I wrote it all out yesterday and when I logged in to add some pictures the iPhone app erased the entire post!!!!!!!! I hate the new blogger app! Anyways......
So Philly Marathon, the final marathon to cap off what an epic year it has been! I had fun at the expo on Saturday.
But, I must confess I had way more fun on Saturday seeing my Jen!!!!! Miss you already buddy!
This race began Sunday morning at 7am... ouch! That meant a 4:30 wake up call. Those are usually ok, but it was so cold out! I was dreading it this year. But in true stubborn fashion I never quit. I waited it out in the darkness in the morning for about 30 minutes in lonely corral 2. My running buddies were in another corral and I was so bored!
I started out this race strong. I had decided that I would not go for a new PR or anything fancy today, jut enjoy myself. But the 3:25 pace group looked like fun so when we began the race I decided to hang with them for a bit. It was tough, but it was fun.
I love racing. I do not think I have it in me to do anything but when I am in a race, especially one as big as Philadelphia. The streets were narrow and the crowds of runners really left me no choice but to try and speed through. I hate feeling claustrophobic when I run, and those first few city miles that is how I felt. People bumping into each other, it was a mess.
Part of me realized that this is not for me anymore. While I love the thrill of it all, I missed my trails. I had so much fun 2 weeks ago running my 50 miler, the relaxed atmosphere, the comradery that just is not there in a big marathon. Runners ask your name and run with you, and talk to you. Here it is just a big jumbled mess.
I hung out though those first 8 miles running fast with that 3:25 group. I felt good, but also I began to feel tired. My legs got heavy and at mile 8 I decided I was done.
Done for the day, I wished... Nope I still had 18 miles to go. But mentally I checked out, I decided that today was not the day for a PR and that 2 Boston Qualifying marathons in one year was more than plenty.The problem was I got cranky, and really tired. I just did not have it in me to finish. I had to really mentally overcome a big block that voice in my head kept telling me to stop.
I wanted to quit after that hill at mile 9. I was so done. I had fun in the beginning of the race, but I just was not having fun. It was almost like the minute I decided not to run for time anymore, it stopped being about fun and racing and became a chore. That is the best way I can describe it, a tedious chore not the fun marathon I intended it to be.
I began to be envious of those half marathoners. They run the entire first half with us and have a turn off to the finish line right towards the middle of the race. This does 2 things, crowds the race even more, and makes it even harder when you are doing the full. It is so tempting to break away and want to end the race then. I began to cinsider it. It's funny the mental talk I had to have with myself to prevent myself from quitting. It took all of my will power to keep to the left with the marathoners and keep going.
I just wanted to be done. I plodded through the next few miles and took several walk breaks. This was the first time I really felt like I might not be able to finish. My legs felt like lead and my heart was just not in it. It got worse when the famous out and back began too. You are at mile 15 and next to you running back in come the elite runners at their mile 25, 24 etc. It stretches like this for 5 miles. When I was already having a tough mental race, this cut me down even more. I felt sluggish and envious of those runners being done.
I just kept forcing myself to go. I got to the part in the little city and got some water and kept going. I saw my friend Eva at mile 20something as she was on the out and back, and I got a little pep in my step. Its always good to see a familiar face during a race when you are feeling down. I reminded myself that I was almost done and that I would soon be resting.
I had several talks with myself to get through this one. I promised my legs that we would run less road races next year. I promised not to come back and run this one again next year. I did anything I could to talk myself into that finish line. And when I thought I could not make it any further, I entered into that finish chute and ran until I crossed that finish line.
I headed back to the car to put on some warm clothes and get some food. I munched on some hard boiled eggs and sweet potato wedges and then headed back to the finish line. I laid down and took a nap while I waited for my friends to finish their race.
While I was waiting I walked over to Starbucks and got my post race hot coffee :) Then I cheered as Eva and Damian came into the finish line. They both ran a great race too and finished the marathon!
All in all, it was a good weekend. It was nice to catch up with running friends and have fun in Philadelphia. But the running of a marathon, 2 weeks post ultra, it hurt. I learned a hard lesson, give the body some time to recoup and rest, or start out at my happy pace and rerlax and have fun. The more I thought about it, the more I realize I finished Boston and had a better race because I did not start out fast. I paced myself right from the beginning... I need to learn how to do that more!
At the end of the day, no matter what, it is always worth it to be able to come home and share my success with my biggest fan. I could not bring myself to tell her I quit!
So the year is done. I ran 6 marathons this year and 2 ultra marathons. A year ago, I was finishing up my first marathon!!!! What a difference a year makes.
If this is clue as to what 2013 will be I am worried, looks like I will be running many ultras :)