DSG Running

Divorce Support Group (DSG)

Below are race reports from some of our runners.  The video below is courtesy of Isaac.  It's a pretty neat look at the MCM from a runner's perspective.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uotjs9asxQQ




As for my race report, just put finished. I'm still bitter.  I've decided...I am gonna give it another shot next year. My performance was piss poor this year and I know I can do much better. Plus, I can't go through life knowing that Oprah and the fat people from the Biggest Loser beat me.


I spent Saturday afternoon before the race panicking about that white stuff falling from the sky, hitting refresh on weather.com a zillion times, and experimenting with different layers of clothing, including standing out on my balcony to test the temperature.  Eventually came to the conclusion that I'd just have to see how 5 months of training in the summer heat stacked up against chilly race day temps and hope for the best.

Race day.  Cold, but ultimately, probably pretty good race weather.  Waited to check my winter coat until as late as possible to conserve energy.  Took 2 miles for feet to warm up and stop feeling like rocks.  Thankfully, the sun came out, and I gradually started pitching layers -- long sleeve t, gloves, pants -- shedding all the extra stuff before following Elvis into Georgetown.  (Still, I finished the race wearing 3 layers of shirts!)  A lot of the race was a bit of a blur, and I was definitely feeling tired coming off the bridge into Crystal City.  Even passed up the Dunkin' Donuts Munchkins I'd been looking forward to at Mile 24; just tried to keep moving and get to the freakin' finish line already.  Still, it was kind of a fun sight to see the Marines standing there, arms extended, holding Munchkins very carefully in their palm.
Pretty awesome crowd support this year--TONS of energetic spectators (including lots of people with cow-hats and cowbells), signs, costumes, DIY-support-stations.  Possibly less music on the course than last year, but my favorite group was the people dancing in costumes and wigs and blaring LMFAO on Hains Point--definitely a much-needed, beat-pumping pick-me-up, so I high-fived them all while passing by.
Started the race with Debbie, maybe saw Jamie zip by around Mile 6, bumped into Pam on Hains Point, and saw Anh cheering(just after Hains Point?).  Didn't see any other DSG folks until the High Cloud tent, but I think my brain might've been a bit scrambled.  After the race, I realized that I probably did see Shell and Isaac's "Worst Parade Ever, where's my candy?" sign, but didn't have enough brain power to see who was holding it.  I also think I missed the DSG folks at the bridge because I was looking on the wrong side, but probably also because there were just tons of enthusiastic spectators everywhere.   
Many thanks to the entire DSG tribe--runners, spectators, and especially including all our water station volunteers--for making this a great season!  Congrats, everyone (and enjoy those cool spinner medals)!  See you at the after-party!
Final chip time: 4:25:51.  PR! :)


Congratulations Tuan!  No longer will I say I was fast as Tuan when I was his age - no way..  

But when people get old, they slow down like me.  I Ďm so ashamed to post my time, the day was perfect and I blew it.

My excuse is, I got double leg cramps at mile 15 and thought I was going to miss the bridge ... but any way as ashamed as I am I will give you my time  5:39, since it was fast enough to get to the High Cloud place before it closed.


Mine was 5:17.  As you had warned us, the last 4 miles were extremely tough!  it was not easy run up that hill to the finish line despite several practice runs.  oh well...always room for improvement!  until next year...


I did not run as much milage as 2010. However, I did a lot of interval training in between the runs during the week. In my DSG run on Saturday, I tried to keep up with Steve, Jim, and Sam. Certainly, I got good results when I got tremendous supports from DSG. I want to thank all the water station people like Sandy, Lan Huong, to name a few. Especially without you, It would be tough to get it going. I am not sure about running a Marathon next year. But I definitely run with DSG on Saturday. I want to work on my golf game to break 90 on a regular basis. Thanks.


Tired! But achieved my goal this year: 4:49:13 - new PR.
Tylenol helped save the day. Katherine Shrek ran with me the last half mile. I was thankful for that, otherwise, it would have been tough.

For me 3:26:22 also a Boston Qualifier!  Tried to push it a little too hard in the beginning of the race thinking that I'd have a shot at a PR.  Of course that strategy always catches up with you in the end...last 2-3 miles felt like I was pulling a bus.

Great running season with the DSG


 My goals for this marathon were very simple beat the bus and finish my 8th MCM.  based on my training this year this was a maybe.

Ok it was really cold in morning so I hung out in one of the tents to keep warm. 20-minutes before the start i walked over to UPS trucks to drop off and get ready to rumble all went very smooth.  I walked  to starting line 5:30, 6:00 hour marathon pace.  Having a few minutes before start I look over to my right (OMG!!!!) it is the bus that's going to pick up stragglers that did not beat the bridge ( Not I, No Sir ). Gun goes off  22-minutes later I cross the start line. All is going well game plan is to go slow and enjoy the day.  The miles start going by get to Key Bridge I'm thinking ok next time I enter VA I only have a 10K to the finish into Georgetown loop I see a guy who has tag on back of shirt that says this is my 13th MCM we talk for a few miles all is going well nutrition and hydration going well coming out of Georgetown loop as I run past Georgetown Univ I look to my right (OMG!!!!) it is the Bus following the rear of the marathon.  Onto Hains point as we start into Hains point I notice that there is carnage all around runners pulling up stretching calf's, hamstring, I saw a guy stop bend over as to stretch and the girl he was running with stopped  started back towards him I'm thinking how kind of her.  Her first words as she stop and turned to come back were " ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!!"  all I could do was laugh (she has DSG potential).  1/2 Marathon Done!!!!

Onto the 2nd 1/2 of marathon running past the Lincoln Memorial I hear a couple of runners trying to figure out what monuments we were passing.  I chimed in point out the different Memorials as I point to show them were MLK and FDR were located.  I see the Damm!!!!!! Bus going down Ohio Drive I'm thinking don't be the guy that Tuan talks about being the first DSG runner to get a ride on the stragglers bus.  Running on Madison Drive past American History Museum my body reminded me that my results would reflect my training for this marathon.  My left knee started to get painful I walked, ran for a while almost to the bridge.  As I approach  the Bridge I hear the Drums I get second wind I know I'm going to see the lovely ladies playing the drums (the ladies ROCK!!!) then I will see my DSG Gang.  I run past drum players as I start on bridge I stay to left side looking for my Gang as I passed a group I hear a HAAAAEEEEYYYYY!!!!  I look back it was DSG not in full force but they were there I'm feeling a little better as I continue on bridge the pain came back with a vengeance I walk the rest of the bridge and most of Crystal City hell I walked almost to mile 26.  Can't walk the hill  told myself lets just finish.  As I started up the hill I see a lady that was walking I grabbed her hand an said" come on we will finish together ".  We ran to the finish. as we crossed the finish line  she told me.  Had I not been there she would have walked to the finish.  I told here that if she had not been there walking I probably would have walked myself.  We finished . This was here first marathon. As we walked she was exited and ask we do get a medal?.  I laughed as I reflected on how good it feels to finish a marathon no matter if its your first or 13th.

This was my 13th Marathon.

My finishing time:  5:24:02
This was my slowest my marathon,  But it was also my most enjoyable one.  Looking forward to number (9) in a row MCM next October.

Things that went right:
I went out slow, I did not properly train (but my knowledge of my previous marathon mentally prepared me for the day I ran my race not worried about time but just finishing), I took fluids in if only to wet my tongue at every water stop, I ate a total of 5 (gu), oranges as I had gamed planned, I enjoyed the day.

Things that went wrong;
I did not properly train properly

To my DSG Family,
See you next season


At mile 17 my legs started cramping so badly and the horrible cramps kept comming every minute, I ended up stretch/walk/jog much of the next two miles, then I met a lady bystander who gave me four Hylands leg cramps tablets, whoever she is I would like to thank her for her kindness, she'd saved my day, apparently these tablets stopped the terrible leg cramps and I was able to start running again at mile 19 and finished 4:59.  Again thank you for your hard work during the training season and congratulations on your incredible marathon time.


Well this was definitely the most unprepared I'd ever been for a marathon.  The day of our first 20 miler, my alarm went off an hour late -- at 6am, when I was already supposed to be at the Marina.  I managed to throw on some clothes and parked at the zoo, ran the opposite direction, and according to my GPS got in about 17 miles total.  The Thursday before the big 22 miler I found out I was pregnant, but had some complications on Saturday and was advised by my doctor to stay in bed until the issue resolved.  So I missed both big long runs.  However, I had done a 70.3 triathlon on September 12 and an 18 miler the week after that so I figured I could probably get through, and luckily MCM has a very generous time limit.  

I actually felt really good the first half.  Being in the early stages of pregnancy I was advised to not push my pace (so no PRing -- my pace should be 2 minutes slower per mile than what I was capable of, always conversational.)  I decided to walk every 7 minutes.  For the first few miles I kept catching up to Sindy and Saguna and then losing them again.  I never caught them again after 7, but I was still feeling good.  At 13, I was on pace to finish in just over 5 hours and kept on going.

Now, I always have problems the second half of marathons due digestion cramps.  And I know that pregnancy slows digestion.  What I didn't realize was that I was going to have killer cramps.  KILLER CRAMPS.  And they set in at mile 15.  Bad ones, so bad I had to walk.  I'd walk til they went away, but they would start up again within 30 seconds of running.  I basically walked from 15 to the bridge.  I thought Tuan would be there to pace me, but he was nowhere in sight.  Neither was his sign.  Bah humbug, I really needed the motivation!  At that point I decided I was going to have to suck it up and do some running.  So I'd run until the cramps got too painful, walk until they went away, and do it again.  That was the bridge until the finish.  (I'm not sure what was worse, those cramps, or breaking my foot at the 17th mile in Shamrock 6 months earlier.)

Final time -- 5:36:37.  Unprepared, tummy hurt, exhausted, sore, beautiful weather, glad I did it.

Kate S

After I sadly missed the MCM this year when I was sick I thought I wasn't going to run my first marathon until spring! Thank you Gretchen and Tuan for encouraging me to run Richmond! I finished today in 4:54 - over a half hour faster than my anticipated 5:30 "just to finish" time! It was a last minute decision, but the weather was perfect and I loved every minute of it! (Okay, almost every minute of it! Now I'm just waiting for all my goofy smiley pictures to be posted!) I took it really easy for the first half and finished in 2:30, and I expected to finish at 5:15 or more likely later, but I got a great boost of energy at the end and finished the second half 6 minutes faster! The end of the race was downhill to the finish line and I got a nice sprint out of it at the end! It took a LOT of Powerade, lots and lots of GU, and most importantly, the great support of wonderful new friends. Thanks for a great season, DSG!


I ran the NYC Marathon this year.  It was very exciting but it was a
surprisingly difficult race, my hardest yet (including my first
marathon).  First of all, I suspect that all that great food and wine
they have scattered around New York did nothing to help me in the days
before the run. 

True, you're running a marathon in the greatest city in the world and
the views and crowd support are both excellent.  But there is a lot they
don't tell you!  This is my expose of the lesser-known facts about the
NYC Marathon.

- In an apparent effort to make Staten Island not feel like the
forgotten borough that it is, they force you to spend at least three
hours on it before the race, just standing around.  The waiting area is
on a specially-selected windy hillside where you need to walk about 1/2
mile to get from the runner tents to the food/drink trucks.  Because you
cannot really stand still for three hours on a windy hillside, you wind
up walking a good 2 extra miles while your energy, glycogen stores, and
body temperature are slowly dropping pre-race.  On the upside, they do
have plenty of portajohns, an example the Army Ten Miler would do well
to follow. 

- It appears they import thousands of runners from France and Italy
solely to collide with and/or shove other runners on the course.  At
least they were able to refrain from smoking during the race. 

- They put the hills in all the wrong places.

- Someone stole your "the bridge is your bitch" sign and used it for
some other bridge, I think the Queensboro.  It didn't work, and I was
that bridge's bitch.

- New Yorkers will ridicule you, and possibly beat you up, if you try
to bail from the race.

- After the finish, you are herded into a narrow path from which there
is no escape for about 1/2 mile.  Everyone moves very, very slowly.  The
people along this path do not tell you how close you are to the exit,
they just tell you to keep moving.  I later found out this part of the
experience was designed by PETA in an effort to provide a "cattle-eye
view" of the beef industry.
In the end, despite all this adversity, I finished in 4:06.  It wasn't
my best time, but at least I beat Jared, the Chilean miner and Al Roker.



I still walk funny and still use the handicap bathroom at work.  Thank you for being early at the parking lot every Sat. morning, our MCM success is a direct result of your dedication and continued support.


my result: 4:50:10

Well if I'd known Saguna was PRed, I'd stuck w/ her when I saw her leave her apartment.

Instead I went to the Hyatt, sat on their sofas and used the bathroom until half hour before start - wanted to time it just right w/o waiting.  Not seeing anyone I knew, I started my interval runs alone.  I used to walk the hills but was going to run the hills this time.  Soon I decided to follow a group of women and a guy with fairy wings.  They were running 2 minute 1 minute intervals - this way I don't have to think too much.  They were real good about getting exact 12 min/mile splits.  With all the chatter, I heard one of the women was a tri athlete.  She talked about how hard the swim is etc....  and her goal was to be an iron woman.  So I anticipated getting to the bridge b/c I wanted to point out Tuan and tell her, "there's an Ironman" but I get to the bridge, I see the "bitch" sign but no Tuan....  Where's Tuan when you need him? (Later I hear Tuan was helping a woman who fell on the bridge?).  Well we're on mid bridge and the women decided to kick in another gear (at least it seem that way).  I got dropped like I was nothing.  So I struggled the last 3-4 miles.

I checked my splits afterwards and we're doing about 37 minutes/5k up to 35k.  But those last 7k was in the 44-45/5k.  I think they call that the wall.  Anyway final time was 5:28.  P.S. my hip still hurts...

The streak stop this year after three straight years of PR (Baltimore)
and PB (MCM) I will get them next season cant wait.   First up Eagle Man
swim or getting eating by the guppies, then we are going to take care of
MCM.   Feel good to have completed my 7th straight MCM looking forward
to #8.
I ran smart race at MCM the legs were just too trashed after B-more and
army 10-miler.

final time
B-more 4:09:47
MCM 4:28:22

Another great season see you at the Dinner or on the Bike.

Take care and good luck on your upcoming race.

I had a great race thanks to Lien!!!   The person she was supposed to pace didn't want her help anymore and she appeared before me like a little Vietnamese guardian angel around the beginning of spout run right after you pass that strip mall with big wheel bikes.  My time was about 1.5 minutes slower than when I ran my first marathon in 2007 but this second time felt so much better.  I couldn't have done it without Lien!  She's the best!!!!  You can post my time but I'm too sore to look it up right now.  haha.

I'm sending you this from the floor of my bathroom because I've fallen and can't get up.  Please send help.  j/k :)
Currently, the results page says I finished in 4:43:59.  Right after the race, I think unofficial results said 4:44:00 even.  Who knows, maybe if we give it a few days, MCM will slice a few more seconds off the final results. :)  When I first finished the race, my thought was, Wow, if I ran just a tad slower, I could have the unluckiest finishing time possible for a Chinese person @ 4:44:44  (In Chinese, the word for 4 sounds like the word for death, so it's considered a very bad number.)  I suppose that might be appropriate for Halloween, though.
Super kudos to Saguna for pushing me along to Mile 19-something in the race.  We had a good time spotting all the funny signs and cool costumes on runners, spectators, kids, and even dogs along the course.  Mucho thanks to you, not only for pacing me across the bridge, but for an entire season's worth of support and encouragement.  Thanks to the incredible awesomeness of DSG, I knocked 10 minutes off last year's time and survived through the bridge and Crystal City, my nemesis from last time.  I'm at work today AND I even walked down a broken escalator and up and down some stairs at the office.  Woohoo!
I am (sorta) no longer the bridge's bitch!

Please pass along to everyone that my race report is very short, but hopefully instructive.   Even after running in marathons and triathlons fairly regularly, I let a very rookie mistake get to me yesterday.   I started out by having my shoe laces too tight, which resulted in such severe foot pain and blisters that I probably lost a good 30 minutes due to extremely slow running.   I finished, but I was bloody with popped blisters.   The lesson learned was that you should never, never start out with your shoe laces being too tight, as your feet will swell significantly during the run.   I actually do a good job of preventing this during the hot days by loosening up my laces early on, because I sweat a lot.   I totally forgot to take into account this factor yesterday because it was so cool.  No, I was not running with new shoes or new sock (another big no-no); I just forgot to account for my feet swelling due to water retention and physical exertion.  
I didn't really notice that the shoe was too tight until after Georgetown, which is when my feet started to kill me.  Up till that point, I thought my feet were hurting because of all the hills (in retrospect they were hurting all along, screaming at me, "Get me out of here" or "cut me some slack."   But by the time I hit mile 14, I could barely untie my shoe as it had swollen so much.   Then, the blister I had on my left foot forced me to change my gait, which caused problem on my right foot.   By mile 23, I had loosened my laces on both shoes as far as possible -- the very end of the lace -- and still was suffering from something like elephant's feet.
It really pissed me off because my endurance was good; I just couldn't run to capitalize on my 2010 fitness level.   Now, I'm barely walking but looking for another marathon to redeem myself.   Colleen says I "have issues"....
Bottom line:  Don't do a marathon in new shoes, new socks, using new food, or with your shoes too tight.   The injured foot will cause the other foot to also get injured and your day will get very long.
This is the third time I have done the Marine Corp Marathon  and I have loved it every time! The atmosphere, military organization, wonderful spectators and spectacular scenery! I've never had any goals except to finish, but this year I wanted to beat Oprah's MCM time of 4:29. Hey, if Oprah can do it why can't I!

I started out with a couple of friends from work at the beginning of the 4:30 corral. I took the first few miles nice and slow to warm up. At mile 7 I made my regular pit stop at my friend's house (a real bathroom beats a stinky port-a-potty anytime!). My friend ran with me until about mile 15 when I had to slow down. I could see his bobbing head a quarter of a mile in front of me until about mile 18. I tried to catch up but he was too fast!

Everything from my knees above felt great the entire run, mentally I felt like I could run forever, but my calves on the other hand tried to detach themselves from my body and run away starting at miles 15 until 26.2! There is nothing worse then a body that won't keep up with your endurance and mental acuity. I was on track to crush Oprah's time and make it to the bridge in 3:30 until about mile 17. It was at this point I went into preservation mode and decided to take my time and finish with a smile! Thank goodness for all the wonderful spectators cheering and singing and having a jolly time, this really helped take my mind off the pain and keep me smiling and laughing! It was at this point I saw Sindy FLY by, I was going to yell her name but then I looked down and noticed a sea of gummi bears on the street. It was like a mass suicide! Does anyone know why there were thousands of gummi bears on the street? I was so distracted that by the time I looked up Sindy was gone. When I say she was flying, it was like a clown was chasing her she was running for her life!

Big thanks to Dave for holding the fabulously hilarious DSG sign and fending off the rude woman! I wish I had been there, I have no problems with punching someone in there face! It was great to see Tuan at the end of the bridge! I think I was his 10th person he paced across the bridge. He told me that he had not been able to make it back to the beginning of the bridge in some time and really needed to make it back so he could pee in the trees... HA HA

I made it to Crystal City after many stops along the bridge to stretch my crying calves and saw George (with a HUGE grin on his face) sprinting like it was the last mile, then Tho a minute or two behing with a grimace but a steady pace. I yelled both there names but they were in the zone so they didn't even look up.

At about mile 25 I saw a friend taking a walk break struggling with cramps as well. We kept each other company and took the last mile at a snails pace, stopping at the water stop to stretch and chit chat. We ended the last 0.2 miles with a sprint up the Iwo Jima hill, ending the marathon like we ran it like the elites! Let's hope the camera's caught that and not us walking! :)

Alas I did not beat Oprah's time, I finished in 4:57. Faster then last year still slower then my first marathon. Stupid calf cramps get me everytime!! Next year I am going to bring a salt lick and BEAT OPRAH's TIME!!!

I spoke with a few friends about our favorite signs along the course and all of them mentioned the DSG sign!

Thanks again for being on the course!!


I realized a while ago that a PR wasn't in the books for me this year, so I decided to bring replace my ipod  with a camera for the race and enjoy the sights and sounds. I took quite a few pictures and videos that I'll send to you soon, but overall it was a great day to run a marathon.

I surprisingly saw quite a few folks (spectators and runners) that I knew along the way, so it was fun to catch up with folks during the race. I ran into Mike (DaMarine) around mile 18 who was carrying the Marines flag for the last 10 miles (a flag relay for a fellow marine who was stationed overseas), quite an effort since those are the toughest miles.

In Crystal City I must admit, I had a cup of beer someone was handing out. Or 2. Actually 3. *Burp* Then I saw a man in a hot dog costume run past me, so I figured I was hallucinating.

Near the Pentagon, I ran into George with about 2 miles to go, and while he initially said he would "pace off of me until the end" to ensure he'd get a sub 4:40 PR, ultimately it was him I paced off of as he summoned his remaining energy to run a 9:20 last mile, including a sprint up the hill, dodging other runners, to PR by at least 12 minutes I believe. I have this final sprint on video...maybe I'll add a thrilling "chase" soundtrack to it.

Anyway - I finished in 4:37.

After the race, in the beer tent, I met an older couple who just finished the race. Without a prompt from me, they mentioned how they "really enjoyed the Make the bridge your bitch" sign...which I thought was great.

Good morning.  Was a disappointing day at the marathon.  After my hip popped at mile 2, I sucked it up for 11 miles but just couldnít go any further.  Bad pain and lots of cramping.  After crying with disappointment and Al saving me, we made it home.  Nicely bruised and swollen hip this morning.  The spirit of the marathon was alive and well though - 3 angels that day.  The first was a lady who saw me and talked to me while I was waiting for Al.  She said, "Itís ok honey, I think you just need a hug".  She then gave me one.  Al was my second and Colleen was my third.  After Doug passed mile 15, she saw Al and me struggling to get to the metro and ran got her car and brought us home.  Great day for people love, sucky day (although beautiful weather) for a marathon.  Ask me in a couple of weeks if I want to train for next years.  Right now itís a resounding NO!!  J  Saw Debbie and Lien in Georgetown looking strong.  Hope everyone else had a great run.

4:20:25, which is 47 seconds slower than last year :(   I guess I'm just a 4:20 marathon runner......
But the one difference I can tell is that I can actually walk today, whereas last year I was moving a whole lot slower.

Here is "The Story of Your Bitch".  What do you think?
I was happy to be a spectator at this yearís Marine Corps Marathon-a chance to see all my friends running plus the bonus opportunity to witness the reaction to Tuanís latest masterpiece sign, "The Bridge is Your Bitch".  By the time I arrived and met up with Tuan on 14th Street, he had already been thwarted in his one attempt to affix the sign on a street post adjacent to an all-womanís band from DC.  For some reason, they did not think it would be appropriate.  We thought we had found another great spot about a half block down but then even Tuan and I thought better of that as the pole was surrounded by people from the "Make A Wish" foundation.  We finally set our sights on a pole just on the other side of the road-a pole that is at the start of the barricade that separates 14th Street Traffic.  At this point, it was early in the day-the elites were still 30 minutes away and many of our friends were a couple of hours from passing through, here at ~ Mile 19.5.  We were pleased to have secured such prime real estate and we quickly affixed the "The Bridge is Your Bitch" sign high atop the street pole with a "DSG" sign just below it.
As the early runners came through, some were so immersed in the race that they did not see the sign.  A few others seemed to give a begrudging acknowledgement or even a bemused smile to it.  After the elites passed through, Tuan found many friends (with the notable exception of Gretchen) that he paced over the bridge...and alas I was there alone to stand watch with the signs-partially excited and partially nervous that pictures would get back to my straight-laced parents with me standing in front of an obscenity.
At around the time the 3:40 pace group came through, a woman (about the age of 50) jumped up on the barricade behind the post (where the signs were taped) to take pictures.  She asked me if the sign was mine and I proudly acknowledged it was part of my running groupís annual tradition.  I quickly realized that she was not amused or pleased by the sign but rather annoyed by it because it was blocking her picture angles.  She cursed the signs and then asked me to take the signs down.  I explained that I had been there for hours and I refused to take them down.  She started snipping at me and before I knew it, she had decided to stand on the barricade just in front of the sign to block the signs.  I explained again that I had been there for hours and I asked her to move elsewhere.  She had a self-satisfied grin and refused to move.  She then started to berate me "What does this sign mean?  What if I called your mother this word? Only an insane person would use this word.  Only an insane person would show this sign."  I said "Lady, you have no idea"
I asked her to get down again and she taunted me "What are you going to do about it?  Do something about it"  I admit to having a temper at times (my Irish blood?) and at one point, I grabbed the DSG sign (the one lower on the post), detached it from the pole, and held it up in front of her to block her view.  I hate being petty but I just had to do it if only for a few seconds.  At this point, she threatened me "If I miss my picture, I am going to bash your head in." (That is a direct quote)  Apparently she had a friend racing and had to have the ability to take a picture from this particular angle at this particular spot and she was worried that her friend would come zipping through at such a great pace that she would miss the opportunity. Not sure if she understood that a marathon offers 26.2 miles of photo opportunities.  And obviously, she had no concept of who Tuan is.  At any rate, I  decided to leave the lady alone.
Despite her attempts to block the sign, some people still managed to see part of it and they got the message and I consistently heard "Great sign".  People kept telling the lady to duck down so they could take a picture.  At some point, in an ironic twist, the lady realized that people were thinking that the sign was hers and she was getting credit for it-at that point, she decided it was wise to step a couple of steps to her left  and distanced herself from it.  Her friend finally came through and they chit chatted for about a minute.  Before the runner friend headed back to the course, she looked up at the sign and said "Hey thatís an awesome sign."    And with that, the rude lady who had threatened to bash my head in quietly slipped away.
  With the sign finally exposed again to the masses, you would not believe how much attention the sign got.  I heard "Best sign ever" 26 times and all sort of other laughs, acknowledgement and applause.  Many people decided to stop and have their picture taken with it.  I was pleased to see about a dozen folks from DSG pass through, almost all with smiles on their faces except for Gretchen who was angry and kept yelling "Where is Tuan?  Where is Tuan?  That Bastard never runs with me over the bridge"  Another older spectator couple came through and asked "Are you the team leader?  We recognize that sign. "  I asked "Oh do you mean this DSG sign?"  They responded "No we mean the other sign ĎThe Bridge is Your Bitchí.... We recognize that sign"   (For some reason, I got a big chuckle out of this exchange)
Finally, the sweeper buses came rolling through,  Tuan, fresh off running 13 miles by pacing people over the bridge (with the notable exception of Gretchen, of course) and I decided to close shop, another exciting day of "DSG meets MCM"  in the books

First, Congrats, Jose.  4 hours 9 mins is pretty good.

I could have said exactly what you said. Because it was a hilly course, i set my goal last night that i would run 5 hours 15 mins; when i got there, i said i would follow the 5 hrs pacer, at least so i could finish in a respectable time; i got caught in the beautiful weather and decided to try for the 4 hrs 45 mins pacer group.  I felt good until miles 10; then, i could tell cramps were coming on my calves.  I slowed down considerably to avoid getting cramps.... Not successfully.  Around Mile 12 or so, it came - I didn't think it was dehydration, because i drank at every station knowing the weather could foul me.  I ate more banana, oranges, gels (3 bags total) etc, still had severe cramps from Mile 14 thru 23 - i walked a lot.  Then, thinking that i could accelerate because it was down hill slope like you all had said at Mile 24, i got to a sudden stop because all my 5 toes on the right foot decided to curl all in; had to stop to do more stretching...and carefully VERY slowly run until the end. I could feel balls rolling in my calves.  No pain! could be the 1000 mg Tylenol i took at 7:45am.  Just cramps - real bad muscles but luckily i didn't experience any pain.

Final time: 5 hrs 8 mins 29 secs.

yes, i am humble and can't wait until the MCM next year.


Mother nature had some serious winds waiting for us today.   I made a rookie mistake feeling good went out way too fast.  got to the half way point ahead of plan and training time (banking time) NOT!!!!. voices in back of my mind kept telling me your feeling good the hell with the plan.  Your feeling good so what if that's not the pace your trained for the last 5-month.  Mile 20 I was ahead of scheduled. Unfortunately it was not a 20-mile race I still had the race 6.2 miles.  Mile-21 the wheels started to come of the wagon and the same voices returned with just walk for a couple of steps , then just walk thru the water station,  just walk to the mile marker last 5-miles took me over an hour.  The marathon has again humbled me rules to live by on  marathon day
 1. Stick to the PACE and PLAN you trained
 2. see rule one

 Overall my goal was to sub 3:50:00 doable if I had been
 patient. How often do we say the first 20 are a warm up the
 race starts at mile 20.

 Final Time 4:09:47

 See you at MCM,

I got there early, but couldn't find any of the 8 other ARRC people, so I started with no pacers.  I caught up to the GEICO 5:15 pace group at mile 4 and just decided to stay with them.  It's going real good.  There's six of them and they run up front so you can draft behind.  At mile 12 I caught one of my pals, who was having asthma issues.  I encourage her to stick with the group, but can't.

Then after Fells Point, mile 16, the pace group dropped me.  Just like last year, the second half eats me up and spits me out.  It's not just the up hills but the down hills that kill me.  and start to cramp.  So I walk a lot for second half, but I did finish strong on the continuous downhill  -  5:45 hours same as last year.
And yes, I suffered too, but at least the wind cool me off.

One good thing about this year, I got paid to run.  I signed up for that TNT Men of a Certain Age team.  All they wanted was to take a group picture, and I had to run with the T-shirt they gave me that said Men of a Certain Age.  They get the advertising, and I got $50.   Next up MCM.