Race Report

#9: 11/20/2011 – Philadelphia Marathon (Pennsylvania: 3:58:57)

Time: My personal best, 3:58:57

Conditions: Sunny, fall, beautiful!

Summary: My goal was to run outside of my comfort zone.  I was shooting for a 3:45 or better with hopes to magically qualify for The Boston Marathon. I was starting to feel an injury come on in my hamstrings.  It hurt to pull my right leg foward.  I kept on though.  I was on pace with at 1:51 half marathon split until I had a ‘skipped heart beat’ that freaked my out around mile 20.  I just stopped and stood there.  I was nervous that I was so far out of my comfort zone that my body was in danger.  I walked slowly for  about 5 minutes, then just slowed down to finish.  I am so grateful that I finished under 4 hours and that I listened to my body.  It was this race where I changed my hydration and pre-race nutrition.  I visited a cardiologist after this race and discovered that I have ‘an irregular EKG.’  I went through extensive testing and my ultra-marathoner cardiologist told me to keep going, but to eliminate the things that increase your heart rate on race day.  This was the last time I drank Red Bull (this race), this was also the last time I had caffeine before or during a race (Gu gels, coffee, etc.). This was also the race that forced me to learn about my heart rate during a marathon. I started wearing a heart rate monitor so that I could know if my body was outside it’s ‘norm’ for the event.  I may never run at this time again.  I wonder had I not had the heart ‘event’ if I would have met my sub 3:45 goal.

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