Hi all - been MIA from Kick for a few weeks. Somehow thought it would be a good idea to fill my time during taper with a freelance project.
Thought a lot about Barb and you guys during the race today. It was a beautiful day, chilly to start (low 30s; shivered in too little clothes for an hr before the start) but high 40s and sunny fairly early on.
(forgot to add my time: 3:38:14)
It's a beautiful course, well, I love Philly, so to me it's beautiful! Stuck with the Cliff pace group for 3:35:00, but he was really aggressive, making up time from the congestion at the start. Lots of my early miles (after the congestion) were 8:00, 8:05, even 7:55. Started to get a little worried. I've never raced a marathon before. But it's a pretty flat and fast course. 2 hills, at miles 7 and 9-10, but after that flat or small rollers. So I reasoned with that and the adrenaline, I would be faster than in training. And, the first 15 or so miles clicked off fairly easily.
I started to fall off the back of the pace group around mile 16. Brick legs, mentally nervous about the next 10 miles. Heard Barb cheering me on, and you guys of course! After mile 18, I decided I could do 8:30s and still reach the 3:35:00 goal (my math may have been a little fuzzy at that point). I could still see the pacer's balloons, so I was good with that. Then, at mile 20 I realized I wasn't probably going to make that goal, my pace was slowing to 8:35, 8:40s. So, I thought, just get to the finish with those times. The last 4 miles was brutal. Really mentally kicked. But, a few times, the crowd support (it's kind of hit or miss in Philly depending on where you are on the course) helped a ton. And, at the final .2, my friend and running partner (since stroller runs with our newborns) was waiting to cheer me on! (never saw Matt and Eli, but didn't expect to - glad they were having fun in the city).
My mantras were "proud and happy" and "work the tangents" and that got me through at the very end.
I've been thinking about Barb a lot lately, and I never even met her in person. We all lost a good friend and cheerleader, and being out on the course with all that love and support today made me so sad that things like that happen, that good people are taken away. Sorry to be sad, just wanted to dedicate this run to her.
Thanks again for all your support and advice. I couldn't have done it without that!