2015 Philadelphia Marathon
The Philadelphia Marathon is always one of the highlights of my year. This marathon holds a special place in my heart for many reasons. Not only is this my hometown marathon, it was also my first marathon (in 2008). This past Sunday was my 7th time running the Philadelphia Marathon and my 13th marathon. I know the course so well and enjoy (most of it) just as much year after year.
My training for Philadelphia was far from ideal. Last winter/spring/summer I was dealing with a bad IT band injury and was out for a LONG time. I didn’t get back into running until July/August and those runs were just runs/walks and steady state runs. Throughout training I never really brought my mileage up too high. I only ran about 4 days per week and could count on one hand the number of speed work sessions I did. Although this training cycle wasn’t typical for me, I have to say it was successful. I was able to come back successfully from a nagging injury and run two marathons, injury free. There is not much more that I could ask for. After missing many races due to injury over the past couple of years, my main goal for a while has been to train and race injury free.
I was so happy to run the marathon this weekend. It was a beautiful day for running and would have been even more beautiful if there was a tiny bit less wind. Although I didn’t have an ideal training cycle, I still wanted to push myself during the race. Unfortunately, I think I was a little too ambitious and I started out much faster than I would have liked. I think if I had paced myself more appropriately I would have had a better finishing time…and that’s what makes the marathon so challenging!
At around mile 13 or 14 I realized that this would not be a fun second half as I was working much harder than I should have been at that point. I was able to hold it together for a bit longer but then I realized that I needed to pull back or I would be setting myself up for an extremely painful finish. At around mile 18, I pulled back a bit as I was already beginning to cramp in my legs. I knew that I needed to preserve some energy as I have been in this place before and know what it feels like to painfully crawl to the finish line and I did not want to experience that on Sunday. From that point on I pretty much tried to stay in survival mode without my legs giving out on me. Mentally, I felt good but my body just wasn’t able to move any faster. From mile 18 on, I ran at my typical long run pace and finished without my legs giving up on me. I crossed the finish line with a BQ in 3:34:03…3 seconds off from my goal that I set for myself to finish in the 3:30-3:33 range. I was happy to get to the finish line without my wheels completely falling off…it was close, though.
My one question is, where was Mayor Nutter? In all 7 times I have ran the Philly Marathon I have yet to give Mayor Nutter a high five at the finish line. I think usually I am too out of it but this time I was seeking him out and he was no where to be found!
If you couldn’t already tell, I really enjoyed myself on Sunday. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I truly am thankful for my ability, health, and desire to run. I am also thankful for my family, friends, and husband for all of their support along the way.
Congratulations to all of the other runners who raced this weekend in Philadelphia including my sister, Danielle, who ran her personal best for the marathon distance.
Time to rest, recover, eat turkey and pie, and then eventually begin training for Boston! I’m looking forward to some time off of running to rest my body and my mind!