I'm Brett Favre'ing it

The short:
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!

The long:
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.

post finish - the fam
Long day for Nick!

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.


  1. YAY!! You did it!!

    Today was supposed to be my half marathon :-( Part of me wishes I stuck with it, but I just didn't have the heart.

  2. WAY TO GO GIRL!!! I'm so proud of you! You got another one under the belt! GREAT JOB!!! :) xoxo

  3. good decision to go back to eating clean! i started in june and then in october i ran a 3:29:13! and i only trained about 30 miles a week. i am 100% positive that i ran that fast bc of clean eating. i got engaged in Hopkinton this year at the BM. we didn't start blogging until August. There might be some pics and a short blurb on it in the post about how we met. Again, congrats on your wonderful accomplishment today! You will come back and be faster and stronger when u are ready! :-)

  4. ha ha about being a normal person...that's me now! but i want to be a marathoner again. good for you for getting through it though, that's something even if it's not the time you wanted.

  5. Congrats on another marathon! Some days we run well, some days we dont! But you ran a great marathon and finished and that is an accomplishment!

  6. Awesome job pulling out a tough race. Sometimes those are the biggest accomplishments.

    Those damn "finish line this way" signs were driving me insane. I think that final chute felt ten times longer because there were so many signs.

    Oh, and there were bananas, but they were way far down opposite the UPS trucks... Not sure what that was about! :)

  7. I freaking LOVE the polka dots! Congrats!!

  8. I totally know that feeling of 'screw this I just want to be a normal person'... it comes and goes for all of us. :) Sorry you didn't have a great day today, but congrats on sticking with it. Those are the moments that really define us you know. Sticking with it when it would be so easy (and you have every excuse in the world) to just stop. But you didn't. Good lessons to teach our kids. :)

  9. Congrats for finishing what sounds like a tough day. Great pics! You will be back! Any day you run and finish a marathon is a great day and a day to celebrate.

  10. OK - you just finished . . A MARATHON!! That is an amazing achievement!! Plus you ran Boston so soon after having Nick and blitzed that (and everyone I talk says it's one of, if not, the hardest courses around). End of the year marathon .. . time to get prepped and ready for 2010 goals!! :) You have had an incredible year .. even if you didn't feel like it at mile 8 :)

  11. I HATE that feeling at the end, when you cant find the finish. That's the WORST!

    I can't believe I didn't see you today. I saw EVERYONE else but YOU!

    Sorry about the time, but damn, you can ANOTHER marathon and that is amazing! I just think your heart wasn't really in this one. No big deal. It happens.

    You'll get your mojo back in time. There is no way I see you retiring.

    Congratulations on another marathon finish!!!

  12. Great job for sticking it out...I have so been there. Don't think about it too much, you finished strong! :)

  13. Great job! You stuck it out and finished -- way to go.

    Now, just don't go for the Favre gray beard when you come back ;-) HA!

  14. Don't be so hard on yourself. Everyone has those races where you just aren't fast. Take some time off and sign up for a marathon when you are really mentally ready to tackle it. You've been training like crazy since the minute you had Nick and you should be proud of finishing yet another marathon.

    And I quit running/triathlon at almost every single race I do longer than a 5k.

  15. Congrats on the finish! I have never been to a race without bananas. That is crazy :(

  16. I'm a beginner runner that stumbled across your blog, and I'm VERY impressed by your marathon running!!! I am training for a half in March and then we'll see if I can train for a full. :) www.runningnicki.blogspot.com

  17. You sound like you are beating yourself up. Why?? You just finished a marathon! Hello?!?! Okay, I understand goals and that self-pressure we endure but the reality is you just finished something amazing. I am so happy for you! Not every race shows an improvment of time, there are many ways to better ourselves with each race. Starting is always a victory!!! Congratulations!!

  18. Way to finish. When I ran in the mararthon last December, I was so over it by mile 8. I had to tell myself to keep running to mile 13 to see Matt and Morgan and took it one mile at a time after that. It does sound like you are ready for a break. Just enjoy running again without having to stick to a schedule.

  19. I'm so sorry it wasn't your day but you finished, which is a huge accomplishment. Especially when it's a tough race! Don't be hard on yourself, you still accomplished something other people never will even try!

  20. Congratulations!!! I can see how any race would pale in comparison to Boston. Way to push through and finish the thing!

  21. You should be very proud of yourself. You never know what will happen in a marathon...It's funny how after months of training, your mind can still play tricks on you; telling you, "Stop, Stop, Stop!" You pushed through the doubt, and finished! Awesome!!!!

  22. finishing a marathon when you want to quit that early is HUGE!!! congrats on another marathon finish girl!!

  23. Congrats on the finish!!!

    It's HARD to keep going when you're already feeling not-so-hot at mile 8 - I know that feeling. It's also HARD to pass by that half-marathon finish.