I’m considering this post a “step by step guide for what not to do before a marathon,” because Derek and I were clearly not on our A game this weekend. Given that we survived, though, on a more positive note, this post could also be called “how to successfully wing a marathon.” Here it goes:
#1: Do not frantically pack all of your things the morning of the trip. You will rush, and you will forget something important, like your inhaler. Remember how I wrote that nice post saying I would pack all of my stuff the night before according to my beautifully organized list? Didn’t happen.
#2: Do not get only 5 hours of sleep the night before the race. You might start falling asleep while running at the end of it, like I did.
#3: Do not forget to bring anything for breakfast. Derek had Ritz crackers and Jif peanut butter, and I had a dinky 100 calorie fiber bar that I found underneath the seat of the car. Breakfast of champions!!
#4: When running a race with 27,000 participants, do not assume that you can leave 1 hour before race time and easily find parking. With the race starting at 7, we found parking at 6:30 and we were LUCKY. They closed the street right after we got there! Then we had to walk about a mile to the race start and try to find our corral – we ended up getting stuck in the wrong corral with people who were much slower. Yikes!!
Anyway, although we made a lot of mistakes for this race, we had a lot of fun, too! We left Saturday morning and got to Philly within 5 hours. We found parking and went straight to the expo:
The expo was huge and there were people everywhere! A lot of stuff was picked clean and it was a bit difficult to navigate, but I managed to find a headband! It’s a Sweatyband - I wore one throughout the 2012 Boston Marathon and it didn’t budge. This one says Run Philly and it’s super cute! I wore it during the race and here I am wearing it after:
The race itself was a mixed bag for me – the course was great, and it was fun to run past the museums, streets, and monuments that I used to know as a kid.
But, on the other hand, this was a really tiring, challenging race for me. Although the course itself was easy and flat, because we started in the wrong corral and were stuck running about 2 minutes slower than our normal pace for the first 8 miles, we spent the rest of the race trying to make up for lost time. I don’t think we stopped to walk aside from brief moments at water stops until mile 21. At that point, my legs were burning and I just felt sleepy. I closed my eyes A LOT toward the end of the race because I was just so exhausted. I really wanted a sub 4:00 race, but it didn’t happen. Our final results were 4:01:13….womp womp. Not bad for lack of planning, but still not where I’d like to be.
After the race Derek and I got Wawa junk food and headed back to Massachusetts.
It took about 6 hours for us to drive home, and when we got back, our legs were ANGRY. Another lesson learned – don’t run a marathon and then cram yourself into a car for 6 hours or your legs will hate you. I took a shower and went straight to bed.
8th marathon completed!
Have you ever been really underprepared for a race? Did it turn out OK?