So now that it's 24 hours later I can start to properly look at the experience. Around mile 21 I was actually thinking about selling my bib for Marine Corps. I was convinced that I was just fooling myself trying to run marathons. I even rationalized an excuse for quitting on Marine Corps. The MCM (October 30) is the same weekend as Phillyfit's 21 miler (October 29). It will be a lot of finagling to support the group that day and still make it down to the expo to pick up my packet without going nuts. So this is what I would tell people if they asked me why I quit. Man, what a cop out!!
Today, with a much clearer head (remember don't make any decisions in any direction within 24 hours of completing a race) I decided that not only will I run Marine Corps but I will also take a vacation day from work on the 28th and head down to Washington (probably by train) to pick up my packet and come back. The train will likley be about $90 round trip but I have room in my race budget for that and the piece of mind it will give me on the 29th during the Phillyfit 21 miler will make it worthwhile. Now I can support the team on the 29th and then head down leisurely on Saturday night in preparation for the race the next day.
So I'm still running Marine Corps. The hill at the end of that race can't be any worse than the ones we tackled (over and over again) yesterday. Right? Having this goal also gives me renewed motivation to really work the Phillyfit schedule this year; including all the speed, hill and tempo workouts. I'm going to continue to chase that 5-1/2 hour marathon!!
A few more comments about yesterday and then it's time to move on.
1) GB helped me accomplish my goal of training through the winter. Outside.
2) I finished the marathon despite having a mental breakdown at mile 21.
3) The mental breakdown did not occure UNTIL mile 21 - my previous races I was done in at mile 18. So progress has been made.
Thanks to all my friends and family who support me and listen to my rants and endless obsessing about these things.