Philadelphia Distance Run

The Expo: I hit the expo on Saturday to pick up my race number. I always go to these things with a wad of cash hoping to pick up some good running paraphernalia. I had three items of interest in mind I was looking for: an Endurance Bag, some Smartwool socks (keep hearing raves about these), and Cliff Shot Double Espresso gel (w/100mg of caffeine, yeah). Alas, with all of the vendors there, I couldn’t find these three things or anything else I wanted to blow my money on. I did end up picking up a shirt for my running wife from One More Mile, though, so that was cool. And I did end up playing running groupie and getting an autograph from Catherine Ndereba (won the Boston Marathon 4 times? showoff!), so the expo wasn’t a total waste.

The Race: I was dealing with an achilles tendonitis flareup mid week, so I hadn’t run since Wednesday – 3 days of no running, which is an eternity during marathon training. So I approached the starting line thinking I would at least go out the first couple of miles at marathon pace, which for me is around 9:05 per mile. If the legs felt ok I would try to run negative splits. So that’s exactly what I did – first couple of miles were conservative, just under 9:00 per mile. The leg felt ok so I started to gradually run negative. I ran a half marathon in March of last year (E. Murray Todd HM for those NJ people) where I averaged an 8:48 pace throughout the race. Once the legs felt ok, I figured I would try to run negative splits and just work on getting my average pace under 8:48 (does anyone actually sign up for a race shorter than a marathon and just run marathon pace?). I ended up more or less cruising negative throughtout the race – my final 4 mile splits were:


So I was feeling pretty good, the Garmin showed me averaging 8:42, well on target. However, my chip time at the finish was 1:55:34 – my race in March was 1:55:32 – Ack! I should have realized when my Garmin was recording splits 400 meters before the course mile markers at the end that I was a little off. I guess I did a bad job of running the tangents on the course which screwed me up distance wise. Oh well, another lesson learned about leaning too heavily on the GPS. It did help me run a clean negative split race, though, which is hard to do, especially in those early miles. My training schedule called for 13 miles @ 9:24 on Sunday, so I did 13.x @ 8:48x – not too shabby. I think I’ll focus on a half marathon in the Spring for a goal race to PR in (probably the New Jersey HM, we’ll see).

I was hoping to meet some fellow RWOL people who are training for the Philly Marathon but race morning was crazy and that never happened. I did get a chance to bump into Flyers26 for about 2 minutes, long enough to wish each other luck, while I was waiting in the porta pottie lines. He ran a great race and has a good race report on his blog, along with some quality pictures which I’m missing ( So now we get to sit back, relax, and bust our butts for the next 9 weeks prior to race day. I’m thinking it may be time to adjust my race goal, hmmm…

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11 Responses to Philadelphia Distance Run

  1. Vava says:

    Great race report! I hope that your achilles tendon feels ok and it seems you are rearing to go in preparation for that marathon. Well done! It must be cool to run into a blogger at a race, porta-potty line or otherwise.

  2. ShoreTurtle says:

    Congrats. You ran a smart race. There’s a strong temptation to run faster than planned. I did that in for the PDR in’06.

    My marathon goal was to make it through training healthy. The marathon was the reward. I ran the pace (slightly conservative) that I planned for and enjoyed the experience.

  3. joyRuN says:

    CONGRATS!! It was an awesome race, & your times are phenomenal 🙂 I’m impressed you managed to spot Flyers26 in a mass of 15,000!

    PS – I don’t think that endurance bag has enough pockets!

  4. Dan Seifring says:

    Great job on the race and race report.

  5. BeachRunner says:

    Congrats on an excellent race and a nice report for us to read. I hope your achilles feels good.

  6. FLYERS26 says:

    Great race, and negative splits are cool!
    I was glad I took your advice and ran without the Ipod.
    Nice to meet youthere, for all of a few mins.
    We should try and hook up and get a training run in!

  7. Marcy says:

    CONGRATS!! What an excellent race! Dang if we were running the same race we could have finished together LMAO!

  8. Ted says:

    TERRRRRIFIC Post Race Report !!! I was reading Flyer26’s blog as well. You both did GREAT !!! It seemed that you plan out very smartly! Job well done !!! Hat off to you for completing the race.

  9. N.D. says:

    You did a great job – love the pic too. I should have taken some!

  10. Todd (eyedoctodd) says:

    Hey Progman – Todd here. I recall reading your posts on Flo’s blog, so while we’ve never met, I feel like we’ve been in the same room together. 🙂

    Anyway – I think the issue with the Garmins was the GPS reception affected by the tall buildings. Mine was also off (My final garmin distance was 13.39 miles) and when I analyzed the path in google earth, I could see that during the first 4 miles through the city, there were weird little detours showing that I know I did not do. And I’m not talking about a stray GPS point, like I’ve seen so many times, but instances where several points were going off track. I was VERY careful to run my tangents so I could save every second.

    Bottom line is I think your tangents were fine, I think your (and my) garmin credited you with farther distance because of the errors, which speeds up your apparent pace. Mine was telling me that I was running ~8:20/mile and it was actually 8:31. I finished in 1:51:36 and was thrilled because my goal was to crack 1:55:00. Anyway, thought I’d offer that.
    All the best,


  11. Laurel says:

    Awesome race report! Glad to hear you ran a smart race, even with the Garmin issues. Sounds like you are going to do great in November!

    I’m so sorry to hear about your achilles. Mine is still sore, but it’s not as bad as it was a week ago. Who knows, it doesn’t seem to be going away though.

    We DO have a lot in common!

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