Well it’s no secret, November 19 I ran the Philadelphia marathon, 14 days after pushing myself in the New York City Marathon.
“So did you survive?” Texted Eryn
“Were going to use the term survive loosely…”
Am I breathing and do I have all of my body parts attached where they should be? Yes. Am I happy? No.
Recap of Philly
I honestly hate the Philadelphia Marathon. I enjoy the first part of the course through the city itself and the one mile in Manayunk, but the other 18 miles suck. There is relatively no crowd support, Kelly Drive is uneventful, and every time I have done it has has blown at least 30 mph. This year was no different, well except for the rain in the morning.
I was seeded in the green corral and was lucky enough to have the 3:45 pace group in my corral. I stuck with them the first 7 miles, they were a great group I wish I could have stayed the entire time, but my body was not having it.
I wore my NYC Marathon long sleeve and I had several people run up to me and say, “wait? like two weeks ago!?” yes, I’m that crazy. But the same race that made me crazy spoiled me. I longed for the crowd support of NYC, I missed the lady that chased me with a pan, I needed the energy.
I almost walked off the Philly course at mile 14. My ankle flared up and I was doing this weird limp shuffle thing. I had a good run, or so I thought, but I am a bad quitter. It was the second time in my life that I chickened out of chickening out.
Once we reached Manayunk I started crying cause I knew we were almost home. I had my ceremonial two Manayunk beers and let the wind carry me back. I was in a lot of pain with 5 miles left, but I kept telling myself “Next mile you can have a break, next mile you can stop…” but I kept going.
I crossed the line almost emotionless. Typically marathons are super emotion filled for me but I had nothing left. I was disappointed in myself I did not hit my goal, but it did confirm that my NYC time was not a fluke, like I thought it was.
I walked a mile back to my hotel cursing and crying with each step. I made a promise to myself that I would never run the Philly marathon again. It was hard, it was a tough mental game with 60 mph wind gusts, but I survived yet again. I even course PRed by 8 minutes, not bad for the last time I’ll ever run it… yeah right.
Goin Back to Back
If New York City Marathon was running in the clouds, Philadelphia was running in hell. They were starkly different marathons, it was crazy. During NYC whatever you needed you had it. The crowds would have given you the shirt off their backs or the socks they were wearing if you needed them. In Philly you really only had crowd support in selected areas and only for a short amount of time.
Going into this marathon season I was doing things a little bit different. I only ran about 4 times a week including my Saturday long run. I was much more diligent with my long run this year getting in MANY 16-20 milers, much more than I had in the past. I also worked in much more speed work than I had previously, and learned to love my track days. I felt stronger going into this year. Maybe it was from the hill workouts, maybe it was from the workouts I did with my hockey girls, not sure.
Two months before the NYC Marathon, on September 4th, I rolled my ankle during a 50K. It hurt so much, when I got done the 50k I could not move for almost an hour I just lied on the ground and cried. Little did I know this roll would haunt me for the next two months. I could no longer do full long runs without pain, some days I could not even walk without feeling it. I was able to get some longer runs in, but I just had to trust in myself that I was ready.
In October I did most of my work on speed and strength. There was some days where I would plan to do a run, but my ankle would tell me differently and I just had to listen to it. I lost 10 pounds on purpose just to get lighter because lighter equals faster. I was terrified I was not ready for NYC and I disregarded the thought of Philly.
Long story short we already know what happened during the NYC Marathon, it was amazing. Apparently whatever I did during my training I did it right. My time wasn’t what I wanted, but going light for 2 months will probably do that to you.
In the glorious fog of the NYC Marathon I decided to run Philly. Not the best decision I’ve ever made, I survived but I cried the entire mile walking back to my hotel room because I was in so much pain. In retrospect I should have allowed more time to heal and should have sat out this marathon.
For the future I will definitely embrace the long run again, and don’t worry I don’t foresee any 50Ks in my future before my next marathon so no ankles should roll. I’ve just joined a gym so while I’m heeling I can still swim, bike, and lift.
Going back to back is probably one of the coolest and dumbest things I have ever done. It was awesome doing double marathons, but the pain was not worth it in the long run (no pun intended). I can not even wait to start my next marathon training cycle and to be healed to be able to run again. Till next time.