The morning started off pretty smoothly. We left the apartment by 5:00 AM and were parked super quickly once we got off 76. I was incredibly happy/impressed by how easy it was to park so close to the start and finish.
Before I knew it, it was time to run.
Before I knew it, it was time to run.
Up until mile 12 I was holding some pretty even splits... all were right around 9:10min/mile... with the exception being mile 7 when I got caught up in the excitement of the crowds on Chestnut street and dropped an 8:41min/mile down. Fail. Overall I felt pretty comfortable and I really enjoyed these miles.
I found myself to be incredibly thirsty during the majority of this race. I'm so very thankful that I made the decision to carry a small handheld, despite my complete hatred of them. I felt like I couldn't get enough fluid and had no idea where any of the fluid stations were so I was trying to be conservative between being able to refill my bottle. I tried alternating between gatorade and water but I was actually feeling thirsty so I knew that meant I was probably dehydrated and therefore opted for Gatorade more often then water.
When we split from the half marathoners the reality of how much pain I was really going to be in by the finish came crashing down on me. I knew this was going to be a painful race because I missed a few long runs in the middle of training. Frankly, this was probably the biggest thing causing my anxiety leading up to the race. At this point my legs were mildly uncomfortable and the thought that I was only half way brought on the reality that this pain was at least going to double over the next 13 miles. For about 1/2 a second I contemplated calling it a day and finishing at the half. BUT then I realized my time wouldn't even be good and just not what I was there for.
From mile 13 to 17 my splits were again pretty even, but now hovering a 9:16 min/mile average. I was okay with that. Again, I was still comfortable.
I'm not sure where my brain went but when I reached the mile 17 marker I was really expecting it to be 18 and I can't even begin to describe the disappointment. At this point I had already begun to count down the miles left. I kept telling myself one more mile and I'll be at 19, then 20, etc. Basically, this is where things got ugly for me. I remember coming to terms with the fact that a sub 4 was not in the cards today. This was when I told myself it was time to settle in and just finish.
From mile 18 to 22 I settled into a slower more pain accommodating 9:42 min/mile. I was officially uncomfortable and grumpy. Manayunk was terrible. It was hilly and incredibly crowded. I did not enjoy it for a second. This made me really sad because there was a TON of crowd support and I was just miserable. I didn't want to play anymore. At this point the sun was also all up in my face, I was getting hot, and there was moss growing on my tongue from all the Gatorade I had been drinking. All I wanted was to chug water. I also wanted to throw in the towel more times than I could count.
At mile 22 I told myself there was JUST 4 miles left. I can run 4 miles. 4 miles is nothing. This worked. As I began to approach mile 23 I tried convincing myself that 3 miles is a joke, anyone can run 3 miles. This worked until I got to mile 23 and 3 miles was not a joke and seemed absolutely impossible. By some act of God I held on for another mile. Mile 24 I dropped in my first 10:00 min/mile. I'm pretty sure I don't want to see the official race photos because I was either pouting, holding back tears, or actually crying for a hot second. Not pretty.
I caved to the pain and took 2 one minute walk breaks and one additional walk break of about 30 seconds right before the 25 mile marker. In my head I had dedicated the last mile to a friend who was killed at war in Afghanistan last November. I knew that I could not stop until I finished at this point. I pointed to the sky and buckled down. The thought of stopping didn't even cross my mind.
Then there were the crowds. These were probably the most encouraging crowds I'd seen the whole race. I was finally happy again. I knew I was close to the finish and I felt surprisingly really good the last 1.2 miles... probably because I knew that I was going to finish.
I saw my boyfriend and mom about a quarter mile from the finish and I was feeling really good. I felt strong. When I crossed that finish line I put my hands over my head and was so excited and relieved. I did it. I finished. I went through a lot of highs and lows over those 26.2 miles but I stuck it out and I effing finished.
On a positive note, I did meet my biggest non-time goal.. I didn't bonk!! The only thing that was really killing me was the pain in my legs. I felt like I had the energy and the stamina but the muscles in my legs did not agree. I know I stopped fueling properly towards the end because the Shot Bloks sounded terrible and I just wanted to finish. Thankfully this didn't happen until the last 4 miles or so.
I finished in 4:10:43. This would fall under my C goal. In retrospect I still think this is a very appropriate finish time for the effort I put into training. I'm more disappointed with how training went than how the race went. I think I ran the best race I could for what I put into it the last 18 weeks. I'm mostly frustrated because I know how much better I can do and I know how much potential I have. It just makes me want to work harder! Makes me want to be better, faster, stronger. I've said it before and I'll say it again, but I am so excited for what's to come.
|"I'm just beyond the UPS trucks. I'm sitting. Come find me."|
|Sitting = Good. Also, ouch.|
|I DID IT!! Marathon #2 in the bag!|
|Best boyfriend ever :)|
|Best mom ever!!!!|
I don't really know that I would do this particular race again. I also don't know if it's because I had a rough last 9 miles or because I just genuinely didn't like it all that much. I felt like it was congested for the first 22 miles and the water/gatorade stops were hot messes. I hated the hairpin turns and the out and back type turn arounds that went with them. I felt like I was a hamster stuck in a maze with a lot of other hamsters. I'm sad that I didn't really enjoy the race but I did learn a lot about myself and can't wait to apply all of my newfound motivation and experiences to my next bit of life and training.
First thing's first...
First thing's first...