering that is the MCM Lottery process.  It's such an electric time - lots of new people hoping for a chance at a great first time marathon (I remember that was me last year!), tons of people wanting to run in honor of a loved one or several,  and others with varying reasons of why they want to run the Marine Corps Marathon.  After running it last year, I can tell you that every moment from the time you fill out the lottery form to the finish line festival in Rosslyn is worth it.

The lottery was completed and notifications of congrats or regret were to be sent out after midnight/early Wednesday morning.  I stayed up until a little after midnight but then knew I needed to get some sleep.  I wasn't going to drive myself crazy because I remembered last year I didn't find out until late afternoon.  But... I did set up my banking to alert me if a charge was put on my credit card and gave the MCM email address a special tone - just in case.  ;)

A little after 2 am I got startled awake by a text message - the MCM fee had been deducted from my account.  I just sort of giggled a bit and then rolled over and tried to get back to sleep.  A short while later, my phone went blingity bling with the tone I gave the MCM email.  I opened it up to read my "Congratulations" email, and then I stupidly farted around on my phone a bit with Twitter and Hay Day (my kids have me playing that damn game - it's an addiction!), and then got to sleep.


So let me tell you how and why I chose to go back to MCM this fall and why I am just so stinking thrilled that lightning struck twice for me and I got selected (lots of people that I know from last year unfortunately did not and I'm bummed for them).

I've been going back and forth on just what I wanted to accomplish this fall.  Did I want to give myself a break and work on lowering my half marathon time or even the 10K?  Did I want to run another marathon for a PR/for fun/for a BQ attempt/for a charity?  Did I want to take another "racecation", and if so, where to?  I also wanted my family to weigh in on it - more so than last year.  Admittedly I jumped on MCM guns blazing after feeling so screwed over on my first marathon due to injury.  But this time what did the family really want?

To be honest, the last few weeks of training for Pittsburgh really had me going back and forth.  On the great weeks I'd be all "Hellllll yeah, I'm going for it all" and on the down weeks I'd say "nope, no more marathons, this is too much".  After many talks (some tipsy talks.. haha) with my significant other he asked me why I would consider stopping myself now.  Why try to talk myself out of doing things before I even really try to do them.  And so, it became certain that I was definitely in for a fall marathon.  But where?

I asked the family to help me with a pros and cons list (go ahead and laugh, but this is my type A coming out).  I gave out a list of potential marathons and everyone had to talk about the WHY for that race as well as what would suck about that race.  On the list we had MCM, Philly, Baltimore, Atlantic City, Wineglass, Steamtown, Erie, and Air Force.  One by one they got crossed off the list.  Baltimore - even though it's the SCRR field trip for the fall we hate the Ravens too much.  Eff that.  Erie - more of an end of summertime race, which would have me training pretty soon after Pittsburgh.  Also, boring.  Atlantic City - while it sounds like it would be great fun if just Nick & I went, it's not kid friendly and we promised the kids they can go again.  Wineglass - this course appeals to me because uh, DOWNHILL and I've only heard numerous wonderful things about it, there's really not much else in the area to prompt a family racecation out of it.  Yeah, yeah I know the glass stuff, but unless you have met all 3 of my kids you have NO idea how frightening that sounds.  Steamtown - Again, it sounds like a wicked fun course for just my purposes, but it's in Scranton.  I'll say it again - it's in Scranton.  I haven't been in the Scranton area since I was a band nerd in the late 1990s.  I'm pretty sure my kids would hate it too.  

We were left with our final three:  Air Force, Philadelphia, and Marine Corps.  About a week before the lottery started we crossed Air Force off the list, but it was a tough call and will likely reappear on the list in future years.

Final two:  Philadelphia and MCM.  The final decision would be made by - the MCM lottery.

I put Marine Corps as my first choice for a few reasons.  First of all, I really enjoyed the event last year.  The whole weekend of events.  Second of all, I really want another go of it.  The little mistakes I made like trying to chase a pacer at first to running the middle flat part too fast to burning out at mile 25 and then walking a little part of the Iwo Jima hill at the end do still enter my mind.. especially on these long hard training runs for Pittsburgh.  I want a re-do!  I want to say I did NOT walk that hill at all!  haha.  I also would like to experience the things that I missed out on the first time around.  It's also the 40th anniversary of the Marine Corps Marathon and it's looks like they're going to do some awesome things with that.  I'm already a fan of the gear and colors they previewed.  And.. it would be kind of cool to be on my way to being a member of the MCM Club - people who have ran 5+ MCMs and who get automatic entry for life.  I could totally see myself making MCM a yearly thing.  But... I think what really sealed the deal on MCM for me is reading my training logs and recaps and most of all - watching my finish line video.  I knew last week that because I can still FEEL all those emotions watching that video and can sit here and cry and laugh that I had to try to get into the race again.  It truly is that epic.

I put my lottery ticket in around 5 minutes after they opened registration.  And then I endured the seemingly long wait to find out my fate.  As my husband said - "Will we be eating cupcakes or cheesesteak?".

Well honey, the answer is I'll be carbloading for Marathon #3 at Georgetown Cupcake again!  At least this year you'll already know where the post-race beer tent is to find me at!

As for what my "intent" is, so to speak, with this year's MCM -  NFI.  Let me get through Pittsburgh first, and check back with me on that sometime in June. ;)


  1. Congratulations!!! I love that your family weighed in on the decision and that you got your 1st choice! I had to laugh at why you crossed Baltimore off the list. I agree!

    1. Thanks! Yes, Baltimore was the first to go and exactly for the reason stated. haha.

  2. Congrats on getting in! I like all the thought you put in to choosing a race and then leaving it up to fate. I don't think I could deal with the stress of a lottery race! At least you know plenty ahead of time though :) congratulations!

    1. It was convenient timing for me because registration for Philadelphia opens up at the beginning of April. I like having this much notice - now I can sit and obsess over my training plan for the rest of the year! ;) Thanks!

  3. Congrats on getting in!!! Waiting to see if you got in is always so stressful. Pretty cool that this was your first choice for a race.

    1. Thanks, I've been bitten by the MCM bug. I love the whole thing. Eventually I'd like to do all their races in the series from the Run Amuck to the Turkey Trot!