Marlene had posted all of her marathons and times and like it's supposed to be, they improved with each one down to a BQ! So inspiring! Unfortunately my friends, that is the opposite case with me, which leads me to believe that I've never given my all into marathon training and that I'm probably not cut out to be a BQ'er. Here is a recap of my marathon running history.
#1! my first marathon - Steamtown, October 2004, 4:14:19* PR
I was teaching and coaching, single but engaged and followed plan to train for this one. My friend Nicole got me into the marathons after college. Too bad there was no facebook back then - I have no pictures to share.
#2 New York City, November 2006 4:43:40
I had stomach issues pretty early on and ended up walking and using port-a-pottys and my sister held my hand through most of the latter miles of this one! It was killer! I'd like to return to NYC someday and have a better experience but not at the price they are asking - and I hear they have fast standards now too.
#3 Philadelphia Marathon, November 2007, 4:26:24
I trained pretty well for this one, and around mile 18 I hit the wall. Miles 20-26 I was barely moving. My cousin finished the last 6 miles with me. I've never had a strong 10k at the end.
#4 Boston Marathon, April 2009, 4:21:03
10 weeks after Nick was born! I was so excited to be running in this race. My sister hopped in and ran the last 10k with me. I'm pretty sure I slowed down but I was just so happy to be there.
#5 Philadelphia Marathon, November 2009, 4:39:36
(7ish weeks pregnant)
I was totally burnt out for this race, since I never really took a break after Nick was born. I had just found out I was pregnant with Kara 5 days before and I had no air to spare. I distinctly remember around mile 19 being completely out of breath. My sis ran the final miles of this one with me too!
#6 Marine Corps Marathon, October 2011, 4:54:03
(14ish weeks pregnant)
Slowest one yet! Started with my sister, but all my training runs were super slow, and I just got slower as I reached the teen miles. I really didn't care about my time but when you are done you always wish you went faster!
#7??? Philly #3? Should I do it?
So I've ran 2 Philly fulls and 2 Philly halves and here is my comparison of Philly to the others:
Steamtown - small-town marathon, the whole town is out cheering and the fans are amazing! There were definitely quiet spots, and there was also room to run along the course. When we got off the bus at the start - a high school, students presented us with ribbons to wear on our shirts. It was a hometown feel, hilly at the end, and a great experience! I'd go back
New York - I remember getting up at like 4am, boarding buses and sitting around for a long time. The village was cool - where you wait to start. A guy in the starting corrals peed right in front of me. Going over the bridge was so weird, it was shaking! I liked seeing all the parts of New York and all the fans that were out. The finish in Central Park was amazing.
Boston - what can I say, I was so happy/excited to be there, the whole thing was amazing. Fans everywhere, great things to give out - gus, etc, great crowd support and amazing atmosphere. Similar to New York I think I had to get up at 4 am, even though the race didn't begin till 10am. Long day!
MCM - the first 10 miles were annoying, and the start was anti-climatic. It was a long way to get to the start (walking) and to get home because the metros were so crazy. I liked how we didn't have to wait around in a village and we basically walked up to the start, starting running and were off! The crowd support was amazing, lots of fuel stops - donuts, oranges, gels. I would have liked more water stops, it was weird there weren't clocks at each mile but instead marines yelling out the clock time... busy race, great atmosphere, very fun. The shirts were lame, I would probably never wear it - mock cotton turtleneck. What?
Philly - Since I know Philly, whenever I run it, I get bored and say I'm never doing it again. The first part is through the downtown and head to Penns Landing. The start is lined with fans but they dwindle quickly. Kelly Drive is fun, there is room to run for the most part and the crowd support is decent but not as good as NYC, Boston or MCM. Manayunk is my favorite part - where the streets are LINED and people are giving out beer. Knowing you have to run all the way back down Kelly Drive and to the art museum is kind of daunting - it's basically an out and back which I don't like all that much. It's a pretty fast, flat course and they do a great job with the corrals and the start. It's super organized and they started putting your names on the bibs, and the shirts are pretty awesome year after year, and the medals! If I was choosing between MCM and Philly, it would be a toss up. I'd choose whichever city I didn't know as well. Hope that helps you out Frank!
What's left in my future? I hope to do Chicago, and some fun destination like Hawaii! Which marathons do you want to do?