Wild Weekend: Football, Classes and Marathon (Parking) Madness!

Let me first state that no, I did absolutely not run the Marine Corps Marathon this morning. But living along the path of the course has made today a bit … challenging. But I’ve learned throughout the years that there will be a few days a year that my neighborhood becomes a traffic nightmare to accommodate a race.

The highlight of my weekend, naturally, was something I’ve been looking forward to since … well, two years ago, to be totally honest. My Clemson Tigers made their FINAL trip up to the University of Maryland before they leave the ACC at the end of the school year, and I talked my girl Helen into joining in on the fun with me.

We got to hang out with the Tiger.

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And I made a new friend.

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Our seats weren’t great, but I figured it made more sense to get tickets through Clemson and participate in the whole alumni tailgate experience. It was so much fun – and so cool to see all the orange and prove to Helen that there are plenty of other Clemson crazies such as myself out there – and age is not a factor. There were people who could be my grandparents screaming “Go Tigers” … not to mention this SUPER CUTE little kid who was one pumped little super-fan – during his cheering, Helen looked at me and said would be my kid someday (of course I agreed). Unfortunately, near the end of the game it was so cold we couldn’t feel our hands, feet, or faces … and that’s when the game got interesting. Seriously … we left with less than 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter, and we missed FOUR touchdowns! My Tigers came out victors in the end, so all is still well.

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I started both my mornings with classes, as well, this weekend, which is always a good time. I had just enough time yesterday morning to get home and get cleaned up and oranged-out after my Pilates class at Sport&Health, and then this morning, I purposely tried to plan ahead, knowing the marathon route was going to make the morning difficult – and I still ended up running into some issues. But I guess that’s why I left about 30 minutes earlier than usual … because it took me 15 minutes, three marines, a police officer, and a traffic officer to figure out how on earth I was going to get to the gym. Hey, marathon organizers … maybe when you say streets will be closed at 8:30, you don’t have them already blocked at 8:15? Just a thought. Perhaps Piloxing fuel this morning?

Anyway, it was a fun weekend – it definitely is starting to feel like fall (I’d like to know how we skipped from 80 degrees to 50, though, thanks).  Congrats to all those who ran the Marine Corps Marathon this morning! I saw quite the crowd running past my building when I got home from the gym this morning. I’ll have to get the recap on the race from my customer/direct manager tomorrow morning at work – this was marathon #3 for him. I, however, don’t really see the need to spend that much time running. The older I get, the more things start to ache, and I don’t even want to know what would bother me if I decided to run three or more times my normal run.

Have a great week!

I Crashed the Marine Corps Marathon.

I crashed the Marine Corps Marathon this morning.

Okay, I’ll admit … that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Or perhaps a huge exaggeration.

The Marine Corps Marathon ran through D.C. and Northern Virginia today. I was well aware of the event, but I was surprised to learn – a little later than I would have liked to – that the Marathon route had changed this year. Apparently miles 22 and 23 run right past my apartment building.

I’m not quite sure why, but Northern Virginia has a thing for these little side streets that run parallel to the main road. They’re all over the place. One of them (unfortunately, a one way) runs right in front of my building. The only time I’ve ever seen it closed off was for the Air Force Cycling Classic, which takes place over the summer, and has at least as long as I’ve lived in the area. Apparently, they decided to change the route for the Marine Corps Marathon this year … and my apartment failed to inform us that the street would be closed.

This is when the problem came in – I was in the car, headed out to teach my two Sunday morning classes, when I saw the flashing lights and uniforms in front of the building. Lucky for me, it was only about 8:45 a.m., so clearly, nobody had made it 22 miles into the race yet. I was able to work my magic, and charm the Marine and police officer into letting me out of the parking lot. When was the road to open again, I asked on my way out? Not until at least 4. Ugh. Great. I’d be home from class around noon. But at least the area has a lot of parking, so if I had to walk a couple blocks back home, it really isn’t that big of a deal.

On my way home, I actually got pretty lucky, scoring a parking spot only about a block and a half away from my apartment. As I started walking around the corner is when it got kind of interesting … the Marathon had arrived in Arlington, no question about that. The street that had been empty, with the exception of the flashing lights and officers, was now PACKED with weary-looking runners.

So, I stood and watched for a couple minutes (mostly because I was trying to figure out how I was to make my way across the sea of runners to the entrance of my building without going another block or two out of my way). I felt a little inconvenienced by the situation, but I was also kind of inspired. Hearing the cheers, seeing the runners pushing themselves through the last few miles … I made me really recognize that the human body is an amazing thing. Even more so, age is not a factor – there were runners young and old, some looking like they could keep going for weeks, and some looking like they will be going home to sleep for a month – but they were all after the same accomplishment. They were strong. They were determined. They were going to make it.

But back to how I crashed the Marine Corps Marathon … eventually I found enough of a break in the flow (we’re talking 15 seconds) that I could run across the street without getting in the way of the runners. So across the street I bolted. Can I count this as my first marathon experience?