I haven’t really come to terms with the marathon itself yet, so instead, I’m going to start by sharing Saturday with you all. Looking back, I really believe that Saturday was key to my performance and confidence during Sunday’s marathon.
After sleeping for 8 hours Friday night, Bo and I woke up Saturday morning in time to meet Kristin , Nadia, and Beth. Kristin was so kind to offer a ride down to Philadelphia for all of us in her car as long as we were okay squeezing and of course providing a Starbucks coffee. We spent the next 2 hours laughing, talking about the marathon, discussing our strategy, and just relaxing. This time was exactly what we all needed to relax after a long taper period. It was also great to get to know everyone better since I only met Nadia that morning and Beth and I had only hung out in larger group situations.
We may or may not have made a scenic stop in Princeton for some leaves and stretching action!
After reaching Philadelphia our priority was picking up our bibs and running any errands that we needed to do so that we could be relaxing on the couch by 3pm, a personal goal of ours. Many of us have historically spent the day before a marathon exploring a city with out of town guests, on our feet all day and stressed to the max. Since it was Nadia’s first marathon, having hours to relax during the afternoon and evening was her sole request. In theory, our checklist for a succesful pre-marathon Saturday looked like this:
Arrive at destination before noon.
Hydrate and eat healthy, non stomach irritating food all day.
Pick up bib and any last minute supplies early in the day.
By 3pm be back home and have marathon gear set out so any last minute supplies aren’t forgotten.
Cook dinner in so we’re relaxed and not dealing with crowds or reservations.
Be in bed by 10pm.
As soon as we saw the finish line, while heading over to the Pennies in Action tent to pick up my bib, everything became VERY real!
After making my final donations and hugging the ladies at Pennies in Action I finally had my bib in my hand and was excited beyond words! It was like everything I’d worked for the past few months was finally coming together! It was so nice to meet them in person and they welcomed not only me but our whole group to their tent, provided us with water, and suggested that we use the tent as a base on marathon day!
After picking up my bib and packet, which was in the charity tent area near the start line, we headed over to the Philadelphia Convention center to check out the Philadelphia Marathon Expo and pick up everyone else’s bib. We parted ways with Bo at this point who was spending the evening with his best friend Scott. I knew that he would have more fun with Scott than with four girls who were all hyped on marathon energy.
The walk was only about a mile from Michael’s apartment which was a perfect way to take in some sites and shake out our legs after the car ride. Since we were all just at a race expo two weeks prior we had no interest in shopping. Instead we were in and out in less than 30 minutes.
On our way back to Michael’s apartment we ran into Meghan who was with her wonderful family heading to the expo and also Santa! We asked him to wish us speedy strong feet and good marathons. I think this thumbs up means that our wishes would be granted.
Realizing just how hungry we all were, we stopped in Pine Street Deli , thanks to Yelp’s recommendations, and each ordered a delicious deli sandwich.
By 3pm we were sitting on the couch eating our lunches, amazed at the simple flavors and how delicious it all tastes when you aren’t used to Kaiser rolls.
For the next 6 hours we literally did nothing other than chat, foam roll, stretch, organize our marathon gear, make dinner, and watch a mix of college football (Go UGA and Notre Dame), watch Friends episodes, and make it through 30 minutes of the worst movie ever, Magic Mike.
Later, to relax us, Kristin even read good luck wishes to us from her students. Each student wrote her the sweetest letter wishing her good luck on her marathon!
Around 8, I called Gia for one last word of advice and strategy session. She was thrilled to hear that our day had ended just as we’d hoped and we were each feeling relaxed and ready. We discussed the two most important things for me to do in the marathon: go out slow and fuel consistently. It was as if our discussion put me at ease because as I crawled into bed that night my whole body was relaxed. I slept for 7 glorious hours, only waking one time. My body and mind were both ready for a great marathon.