Philadelphia Marathon 2013: Finish strong

Philly Marathon Expo

Even the hotel room keys are excited for the race!

The 2013 Philly Marathon was excellent! It held all the things I love about running: individual struggles and triumphs, community, excitement,  unveiled strengths and passion.

Marathon #3, this was my first “big city” marathon – #1 and #2 were smaller races that I picked for the super flat courses. As soon as I got off the train from NYC, I was welcome by street banners and customized hotel room key cards.

The morning of the race went beautifully. Although the security was tight we moved through the lines quickly. My only complaint was the 20+ minute wait for port-a-potties.

2013 Philly Marathon

2013 Philly Marathon

I spent the first 10 miles taking in the energy from the crowds as the course took me through varying neighborhoods in Philly. My favorite two spectator signs were “You’re running better than the US government” and “Smile if you’re not wearing any underwear”.  Miles 10 – 20 I zoned into my thoughts and the music playing in my headphones.

As usual miles 20 – 26.2 was where the real race took place…. As my legs continued to cramp up and the back of my thighs seizing up, I realized my ideal goal of 3:35 was not going to happen. New goal – no matter what don’t walk and finish under 4 hours. It was time to decide “How badly do I want it? How much of my soul am I going to put into this? How lost am I willing to feel? To what degree will I fight against the natural defense mechanism that protects me against losing and pain? How bitterly will I reject failure? ( by Alberto Salazar)”.

Philly marathon medal shirt

Loving the Philly medal and shirt

I’m proud to report that I told the pain to shut up and ran through it – Finishing at 3:50, placing 3166/10887 finishers (top 30%) and 927/4884 female finishers (top 19%).

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