I mentioned a few days back that two of my regulars were running Philly yesterday, and indeed they did. With vastly different experiences.

Robert broke 3 and was quite happy.

Flo blew up.

I saw this in the results before either of them posted their race reports. Strangely, in running it seems that failure has many parents and success is an orphan. Alas, regarding Flo, the first person I thought of was Julie, who had a bad experience in her last marathon, about which I was similarly stunned. What would Julie say to her compadre? As I’ve come to expect, she said the right stuff. So I need not mine the recesses of my mind to come up with something that balances the reassuring with the practical, the you-don’t-suck with the let’s-work-on-what-went-wrong.

I really have no business talking about some of this stuff, given the paucity of my own marathoning experience. But I’ve seen lots of folks who seemed on target to run faster — several Warren Streeters at NY come immediately to mind — have issues that, you know, this can be tough stuff. Scant comfort to Flo for sure, but there’s probably a whole coral worth of folks in any major marathon.

Finally, Flo writes, speaking of a genetic defect that I can assure her I think I have at times:

    There aren’t any spectators for this portion which makes it very easy to berate myself for realizing that while I want to be competitive in this sport, I’m really just a Giver Upper, I don’t have the “dig deep” gene that a real racer has. I’ve always felt this though, so it’s nothing new, just good to rub it in when I’m feeling low.

Sayeth Julie, “As for not being a ‘digging deep’ runner, knock that off right now. Sometimes you can dig all you want and there’s just nothing there. Yesterday was one of those days.”