We arrived in Philly on Saturday to pick up our bibs. Up until this point, I kept pushing all my feelings about the Marathon down. I was just so scared (not nervous) and I didn't even want to think about how much this race was going to hurt.
Having all these amazing women surrounding me definitely helped. I especially appreciate Kortni flying all the way from Houston just to run with me. After my training went awry, because of my shoulder, I forced her to run her own race. I wasn't trained for meeting the goal I had originally set for myself so it made sense for her to do her own thing.
We had some time to kill before our dinner reservations, so we did some sight seeing. We wanted to see the Liberty Bell and the Rocky steps too, but we never made it.
Then there was dinner. All was well. We were fed and ready. All that was left was sleep and run.
We all laid out our clothes and went to sleep by 10 pm ish for a 5 am wake up call. Thanks to some sleep aid, I actually fell asleep and managed to sleep soundly until 4:30 am. I was happy for that because a night spend tossing and turning the night before a marathon is never good.
We planned to leave the hotel at 5:45 am for our 1 mile walk to the start line. PLENTY of time. Uh yeah. About that. We got into the security line to be let into the corals and waited over an hour and still hadn't made it into the entrance. We debated trying to find another security check several times but at one point, an FBI agent said we could try another entrance but it was risky because the other lines might not be shorter. So we stayed. After a full hour of waiting, a police officer comes over and says a block over has no line no wait. We high tailed it out of that line and got through security at 7:02. The race started at 7 am.
|waiting in security line in our throw away clothes|
After being completely frazzled for over and hour Jaime and I cuddled together to keep warm and having her arms literally around me calmed me. It's definitely what I needed right before the race and I'm so glad she was there with me.
We crossed the start line about 15 minutes after the clock and we were on our way. My goal was to run a 10:40 pace for the whole time. Based on my training and the races I had recently done, this shouldn't have been too aggressive of a pace for me. In fact, many race predictors predicted I could do a faster pace. Having said that, I only ran ONE DAY A WEEK during the majority of my training in hopes of giving my shoulder time to heal. This was on the recommendation of my orthopedic. My shoulder was affecting my every day life and being in pain every day is not fun. Sadly my shoulder took priority over my training. Regardless... my goal... 10:40 pace from mile 1 to mile 26.
As usual, the race starts out so fast. I watched my watch very carefully and ran much slower than felt natural, but I was being consistent with my pacing. I was on track and kept telling myself how very early it was in a very long marathon. Unfortunately my garmin doesn't tell me my current pace only my average pace so I was going by feel and just trying to keep my average at 10:40 ish. That made me miles not very consistent. Regardless, after the first 5 miles I was on track.
Mile 1: 10:33
Mile 2: 10:37
Mile 3: 10:34
Mile 4: 10:54
Mile 5: 10:34 ----> Gu
Miles 6 and 7 were invigorating. There were SO many people along the race course. I swear those were the 2 faster miles of my race. I was so busy looking at people and reading signs and being pumped up that I didn't even feel like I was running. It was definitely my favorite part of the race.
Mile 6: 10:09
Mile 7: 10:16
By then I was looking at my watch less and less. I wasn't as obsessed with my pace and tried to run what I felt would be my "go all day" pace. My average pace kept reading right around 10:40 so I thought I was doing well. Apparently I wasn't because my splits are all over the place.
Mile 8: 11:09
Mile 9: 10:53
Mile 10: 11:05 ----> 2nd Gu
I honestly don't remember much between miles 10 and 13. I do remember looking around at people who had hit the wall at the 10 mile mark and pushing through. I imagined those people's stories and how maybe they were completing their first half. It was an inspirational moment to see them push through.
The split for the half and the full is right at mile 13. Full marathoners go left and half marathoners go right. I never wanted to go right so badly. Ha! I knew making that left turn would be lonely.
Mile 11: 10:50
Mile 12: 11:00
Mile 13: 10:48
Shortly after the marathon split I saw my friend Kate's mom. It was just nice to see a familiar face. Of course it only lasts 2 seconds so the high doesn't last long. I was now on the out and back portion of the course. It was both inspiring and humiliating to see runners at mile 24 and 25 when I was at mile 14 and 15.
Mile 14: 11:00
Mile 15: 11:17 ----> 3rd Gu
Right around the 15 mile mark I started to feel tired physically. My legs hurt, my hips hurt and I wanted to be done. Thinking to myself that I still had 11 miles to go was devastating. I allowed my self to mentally get defeated. After mile 16 I allowed myself to walk. I heard Kortni's voice in my head telling me to schedule my walk breaks if I had to take them. She said to pick a ratio and stick to it. Somehow I decided on 3:1. I'd run 3 minutes and walk one. It mentally defeated me, but physically it helped. In fact, many times I would be running and realize I didn't need a break and I'd run longer than 3 minutes and when I did have to walk I never allowed myself to walk more than 1 minute.
Miles 16 to 20 weren't horrible. I was doing my walk/run thing. I saw Kate, then Charlene, then Jaime and seeing their faces made me happy. I originally thought the out and back turn around was at mile 19, but quickly realized it was at mile 20. I prayed for mile 20 to come quickly.
Mile 16: 11:13
Mile 17: 12:03
Mile 18: 11:51
Mile 19: 12:21
Mile 20: 11:45----> 4th Gu
When I hit mile 20 I hit my second wall. I had 6.2 miles which meant over an hour more of running. It seemed like a task I wasn't physically capable of. I started calculating what my finishing time would be. I still had a chance to make it under 5 hours. That encouraged me through miles 22 and 23 to push and not walk as much. I'm not sure what ratio I was doing but it was running more than 3 minutes at a time and walking 1 minute. When I walked it felt good, but starting to run again was excruciating. At this point everything hurt.
Mile 21: 12:38
Mile 22: 12:06
Mile 23: 12:07
Mile 24: 12:12
After mile 24 I cried. I was in so much pain and I couldn't push anymore. As badly as I wanted to come in under 5 hours, I couldn't do much more than run 3 walk 1. Running 3 minutes at a time felt like a life time. I would look at my watch every time I wanted to stop running and it was always 1:30 into my run interval. I forced myself to run, but I'm sure it was a shuffle. So many people were reading my name on my bib and encouraging me. At this point I was holding in tears. At mile 25 I decided crying would make me feel better and so I did. I was crying because I was in so much pain and just wanted it to be over. I told myself that a 4:59 finish vs a 5:02 finish didn't matter and I just did the best I could. It was ugly on every level.
Mile 25: 12:56
Mile 26: 13:01
Mile .5 (I was over): 12:26 pace
Crossing the finish line was anti-climactic. I was in survival mode and when I crossed, I simply started walking and thank God (literally) that it was over. My legs could barely move. I was at a snails pace moving through the finisher's area.
Garmin Total: 26.54 miles 5:02:03
Garmin Average: 11:23/mile
Official Total 26.2 miles 5:01:59
Official Average: 11:32/mile
Overall, I'm definitely disappointed. I'm more disappointed that I missed the opportunity to train healthy and have a good race. I don't know what I was thinking trusting my body to run a 10:40 pace. Looking back it was an aggressive goal. I am happy I finished and didn't completely bomb but it does sting that this is my worst marathon to date. It's logical, however, considering it was also my worst training to date. I still ran 26.2 miles and I have to give myself props for that. 26.2 miles is a long way. Get in your car and drive 26.2 miles. It's probably a long way from home.
Charlene: I know you weren't happy that it wasn't a PR today, but you still ran an excellent race. It says a lot about your training and commitment that you never hit the proverbial wall. Great job on your consistency in your training and running your 2nd marathon. Hold your head high. You ran a marathon! Congratulations.
Kortni: I can't wait to read your recap on your blog. I know this wasn't the race you wanted it to be, I still love you though (inside joke)! Seriously, you're one of my running mentors and I always look up to you. You're an inspiration to me and so many others. You will get your BQ. I know it. I'm so thankful that you came into my life. I cherish each time we get to spend with one another. Even if it is running 26.2 miles. Love you so much!
Meghan: I'm beyond happy for you and am in awe that your first marathon was so amazing. You were so consistent in your training and determined and you did it! I know you're proud (so I won't say "be proud"). You deserve all the glory girl! You did it! Congratulations.
Tracey: I never doubted your ability for one single solitary second. I knew you'd PR and you did! You will ALWAYS be someone I look up to. You manage to do it all. You're an amazing mother, friend and athlete. Your dedication to being each of those things inspires me daily. I'm so thankful for having met you and for being a part of your life. Love you girl!
Jaime: I feel like your training was "The Little Engine that Could." Not having done a marathon before I think you needed to prove to yourself through your training that you could do it. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. I watched you blossom throughout your training and I knew you could and you did. I hope you're proud of you first (and not last) marathon. Congrats on an amazing race. PR baby! Thanks for being my calm before the storm. xoxoxo
Kate (not pictured): What can I say girl? Despite you being so mature, you're so young (compared to me) and I definitely have the mom mentality with you. I want to see you do well and am so proud of you when you do. You have been through so much the past several months but you didn't allow it to derail you. NOT YOU. You said, I'll show you and you did. You made this mama proud!
Kim (also not pictured): I know you let doubt creep in so many times about this marathon. Can I do it? What am I doing? What's the matter with you? Any of this sound familiar? ha! I, nor anyone else who knows you, doubted you would finish this marathon. I know you and know when you set your mind to it, you will get it done. I admire you perseverance so much and am beyond proud of your determination. You are such an inspiration to me and it's about time you realize that YOU are the lion. Let's hear you ROAR! Love you and am so proud of you!
Thanks for a great race Philly.