Monday, November 24, 2008

2008 Philadelphia Marathon: Kicked Asphalt!

ITS DONE!! My first marathon. Everytime I say that I get a little emotional! I feel such a sense of accomplishment.

The short story:
I felt amazing the whole time. The 1st half with my dad is one of my best memories with him ever! We felt great, he clocked in at 2:24!! I kept that pace the rest of the race and finished at 4:55! Good thing I left lots of room for improvement! I'm a little sore today but I'm already thinking about what comes next!

The long story:
I woke up at 5am and my dad walked over to my place from his hotel. We made breakfast and did some gentle stretching. 
My Breakfast of Champions!

The beginning: The cab arrived at 6am and we were off with all out extra layers and gear bags. The cab took us as far up 22nd street as possible, and then we hit the sea of red lights! It was beautiful, runners were walking EVERYWHERE towards the art museum. My dad and I were kinda clueless as far as runners go. We weren't sure exactly what to do. We figured out where the port-o-potties were, where the gear check buses were. It took as quite a while to figure out the starting line/corral system. We took a few moments to take in the city skyline with the moon overhead, the yellow clock above city hall. It was so peaceful and boiling over with excitement at the same time! I knew they'd be letting us go in waves and when the wave ahead of us went we lost our winter coats. Then we were off. My dad wanted to sprint off, and there actually was room to go off fast, but I reeled him in and kept him at a good pace. My grandparents and cousins were cheering right before city hall! I lost my $10 fleece and shortly after my hat. 

Separation Anxiety:My dad was looking for a spot to pee and there were some great bushes right before the 3mile. So I said I'd wait on the sidewalk and jog slow. He must have been so pumped up he ran right by me. I stayed there for 7 minutes waiting yelling into the bushes, searching the bushes, and freaking out to the max! Eventually almost about to sob, I took off running thinking hed have the sense to wait at a water station when he realized I wasn't ahead of him. 

So I ran a  fuming 8:10 mile, a pissed off- 9:10 mile, then slowed down realizing I wasn't going to have a running buddy for the hills in fairmount park. I was so sad. I called my grandmother at chestnut and begged her to find my dad and stop him! It was kinda ironic, because right before we got separated we talked about how this was going to be so much easier with eachother. I started to feel my legs and realized I'd been running for 50 min and should take a gel. I was taking water at every stop half and half with gatorade. I'm glad I planned to walk through the stations because man were they slippery! And about 30 seconds after leaving a station your feet would get all sticky with ice to the ground for a few feet. I knew my grandmother was at 16th and Chestnut and I was hoping for a miracle...and there he was... we hugged...I screamed...and we took off running! 

Mooning the Schuylkill &The Nostalgic Hills:We cruised over the bridge and got ready for the ascent up 34th street and the hilly part. When my dad was at UPenn he trained to be on the crew team one semester and ran this part of the course everyday down to the river for training. So that was special for him 40 something years later... At the zoo I saw some girls duck under a bridge to pee, and decided to follow, turns out it was a guy and a girl and I didn't want to intrude, so I dropped my pants behind some bushes, and MOONED the schukyll expressway! woot woot! No way was I waiting in lines... real runners pee in the bushes! Up the hill to the park my dad settled into a jog/walk and I kept running along side him cheering him and others up the hill.  Down we went to the river keeping our stride short and low. I started to get SO EXCITED for him, he was so close. I wouldn't let him slow down kept cheering and then it was on us mile 13 (he'd never gone past 12). I whooped him on gave him a HUGE HUG thanked him for coming this far and said I couldn't wait to see him at the Queen's mile where he'd run the last 1.2 with me. 
13.1 to go:I left the divide with a HUGE smile so proud of my dad and feeling blessed for my family. Over the loud speaker I heard that the 1st girl just finished and I let out a whoop for her. There was so much excitement at the art museum, it was hard to leave it! Off I went to manyunk! Umm... where did that hill come from... I thought we just had the river drive out and back? That was very very sneaky of the race course! The uphill was fine, but I wasn't so into the steep down hill, I started to feel my knees.
At mile 17 my friend Sarah met up with me and stayed with me until mile 23! That was amazing. It helped to have someone there with me for that stretch. The crowd support in manyunk was so party-like. I cruised into the town to "eye of a tiger" the beat was awesome! I took a beer cup by accident and fortunately looked down before I sipped! First time I've ever turned down a free beer! All I wanted to do at this point was get to the east falls bridge and run the stretch I'd run a million times (in pain a lot of them) and feel that mental edge! At mile 23 right before sarah left me I realized, in shock, that I was about to finish a marathon?! When she left I whipped out one ear bud of my ipod and listened to my favortite songs with a beat- paula abdul "dance like theres no tomorrow," miley cyrus "see you again," and styx "mr. Roboto" 
The Queen's Mile: At Mile 25 under the bridge I saw my best friend and her boyfriend and took off the ipod and let them jog along side for a minute when my dad jumped in. We snapped a photo and went to finish the queens mile. My best bud snapped a video of my explaining why I wasnt done but had 1.2 miles left. In the olympics way back the queen wanted the finish in front of her palace... which extended the finish line 1.2 miles. Some guy behind me screamed out "The B*$%^!!" Everyone laughed! So my dad only made it to the middle of the boat houses when his IT band started screaming at him, so we separated (again) and I went on up the hill, almost in tears because I was so excited about what I was about to accomplish. The tunnel of people was great and I was smiling, saw my cousins, and crossed the finish line! 
I think it was one of my happiest moments ever. I'm tearing up writing about it. The sense of physical accomplishment was amazing. I thought it was cool that they announced peoples names as you crossed over. 4:55 was my chip time. I felt like I could have run faster since I wasn't really in any specific pain, not even that tired... but I'm glad I didn't push myself to that brink for this one... Next Time! I took my medal, my mylar blanket, got my picture taken and booked it for the chicken broth and rice which my dad had called and told me about for inspiration! Whew!!

My mom and dad, grandparents and cousins! 

My dad and I stretched started to ice. Showered and collapsed in our "chouch" to watch some good movies. 

I'm so excited and thankful:So thanks if you read my marathon recap! The support of everyone meant so much. But the big thanks goes out to my dad who endured countless training phone calls the past few months, ran alone all around our hilly hometown back near Boston and made the trip down here to run with me! I am so lucky to have such a wonderful family! We had breakfast with a guy who ran the marathon this morning (my dad had on his medal so the guy new what why I was walking around so funny). He has run 5 marathons and gave us all kinda of good recovery tips, including what to expect with my toe which I'm sure I'll loose...I am amazed through all of this how friendly runners are, and am proud to count myself as one. I can't wait to see whats next! A lot of rest and ice and advil for right now : )


Laurel said...

YAY! Awesome report!

Don't feel bad about not saying hi, I totally get it. It's a little odd going up to someone and saying "Don't I know you from the internet?" Haha.

You did an awesome job! It's so great you finished and felt so strong and it's a great testament to how well you trained. The first one is always to finish, now that you finished so strong, you will want to do another one and then you can worry about time.

Congratulations to your dad as well. That's so great! I love that he would train on that (dreaded) hill in University City.

I think we may have peed in the same place as your dad. And I know the exact spot where you went because I was thinking about going there too! Haha.

lilrunner N.D. said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! You did fantastic! It is such a great accomplishment and I can't believe you held your pace! I always end up dying by mile 18. What a great race report and it was so wonderful reading about running with your dad - what a great memory that you will share too!! Great job and I really enjoyed reading your report!

Anonymous said...

What a sweet report. You and your dad are awesome. Congratulations on running a great race. You should be so proud of yourself. Well done. What a great supportive family too.

I think with each marathon we learn something and use it to better ourselves for the next.

Frayed Laces said...

Oh wow! I can't believe your first marathon was in the cold! I was worried about all you guys running that race. Way to go chicka--we're proud of you!