|Bib time with Batman/Elmo boy.|
|Ready to go!|
We were 4 minutes behind the gun time. I got to high five Mayor Nutter at the start and we were off. Right away Cindy pulled away as she wanted to go faster and PR her half marathon, while Amy and I stayed together. My foot was feeling decent. I had 3 plans in mind. 1. If it became really painful, I would finish at the half, since we were running by the finish line anyway, and at least get that medal. 2. If it felt ok, I would go all out and try to finish in under 4 hours. And 3. I would finish this marathon no matter what. Amy and I ran together for about 4-5 miles before she started going faster. I was feeling fine, but I didn't want to go our too fast, so I told her to just go if she wanted to.
First 13 miles are the same for both races. This first part goes through the center city and the historic areas. It is lined with people and positive energy. While there are couple decent hills on the way, it was nothing insurmountable. I was feeling decent, my foot was feeling ok, the pace was on track for the 4 hours more or less, so the first option went out of the window around mile 12. I was going for the full. I went past the half way point with 4 hours in mind. The 2nd part of the course is out and back, running along the Kelly drive, short loop over the Falls bridge, into Manayunk and then back to the Art Museum. I am not a big fan of these out and back loops, and I don't like to see fast people going past me. It annoys me for some reason. Last year, I was especially annoyed at that silly short loop over the Falls Bridge. I know that it is there to make up the miles, but still annoying. However, this year, none of this stuff bothered me too much. I was focused on that finish line. The elites did not go past me on their way to the finish until mile 14 or 15 (their 24-25) which was better then last year. It was actually nice to see the fast guys and girls go by. Amazing talents. Kelly Drive is mostly flat, but it does have its little rolling hills. I could feel my legs getting tired and my pace starting to slow. Even though I was pushing, my legs would just not go any faster.
Manayunk and the last 6 miles of the race were definitely tough for me. My pace kept getting slower, and thoughts of taking a break and walking a bit were certainly in my mind. I kept assessing my situation and thinking. Ok, are you cramping? Yes, maybe a little, but not bad. Well, maybe not. Can you keep running? Yes, I can. Are you tired? F u brain. That went on and on, but I really did not have a good reason to stop or walk. I was battling disappointment at the same time, as I knew once again that 4 hour mark was slipping away. Mile after mile, and step after step, I was getting closer to the finish line. The sun came out around mile 24 and it got hot real quick. I was fine with it as the end was near. I wanted so bad to push the pace a bit and finish strong, but the legs were not listening. I was picturing this silly commercial in my head, with Mutombo, saying, No no, not in my house, not today (watch it here). Bastard.
I fueled the entire run with Tailwind Nutrition which again is really all you need. My mix of Lemon and Naked seem to go great together! My Altra The One got me through this race as well. I really enjoyed running in them, even though I wish I could have went faster. (legs fault, not the shoes) They will get a proper speed soon enough.
While the official races are done for this year, I am still planning on running the fat ass Rocky 50K that our #ultrachat friend Rebecca is organizing on December 7th. I will most likely give it a go, because I am scared of her wrath if I don't.
Oh yeah, Amy will be giving away a free entry to the Blue Ridge Marathon soon enough if you are interested. Stay tuned.
Go forth and run.
|Badge of honor|
|We did it!|