Well I’m not sure how I want to start this. The day of the race I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to write any post race report at all. My mind just wasn’t working that way at the time. Looking at it now I think I really set myself up for this. I got caught up in the whole BQ thing. At this point I don’t know when I’m going to sign up for my next marathon. It’s just that I’ve been training for the better part of 2007 for one marathon or another. I think that one of the biggest things that I was looking forward to is not training for speed. I just want to enjoy running again. I’m sure you have all been there.
The day before…
I left my home around 6am on Saturday morning and I made great time getting to Philly. I arrived a little before 10am and found the hotel with no problems. In fact the hotel clerk let me check in very early which was awesome. I headed back out to my car to get my things and as I walk towards my car I heard someone say, “Mickey?” I turned around and took a guess that this pretty little lady that I had just passed was G2G. In fact, it was, and after the hugs and greetings we talked for about 2 minutes then a man and 2 young girls walked up and said “this must be Deck.” It turned out to be Hunt and his daughters. How funny is that? I’m in Philly for all of 20 minutes and I meet 2 different people that know me… :D
So G2G and I decide to head to the Expo to pick-up my packet and she wanted to pick up a shirt that passed on Friday. We were lucky to get into the Expo center when it first opened, so we got right in. After spending an hour picking up my packet and buying my lime green runners shorts we headed out. On the way out we happen to see Karen, her husband David, Ray, and Sugar. After a few hugs and hand shakes we were off. We got back to the hotel and I decided to try on my shorts and make sure they matched my shirt.. :D I know, I know, most runners don’t care if their outfit matches but I do.. :D G2G and I agreed to meet for lunch a little later in the day.
Later that day G2G and I had lunch and took in a little of the park around the Art Museum for pictures. I headed back to relax and she wanted to take the downtown tour. We decided to have diner at an Italian restaurant which I made reservations for. :D It wasn’t until Ray and Sugar arrived that we found out I made the reservations for a different restaurant. They ended up finding room for us so all was not lost. It was nice to have a chance meet RunWest, HuntRunner and his family, Rooster and his family and of coarse Ray and Sugar.. It was a very nice time. I just wish we didn’t have a race the next day because I would’ve loved to drink a few beers.. After dinner we broke things up pretty quick and headed back the hotel. I didn’t last much past 9pm before I passed out.
I really can’t say too much more than I already have about my race. I positioned myself close to the 3:30 pace group and really did feel like this was my kinda race day. It was cool but not real cold. It was over cast but not raining. What more do you want? Just as the race kicked off it started to rain a little but not too bad. For the first couple of miles the pace group had a real hard time keeping a 8:15 pace. Once again this was a race that despite the “No Ipod Rule” many people were wearing them and they seem to be in their own little world. Most of them were drifting from side to side and not paying much attention to others around them. After jockeying around to just keep up with the pace group things started to open up a little. I felt really good up to the half way point. I just feel that if I would’ve ran closer to 8:00 than 7:45 it would’ve made a world of difference. I passed too many water stops because I was worried about falling too far behind the pace group. Big mistake!!!!! This is just another case of me knowing what is right but doing something wrong. Once I made it to mile 18 I knew I was going to have problems. Mile 20 turned out to be the magic mile. As soon as I hit the turn around at Mile 20 it was a major struggle from there to the end of the race. My legs started to cramp worse than I have ever experienced. I had to stop, stretch and walk many times. I did see Rooster somewhere around mile 21. He was heading in the other direction and called my name. I could hardly focus enough to reply back to him. It was getting bad.. I worked too hard for this to happen. I was very upset for letting myself fall into this trap. From Mile 22 to the end it was just plain ugly. I couldn’t even look people in the eye who were cheering along the route. I was ashamed! Can any of you relate to this? Even if I couldn’t have made 3:30 I think 3:35 to 3:40 was a real possibility. It was just stupid running on my part. This is the last time I run with a pace group! Well I get to Mile 25 and make my mind up that nobody from here on out is going to see me walk. I forced myself shuffle the rest of the way to the finish line. As I approached the finish line I could hear Sugar cheering for me and I couldn’t even muster enough energy to look around and smile. I’ve had much better races in my day but I hope I don’t have any that are worse than this… Thanks for reading and sorry for such a long report. I feel better already…. :D