I finished! But around mile 8, I really wanted to quit. My legs felt heavy, and I could not believe how slow I was going, so I started questioning why I was there! I was seriously trying to enjoy the day and I did - it was BEAUTIFUL weather. But all I could think was that I needed someone to run with. It felt very lonely out there today. After running Boston, Philly seemed like crap - tons of dead zones of fans and maybe since I live so close and have done so many runs down by the river, it isn't charming anymore? It lost it's appeal to me today, even though I did feel lucky to be out there running and reminded myself that running marathons isn't supposed to be easy.
4:39:36 I went almost 20 minutes slower than I did 10 weeks after having Nick ! ugh!!!
Congratulations to Denise and Billie - great BQ times out there! And Abby for doing a marathon in good time on a short notice after having just run Steamtown last month!
It was a GORGEOUS morning. I left the house around 5:40 and parked near the art museum. I took this picture as I walked to the start. Billie and I tried to meet up but failed which was a bummer. I got to see Abby before the start! My mind was all over the place and I couldn't decide if I wanted to wear the crazy socks or not and was just making sure all my gear was in check. In the end I went with some crazy polka dot socks and I'm glad I wore them! Had alot of runners comment on them that they inspired them - so that was fun.
My goal was kind of to enjoy the day with a sub goal of beating 4:21. My best marathon time is 4:14 in my first one in 2004. One day I'll beat it. Maybe when I am 50!
I took off in the 3rd wave and thought I was going at a pretty good clip - to find that I was running slower than 9 minute miles, from the start! I felt like my effort level was comfortable and I didn't want to rev it up and fade later (which I did anyway). So I kept running around 9:30 pace. I started to get down and wonder why my training just sucked and remember when I was training awesome and PRing at every race (spring before I got pregnant with Nick). I kept having to refocus my thinking and get motivated - it was easy with the weather being so nice and pretty views. Around mile 5, this huge group started passing me. I was thinking, Holy crap, did I just majorly slow down?? It was the 3:50 pace group. They were like a pack of wolves. The road didn't seem big enough for them and runners w/o a pace group. I ran with the pace group for about 2-3 miles and then they blew past me. By mile 8, I was just not feeling it. I was thinking, I'm retiring from this. I'll just be a normal person who doesn't do marathons and just stays in shape and lifts and doesn't run all the time. I felt good about this. I had a GU at mile 7, and I got some motivation back a little after my downer moment when I wanted to stop running. My motivation just kept coming and going. I wanted a partner.
Once I hit 13 miles and saw the sign FINISH --- this way or mile 14-- this way : I was thinking, I should be doing the half. Why I am doing this today?? But I kept remembering - this isn't easy. You're doing great, just suck it up and finish the race. My half time came in at 2:05. Decent, but no way I was keeping it up and I knew it! Right after that, I saw a guy I work with who lives in the city and came out to see me. He made my day and made me smile for the next few miles. I had a GU again after I was running for 2.5 hours and in between the last GU I had a CLIF BLOCK - I really like these and might switch to them for the long runs.
My colleague - so awesome he came out to cheer!I didn't see my family until mile 18. They were right by Falls Bridge and I couldn't see the damn bridge for a long, long time. I was getting very anxious to get to the bridge. Once I hit the bridge, my sister ran with me for the rest of the race. I would have probably been even slower if she didn't. Manayunk was fun and I even took a mini cup of beer and had a few sips on the way out! REFRESHING. I was going ridiculously slow and continued to put myself down for moving so slowly. I went in and out of being annoyed with the slow time and not caring and just wanting to finish. I felt pretty good except for the slow legs and slowness - mentally, I was doing fine and not losing it (I did in Boston). We started playing a game where we got a point if we saw anyone we knew - didn't see too many, we ended in a tie, but ran into 2 girls we grew up with in the summers which was fun. Saw them at mile 20 and somehow they beat me by 20 minutes. Pretty sad!! I felt hydrated and wasn't starving (I dropped my last one @ Boston and was taking anything from fans - so hungry). So I was enjoying the time running with my sister, she entertained me and just jogged/walked to the finish. I don't even know why I went so goddamn slow, but honestly, I felt like I did not have it in me to go faster.
The finish - we rounded the corner around the art museum and 2 years ago that was where the finish was. Instead, there's a huge sign all the way at the end that said " FINISH LINE" and an arrow. I was ok, until we rounded the bend and I still didn't see it. Where the **** is the finish??
Finally made it there and saw that I needed to get under 4:40 (ugh, so lame, this time is actually embarrassing for me) so I pushed to make it and did.
The finish line was a total disappointment. Where were the bananas? Every race needs bananas. I could not even find the treat bags at the end. I took off with a pretzel and waters.
The finish - my sister and I.
So.. how does a 2:05 first half translate into a 2:34 second half. That's pathetic! And I know I didn't train hard enough to run this one fast, but everytime I run a marathon, I just die at the end. Maybe I just don't have the confidence that I won't die - or maybe I just need to really train for it. I think training real hard once I get my speed back will get me there.
And... for now, I am retiring for a bit. I'll pull a Brett Favre and be back, because I know I can get back to my fast times and run a fast marathon. Until I am motivated to get back into it and feel good about it, I am going to start lifting, and get toned and change things up a little. We'll see! I already signed up for next year's 1/2 marathon in Philly. Probably a mistake but it is a tradition.