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Today i ran the Pocono marathon. I ran it last year in it's inaugural year. Very nice, quiet, small race. last year about 300 runners, this year about 400 runners. It is in the Pocono Mountains in PA, and it is pretty scenic and thru small mountain towns. It is definitely hilly, though more downhill than uphill (but last year i thought there were more ups, lol).<br><br>
I ran this for fun, as a training run, so i was not aiming for anything but a good time and an enjoyable race. I left the house at 5am for the 93 mile drive to the finish to catch a shuttle. I was there in the nick of time, the buses left promptly at 6:30am. Last year we sat on the buses for at least 30 minutes before leaving for the start.<br><br>
The start was very anticlimatic, not very exciting with 400 odd runners there. Only took about 40 seconds to cross the start <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> It was quite chilly at about 38F at the start and very windy! It never really warmed up much and i never took off my top layer.<br><br>
A lot of people passed me early on, i tried to not get down over it, knowing that i will more than likely pass them in the latter miles. This is what happened last year as well.<br><br>
For such a hilly race, it is surprising how many people are running it as their first marathon, kudos to all of them. I ran with a first time marathon runner several times throughout the day and it was really great to see him finish, he had some self doubt during the opening miles. When i saw him cross the finish, i asked him when the next one was. I got no answer <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
Nothing too exciting to report about the actual race. I ran very even miles. The first 4 miles were 10 min miles, then from then on, i was running about 10:20 miles. It did vary as some miles were more uphill and some more downhill. My half split was a bit slower than i expected, i think it was about 2:14, but i truly forget and there was no chip mat there. Between miles 3 and 13 there was a very strong headwind that was unrelenting. I really think this slowed me down more than anything else.<br><br>
It had been a year since i last ran a marathon and a year since i ran a non-ultramarathon race. I forgot there were no buffets at aid stations, but i had some clif blocks and drank gatorade at the aid stations. All of the volunteers were super nice, just as i remembered. A lot of the aid stations were outside of churches, so there were a lot of "God bless you"'s and "Jesus Loves You"'s again this year <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
The other thing about rarely running marathons and running mostly ultras, is that i did not pay attention to miles. People kept asking me what mile we were at and i really did not know for the most part. all blended together. And it is really weird to have people yell "Dig Deep" to me 12 miles into a race! Also, i ran even miles for the most part, while most of the other back of the packers slowed to a shuffle or walk at the end. I passed tons and tons of runners in those last 5-6 miles. I also really wanted to run off the course and run some of the kick ass trails i saw parallel to the course <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
In the local paper i was listed as M. Murphy, not meredith, which was weird, since all my race materials had my full name. Most of the spectators had the paper and were calling out people's name. Unfortunatly i was either hearing "Go.....M?" or "go ms murphy" which sounds way too close to my MIL. <img alt="confused.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/confused.gif"><br><br>
My watch time was 4:40, which is 2 minutes slower than last year's time of 4:38, which was my marathon PR. I was really pushing hard those last couple miles to beat my PR, even if by a minute, but i think was watch is going to be pretty close to the chip.<br><br>
It was a great race, with great people, and really well organized. The volunteers were all incredible and super friendly. The post race refreshments were plentiful, even though i finished later in the race.
 

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Great job Meri!<br><br>
I'm surprised your report didn't say something like "Since it was <i>only</i> a marathon, I got to the finish line at 4am and jogged out to the starting line, then ran the race to the finish!" <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif">
 

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What to me is a huge huge challenge (26.2) sounds like just a training run for you.<br><br>
You are amazing, Meri <img alt="notworthy.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/notworthy.gif"><br><br>
Sounds like you had a great time and ran a smart race.<br><br>
Congratulations Pocono Streaker! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Awesome Meri!!<br><br>
You never cease to amaze and impress me! <img alt="notworthy.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/notworthy.gif">
 

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Training run. Hah.<br><br>
I find your endurance very inspiring. I love how you wanted to hit that trail instead!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It was not a walk in the park. There were many times i felt wimpy and wanted to walk and i did not. I would only walk up the biggest hills, but it was my super duper power walk which always impresses people <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> I think i walked only about 1/4- 1/3 of the hills. These hills were big, no use wasting energy running on them when i can walk just as fast <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
I totally wanted to hit the trails. We were in the mountains and it was so beautiful and there were little creeks every where. When we drive on the highway i always look off to the side of the road and wish i was running there <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Last year i ran this marathon 3 weeks prior to the Old Dominion Memorial 50M, just like this year. HOWEVER, last year when i was finished, i thought, "OMG, how am i ever going to run twice as far as i just did, i am pooped" But today i was really strong all thru to the finish. I did not want to run it again, but i could have <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif">
 

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You ROCK Meri!!!! I love reading your reports!!<br><br>
Just how fast IS that super duper power walk, anyway?
 

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Nice job on your "training run" meri!! <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"><br><br>
You'll be in great shape for OD50! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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<img alt="icon_cheers.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/icon_cheers.gif"><br><br>
Sounds like a good day, meri! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No i did not. Didn't you tell me it jinxed me at Seneca? I had to wear my sponsor's clothes <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> Makes getting dressed easy.<br><br><br>
Genie- 4mph/avg
 

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Good job M! Way to go M!<br><br>
I can't believe that you ran a marathon so soon after that little weekend run you had. Good God woman, they'll turn you into a Marathon Maniac. It won't be a pretty sight!<br><br>
Great way to pace yourself. Thanks for another great report.
 
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