2 hours and 40 minutes. 23 minutes slower than my PR in this same race in 2009. I have a goal to get back to my PR (or better) in 2012. Count on it.
Today's race was fun nonetheless. I knew I'd be slow and accepting that makes all the difference. I crossed the start mat 24 minutes into the race. I got a high five from the mayor and off I went. I purposely elected not to start out with any of my phillyfit friends. It's not that I don't love running with them - quite the contrary. However, I knew that at my current level of fitness I would not be able to keep up with any of their run intervals. As it was for the first 5 miles or we leap frogged a bit but I resisted the urge to latch on to anyone. I needed to keep my own pace in order to finish.
I decided to forgo the 3 and 1 intervals this time. I just had a feeling that I'd get too comfortable with the walk portions. I decided to run and just walk for one minute at water stops and/or mile markers. I ran to the first water stop (2.2 miles) and took my first walk break. Did the same for water stop #2 and #3. By now we were just past the 5 mile marker. I knew the next water stop was 2 miles away so I made sure to walk at the 6 mile marker and more or less kept up a run for a mile walk for a minute interval after that.
I saw Dave just past Drexel at between mile 7 and 8. At mile 9, I was happy that there were only 4 miles left and also happy that I was keeping up the intervals. I knew I was slowing down but I was ok with that. I took a two minute walk break at mile 11, one minute at mile 12 and ran the rest of the way home. I knew I would be slower than 2:30 but I kept going; didn't get mad at myself and that was a very good thing.
After finishing I found Dave and we headed over to Kelly Drive to cheer in the USAFit/Philly full marathoners. That was the best part of the day. I loved seeing them all coming in. It was a tough day for some but all finished and that's what counts.
So now it's time for a running vacation. A week maybe two. Then I'll get back to training. I'm pretty sure I'm going to set my sights on the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon April 29. I'd love to do that one with Emma but it will be up to her when she is ready to run with me.
Keep smiling, keep moving and stay tuned.