Sunday, November 20, 2005

5th Marathon in the Bag

It was a beautiful day for a marathon. 55 degrees. Sunny. Little wind. Since I didn't train for this race, my goal was modest: 5 hours, and can walk home afterward.
I lined up at the 10 minute / mile pace, next to a bearded man in a red: long dress, boa, handbag, and shoes. The slow pace was easy on my body as I had little problem climbing up the infamous hill at mile 9. I stayed on pace at half way, clocking in around 2 hours and 10 minutes. The fatigue slowly creeped in around mile 15 as I headed out on Kelly Drive. That was when elite runners were coming in.
Once I reached Main St, Manuyunk, my thighs cramped up. I was in pain, but I kept moving. 10 steps running, 10 steps walking. I sucked on a 4th gel package, and grabbed water. Suddenly the pain went away and I resumed my 10 minute mile pace. A few miles later, the cramps came back. The pain wasn't as intense, but it did slow me down. I probably ran 11 minute mile pace for the last 4 miles, and sprinted the last 200 feet to reach the finish line.
My time was 4 hours and 26 minutes. That's 11 minutes slower than my best, but 33 minutes faster than my Philly time last year.
It took me about 20 minutes to find my parents. I couldn't believe that they drove in to the city just to see me finish a marathon. It was good to see them. We took some photos and made plans for Thanksgiving.


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