Tuesday, November 15, 2016

MCM Recap Part 1 - Finally! (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

So it's been two weeks since I completed the MCM.  It's taken me a little bit to wrap my head around this race.  While I loved the race and very happy with what I put into it, the heat took a lot out of me and put a little bit of damper of the race.

In case you missed previous posts from the MCM weekend:

So let's start from the beginning.  We got up really early Sunday morning.  I actually was awake before the alarm went off.  We got ready and headed down to the buses.  Everyone staying at the Gaylord was able to get a shuttle to the start line, but the VIP people got to get on the buses that were in the front of the line.  Each bus had one volunteer and one marine.  We were up front and were able to talk to both of them on the ride to the start line.

We got dropped off close to the start line and had a short walk to security.  Since we were really early, there was no line.  I'm not really sure if there ever was a line or not throughout the morning, but they just wanted to look into our bags, including our belts.  If it had a zipper they wanted to see inside.  After security we headed to the VIP tent.

The VIP tent was nice.  It had a layout of bagels, bananas, coffee, and some Cliff Gu packets.  Since my pre-race meal is a Honey Stinger Waffle, I passed on everything.  Though I did pick up a couple of Gu packets as that is the brand I use.

The tent also had a handful of tables with folding chairs around them.  Since we were one of the first there we snagged a couple of seats.  We still had about 45 minutes till we had to head to the start line.  It was a little chilly, but I could tell it would be a warm morning.  I had on a light jacket but started to get warm while we waited.  We chatted with those around us and used the port-a-potties a couple of times.  The VIP tent had about 6 port-a-potties just for VIP but the line was long for those as well as the ones outside.

As we walked to drop off our bags at bag check there was the most amazing sunrise.  We took off our jackets and pulled out the trash bags that we swiped from the maid's cart and were on our way to the start.  It was right about 60 degrees at the start, but my arms were a little chilly and the garbage bag was perfect. 

I did see a sign from the quote I found on their site which I put on the back of our shirts.  I got a few comments on the shirt including, one person saying we should add "Drink the Beer" at the end.  Another saying they just wanted to Beat the Bridge.  It was a fun conversation starter.

We followed the crowds to the start line.  It wasn't a Disney long walk, but it wasn't a short one either.  As we were walking we heard the National Anthem, which was sung by the ladies that sung at the Pasta Dinner the night before.  I think at that point we heard the Howitzer Cannon.

We got into a coral, kinda close to the start.  Not obnoxiously close, but close.  Jeff Galloway and his wife came up to someone near us in the coral and Candace asked to get a picture for me.  I wouldn't have thought about that at all.  We saw them again when I was crossing the Key Bridge right before mile 5.  They looked to do a 30/30 and they were fast!

As we waited in the coral, there was a commotion near us.  It turned out that someone had already on the ground for some reason.  The paramedics went over to him and I think he was OK, but it looked like he was going to be OK.

The race was about to start and the bombers flew over us.  I expected to see parachute jumpers, but no one jumped.  I was a little bummed by that.  I was really looking forward to seeing them with the huge flag.  But the bombers were fun to watch. 

And before we knew it, we were on our way......

I decided to bring my iPod with me, but I ended up not putting in my ear phones at all.  I was glad to have 100% focus on the whole race.  A lot of the first couple miles were up hill.  We ran some, but walked a lot of the up hills.  Within the first couple miles I still had to go to the bathroom again and it seemed not to go away.  Candace pointed out some port-a-potties that had a very short line.  I jumped in line and Candace kept going.  Once I was done I caught up to Candace pretty quickly.  I was glad.

We made our way to the top of the huge hill around mile 2.  We worked our way down toward the Key Bridge.  At this point Candace started to pull ahead of me.  That was OK with me cause she was doing a walk/run on feeling and I needed to go by the clock or I would burn out too quickly.  Across the river we saw a very beautiful building.  I wasn't sure what it was, but it turns out that it was part of Georgetown University.

Through these first few miles, I was starting to feel really nauseous.  I started taking my Gu right about mile 3 or 4 and felt worse.  About 45 minutes later I was starting to feel better, but it was time to take another Gu and I would feel sick again.  This lasted about 10 miles before I finally was able to pass this bad feeling.  I've felt nausea before on a run, but not one that lasted this long.  I was glad it finally passed.

Crossing the Key Bridge there was a fun high school band that had bag pipes.  I thought that was very cool as I love bag pipes.

Between mile 6-8 there was the first really long out and back.  Very boring.  I tried to entertain myself some and put my hand out and get high fives from those coming back.  But not a lot of people were takers on the high fives.  When I do that at a Disney race, everyone likes to high five back.  So I eventually just put my hand down and pushed through.  I did hear someone call out my name and wasn't sure where it came from.  Might have been a different Heather.

We winded down near the Potomic River and there was this Marine Corps band that was fun to listen to.  I think they were on the steps to the Lincoln Memorial, but I don't remember.

We finally got to a point where we could start seeing the Washington Memorial.  There were a lot of points that we saw of it, so there will be a few pictures in my recap. :)

We headed to the Tidal Basin where we could see the Jefferson Memorial.

The Blue Mile was moved to mile 10-11 with the new course this year.  This was a very hard mile to go through seeing all of the people that had given up their lives to protect our country.  As I passed, one lady had broke down and cried and hugged one of the signs.  I'm assuming that was someone close to her and it really made me want to cry with her.  She had some people with her that were comforting her.  I'm glad she had people with her.

Candace is right there ahead of me, she stayed in my sights for awhile.

After all the signs, there was a crowd of people in blue holding flags and just cheering.  After a quiet and retrospective section, it was fun to run through people just cheering for us.  There were also a lot of Marines out there cheering for us.  Loved seeing all of them out there.

We rounded the Tidal Basin again on the other side with more views of the Washington Monument....

And Jefferson Memorial.

We had yet another out and back.  I really am not a fan of them as I keep wanting to see the turn around and they seem to be so very far away.  Then we passed the District of Columbia War Memorial.

As we worked our way to the Gantlet, we circled around the base of the Washington Monument.

And then we hit the Gantlet!  It was at mile 15.5 and we had to get there by 12:38 PM and I was there at 11:48 AM.  Almost an hour before cut off time.

This post is getting pretty long, so I'm splitting this up into two parts.  I want to make sure I get all the details and pictures in.  I hope no one was too bored yet.

Continue reading part 2.


  1. Love all your pictures! Even though you were having some stomach issues earlier, you made it to the cut off place in plenty of time. Great job!

    1. Thanks, I was worried that there were too many pics. :)

  2. Congratulations!

    I can't believe you only had a Honey Stinger waffle for breakfast! Did you get hungry? or is that in the next recap?

    It is so cool that you got to meet Jeff Galloway! were you exited? Was he nice?

    This race sounds amzing! and running by all the monuments sounds magical!

    1. I always only have a Honey Stinger Waffle before runs (training and races). I can't eat much when I wake up. So that means I have to fuel much better while I'm running.

      Galloway was super nice. And I loved running by the monuments.

  3. I'm not a fan of out and backs either. I see all these people going the other way, and I feel so far behind.

  4. I so loved MCM. I love reliving it through your posts. :)

  5. I'm impressed you took pictures. I never even pulled out my phone. Thankfully I had a lot of friends cheering, so pictures of me exist LOL.