Tuesday, November 24, 2009

4:06:38 - Getting closer

Ah, so I know you blog followers, especially Julie are going to be soo excited that the quest continues. LOL

The beginning…1) Took forever to get our bags off the jetway, 2) Forgot my camera, 2) Lost my glasses at the train station….can't read for sh/t so had to go to walgreens to buy a new pair....3 strikes and the trip just started.

Missed lunch but met the BQ gals (some online friends) at the expo! Very cool!

Night before: Someone had a barking dog on our floor at the hotel, until 9:30 alone in their room. I got pretty fired up calling the front desk (along with I guess everyone else on our floor) but I ended up sleeping okay after the owner came home and the dog shut up. Why stay at a super 8 when you can bring your dog to the westin? WTH. Anyway, no excuses!

Got to the portapots, Jim and I are in the same grey corral, cool! but we couldn’t manage to find it after waiting in the bathroom line so long, so I think we ended up going off way further back. What a sh/tty start. I ended up with like a 10:28 first mile due to a ton of walking – somehow I was in the 2nd wave, but I figured, “okay, I’ll just make that up.". I had to go to the bathroom so badly, I saw some portajohns over on the left (I’m running over on the right side) , it looked like no line, so I figured “get it out of the way…” so ran over and the stupid line was formed BEHIND the portajohns with about 20 people in it. So I started thinking, “would I p/ss myself for a BQ?” Uhm, “no,” but apparently I’m okay with being seen 'going' in some random parking lot a few minutes later. Another slow 2nd mile due to the crowds and the potty stop. Now I have a few minutes to make up; and I just started.

In the first probably 7 miles, it was so crowded my choice was to either run on the sidewalks or run a pace at a near- walk at times. So I ran on the sidewalks (jumping over thrown off clothes, garbage bags, garbage, dogs…)

I screwed up my watch so I had the gmaclin pace band, but I couldn’t find some of the mile markers so I couldn’t tell what pace I was running. I just could not get in any kind of groove. I was stuck behind the 4:15 pace group – there were like 100 people in that group for about 3 miles, so I hooked up with 2 other guys right behind them who were on my pace and we ran together for a few miles trying to get in front of the 4:15 group. And I’m thinking, “wow, 4:15 shouldn’t feel THIS hard.” It was so hilly, so I figured that was part of it. So, a mile later the guy says, “We’re on a 8:50 pace right now…” And I thought. “This. This, is not going to end well….” At this point, I’m still already behind my pace band times by 30 seconds,net.
THEN THE HILL appears. It seemed to last about 2 miles. I disregarded my pace band which allowed me a 9:30 and I just ran. 9:08. Not good. I knew this was a really bad strategy at the time, but I kept thinking I’d be rewarded with a nice long steady downhill to get my HR down. But, NFW, because the downhills were more like jumping down a 10 story elevator shaft than a nice slow steady downhill. And the road was cambered like this --> / at times.

I got through the half almost dead nuts with where I was supposed to be for a 3:59:59, but I distinctly remember thinking, “This is how I needed to feel around mile 18.” My band had me on a 1 minute negative split plan. Then I turned a corner (sort of up a freeway entrance or something-maybe around mile 16) and there was another steep hill, and I looked at my watch and said, “screw it. (editors note: a different couple of words might have been used here...) I hate marathons.” So I got halfway up the hill and started walking - 9:25 for that mile. At the top of the hill I got really mad at myself for letting go, so I kept running and this is where the 2 courses joined. I screamed as Agile and GIM passed which got me excited, but only lasted for a nano-second. Then I saw LIC who looked awesome!(at least I think it was her).

Then I heard the Four Tops “If you feel that you can’t go on….” COOL so I kept going! By mile 21 I was still just a minute or so off from the 4:00:59, so another hill (although little – I looked at it, and just said, “I’m going for it.”) so I charged up the little hill and then did some rough math in my head and thought, “I need five 8:50 miles right now – I could start RACING now…start NOW…c’mon legs.” And then I just couldn’t do it. My quads were gone. And mentally, I folded. Which surprised me– not that I’m a studette, but I know I am a much better mental-runner, than a runner-runner, if that makes sense. I was so disappointed in myself for my poor pacing early, and feeling like I was giving up, but I didn't care. I tried to recall positive things about the last 3 hours, but I couldn't summon anything up, except for walking up that stupid damn (ed note: I might have used a different word than 'damn' here.) hill earlier, and knowing even if the mind was willing, I wasn't going to make five 8:50 miles after having run 21 already. No groove, nothing for 3 hours prior. And then I saw them handing out beer, and I thought, “screw it. Might as well have fun while I’m a walking loser.” So, I had a beer and kept moving forward.

Then I realized I had forgotten to take some gel somewhere probably around 15, since I had “n+1” remaining, so I was offering what I had left of gels and endurolytes to other people who were cramping. (Seriously, I just really wanted someone to NEED my help, so I could have a decent excuse for walking.)

I found Phillyrunner at mile 25! WOOHOO – I said, “hey it’s me.” Cuz I’m thinking by now, I look nothing like what I normally look like. Then NTK and Betaboo just another maybe ½ mile up – was soo cool to see all the BQ babes! I think I was probably walking here when I saw them, but I was soo excited to see them – that they got me to actually run through the chute where I heard could hear Jim screaming for me, which was the best.

Hills – Sucked. There was no corresponding nice easy downhill to each uphill. The short fast downhills, just couldn’t get my HR to recover enough

The route–I heard we ran by some museums and some water and through some cities. All I saw of Philly was a billion manhole covers, hills, sidewalk cracks, and bumpy asphalt and really cambered roads. My ITB’s are not happy today.

I really expected a nice 3:55 surprise for myself, but I lost the pacing strategy too early. I totally knew better when I was doing it, but I just couldn’t stop myself. 6 minute positive split - all pretty much in the last 5 miles.

It’s a little better time than April, so I’m relatively happy. And we had a great mini-vacation time in Philly. If I ran this again, I’d practice hills. But, I think I’m going to let sleeping dogs lie/lay on Philly and just move on.

I did work on my Motown's Madness Challenge which I'll post up, when I get it organized.


  1. I know what happened. You knew Boston was sold out for 2010 so you figured why waste your energy on Philly when you have another year to get your BQ. Besides, if you got your BQ Sunday, no more weekend getaways. And another thing, the run alert tracking left a lot of room for improvement. Hope you enjoyed the beer

  2. Sorry it didn't go as well as planned but I'm glad you had some fun. I would puke if I drank a beer while running! You're a goddess and you are a big running inspiration for me.

  3. I loved your tongue photo on the forums! Way to keep your stuff together despite things not really going your way-and keeping it real as always. I had a strong urge to grab a beer when offered at the Bolder Boulder last year....maybe I'll just try that for giggles next time around.

  4. Was so wonderful meeting you last weekend. I'm hoping you'll consider Chicago so we can have more chatskies next time.

  5. Well well well... so u DID do the marathon?? Congrats on not missing it, LOL. Wow, doesnt sound like a crash and burn, but it does sukk to know that you went out too fast and felt good doing it, only to pay for it in the second race (aka last 10k). But following your blogs, u are pretty much on time for how u were training... sorta, LOL. Just reading yours and others, I will take my first 18 very easily and see what I got at the end. Dont know if this is a PR for u, but u did better your last "mary". I'm definitely doing the Martian Half this year and Bayshore Full. So take it easy these next couple of days then get back on the pavement!! Hopefully we'll get to meet at the next one.

  6. DWW: Thanks. Yeah, I'm doing the Martian Half too - that will be my tuneup half for the Cleveland Full in May. There's no reason I can't get to 3:50 by then.

    GIM: Chicago is the best!

    Cathy: - If you saw my race photos you'd see I'm no goddess! See 'grunting face'. LOL

  7. Great race! You are a machine. I am looking forward to Miami and the Martian half next year.

  8. Great job out there! What's up with the pacers going too fast? You probably ARE in shape for 3:55 on a flat course with proper pacing. I think that your increased mileage really helped you out there, so I hope you keep it up!