Goals for the Philly Marathon

By Janelle @ Run With No Regrets | training

Nov 16

In 4 short days, I will become a marathoner.  At least that’s what the plan is!

I am full of so many emotions as I rapidly approach November 20, the day that I have been training for essentially since July and officially since August.  The Philadelphia Marathon is almost here!

As I do for all of my races, I’m sharing my goals for the marathon.  I am excited but as each day passes, I get a little more nervous too.  Keep reading to learn my goals for this extremely special race!

I’m linking up with Susie, Debbie, Lora, and Rachel for the Running Coaches Corner, Annmarie, Nicole, Jen, and Michelle for Wild Workout Wednesday! Check out their sites to find new workouts to try and lots of great running and fitness tips!

The big day is almost here! Check out my goals for the #phillymarathon! Click To Tweet

I will be running my very first marathon on November 20, 2016 - the Philly Marathon! Check out my goals for the race and more running adventures at runwithnoregrets.com!

Goals for the Philadelphia Marathon:

Okay, so they say with your first marathon that he only goal of the race is to finish.  And yes, that’s absolutely the #1 priority! But I’ve been working with Coach Kristy the last few months and she has prepared me to have a pretty strong race – at least that’s what I’m hoping!  I want to end the race with a smile, not a grimace!

Racing Strategy:

Kristy gave me my plan for the marathon a couple of days ago, so I thought I would sum it up here:

  • Miles 1 to 5:  stay around 11:00 pace.  See how you feel.  Warm up and let the crowds thin out.  Do not weave around other runners!  And DO NOT GO OUT TOO FAST!
  • Miles 6 to 20:  Settle into GMP (about 10:40ish pace).  If this feels too fast, go back to 11:00 pace.  If this feels too slow, enjoy it!  Do not speed up!
  • The last 10K:  Give it all you got!  Ignore all those thoughts that tell you to slow down.  You have more in you than you think you do.  You can maintain this pace.  You CAN do it.

Some other considerations Kristy mentioned were the hills on the course where I have to maintain effort, not pace.  There are big hills in University City around mile 7 and after passing the Philadelphia Zoo  around mile 9. I remember them well from running the Philly Half Marathon back in 2012, and thankfully, I know I can handle them now since I’ve done so much hill running in my current neighborhood!

Kristy also reminded me that in the beginning of the race my GPS watch will be inaccurate while running through Center City.  This is key as I really paid the price at the Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon because my pace was off on my Nike+ watch and I ended up going WAY too fast.  I have to remember to take it slow those first 5 miles!!

You may also like:  RnR Half Marathon Philly Training: Week 3 Recap

Fueling and Hydration:


It figures that the weather has been perfect leading up to the race only to be horrible when it really matters.  Sunday is forecast to be the first really cold day in November, and I’ve heard words such as “rainy” and “blustery” to describe conditions.  I’ve run a 10K and a 10 miler in the wind before, so we’ll see how it goes…

I will be using the HoneyStinger chews for my fueling and will take 2 chews every 3 miles.  It has worked very well in training.  My Orange Mud Hydraquiver will be holding my phone, chews, and my water bottle but I have to be careful to make sure the velcro straps and water bottle won’t be rubbing against my hair…that’s been a nuisance on many runs.

Overall Thoughts:

I've come so far since this running hill repeats in the heat!

I’ve come so far since this running hill repeats in the heat!

At the beginning of the week, I felt pretty confident that I would have a strong race.  Then I read a bunch of marathon recaps from Chicago, MCM, and NYC that freaked me out.  I know that there are some things beyond our control, but I would be so disappointed if the race turns out poorly because I suddenly get injured or have a bathroom emergency…I really don’t like surprises.

The 20-mile run was pretty hard on my knees so I am definitely nervous about adding on 10K.  I’ve been doing more foam rolling and stretching this week so hopefully, that’ll help!

I am going to have a lot of family on the course cheering me on, so I am grateful for that!  I know that Kelly Drive is going to be the toughest part of the race, and unfortunately, it’s an out and back so I’ll have to suffer twice.  On top of that, I realized that as I’m heading up to Manayunk, many others will be heading towards the finish…this race is going to take a lot of mental strength!!

But despite all those worries, I know that I am ready for this race.  Philadelphia has been my home for the past 12+ years and it’s where my love for running began.  You know how sentimental I can get, but I don’t want to put any pressure on myself.  I just want to have a memorable experience in the city that I love!

Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive this training cycle!  I will be thinking of you all as I run this race.  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to dig deep and do my best.  Being healthy enough to run a marathon is a blessing, and I’m hoping that when it’s done, I’ll still be all in one piece!  Now let me read my marathon tips for first-timers one more time! 🙂

Do you have any upcoming races this weekend?  Experienced marathoners:  do you have any last-minute tips for me??  

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