Matt and I made it back to Philly safe and sound, albeit a little sore from yesterday’s race. We had a great weekend in DC and realized how much we miss living there. Thankfully, we get to visit quite often!
I loved this race and would definitely do it again. Fast and flat course, much like Philly’s Broad Street Run. Well organized with the exception of numerous locked porta potties pre-race. Apparently no one had the key either so race officials had to literally hammer the locks off. Nice. The weather ended up being perfect too; just a little cold at the start.
The only goal I made known to the blog world was to PR (beat my 1:23 time). I was pretty sure I could do this. On the way down to DC, I told Matt that I wanted to break 1:20. Lofty? Yes. I knew exactly what that entailed – maintaining a sub-8:00 pace for 10 miles. I wasn’t sure if I could do that…but I needed to try.
My strategy was to start out slow (always the best way to go) and then pick up the pace to just below 8:00 and keep it there. We had to check in our bags pretty early so we were left hanging in the cold for almost a 1/2 hour. My body was literally trembling and my muscles were getting stiff. I knew I needed to take the first mile easy to allow my body to warm up.
Mile 1 (8:14): right on target. This is exactly what I wanted to do. We started by running down a small hill and I heard someone say that we get to come back up the hill at the end of the race. I was hoping he was wrong and they had somehow changed to course.
Mile 2 (7:51): a little fast but my breathing was nice and controlled. By this time I had completely warmed up.
Mile 3 (7:43): this is where I committed to running a sub-1:20. I felt good and I wanted to give it a shot. I figured if I crashed and burned at Mile 6 I would probably still PR. I just had to try.
Miles 4 and 5 (both ~ 7:49): I missed the mile marker for Mile 4. Saying that I was glued to my Garmin would be an understatement. I must have glanced at it every 10 seconds.
Miles 6 (7:49) and 7 (7:50): a beautiful section of the course. We entered East Potomac Park and were running between rows of cherry blossoms along the river.
Miles 8 (7:49) and 9 (7:48): I start to get tired and I have to really push to maintain pace. I kept thinking back to my last marathon and how I felt like slowing down at Mile 23 but didn’t allow myself to give in. There was no way I was going to work my butt off for 23 miles and then slow down for the last 3?! That just didn’t make sense. I used the same thinking here – you came this far, do NOT give up.
Mile 10 (7:42): Remember the slight hill I mentioned during Mile 1? Well it reappeared during the last 1/4 mile. Fun. I plowed up it and then saw the finish line. I can’t believe I ran the last mile in 7:42!!!! I wanted that sub-1:20!!!
1:19:12 (7:56 pace)
age group: 135/1857 (woo hoo!)
This is so helpful mentally with a marathon less than 4 weeks away 🙂
Matt’s results: 1:42:57 (10:18 pace). Matt doesn’t train at all. Literally rolls out of bed and pulls 10:00 min/miles outta nowhere!
Now for the fun stuff – pictures! I was a good blogger and made sure I snapped a few along the way…
I have to provide some background for the next picture. Matt has these gloves from a race he did a few years ago. They say “one more mile” on them. Every time he puts them on he says to me, “You know me…just one more mile. That’s my mantra”. If you know Matt, this is hysterical. Remember, he doesn’t train. One more mile is torture to him. After I took this picture, I almost peed myself.
I hope I didn’t bore you to tears! Thank you for your kind comments on my PR. They meant a lot to me and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them!