Do not try this at home.
have long said that I don’t believe people should ever feel compelled to run a marathon just because others are and I really think it’s a bad idea to run one when you’re under trained.
Thus going in to Philly I was very aware that after being sick July – Sept and running less than a 1/3 of my desired mileage this was not a PR attempt, it was a training run.
While they do provide the option to switch to the half, I wanted to enjoy the full 26.2 miles of sites offered by the Philadelphia marathon, so I set out with that mindset. If I hadn’t been signed up for the race, I would’ve been doing a pl22 mile long run…hence I was going to run 22 and then walk as much as needed.
A detailed recap of my race and the race course review is below, but if you want a super speedy read of the day here it is!
Goal: Start and finish with a smile
Outfit: Slightly overdressed in my fear of the cold, but luckily I found David to pass off my hat and gloves around the three mile mark. I tossed my lovely Odwalla jacket as we go started (thank goodness for throw away clothes!).
Welcome to the necessary blurry, dark, pre-race selfie. Finish Time: 4:34
Avg pace of miles run: 9:48
Avg pace of miles walked: 13 something…there was shuffling happening here
Weirdest Sign: “Worst parade ever”
Best Outfit: Lots of spectators in animal costumes, a little bizarre but fun
Aid Stations: Plentiful and if you are a beer fan there were some lovely folks providing that too
Money spent at expo: $42
I know I love getting the pro’s and con’s before picking a race, espeically 26.2 miles. So hopefully this breakdown of the Philadelphia marathon will be helpful.
- Course is beautiful along the river (I loved seeing the rowing teams on the water!)
- High five with Bart Yasso at the start line!
- Running past a lot of amazing historic sites(hello Rocky steps!!)
- I have never seen so many spectators throughout an entire course
- Perfect marathon weather with a cool start, never getting too hot or too cold
- Generally easy course with only a couple of hills
- Great course for spectators who with bike! A path runs alongside most of the course
- Long sleeve finisher shirt
- Lack of porta potties…HUGE lines at the beginning and then miles without one or huge lines again
- Road is cambered in many places, so for IT Band folks this race could hurt
- Post race food was almost non-existent, I didn’t want much but more than a Quaker bar
- Even the major sponsor Artic Ease wasn’t around…or Refuel Chocolate milk..seriously people!
- Shirt sizing was way off. The small looks like it should fit a linebacker…darn it I want to wear my shirt!
All of that aside, I would recommend this course and potentially run it again! It’s still my favorite of the 8 marathons that I’ve run, even if it wasn’t my fastest.
My Race Report
I made two unfortunate mistakes in this race:
A. Assuming my shoes could be trashed post race…they were done before I started. This resulted in my knees just really hurting because the shoe was well past it’s use by date.
B. Downhill – I practiced hills on the treadmill since there are none in Florida so I powered up those like I always have, but the downhill running hurt.
By mile 6 I knew I should probably turn off at the half because my knees were so sore, but I also knew I would be frustrated with that decision and I was really enjoying myself. At the 12 mile point where folks were turning right for the half I stayed left and kept on truckin’, what’s another 14 miles anyways.
I was able to see David so much more during this race because Abby’s husband Brent showed him around on the bike! This made it a lot of fun for both him and me…honestly it always makes me smile to see him out there. Let’s play Where’s Waldo, can you find me?
Besides that I was just enjoying the course and when I hit 22, I stuck to my mental agreement and allowed myself to walk. Those last 4 miles were long and my knees were really sore, but I felt bad because speedy folks were waiting on me, so I started to shuffle every 5 minutes or so…literally I didn’t even know I was capable of a 12 min mile, but that was all the legs had in them.
I’m immensely proud of myself for being able to enjoy this race without the pressure of worrying about time.
My Garmin also chose to die about mile 25, so I had no idea what my actual finish time was. It didn’t matter much because training run or not, I had just finished marathon #5! Me with my inspirational running pals Abby and Laurie.
After meandering through the never ending finishers chute, I said hi to Emily who was rockin her tutu and crutches; then we walked about a mile to brunch where the fast folks had been waiting for awhile. What can I say, I warned everyone this wasn’t a PR day. 🙂
Thanks to everyone for all the well wishes on race day! I truly appreciated it even if I knew it wasn’t a “race” for me. Hopefully recovery is speedy and we’ll see what I can do at the Houston marathon.
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