As with all of my race goals, I am always trying to get faster. I feel as though I still have a good deal of speed and fitness to gain. Today I was shooting for 3:30-3:40, about an 8-minute pace.
The race started off a bit slow as I crossed the line with thousands of other runners, first mile 9:07, and feeling great. Midway through the 2nd mile the road opened up and I was off to set a steady 8:00/mile pace.
Philly is a pretty neat city. The miles passed by with relative ease as I enjoyed the sights of the city and the sounds of other runners and loads of spectators. I've dubbed this the "high-five" marathon, as everyone, EVERYONE (!) was giving high fives. I typically don't participate in this (germs!) but I had gloves on, so I figured, what the hell. I also was able to see a good deal of the city (obviously). We ran through the historic districts, parks, etc. The course did get a bit boring through a more remote part of Fairmount Park, but overall a nice course. The spectators were super, volunteers at the water stations also very organized. I had a sip of beer at an unofficial water station; that was a treat!
So back to the actual race.
Miles 1-17: no problems here, feeling good, splits: 9:07, 7:54, 8:09, 7:59, 7:57, 8:10, 7:55, 7:59, 8:03, 8:00, 7:58, 7:56, 7:59, 7:54, 7:56, 7:58, 8:00
Miles 18-21: starting to feel a bit winded. This was also the section of the course that was more remote and not too scenic, splits: 8:12, 8:20, 8:16, 8:10
Miles 22-end: hurting good now, but other around me suffering too, so I took some solace in that, Splits: 8:25, 8:39, 8:41, 9:00, 8:56
Great crowds for the last mile or so. I love how the bibs had the runners names on it. This was huge, hearing your name being called. It really got me to the end.
So totaling it all up....
Mileage: 26.48 (extra .28 according to GPS)
Time/Pace: 3:37:50/8:13 (8:18 at 26.2)
Avg HR/Max HR: 155/173
T/W: low 40's, cold
PR'd by 15 minutes, very pleased with this. Only 27 minutes to a Boston Qualifying Time. Congrats also to my wife who ran the Rothman 8K the day before, also a personal best time. Thanks also to my father-in-law, Karen, sister-in-law and her kiddies for coming out and braving the chilly weather and sore feet to cheer me on.
Now I'm anxiously searching for my next marathon. If anyone has suggestions for a Jan-Feb marathon in the Northeast, please let me know.