I gotta try and look on the bright side. At least I finished. :D

What did I expect? I ran 11 of the last 59 scheduled miles. I hadn't run a long run for 3 weeks, when I ran 20 miles in 3 hours, flat. After that, the running was pretty much thrown to the wayside.

Lessons Learned:

1. Wear socks you've worn and you know will work out well. The socks I wore, even though they were Wright Socks, weren't as thick as their running socks I've worn. Shitty thing is that these socks didn't feel like double layer. I think Wright Sock's slogan is "Double Layer Sock", but the ones I wore were "Cool Mesh", so they were pretty damn thin. I think I had to compensate for them by tying my shoes too tight, which I realized at about mile 20, when I loosened them up. At that point, it was too late. I should have ran in their socks with extra cushion.

2. Don't experiment with Tylenol 8 hour. Take Motrin, like you've done in the past. I normally take 400-800 mg of Motrin. The Tylenol sucked. I hate Tylenol in this application.

3. Train. Do as many of the runs as possible. PERIOD! There is no substitution for running. You can't come to race day having skipped almost 1/4 of the runs. At least not expecting to set a personal record.

4. Know the course. Perhaps it would have been more helpful to ask someone who's run the race. The elevation chart was pure bullshit. It pretty much made it look like the only climb was at mile 2. BALONEY. That hill sucked, for sure, but there were other hills that sucked the life out of me.

5. Don't run races when it's hot. Well, this is one you can't control. I think I'm going to enter races that are above the 45th parallel for now on, like the Twin Cities Marathon. :D

6. When trying to set personal bests, don't do it at races that you know are harder. If the winners of the Chicago Marathon run 2:05 and some change, and the winners of the Marine Corps Marathon run it in 2:18, then it's probably safe to assume that you aren't going to do your best in D.C.!!!

Here are my splits:

10K (6.2 miles): 58:37
Halfway (13.1 miles): 2:11:30
20 Miles: 3:37:28
Finish: 5:08:43

My buddy, Dave Kempisty, did 3:36 and some change. My friend from childhood, Brad Fitzpatrick, did it in 4:29 and some change. Not bad for a first timer. The sad thing about Brad is that he did the firt half in 1:49, right on pace to do a 3:45 marathon. Poor kid.

Last year, I ran 4:50:28 in Detroit. The year before that, 4:40:38 in Chicago. At one point, I was at least thinking I'd beat my first race's time, but that got thrown out pretty early. Every time I tried to get going again, it hurt. My feet hurt, my legs hurt, my fuel tank was low.

You know, this would have been the one race I've run so far that listening to music may have helped me out. The rules say you aren't supposed to have music, but I saw tons and tons of people with music. Maybe they had a secret that I wish I had. THE MUSIC MUST HELP ON THIS HARD COURSE!!!

UPDATE:
Taken from the Washington Post:
Retta Feyissa, a 29-year who fled Ethiopia for Washington in 2001 and has since relocated to the Bronx, won the 29th Marine Corps Marathon today in 2 hours 25 minutes 35 seconds. It was the third-slowest winning time in the race's history, not surprising given the unseasonably warm weather conditions and oppressive sun that emerged midway through the race.

Mary Kate Bailey, a 29-year-old Marine from Arlington, won the women's race in 2:48.31. Kimberly Fagen was second, nearly three minutes behind.

Feyissa was in contention in the 2002 race until he left the course due to hamstring cramps near mile 20 and did not finish. This year, he maintained a steady pace and gradually reeled in two breakaway leaders, Carl Rundell of the Michigan-based Hansons-Brooks Distance Project and Salvador Miranda, a member of the Mexican Marines.

Feyissa and Terry Shea, a teammate of Rundell's, finally caught the leaders just before the 24-mile mark, and Feyissa gradually pulled away from Shea in the final mile.

"My dream is to win the Marine Corps Marathon; my dream is coming true today," Feyissa said. "That's why I'm coming back, to try to win."

Shea finished second, 22 seconds behind, and 2002 champion Christopher Juarez was third. Defending champion Peter Sherry of Great Falls was 16th.

Okay... that explains SOME OF MY CRAPPY RUN. :D Well, at least it gives me something to feel a LITTLE bit better about.

And Carl Rundell, of the Hanson's Running program, who Michelle thought was going to win when she saw him WAY in the lead, was overcome by about 1 minute by the winner. Good for him, though!!!