March 26, 2017
Chip Time – 02:01:42 (9:16/mile)
Watch Time – 1:55:23 (8:50/mile)… Unofficial PR!
So I guess the saying is true, “there’s no place like home!”
I moved from Philly to DC in October 2016. Since leaving, I had no desire to go back to visit largely because of the weather, but also because I felt like I wasn’t missing anything by being away from the city. Boy was I wrong! This city is has SOOOO many great things to offer and some great people as well, despite what everyone thinks!
My race weekend began on Friday. I went into work then straight to Union Station where I took the train from DC to Philly. I arrived pretty late but had already invited some folks out to meet me at a nearby restaurant/bar to hang out and catch the games. Not as many people came out as expected, but the night still ended up being a great one! After being out pretty late on Friday I still managed to wake up pretty early to cheer on the runners at the 6th Annual Stroehmann Bakeries Back on my Feet 5 Miler. Soon as I got to the race area, it felt like I knew everyone in some capacity! This race is not a big race but the support that it receives is always great. With that, I was able to speak to people that I haven’t seen in a few months, especially the fellas of Black Men Run Philadelphia.
From this race I went on over to pick up my things for the half marathon at the expo. I was extremely happy that the weather was cooperating on this day compared to the previous years expo when we had snow. Nope, this year the expo was inside, at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Not even five minutes into being at the expo I saw a teammate of mine from District Triathlon, Gaftie (@Will_Work_4_Vacation).
The expo was a breeze! There was plenty of space so you never felt like you were on top of everyone and the volunteers did a great job so I should’ve been in and out, if I didn’t stop and talk to just about everyone while there. LOL!
After finally getting over being this social butterfly I went across the street to get some food at the Reading Terminal. This is definitely a place everyone should go to when in Philly! I went with the Salmon Curry with Shrimp from Little Thai Market. I’m telling you, if you haven’t had it you’re missing out big time!
I didn’t have much time this weekend to hang out with everyone so I left this time after picking my things up from the expo to just chill and not stress about what to do next. I walked and walked throughout the city until it was time to head back and get ready for the shake out run/pasta dinner with Team RWB Philly. I had my usual pre-race meal, chicken parmigiana, but more important, this was a chance for folks to come out and meet one another so I was happy!
Then there was race day. I was on the fence the whole week about doing this race. I ran in some new shoes the weekend prior and I was worried that I would further injure myself if I ran. It wasn’t until the shakeout run on Saturday when I said I can push through. Shoot, I even questioned it on the morning of the race. Nonetheless, I am so glad that I did! Firstly, as I’ve mentioned before, seeing everyone this weekend was amazing, and that was the first thing I was able to do as I got to the race by meeting everyone on Team RWB Philly for a team photo:
From the pic, I went on to do my little BS stretching (insider), I really have to work on that whole stretching thing! I walked around a bit more before race start to say hello to everyone and thank just about every volunteer, then boom… the race began!
My plan for this race was to run with my friend David (@dsj80) who was the official 2:15 half marathon pacer for the race. The thought was to run slower and not get hurt by pushing myself too hard. As the race started I was not able to find him so off I went. The first few miles felt great, although my paces for the race were all over the place! I ran, stopped, talked, walked the opposite way of where the race was going, all to try and find this 2:15 pacer because I was well ahead of that pace. About mile four is when I just said screw it and started running! Somehow he was ahead of me! Mind you I was running at about an 8:20/mile pace at this point of the race. Once I saw him I figured I’ll stick with him even though my legs and foot were feeling great. I did this 10:20/mile pace for about two miles but my foot began to hurt much more than it did when I was running my normal pace. At that point I just told David bye and went on running. This was perfect because we were coming up on my favorite parts of this and every race…the part where I can see runners on the opposite side. I LOVE this part because being able to see people and cheer them on keeps me motivated, especially when I’m on the side that closer to the finish line, HAHA! So this year’s course has changed a bit so there weren’t many hills at all, which I loved. I continued to run my roller coaster like half marathon loving and enjoying every bit of it. In fact, I was having such a good time that I didn’t even think to drink anything until mile 11! I guess it was a bit too late because I hit a wall shortly after. I went from a 7:30 mile, to a 7:45, to 8:52 then a 9:50 to finish out the race.
Nonetheless, I got it done and had an unofficial PR, according to my watch, and if I planned correctly, I could’ve EASILY gotten a 1:50 time, if not a 1:45! But hey, I guess I’ll just focus on getting that done at next year’s Love Run Half Marathon, because I’ll be back!!!!