Nov 19, 2007


That was my time at Philadelphia this weekend.

Tori and I drove down Saturday morning and discovered just how many tolls there are between Long Island and Philadelphia. We met Kris and her roommate downtown and wandered around the city, seeing Independence Hall and the Liberty bell and the Masonic Temple and all the other goodies. After a pasta dinner downtown, it was time to drive back to the hotel and get ready for the next morning.

5:30 came pretty early Sunday morning. I downed a bowl of cereal and jogged to the start. I've never been to a race this big, and it was amazing at the start. Everyone (15,000 runners I'm told) were warming up, stretching and making their way to the start. I'm sure to a higher being it was like watching ants scurry around. I lined up just before 7:00 and then the starting gun went off! and I waited... and waited.... and five minutes later I started moving ..... and two minutes after that I crossed the starting line. Apparently I lined up a little further back than I should have, because I spent the first 5 miles weaving around slower runners. Once I settled into a decent pace, I was really feeling good.

The course went downtown, through historic Philadelphia, back up to U Penn, by the Zoo and up and back down the Schuylkill River. The first twenty miles went well. The weather was great for running, forties without much sun, so I was able to enjoy running without many distractions. The rest of the race was a little different. When I saw mile marker 21, I remember thinking 'Ok, it should only take 45 minutes from here'. In my mind, though, I remember the last five miles taking about two hours. Once I hit the last mile I was able to pick it up and smile as I ran through the finish. My ankle is angry at me today... I guess its expected to struggle through the end of a marathon your first time.

Overall it was an excellent experience. The race was well organized, Philadelphia was good to visit (Tori loved the city), and I think I trained and prepared pretty well. When I do another one of these, which won't be a while, I think I can put in a much better time. Between the slow start and two unscheduled pit stops, I think I could easily make up 20 minutes. A little more training and I could finish with more in the tank, too.

Thanks to Tori, Kris and Sarah for cheering and giving me Gu handups through the race. Just six weeks 'til its time to start training for bike races.

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