Race Weekend: Part Three

Well, this past Sunday marked one week since the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half…and I celebrated with a PR at the Cape May Winery 5k!  I’ll write more on that later though.  It’s time for the third and last installment about my weekend in Philly.  It’s time for the part about the RACE!

My alarm was set for 5:30 and, boy, was that a tough one.  Now, I have been known to get up at 3:45am to run at 4:30.  I didn’t sleep well though.  I usually don’t sleep well before a race so that wasn’t a big surprise and once I had like 10 minutes to get going I was good.  Gotta love adrenaline!

The plan was to leave around 6:30 to head over to another hotel where everyone from the running club I’m in, Southern Ocean Ladies Running Club, was meeting.  Hmmmm…what to do with myself for an hour?  Glad I got up at 5:30 though.  Time to get my contacts in (ouch), get dressed, use my spiky massage ball on my injured foot to wake it up and get it feeling better, get dressed and prepare my breakfast.  I ate an English muffin with Pocket Fuel Chunky Coconut Cherry almond butter and a banana while we were walking over to the other hotel.

The walk over was a chilly one!  Glad I had bought the arm sleeves the day before at the Expo!  Our hotel lobby was full of runners but the hotel we were meeting at was much bigger, and when my best friend and I entered the lobby, it was a sea of runners.  It made me happy 🙂  I searched out the ladies from Southern Ocean Ladies Running Club and we all stood around chatting for a bit before getting together for a big group photo.  Then, it was time to walk over to where the race was starting to get in our starting corrals.  So many runners!

Southern Ocean Ladies Running Club

Southern Ocean Ladies Running Club

The race started at 8am and my bestie (that always makes me think of Amy Farrah Fowler and Penny from Big Bang Theory…but I digress) and I were back in corral 15.  I was nervous that we’d be standing in the chilly air for like 30 minutes, but once the sun came over the tall buildings, it was warm and glorious!  It didn’t take too long to get to the start, either.  There was so much energy that it made time pass quickly and we were off and running at about 8:20.  They counted down each corral, which amped up the excitement.  I’m glad I stuck with corral 15 and didn’t try to move up because I needed to start out slowly with my toe injury and being that the last long training run I had done was 10 miles 4 weeks prior to the race!

Corral 15 getting ready to start!

Corral 15 getting ready to start!

It was corral 15’s turn and we were off and running!!!  I just kept telling myself not to get caught up in the excitement and just take it easy, take it all in, run a smart race.  I started out with my bestie, a running friend of hers’ and a friend of her friend (did you follow?).  We all shared a room together and they were very nice and it was fun to share a room and run a bit together in the race.

We took the first mile nice and easy but my mouth was dry.  I would later realize that it was from taking Immodium before the race.  I didn’t want to drink the little bit of water I had on me.  The sun was beating down on us and I was glad I was in a running skirt and sleeveless shirt and that I could just push my arm sleeves down.  The sun was making us all thirsty and we were seeking out the shady sides of the street and anxiously awaiting that first water stop!  We approached…water gone!?  We were shocked!  This big of a race and the water was already gone?  I think I took a tiny sip from my water bottle.

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We ran on, continued taking in the sites, seeking shade and looking for that next water table.  The next stop was Gatorade…sticky, yellow Gatorade, which I splashed all over my leg and arm and chin (I don’t normally do the whole running/drinking from cups).  We continued and complained about the overly-sweet Gatorade and the fact that you could hear everyone’s shoes sticking to the pavement from it.  We eventually came upon some water but the water tables continued to be a bit of a problem.  Luckily, this was my only real issue with the race as a whole.

I continued running with my bestie and her running friend until about mile 5, I think.  Then, I started feeling very sluggish and there were little twinges in my toe here and there.  Nothing I couldn’t handle but since I hadn’t done much training in the last month, I wanted to slow down and not injure myself further.  It was tough thinking about running 8 miles on my own but I was hoping to see some girls from the club along the way and I figured there were plenty of runners to watch, to listen in on during their amusing conversations, to be inspired by and plenty of beautiful scenery to see and bands to listen to.  The final thing was my only other small complaint about this race.  Being that it’s a part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll series, I expected a lot more bands!

I made it to mile 8.  During the race, I wasn’t too thrilled about this.  My injured toe started hurting, and actually, my other toe and foot started hurting a lot.  I was constantly saying to myself, “make it to mile 9 walking and then run some…make it to mile 9.5 and then you can start walking again…make it to mile 10 and run a little.”  I had this inner dialogue the last 5.1 miles!  I ran as much as my feet and my exhausted body would allow at a time, which sometimes wasn’t a whole lot.  I wanted to finish strong though!

As you can see, after mile 8, things slowed down a lot!

Split

  Time

   Dist

  Avg Pace

1

10:12.7

1.00

10:13

2

10:34.8

1.00

10:35

3

9:57.1

1.00

9:57

4

9:55.1

1.00

9:55

5

10:13.6

1.00

10:14

6

10:04.3

1.00

10:04

7

10:17.8

1.00

10:18

8

10:45.4

1.00

10:46

9

12:46.5

1.00

12:47

10

13:07.1

1.00

13:07

11

12:06.9

1.00

12:07

12

16:11.9

1.00

16:12

13

11:24.6

1.00

11:25

14

2:14.6

0.24

9:32

 

I saw very few injured people on the sidelines along the way.  I saw plenty of people stretching up against trees and on the ground and I started to join them around mile 10.  I was still really enjoying the scenery and I had wanted to run through Fairmount Park and along the Schuylkill River and by Boathouse Row!  Plus, being that I was walking a lot through this part of the race, I was able to snap some pictures with my phone 🙂

They had some fun signs along the way.  This was one of my faves!

They had some fun signs along the way. This was one of my faves!

Boathouse Row

Boathouse Row

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Fairmount Water Works

When I reached mile 12.5, I really wanted to start pushing.  Of course, they threw a hill in right towards the end.  Great.  I really don’t remember what I did with that hill.  I think I walked/half-ran.  Then, about 25 feet from the finish, I saw a man lying on the ground off to the side with medics around him.  At this point I was running my heart out and I was so sad for him!  He was SO close…I wanted him to crawl to the finish and be taken care of after he crossed!  I hope he was o.k.!

I ran through the finish, got my medal, smiled for the camera, heard my bestie yell for me, we both smiled for the camera…I was happy!  For the last 5.1 miles of Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia, I wasn’t so happy.  I beat myself up a little.  I tried to tell myself it was for the best so I didn’t further injure myself and that I have other races coming up.  When you see so many running past you, though, it’s hard to stay positive.  Around mile 10, though, I started estimating when I could finish.  I had gone into the race thinking it might take me 3 hrs. but at mile 10 I realized that 2 ½ hours might be possible.  At mile 12, I realized I might possibly have a chance at finishing under 2:30 and when I crossed the finish in 2:29:40, I was proud…I was happy!

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Philadelphia Museum of Art…or, the “Rocky Steps” 🙂

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Race Weekend: Part Two

If you missed Part One, you can check it out here: Race Weekend: Part One

Saturday, September 14, 2013

My best friend, Evette, and I headed to Philly in the morning.  We wanted time to settle into the hotel, eat lunch and get to the Expo to pick up our packets and have time for fun and shopping at the Expo!  We stayed right near the Convention Center where the Expo was being held.  While trying to get the the hotel (man, there are a lot of ONE WAY streets in Philly), we were stopped at a light and I snapped this picture of City Hall.  I used this building often as a reference point!  I was so unprepared because of all the nerves I had been feeling about my foot and running the race…before leaving the house I realized I couldn’t even remember where I had made dinner reservations for us.

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After a couple circles, we arrived at the hotel, checked in and went up to the room to eat the lunches we had brought.  Ahhhh, wonderful carb loading peanut butter & jelly and pretzels 🙂  Then, we were off to the Expo!  I had never been to an Expo because the first half marathon I did didn’t have one.  I was excited because I heard this was a good one!  It did not disappoint!  We had fun, got our free loot and bought some things.  This was Evette’s first half marathon so she got a decal for her car and she got really great earphones because hers always fall out.  She got them from Auria and the guy custom fit them for her and they seem like they’ll work really well.  I thought I would buy a lot but I only bought arm sleeves from Running Skirts.  All of their stuff was 50% off!

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Here are some pictures of the fun stuff we did at the Expo 🙂

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My bestie, Evette (on the right) and one of my SOL sisters racing up the mountain 🙂

Our "chocolate milk" mustaches!  They had a couple different products for recovering after the race, including my fave, Rockin' Refuel!

Our “chocolate milk” mustaches! They had a couple different products for recovering after the race, including my fave, Rockin’ Refuel!

It was time to get back to our room and rest up a bit before making the 11 block trek to dinner (it could have been more because, again, I hadn’t really planned out the route).  We ate at Bridgid’s, an adorable little bar/restaurant at the end of a street lined with cute, colorful row houses.  Evette had a pulled pork sandwich that looked delicious!  I didn’t think my nervous stomach could handle much so I had their salad special and added grilled chicken.  I did eat two pieces of their yummy bread to add in some carbs 😉

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Plus, I had half a soft pretzel and Teddy Grahams when we got back to the room.  All of the walking may have been a mistake because my feet were tired…oh well!

We all discussed what time we were getting up (we were staying with a girl Evette runs with, Sam, and her friend…they were very nice and great roommates), had some laughs, and then went to sleep…or tried.

I was only going to make this a two part series but I think I’m going to save race day for part three!  Stay tuned…