Despite Slower than NYC, I’m Happy to Have Learned Something!

This morning I was in Philadelphia to run the Philadelphia Marathon.

This was my second running of the race. Last year I achieved my marathon PR of 3:07:32, and this year I didn’t expect to achieve the same because my training just wasn’t as intense. I did, however, hope to do faster than my NYC Marathon time of 3:27:27, which I’d done just two weeks ago. I didn’t beat my NYC time, but I’m okay with that. My official Philadelphia finish time for 2010 was 3:29:39. I thought that because this was an easier course than NYC that I’d do better, but I didn’t probably because I only did one training run between NYC and Philly. My happiness after Philly is that I learned that that was probably the reason, and that training is important: Two weeks off from training can spell a significant diminishing of performance even if the race is easier.

Unofficial Race Stats per Garmin:

Garmin was a nice friend to have in this race. It showed that my early pace was pretty fast. I didn’t feel all that fast, interestingly enough, and for quite some time I had about a 4-minute lead on the 3:20 pace I was shooting for. Little by little my speed dropped, and so did that comfortable lead, until around Mile 16. On Falls Bridge, I noticed my comfy 4 minutes was down to 1:30, and I knew I probably would eat up that 1:30 in no time. (Also, Garmin started to show Low Battery and I thought I was going to lose my Garmin mid-race! It stayed alive.) Sure enough, I ate up that 1:30, and my speed started to drop so much that by the end, my last 4 full miles were super-9:00s. I just couldn’t get my body to go faster!

The course was similar to last year’s course and familiar to me, but there were a few changes like the inclusion of Falls Bridge, a reverse of directions on Kelly Drive, a divergence from Kelly Drive that I don’t remember, and a change to the area where you’d pick up your first Gu packets (if memory serves). My familiarity with the course was helpful, as I could anticipate hills and pick up some speed on them. Knowing the course also gave me something to look forward to. It’s a nice course.

Other than just not letting me run faster, my body cooperated pretty well. Post-race, I feel a lot better than I did after NYC, which drained me for days and left me with knee pain in my right knee which I felt pretty immediately. After today’s Philly race, my legs are a little tired but I have joy and energy back! I was a little clumsy trying to take a few steps of a jog, but stairs up and down weren’t that bad. My calves are a little tight and I have some chafing (I got one bloody nipple plus some undisclosed chafing); we’ll see how I am in the morning!

But the REALLY good news is that my girlfriend, Elizabeth Corkum qualified for Boston in her very first marathon! Elizabeth needed to run a 3:40, and instead she went and ran 3:32:33! Incredible! She was only about 2:30 behind me, so she nearly SPANKED me! I was so happy to see her when I was on the way back from Manayuck. She wasn’t injured and she looked strong, both of which made me relieved and happy!

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