Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Looking Back - Philadelphia Marathon 2005 - Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Marathon was my 6th marathon of the year, which was also my last marathon in 2005. This was my 2nd attempt to run a 2nd marathon a week after my earlier marathon in Richmond, Virginia. Although I knew from my previous experience, that this was achieveable, I was still rather worried as the re-opening of roads was set at 5hrs 30mins. This meant that I had to complete before the road re-opened since I wanted to run in traffic-free condition.

I arrived Philadelphia after spending 4 days of sight-seeing in Washington D.C. Boy, the weather was slightly better in Philadelphia but nevertheless, still cool @ a high 30 Deg Fahrenheit (approx. 3 Deg Celsius). The surroundings of Philadelphia was also very familiar as it was more like the Orchard Road of Singapore. Some huge K-Mart type of shopping centre, rows and rows of shopping malls, makan places, Borders, Virgin Records, a few Performing Art centres, etc. Felt like I was back in Singapore after the last 2 weeks in Richmond and Washington D.C.

I spent the 1st night shopping at Borders. Also managed to buy some souvenir books. On the 2nd day, I did more shopping and also went to pick up my Bib from the marathon expo. There was this street that displayed rows of flags of the different countries and it was a very awesome sight. I managed to spot the flag of Singapore and took some pictures of it.

I was a little disappointed upon reaching the marathon expo. It was staged using a very huge tent, unlike most of the other expo which was held in the host hotel. However, the expo was BIG! There were numerous exhibitors on shoes, marathon events, running gear like caps, socks, windbreaker, shoes, gloves, and even sports drinks! I picked up my goodie bags with ease and also my Bib number.

After spending quite sometime browsing through the events, I decided to take a walk back to the host hotel to consume my pasta dinner. The dinning hall was very spacious, like I was attending a wedding banquet in Singapore. There was also a musical band trying to ramp up the atmosphere. I ate 2 plateful of pasta plus "carbo-drink" for the night before returning to my hotel to rest.

20 Nov was the day I ran the marathon. The weather was perfect! Wonderful in fact. I knew from the weather forecast that the weather was still chilly so I decided to wear my CW-X tehnical pants as well as a dri-fit long t-shirt which I just bought from the expo. It was a good move as the technical pants was able to keep me warm during cool weather. I started the marathon at a rather slow pace (or so I thought). My breathing was a bit heavy as I could feel the exhaling of vapour coming out from my mouth whenever I breathed out. After completing every mile, I stopped for a walk breaks of 20 steps and managed to complete the 1st 6 miles within the 1st hour.

For the 2nd hour, although my pace had dropped to around 5.5 miles I was still feeing strong. I was pleasantly surprised that I did not slow down that much. This was due to the very scenic route that I was running through. Just after I past the 13-mile marker, I saw the men's leading running sprinting all the way to the end point! I was rather demoralised as I still have almost half the distance to cover. Nevertheless, I pressed on and covered another 5 miles in the 3rd hour. By the 4th hour, the route took me past and beyond the Philadelphia county, into a small town. There were even more people here as we ran past some private properties opposite some shop houses.

I was quite psyched up by then and managed to make the u-turn at the 20-mile marker at 3hr 55mins. I calculated that if I could maintain my pace, there was a very good chance of achieving a PB. However, I also remembered there were quite a few hills along the way back. I slowed down and only managed to cover the next 4 miles at around 4hr 58mins. By then, I told myself no matter what, I have to push on especially since I would be making my home run (the name of the final stretch of road is called Kelly's Drive). I managed won the fight against the fatigue monster and obtained a PB at a time of 5hrs 22mins 41secs. I was ecstatic.

I was extremely satified and happy that I achieved what I set out to do in the begining of the year, i.e. to complete 6 marathons in 2005. And I was very glad to obtained my PB in my last marathon of 2005. It was by no means an easy task considering the amount of time I could train and the amount of leaves I could apply. Nevertheless, I was glad that with my achievements, especially in Philadelphia, when I ran my best PB.


Anonymous said...

Hi, was the Singapore flag hung up because of Singaporeans' participation in the Marathon? If so, you are really cool ... Tks for flying our country flag in Philadelphia!

Ripley Runs said...

:) i don't think it is because of singaporean's participation in the marathon... but if it is, then wow!!!