Right now, there’s a lot of talk in the running community centered around the Philadelphia Marathon. Just yesterday it was announced that the race, which is traditionally held the weekend before Thanksgiving, will be held earlier than normal, November 15th-17th.
This race, in particular, holds a very special place in my heart because it’s the one the gently lured me into running with its siren song. Anyone who has been to a big race probably knows what I’m talking about… the song that makes you think, 26.2 doesn’t seem THAT far, maybe I should just start running RIGHT now.
I watched Victoria run her first marathon in Philadelphia in 2010. A year later, I signed up for the Rothman 8k, while she ran the half. Last year I worked as a volunteer the entire day. I’d planned to run the half this year but now I’m waffling because the runDisney Wine and Dine is only a week prior. If I eventually work my way up to a marathon, I’d like the Philadelphia Marathon to be my first.
I’d like to share my old race recap from my very first road because it seems relevant at the moment and this race has always treated me, and the racing community as a whole, very well.
This was the first time that Chicks Vic and Brooke met, which is always fun, because I love when worlds collide. Vic arrived on Thursday night and Brooke flew in on Friday morning. Both of them were immediately friends (I wasn’t too worried about that) and super adorable. We hit the Philadelphia Marathon expo on Friday and picked up our t-shirts, bags, bibs and sparkly headbands for our Princess race in February. All of which were absolutely essential.
Started getting (more) nervous on Friday night. This was my first ever road race and I’d only started running earlier in the year. My plan, which I had told the girls, was to finish in an hour. Brooke’s plan, which she told Vic, was for us to finish in under an hour. Ha!
Took the train in early Saturday morning and lined up. Since Vic wasn’t running, she held all of our stuff and hung out with us until she needed to scoot to the “spectator” side. We were toward the back of the pack when we started (no corrals, which was cool for a race of this size) and just sort of took it nice and easy.
The first three miles felt great and I was pretty happy throughout. Saw Victoria around mile one, which was great and then we headed out to boat house row. Brooke was chatting away and I was chiming in when I felt comfortable talking but mostly listened to her awesome stories.
Brooke had her Garmin and I wasn’t keep track of our time, which was a good thing. The clocks along the route marked miles but it was about a minute faster than our actual time (which I didn’t realize because I’m silly and new to racing) so we were actually going faster than I thought. Brooke took this selfie of us running and it makes me laugh every time I see it!
The turn around point was at mile three and there was a water station there. Took a cup, drank nearly none of it and reminded myself that I was over half done.
But mile four was rough. Brooke continued to entertain me, as did the juggling runner who was near us.
I think the reason I didn’t like mile four too much was because the road was sloped, the right side of my body was higher than my left. So it felt uneven and… off. I’m picky about my streets.
There was a stupid hill right near the end (hi, who put that there?) and I’m pretty sure that’s when I told Brooke that I felt like I was going to throw up. She was concerned until I got over that, and the hill, and we booked it to the finish line. I was pretty happy to see 58:35 and even happier still that it was OVER!
Overall, it was a great race. I was so fortunate to run my first race with a great friend who was supportive of me AND to have a cheering friend on the sidelines! This was the third time I’d ever run five miles in my life so the fact that it went so well, I couldn’t have been more pleased.
The Rothman 8k is a great race for beginners, like myself, or people who want to be involved in Philadelphia Marathon weekend but aren’t looking to run a half or full marathon.