I ran the Philadelphia Marathon this morning (aren't you glad this will probably be my last running post of the year!?!). I finished in 3 hours and 38 minutes. The official times still aren't up, so I'm not certain of my exact time. This is about 28 minutes faster than my last marathon and about 8 minutes slower than I wanted to do. But, I guess I can live with that.
I started the day following the 3:30 pace group, and I totally blame the pacer for making me go 8 minutes slower than planned. A 3:30 marathon averages out to 8:01 per mile. The first mile was 8:35, then the guy must have felt like he had something to prove after that. Almost every mile for the next 17 that I stayed with him was well under the 8:01 pace. 18 miles into the race I was a goner. My plan changed from under 3:30, to under 3:35, to under 3:40, to finishing, to not dropping dead. When I ran the marathon 4 years ago I prided myself in not walking to whole time. I walked about 6 times between miles 21 and 25 today. And when I stopped running to walk my head would spin. I couldn't see straight. If I would have sat down I probably would have passed out. But, when I started back running the spinning would stop, but the overall pain did not. My knees, feet, toes, shoulder didn't hurt... nothing in specific hurt, everything hurt. At mile 9 Speedy Gonzalez had us go a 7:27 mile, mile 25 was a 10:04 when I walked twice, thought about jumping in the river to end it all, then prodded through.
All in all, I'm happy I did it, I'm happy I beat my old time by 28 minutes, but most of all I'm happy it's over. 1/2 marathons are fine, but if I ever say I'm running another marathon, someone please point me to this post and talk me out of it.
Pictures of the massacre:
Mile 8. Going fast, but just about the time I started getting hungry. Getting hungry 8 miles into a marathon? Not a good thing.
Mile 14. Still hanging in there. Less than a mile from the hill that did me in.
Mile 26.1. You can see the pain oozing from my pores.