Race report time (last one this year)! I set a new personal best time today 3:59:39 (9:08 per mile) which has me completely beside myself if I’m honest. 

Woo hoo!!

I had a lot of time to think and reflect on my solo drive home from Philly today. Most of the trip I was thinking that now that it’s over I will admit that 2 marathons in 3 weeks is a pretty crazy idea. But it also occurred to me that I picked up a few pretty cool (and some not so cool) tidbits of knowledge during the weekend that I thought I’d share.

However, first and foremost a HUGE thank you to my friend Cara. Truly, this weekend would not have been nearly as successful as it was without you. You are the most gracious host, amazing friend and human being. I mean seriously, this gal made me a post-race turkey burger and sweet potato fries while I was showering. If everyone had a Cara in their life, the world would be a much better place. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel.

Cara and Maestro

Second, thanks to my trainers at GoPerformance who have guided me to be the well-oiled machine that I am. In the past 5 months I ran well over 550 training miles in addition to the two marathons with no injuries and I believe it was your programming and motivation that built the foundation to make it all possible. A special thanks to Corey, who said something to me a week or so before the race that caused a light bulb moment which lead me to push to beat or get close to my Marine Corps Marathon time from 3 weeks ago rather than taking it easy. Best advice ever Corey!

Last, but certainly not least, thanks to my wonderful husband who not only lived through my training and odd post long run rituals but he tolerated me in 2 separate pre-marathon tapers (which ain’t easy). Both times he congratulated me (after MCM and Philly) I got really choked up. He is my super fan and I hope I make him proud!

So here it is “Lessons Learned in Philly”:

1. Philly is a great city to run through. The rich history, colorful leaves, and grand scale made this an enjoyable course which I recommend to all.

2. The people of Philly are awesome too. During every race, I usually thank as many law enforcement officers and volunteers as I can- but in Philly each and everyone single one of them said “no, thank you!” Also, I have never seen so many unofficial “hydration” stations (read: spectators giving out free beer to runners). Apparently, the only thing Philadelphians enjoy more than drinking beer is giving away free beer to folks running past their front porches. Great people!

3. Salty licorice is gross. I like licorice and I like salt but together, not so much.

4. High fives from kids give you superpowers especially when they are wearing large foam hands.

5. Double knot your shoes even if you don’t think you need to. Nothing is worse than having to bend over and tie your shoe 23 miles into a 26.2 mile run.

7. If you think PA roads are painful to drive on, you should try to run on them. Ouch…

8. In marathoning, as in life, when faced with doubt, fear, adversity, and/or pain, remain calm and keep moving forward.

9. When you’re falling apart and can no longer fight the voices in your head, sometimes all it takes is the voice of a friend who is on the sideline cheering you on and believing in you to make you believe that you can do the impossible. (Thanks Cara, I needed you then more than ever.)

Time for a nap and a cupcake.

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