Two days till Philly Marathon

(Quick Administrative FYI: REI has the FR310XT down to $289 – then you can stack Garmin’s $50 rebate on that – bringing it down to $239…which is pretty much the lowest I’ve ever seen it.  If you don’t care about swim metrics, then the FR310XT is a great buy over the newer and still not yet available FR910XT.  And finally, if you use that REI link – you do indeed support the site.  Thanks all!)


As most of you know, I’ll be racing the Philly Marathon on Sunday morning – bright and early at 7AM Eastern Time.  I’ll be starting in the second corral – with bib number 893, though I suspect for those wanting to track online you can probably just enter my name instead.


This is actually the first standalone marathon I’ve raced in three years (ok, technically I ran the Boston Marathon as a standalone event, but that was just for fun).  The remainder of my marathons since have been part of Ironman races.  The previous time I went out and raced it was at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2008 – where I ran a 2:54.

I’ll be looking to shave a few minutes off of that time this year.  While I’m a faster runner – I don’t quite have as much base as I did in 2008 since I was coming off of Ironman Canada and three half-irons that year.  This year I’m coming off of…well…4-6 weeks of little training from a wedding and a honeymoon.  But, I’ve been pretty solid gains in the last couple months.  It’s funny, it get significantly harder to shave off time the faster you run.  Sorta a case of diminishing returns. 

Thursday night’s short taper run at race pace went rather well – but I’m still fighting a bit of a random cold the last few days. I’m optimistic with the continued high levels of sleep this week (hence why I’ve been a bit more quiet than normal) – I’ll be able to keep things on target come Sunday.

I suspect most of it will simply be mental – as is usually the case though with an endurance race.  As I was running tonight I had to simply keep reminding myself in a checklist fashion:

A) Yup, I’m still running 6:20’s
B) Yup, I can still talk
C) Yup. my legs haven’t fallen off
D) Ok then…just keep running.

In other words – yes, I can do this, I just need to ignore everything else and simply focus on that particular mile.

From a pacing standpoint I’ll be doing mile splits and doing averages over those based on a time that gives me a touch bit extra for running long (longer distance due to race corners, etc…).  I’ll have a data field for overall average pace and distance – but I’ll be watching to see how I am against actual race markers.

As I often note – at the end of the day, in a race the distance that your Garmin says you ran doesn’t mean anything.  The time on the clock is what matters.  And in this case…hopefully I can make the time on the clock be what I want it.

If you see me out there – say ‘Hello’!

Have a great weekend all, and good luck to those racing either Philly or Ironman Arizona (or elsewhere). Thanks for reading!


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  1. I run my marathon on Saturday, and like you I want to improve on my last outing (last years 2h52). Now unlike you I will be running in km so I have 42.2 of them to worry about!!! I ran a marathon in miles a long time ago, and boy was it hard to get the pacing right. I’ll let you run 6:20/miles and I’ll run 4:00/km…

    good luck and have fun.

  2. It sounds great, the race is really nice and exciting too. Good luck and looking forward for a successful race this sunday !

  3. Hey Ray, I’ll be there with you in group 1 – bib number 1265. Shooting for under 3 in my second marathon. Let’s get a picture together before the start for the website!

  4. Good luck for the marathon Ray!

  5. SSB

    Good luck. Maybe one of these days I’ll tackle a stand alone marathon again. But they just don’t sound line fun!

  6. Hey Ray, Best of luck and have fun! Just curious what watch will you be wearing for this race? The Garmin FR 610 would make the most sense probably, but I wonder what your thoughts are on this?

  7. Anonymous

    Hi Ray! I’ll be cheering you on for a 2:52 finish from a few miles away (In Kuwait). I purchased a garmin 610 after reading your review; and I’ve improved as a runner by adding a bit of tech to my training.

    would your race report focus on the run, or will you choose to feature a device? I’ll wait for the post. Have a great run at Philly Marathon!

    – husarrow

  8. Good luck this weekend!!

  9. Darka

    Good Luck Ray!

  10. All the best Ray from sunny South Australia!

  11. wes

    I’ll be at the finish line to cheer you on. I’m running the half in the orange coral :) so the way I figure it I might finish the half about twenty minutes before you finish the full

  12. I’d say good luck, but that would indicate luck has some role it in which is shouldn’t, it’s all training and confidence that matters. So I’ll say have a great race and don’t blow up till 26.1!

  13. Best wishes for a fantastic race!

  14. Good luck DCR. I’m sure you have good speed and a great city to run by. Run On!


  15. Anonymous

    Go get ’em dude! Good luck, we’re all rooting for you.

  16. Good Luck! Which of your many devices will you be using for the marathon this weekend?

  17. I’m gonna be in the same corral Sunday. Good luck and have a great race!

  18. Sorry to miss you in Philly. I will be in Lancaster at a soccer tournament with the kids. Good luck in our fair city. Will you have any time to sample any of our restaurants? Osteria is my latest favorite.

  19. Good luck! I’ll be there cheering Rebecca on in the half, so I’ll keep an eye out for the speedy runner with an arm full of GPS watches :)

  20. Run like Forest, Ray. I just finished a 3 marathon (Marine Corps, Raleigh, OBX), over 3 successive weekends and all in under 3 hours challange. Times were 2:48, 2:50, and 2:49 respectively. It is all in the mind on race day – the luck bit was in the preparation leading up to the races. I am sure you will do well.

    Best of luck to all runners, whatever distance/pace you run, we all get the same colour medal!

    Looking forward to the race report.

  21. Thanks all, really appreciate the comments!

    Just a quick lunchtime answer to those that asked about which watch I’ll be wearing. I’ll be using the Garmin FR610. It’s simply the watch I’m most comfortable with, and the one I primarily use on my training runes. Just one watch.

    Thanks all!

  22. Thanks for the tip on the 310xt, Ray. I just bought it on REI through your link. Good luck in Philly

  23. Happy Runner

    As the 26th comment, let me say, you WILL rock. I guarantee it.

  24. Iain

    Dig deep And run fast! Good luck tomorrow.

  25. Pedro

    Risking being repetitive… Best of luck on the race, from Portugal

  26. Good Luck! I ran my 2:54:26 PR at Boston earlier this year but hoping to knock time off that next year. If we do a marathon or half together we’ll have to try to run together since we seem really close in times.

  27. JCS

    Thanks, order place for a 310 via the link. My 305 died and have been waiting for a good price on the 310.

  28. Philadelphia Marathon: Ray Maker – 10K in 0:39:46. Pace: 6:24. Est: 2:47:48. ETA: 9:53:19. Powered by Xact RealTime Race Alerts.

  29. Philadelphia Marathon: Ray Maker – Half in 1:25:26. Pace: 6:31. Est: 2:50:51. ETA: 9:56:22. Powered by Xact RealTime Race Alerts.

  30. Anonymous

    He is slowing :(

    Philadelphia Marathon: Ray Maker – 30K in 2:08:10. Pace: 6:53. Est: 3:00:28. ETA: 10:05:45. Powered by
    Xact RealTime Race Alerts.

  31. Anonymous

    It’s well past the ETA predicted at 30K mark. Where is he?!

  32. Anonymous

    Looks like he ran first part too fast. Still no news on the official results page as well. Hope he is alright.

  33. Anonymous

    He has finished! Still a great time by us mortal standards.

    Philadelphia Marathon: Ray Maker – Finish in 3:23:09. Pace: 7:45. At 10:28:38. Powered by Xact RealTime Race Alerts.

    I am sure we will have the inside story on what went, ahem, wrong, soon – in a typical DCR style.

  34. Obviously it didn’t go to plan, but wow… to run that fast is so crazy good anyway, I would be a 5 hr finisher with my half times.

  35. Thanks all for the support! Once I realized it wasn’t my day I had a great time pulling back, and then pacing my wife through the last portion of the race to her first marathon! :)

  36. Thanks for helping me at mile 22-24. It was nice meeting you.

  37. Ray (& The Mrs.) – well done. As I always say, we all get the same color medal for our efforts. Great to finish a marathon with the Mrs. Something to share in the years ahead with the grandchildren!

    Stay well, stay blessed and recover well.