Monday, October 20, 2014

Marine Corps Marathon goals - Why Five, not Four, is a magic number this year

Last year, I didn't waste any time announcing my support of the Marine Corps Marathon organizers' new entry lottery system.  I'm sure the Marines were thrilled that I supported the idea over the old "race to register" method, and that I'd blogged about it that very day.

Anyway, I raged on an on about why the lottery was a good idea starting in 2014.  So of COURSE I entered it.  And, sure enough, didn't get in.

Wow, and I didn't even know I OWNED a petard . . .
But, I was later contacted by the BAMF Rose Runs On, who HAD gotten into the MCM.  It turns out she was unable to race due to injury.  A few text messages later, we used the MCM website, and she transferred me her bib, resulting in this oh-so-happy e-mail: 

Note:  Rose recovered from injury far smarter than I did, so I suspect we'll finish together a different year!
Now comes the question -- what do I do about a goal?  I made no secret last year of my desire to run a sub-4 hour marathon, and the (800 meter) lengths I went to reach that goal.  

Spoiler alert:  I did it in 3:59, with a rather dramatic ending.  But, I'll say it right now:

I have zero -- none -- nada ability to break 4 hours again.

Totes serious.  I'm not even kidding.


I am heavier than last year, and I haven't focused on speedwork the way I did last year.  Please know this -- I do not have any pace bands, goal bands, or whatever.  Because, as you might recall, there's a larger race I have less than one month after THIS one:  

So really, despite all the silly GIFs, my penchant for dick jokes, and generally downplaying my ability to do anything well (except fail), I really have to focus on the important things this year, and breaking the 4-hour mark for a marathon again isn't one of them.

What I care about this year, as far as the MCM is concerned, is this little number:


Why is the number 5 important?

For the Marine Corps Marathon, if you've finished FIVE of them, you're forever exempt from the lottery.  That's it.  You can just register and run it.  No matter where I am in life, no matter where I'm living, I will know that I can point to DC in late October and say, if I wish, "I've got the MCM as a race option this year.  I can go there and run it."

Plus, you get PATCHES!

No, not him.
You actually get PATCHES.  You become part of the Marine Corps Marathon Runner's Club, and you get a cool little patch every 5 finishes.

How freaking cool is that?!
Very freaking cool, just so we're clear.
I have been more focused on JFK, not MCM.  I just really wanted to "check the box" and reach MCM #5.  I want to be a "member of the club."

The point is that I have to, this year, focus on what's important.  And this year, it's about checking a box, and checking my ego at the start line.


  1. I love your GIFs :)

    1. You're far to kind to a flea on the internet's ass like me, but I very much appreciate it. ;)

  2. Nice gifs, enjoyed it greatly.

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