Last Spring I signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon thinking there was only a slim chance I would actually follow through with it. At the time, I still didn’t know if I’d get into the NYC Marathon, and a month later, after getting rejected again and learning about my father and Adam’s admittance, I decided to run the NYC Marathon for charity. And so, for the following six months I was consumed with training and all things relating to NYCM and I completely forgot about the Philadelphia Marathon. I’m so sorry Philly. Really I am!
We all know what happened with the NYC Marathon and at this point, there is no need to discuss it further. I’ll just say, that the weekend of the cancellation, I thought I was done. That there wouldn’t be a marathon if there wasn’t a NYC Marathon. I wasn’t going to run this year, it just wasn’t going to happen. It wasn’t until Monday that I realized how silly that mentality was and I would be ultimately giving up if I didn’t finish this. The previous day, Adam and I ran part of the “Run Anyway Marathon” and there were individuals from all over the world still running their 26.2 miles on New York soil, even if it was completely unofficial, untimed and for many of them, 4 circles of Central Park. I still had the opportunity to run Philadelphia, and with them opening up their race to NYC Marathon entrants after the cancellation, Adam had the opportunity to run it too. So in the midst of moving and other craziness, we made last minute plans to head to Philly. So what if I was then at almost 5 weeks of tapering? It was going to happen.
My head still wasn’t completely in the race, even by the time we got there. But the morning of, after sleeping a good five hours, and waking up at 4AM, we were off to the start and ready to go, whether we liked it or not. You can’t ever really predict how you’ll feel, or fare during the entire stretch of 26.2 miles, and while I didn’t feel my very strongest, I still felt pretty good. My first few miles were slow. Very slow. I didn’t want to go out too aggressively, but it probably wouldn’t have hurt if I had pushed it a little more from the start. And not that it would have drastically changed the outcome, but I do not think we benefited from where we started in the corals and running with half-marathoners. I’ve never run a mixed race before, and it kind of messed with my head a bit. I love half-marathons, but running alongside people who are running a completely different type of race than you, can be mentally confusing. I crossed the half way point at about 2:03, 13 minutes slower than my typical half. At that point, the likeliness of running a sub-4 was growing slimmer and slimmer and I was okay with that. Even though there were some rough patches, it actually helped me enjoy the second half more then the first without the added pressure. And when I got to the 20 mile mark, which ran through the lovely town of Manayunk, I was probably at the highest point of the run. It wasn’t until mile 24 that I really started to feel the pain in a bad way. Adam and I had been running in the same vicinity for the majority of the race and after realizing sub-4 wouldn’t happen for either of us, we decided that if we were within a minute or so of one another at the end, we’d cross the finish line together. And that’s just what we did. 4:08 finishers and proud.
NYC Coral at Philadelphia Marathon Start: (Not mine)
Even though I didn’t achieve a sub-4 Marathon, I came close, and there wasn’t much that I would change. And I couldn’t have been happier to have run my first marathon in Philadelphia. There was so much positive energy throughout the entire race and the support along the way got me through the last 6 miles. Thank you to the kind people of Manayunk and along the Schuylkill River for the orange slices, offerings of brownie bites and beer (though I had to pass on both), and for yelling my name even when I wanted to vomit. The NYC support throughout the entire race was amazing. Adam and I both wore our North Brooklyn shirts and there were countless shout-outs along the way. I just wish I was better at the shout-backs. Goals for 2013: Get faster. Learn to shout-back in a cool way
It’s still uncertain if I will get the opportunity to run NYC in 2013. But the positive I can take out of the situation is that I am proud to have helped raise $3,000 for the ASPCA, thanks in a gigantic part to my family, friends and strangers who contributed.
And I’ll be running another marathon next year regardless.