The Philadelphia Marathon is almost here. This will be my second time running the race and with a previous time of 3:48 I hope to improve. If you are new to the marathon, training for it can be brutal. Many people see the marathon as such a great accomplishment because of the sacrifices you have to make. Not only will your body be complaining, if you have a wife, kids, or a dog they will all be spending less time with you. I started with a different strategy this year, instead of doing my longer runs on the weekend, I decided to start running to and from work. I know this isn’t an option for most but if you live outside the city, where I am located, there are some different routes you can take to downtown Philadelphia. If you live in the Plymoth Meeting and Conshohken area, the Schuylkill River trail provided an excellent scenic route. Most of the terrain is flat, but you can park at different train stations to vary your distance in to the city. This has provided me with an ability to run early in the morning, then take a train ride to get home. The other part of this is having a job that provides a shower to use when you get to your destination.
The biggest issue I have had this year seems to be dealing with cramping and pains I experience in my legs. I have been trying to take in different foods and always make sure that I drink plenty of Gatorade, but it doesn’t seem to help. I think I just need to put in more miles to get my body accustom to the abuse. This always seems to happen near the 20 mile mark, I’m beginning to think it’s more of a mental hurdle rather than a physical one.
I still can’t seem to figure out why I would want to do something like this again. Maybe it was the fact that I had to walk last year during the race. Maybe it’s the fact that I know I can run a faster time then 3:48. Whatever it is that keeps you running it doesn’t matter, as long as you have fun and you enjoy it. I think anyone that attempts a marathon should already have love affair with running, but it will break that relationship. Once I cross that finish line I’ll hopefully say it was all worth it, until then I just need to keep enduring the pain. Don’t do your next marathon until you’ve forgotten your last one, Bill Rodgers once advised. I would have agree with that statement somewhat, but that’s what got me back here. I can’t forget all the joy I felt when it was finally over, I want that all again… Just faster than I did last year.