Archive for November, 2010

Philly Marathon, number 2

November 24, 2010 Leave a comment

I finished in 4:24:08 (chip time); the fastest city employee to do the whole marathon! It was a fun race, I wore my grandma’s beer hat and a cape, but I was basically done mentally with the race after 17 miles. Not the state you want to be in if you are trying to run a PR! I still finished 2 minutes faster than last year, which is a success. Hell, I can’t forget that finishing in and of itself is a success!

I wanted to talk about distraction and mental states. I started the race with the plan to NOT weave around on Columbus Blvd like I did last year. I wasted some energy at the beginning of the race doing that, and I didn’t want to repeat that mistake. So for the first portion I ran in a pretty straight line, slowing slightly to follow the flow of people. Then I got to Chestnut street. Oh goodness, such a mess. I had stopped at the porta-potty and I must have fallen behind a massive wave of people, and them combined with people slowing down in general was a nightmare. Any weaving that I avoided on Columbus Blvd was picked up on Chestnut Street. After that mess (I did manage to get a head of the crowd), I basically stopped thinking about my race strategy except to think “Huh, I am not thinking about my pace very much”. I had some faster miles and some slower ones. I finished the half marathon around 2:08, which was part of my goal–to finish the half marathon faster than in previous races as a strategy for attempting a PR.

The weather was also a little weird. It felt warmer at the start than the Philly Marathon last year and the Toronto Marathon, but the temperature never warmed up much past that point. I think wearing a hat also changed the temperature regulation in my body. I pulled off my long sleeve shirt after 3 miles and passed it off to my parents at mile 7.

I missed a few mile marks. I missed the 5 mile mark, and referred to the race shirt I was holding to verify I wasn’t seriously behind pace. I missed mile 15, and missed a water stop because it was kinda short. These are things you don’t want to happen in a race.

What I want to get across is that there were things about that race that didn’t lend themselves to me getting in the same mental frame of mind that happened in Toronto. I wonder if part of the distraction was the fact that I know Philadelphia. The whole race is surround by other experiences, and there were new things to add to my thought arsenal this year. I moved to South Philly in September, and so the run down Columbus Blvd and the turn onto Washington St and 2 St have a slightly different meaning now because I live close to that turn! Alas! Next year I will try again.

I want reiterate for anyone who has a bad run or race day that there are things outside of your control that make days hard and unsuccessful.

It certainly didn’t help that I did mostly cross training between the Toronto Marathon and this one. My muscle pain on Monday was freaking TERRIBLE. I had to use the banister of my house like a rope to slowly climb up the stairs, and as a crutch on the way down as I cringed sideways down the stairs. Tuesday I made it in to work, and had to go out with the GPS unit. It was good to be on my feet, and I did warm up after like 2 hours, but my coworker commented today that I was seriously wounded yesterday. Every time I stepped my left knee had the chance of hyper-extending slightly because the muscles were tired and sore. Today was much better, and tomorrow I am attempting the Turkey Trot! We will see how that goes…

My goals going forward are to talk to my doctor about my left knee, because it has been giving me trouble and getting slightly worse over the course of a year; to make morning running a part of my schedule; and to plan my races for next year. I signed up for the 20 in 24 already, and I want to try to run 100 miles in it. That is a serious endeavor that I need to plan now. Also, I am hoping to make it back up to Niagara-on-the-Lake for the 50k. That falls turnaround was amazing, and the camping I did on the way up and back was really enjoyable. Finally, I  would like to try to break 4 hours in the next marathon, and do well in the Caesar Rodney Half Marathon. I will conquer that hill!!

Oh, and some especially enjoyable moments: One lady admiring my beer hat and then saying to her running buddy “Why didn’t I think of that?”; My boyfriend running with me for about 8 miles; Seeing Back on my Feet members on the course; Drinking beer in Manayunk ’cause how can you refuse when you are wearing a beer hat?!; Getting to run over the Falls Bridge (even though I thought that turn around was slightly ridiculous and I was feeling shitty at the time); Opening my cape up and “flying” into the finish chute.

Categories: marathon, recovery