Well I’m officially a marathoner as I write this on Monday, I’m feeling pretty good!!! Now let’s get to the recap!
Since I live a short drive from the start and know the best parking area I didn’t plan on arriving to the Philly Marathon until 7am (yes that’s when it starts but let’s be honest, my corral wasn’t a super fast one so we didn’t start until after 7:30). As I mentioned this was not a goal time race for me, I just wanted to stay with Annie and finish with a smile on my face. I should’ve mentioned in my reflections last week that if I was well trained, uninjured, and running alone my goal would’ve been 4:30ish. Since I was poorly trained, recovery from an injury, and running with my friend for fun I was predicting closer to a 5:00 finish.
Annie and I took a pre-race photo and we were off…. Our husbands were waiting around mile 1 where I handed off my hoody- hence my craziness in this pic. The first couple miles I felt very stiff… I hadn’t run more than 1 mile in over 2 weeks. Feeling sluggish but got my stride around mile 3-4. The spectators around here were some of my favorites- handing out beer, water bottles, and tissues. Amazing and hilarious signs around here too. Annie and I both ran with our music on low so we could talk over it and agreed to walk through water stops so we could hydrate properly. We also planned on walking the two hills.
Mile 6 we were finishing up running through the city and saw the husbands again- this area is super crowded along the streets though so you basically don’t see people until you are on top of them so no pic here. Our 10k pace was 10:34- not bad. Next you run through University City where Penn and Drexel campuses are…. We walked up the hill at mile 7 and enjoyed running towards the zoo, passing frat houses and reminiscing about college.
Mile 9-10 is the next really big hill and per our plan we walked up it. We ended up along the west side of the river and headed back towards the Art Museum for the half marathon finish. I started feeling the pain around the half way mark and Annie had already been feeling… it was a bit torturous watching the half marathoners finish while we had to go do the same thing again. Plus the second half of the course was much less scenic and exciting as the first. The halfway mileage pace clocked in at 11:04. We were slowing but since we walked two hills I wasn’t worried. Our pace between the 10k and halfway mark was 11:31- a little slower than I wanted but I figured the hill walking was to blame and we would pick up for the second half. Spoiler alert- we didn’t.
I decided it was time to stop and pee…. Overshare- I peed 3 times the 20 minutes before we started and was looking to pee again the entire first half of the course but all the bathroom lines were sooooo long. Yes I have a nervous bladder- don’t judge. Finally we found a short line so I took a super quick bathroom break. The boys were apparently around mile 13.5 but we were looking for them around mile 14-15 so unfortunately we missed them. The second half of the course is an out and back… we could see the amazing fast marathoners a couple miles from finished as we started our out and back.
Around mile 16 Annie was having some trouble and started to really feel the pain… she powered through until the next water stop but asked that we walk for a while… I was fine with a little walking break- it hurt to stop running but I figured a little break would leave some gas in the tank for later. We walked up to the East Falls Bridge (about a half mile) and then started to run again-OMG starting to run again was soooooo much more painful. Annie said she wanted to take another walking break… she said I could go ahead but I didn’t want to leave her and figured I’d be fine to walk a little bit longer. I wasn’t paying attention and we ended up walking all of mile 19- which was not exactly in my plan. Annie told me she was going to quit around mile 20 and hang out in Manayunk until I finished. I asked if she was sure and if she was ok and she said no go ahead. I crossed the 30k mark with Annie at an 11:50 pace and then started running again without any walking breaks for the last miles. Little did I know that Annie lied about quitting and just didn’t want to hold me back from running when she just wanted to walk the last 8 miles of the race. Our pace between the halfway split and the 30K marker was 13:38 from all the walking.
I powered through the last 6 miles alone- running through Manayunk was cool- more cookies, candy, oranges slices, and beer being passed out. That last stretch on Kelly Drive is pretty desserted so I had to dig deep. Seeing Pat around mile 22-23 definitely picked me up for a little as he ran with me for a mile. I finished the last couple miles solo and was actually passing people even though I was running pretty slow at this point. I never hit the wall and fueled really efficiently and effectively along the course.
I finished at 5:09 which was an overall 11:47min/mile pace. I was so proud to have finished my first marathon!! Although it was much slower than my true goal time I definitely had a lot of barriers and probably set my goal a little too high. I’m proud of myself for battling through heartbreak, time off, injury, and a running break to finish! I know I have a sub 4:30 marathon in me (especially according to my half marathon times and web site predictions)…. My training run paces were 10:00-11:00 minute miles. I can’t wait to have a real training plan that last more than 12 weeks and keeps me from injuring myself. I will definitely run a marathon next year- likely in the fall. But let me know if you have any spring marathon recs!
A big thanks to Annie for being such an awesome running buddy- I’m sad she didn’t have her best day but she was also undertrained and has already run a sub 4:30 marathon. It was great to have her support and excitement for the ride. Also thanks to our husbands for showing us some awesome race day support. Of course thanks to all the amazing volunteers and congrats to all the runners! Can’t wait to conquer the Philly Full again in the future!!!