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Philadelphia Marathon - Run

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
United States
Philadelphia Marathon
50F / 10C
Total Time = 3h 31m 2s
Overall Rank = 1186/5887
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 187/655
Pre-race routine:

Awoke a little after 4am and had breakfast done by 5am (oatmeal--@2 servings, Ensure plus, Clif Bar, OJ & coffee). Hung out and relaxed at home until about 6:15 when I drove to the race. Sipped on 20oz bottle of Gatorade prior to lining up.
Event warmup:

It was pretty chilly prior to the start, so mostly I stayed in the tent to stay warm. I stretched and relaxed there after the walk from the car until it was time to line up.
  • 3h 31m 2s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 03s  min/mile

I started just behind the 3:40 pace group. That was my goal pace, but my plan was that if I felt good I should come in between 3:30-3:40 and if bad I should be able to slow some and still hit 3:45. I also wanted to keep the pace very easy in the beginning so I watched the 3:40 balloons gradually pull away.

I was a little behind pace over the first 2 miles, but I'm guessing this was just due to the crowding at that point where it was hard to develop a constant rhythm. Mile 3 was a little too fast, but after that I ran right about where I wanted to for the next several miles.

At mile 9, I did have a very fast split (7:35) due to some downhills. For most of the race up to this point I was running around most of the same people--passing a few, getting passed by a few. But on the few downhills I would simply blow by people as I lengthened my stride and try to keep my turnover up to avoid absorbing a lot of the impact on my legs. A lot of people just "thudded" down the hills in what appeared to be a very painful fashion.

At about this same time, I also started running a bit faster than I had planned. My "best" goal scenario had me catching the 3:40 group right around the half-way mark, but I passed them at about mile 11. When I passed my family (for the 3rd time) at around mile 14, I told my wife that I might have worked too hard in that section but I felt great.

At this point, the race becomes an out-and-back from the Art Museum finish area up along the river to Manayunk. By about mile 15 or 16 I started passing people continuously which definitely helped mentally.

I did not really notice being a tired until the last climb in Manayunk before the turn-around at mile 20, but it definitely did not feel like a "wall". And at this point I had brief thoughts that I might be able to break 3:30, but I forgot there was one last hill on the overpass leaving Manayunk that squashed that thought. I had also hoped I might have another gear for the last 2-3 miles, but there was nothing extra left.

I had been warned that there is some elevation gain in the last mile or so that really hits you. I am very familiar with the area and could not see how the very slight incline there would be much of an issue. Now I know! I felt every inch of climb coming into the last turn before the finish. :)

Overall, it was an awesome day. I thought the crowds were excellent during most of the run too.

What would you do differently?:

I suppose that if I were really gunning for a time I would try to work to achieve more even splitting. But for my first, I think I ran it well.

I probably should not have started playing the "split" game to think about what kind of time I might get during the race. My best running seemed to come when I was not focusing on time and just staying relaxed and enjoying the day.

Post race
Warm down:

Walked through the tent, picking up a couple bananas and some waters. The massages sounded very appealing, but there was no way I could stand still to wait in line. I found my family and walked & stretched for a bit and then went out for lunch.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Only the fact that I have only been running a little over a year. I felt the race went about as well as I could expect at this point.

Event comments:

Post race food is a little weak--mostly just bananas and bread. And there were a couple aid stations that only had water where they had indicated Gatorade would be. This threw off my hydration plan a bit, but overall was not a big deal. It's a great race in my hometown that I'll probably do again someday.

Last updated: 2005-10-28 12:00 AM
03:31:02 | 26.2 miles | 08m 03s  min/mile
Age Group: 187/655
Overall: 1186/5887
Performance: Good
17:19 (1&2), 8:04, 8:34, 8:33, 8:21, 8:20, 8:17, 7:35, 8:33, 8:00, 7:52, 7:58 8:11, 7:52, 8:06, 7:56, 7:37, 7:57, 8:00, 7:52, 7:53, 7:38, 7:45, 7:34, 9:14 (26 & .2)
Course: A 26.2 mile tour of Philadelphia. Relatively flat course overall with just a couple of moderate hills.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2005-11-21 8:47 AM

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Not a Coach
Media, PA
Subject: Philadelphia Marathon

2005-11-21 9:15 AM
in reply to: #289347

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Cinnaminson, NJ
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Marathon


 GREAT job... You had a great race.... wow you are fast. 

2005-11-21 9:53 AM
in reply to: #289347

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Wye Mills, MD
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Marathon
Fantastic race!  Congratulations.
2005-11-21 11:29 AM
in reply to: #289347

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Broomfield, Colorado
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Marathon
John, YOU ROCK!  What an awesome race!  And no bike to cause you any problems   LOL
2005-11-21 12:41 PM
in reply to: #289588

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Philadelphia, south of New York and north of DC
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Marathon
I'll say it again: WOW!!!
2005-11-21 1:39 PM
in reply to: #289347

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Extreme Veteran
Home port
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Marathon
Nice race, I knew you would be able to to about 3:30!

2005-11-21 2:41 PM
in reply to: #289753

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Cycling Guru
Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Marathon
Nice work, you ran a smart race. Wish I had done the same in the Balt. marathon ...... I blazed the first 10 miles all low 7's and then died the last 5.

Great time. Congrats marathoner!
2005-11-22 8:51 PM
in reply to: #289347

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Royersford, PA
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Marathon
Nice race Johnny.

Was a near perfect weather day and I'm glad someone was able to take advantage of it. Great effort for the first try and I'd bet you could BQ pretty easily if you put your mind to it.
Couch to HIM to Marathon, you are the man!!!

See ya next year

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