What a great race! The Cooper Norcross Run the Bridge 10k is one of my favorites this year. Mikey and our friend Pete ran as well.
I was surprised by how strong I felt, despite knee/ankle pain flare-up. Could have pushed way harder but I tried to play it safe to avoid injury again. My splits are mostly even and stay within the 9-minute range.
The race began on the New Jersey side of the Ben Franklin Bridge, went up and over toward Philadelphia and then turned around. That covered the first half of the race. The rest was spend within the university/waterfront section of Camden. A mostly flat course, with one small hill at mile 5. It was a cold day, but as usual I run very very hot so wearing a track jacket was overkill. When will I learn the right balance of race clothing?
Overall, very happy!
In a way, I didn’t want to write this story. Because after spending this entire year working to this moment, this pinnacle, I don’t want it to be over just yet. I want to just stay in that moment and not let it go.
My first marathon. It didn’t feel like running for five hours by myself. At least, until the end. The first hours felt like flying.
The Steamtown Marathon was a simple choice for my first. The course runs through the town where my grandmother was born, raised and lives now. Her house is just steps from where the runners go by, and I spent many chilly October mornings with my grandmother and sister watching my dad at the 1 mile mark.
This was my dad’s first marathon too, just a month before his 40th birthday. He finished that first one in 4:18:18. He qualified for Boston here too, five years later, knocking off more than an hour from his finishing time.
So that was part of my motivation too. He and I had planned to run this race together, but circumstances have kept us apart. He’s been away since May, getting well and wishing me well from afar. But he called me the night before the race, and I wrote his name on my knee tape in the morning. “So it’s your fault if they give out on me,” I said.
The morning of the race, I woke up easily from bizarre dreams: I forgot I was supposed to be running, and stopped at mile 18 to go hang gliding; it took me seven and a half hours to finish because I got lost; the finish line was through a highway toll booth and I forgot to bring my EZ-Pass; I didn’t see my family the entire time.
Steamtown Marathon official time: 5:00:04. 11:30/mile.
The first 20 were a breeze and all around 10 minute miles. The last six felt like another 20 all over again. I’ll write a full recap when I get a good night’s sleep. :)
“My favorite way to spend a night is making a quick dinner, heading out for a sunset run through the city, and then straight home for a yoga session to cool down and relax before cuddling on the couch. That’s my OM: trying hard not to worry about work or chores, and just focusing on what makes my body sweat, stretch, bend and balance. And being appreciative of our home environment where I can do that.”