I haven’t posted too much this training cycle, but if you follow me on instagram, you have probably figured out that I ran the Philadelphia Marathon this past weekend. I have a lot of mixed feelings about the race, which hopefully I can sort out through this post.
The goal for the race was to qualify for Boston, but the weather had other plans for me. I ended up with a time of 3:35:24, which is TWENTY-FOUR seconds short of qualifying for my age. Most of you probably know though, that the bare minimum qualifying standard almost definitely would not have been enough to be accepted into the race. That actually helps cushion the blow.
As you can tell by the map, a large portion of the race is along the river. That did not work out very well with the wind. Those miles were brutal. I was on track for a 3:30 pace, which would be 8:00 pace, until mile 18. All the fighting against the wind finally took its toll. I think what I felt is what is commonly referred to as “the wall.” I noticed some shaking and decided to walk for just 1-2 minutes. I took a gel and drank half of my water bottle. Then, I slowly eased back into running because I knew I couldn’t let it end that way. I managed to get back on track for the most part, but I never fully got all the way back down to 8:00 pace. I finished with an average pace of 8:13.
While I am disappointed that I did not get the BQ time I wanted, I did manage to pull off a 19 minute PR from my marathon last year. I am trying to focus on that. It was a challenging training cycle, and I worked really hard for that PR. Under ideal weather conditions, I really think I could have done it. I know that I did the best that I could under the circumstances, and that it really took a lot of grit to overcome that wall and the desire to give up. The question now, though, is whether or not to give it another try so that I can run Boston 2017 with my friends who did qualify, or to wait another year or more.
For now, I am going to try to reflect on the positives and relax a little over the holidays. I can’t lie and say I haven’t researched all the flattest marathons that are scheduled before the Boston 2017 deadline, but only time will tell what the future holds.
How do you handle remaining positive despite missing your goals?