After months of training, various 20 mile runs to work, decents amount of speed/hill work, it was finally time to face the marathon. You really couldn’t ask for a more perfect day, the weather wasn’t too cold, not as cold as you would think it would be for November. This is my second attempt at the marathon, last year I suffered great pain and torture as I hit the 17th mile. It was going to be different, having put in the necessary miles I knew going out I wasn’t going to struggle like last year. Last year, I wasn’t happy with my marathon time. I knew that I had left a large amount of time on the table, having to walk because of cramping was discouraging. I saw several people that were in my same position as last year, it starts to happen as you head in to Manayunk. The large steep hill, on main street, is brutal on your already tired legs. This is also where you can find “race supporters” handing out beer. It’s one of the moments in the race you will either love or hate for, difficult because of the hill but great for the large amount of supporters.
A concern I had this year was finding a comfortable pace, I always worry about crossing the finish line with not giving it my all. At the beginning of the race, I said to myself, if I can hold a 7:00 minute mile pace I would be happy with that. Using my Garmin 405, I kept a careful watch on my time. I like having instant feedback, it helped me avoid the problems of last year. By the end of the race I ended up averaging 8:00 minutes a mile, 48 seconds faster per mile then my time last year. As I passed Loyld hall in the final home stretch, I passed my father who was out supporting me. Seeing my Dad provided an extra little boost I needed to help finish the race.
Running a consistent pace helped aid in the recovery process. I also made sure to continue walking directly after the race. Last year, I remember sitting down on the side of the curb as I tried to recover. Massaging my legs with “the stick” for 30 minutes after helped with the soreness. I also continued to massage them daily, it’s painful but critical to a quick recovery. The Turkey Trot was coming up on Thanksgiving day so I wanted to recover fast so I didn’t miss it. I know I’m not even close to being competitive with the marathon. It feels good to PR in a short race, but nothing compares to defeating the marathon and beating your previous time.