4.17 miles around the neighborhood on a chilly morning!
Tuesday, November 29th
Wednesday, November 30th
3.17 miles on the treadmill along with some strength training. I didn’t feel like running in the rain. Thursday, December 1st
5.02 miles with the Conshy Running crew! Couldn’t believe I had an average pace of 9:02 and felt amazing! Need to keep running in groups!
Friday, December 2nd
3.23 miles around the neighborhood
Saturday, December 3rd
We took Lola to see Santa Claus after he dog park and got our Christmas tree. Since we are in the process of potentially moving we didn’t want to get a large one this year so the table top one will do for now.
Sunday, December 4th
Another rest day. I just needed a mini break this weekend. Sometimes you just need those!
I was really exited for this race weekend to come because race weekend 2012 was when I fell in love with running. I ran my first Philadelphia Half Marathon and I was hooked. I loved the thrill of the challenge and I couldn’t believe I did it that I wanted to do it again as soon as possible. That day changed my life.
It was a little bit stressful going to pick up my bib downtown because I was coming straight from a work meeting in Maryland and had to grab my bib quickly then head home on Friday afternoon. I was disappointed because I didn’t have any time to stay at the expo and look at the vendors which is something I usually enjoy doing when picking up bibs.
I always love walking through the signs into the expo. It gets you a little bit more pumped for the race.
I got my bib and I am ready to go. This will be my 4th Philadelphia Half Marathon but my 5th time running a race that weekend. The difference this year is that the half and full marathons have both been running on Sunday, at least since I have been running them. But this year they changed the course of the half marathon and made the half on Saturday and kept the full on Sunday with a slight course modification. Where as the half had pretty much a HUGE change to it. It usually runs mostly through the city and this year it was running mostly in Fairmont Park (which made it a lot more hilly rather than flat).
I had a hard time deciding what I was going to wear for the race, mainly for my top. I was planning on wearing a red Lululemon long sleeve but I asked Cecily Tynan from Action News on Facebook Live what she would recommend and she said a tank top and shorts because it was going to be a high of 70 degrees on race day which is abnormal for mid-November. So since I usually run races in leggings because of chaffing and what not I decided to switch from a long-sleeve shirt to a t-shirt.
The hubby dropped me off at the start early in the morning, he decided to not run the race after the marathon because he had hurt his knee and didn’t want to risk injuring it more. So I ended up arriving at the start around 6:00am and went through security which was near the Art Museum.
I was in the Green Corral because in May when I signed up for the race I was hoping to go for a PR during the but I was expecting the old flat course and wasn’t injured at the time of signing up the race. So I had big plans for this day but I decided I would still start at the perspective corral and see what happens.
I love all the city views that you get wherever you are throughout the course of the race. You can always get great pictures of the skyline around the Art Museum. This was the city looks like at 6:00am.
I have figured out throughout my time racing that my body feels full and reacts well to bagels as my pre-race meal. So I ate an everything bagel about an hour before the start of the race to fill my stomach.
The Philadelphia Skyline in the dark. Not a bad view to look at right?
This is where the new finish line was located. Usually the start and the finish are in the same place but because of the newly designed course they were separate from each other. It was nice because you were able to clearly see it once you got around the Art Museum on Kelly Drive and sprint to the finish.
I was honestly a little nervous at the start. I hadn’t run anything longer than 5 miles since the Marine Corps Marathon 3 weeks prior but I knew that I could handle it. I was just getting myself stressed out for no reason. But I was excited to finally get the race started.
The weather was beautiful for the race. We started out running a little bit through downtown Philadelphia through Chinatown and around Independence Hall/Love Park, then headed back down toward the Art Museum down Martin Luther King Boulevard and then started the trek through Fairmont Park. The huge hill that is usually around mile 8 was at mile 5.5 this time around, I knew how to handle this hill so I kept pumping my arms to make myself stronger getting up it. I hate it when my running flow is halted due to LARGE hills.
Then we ran around the Please Touch Museum and back through the Strawberry Mansion area and there were a couple of HUGE hills there. Those hills I have never ran before at around mile 7-8 and I honestly don’t know how I was able to get up them. The plus side was that after you got up the hill you looped back around and that was all downhill (it was a turn around basically).
Then you headed back through the rest of the park and turned onto Kelly Drive which was the last mile. I had run that portion of the course so many times in various training cycles I knew exactly how to pace myself to finish. Once I reached the beginning of Boathouse Row I knew I could start to push it a lot more. The hubby was at the middle portion of Boathouse Row giving high fives and encouragement to runners so he decided to run to the finish with me. He kept on encouraging me to push harder and that I was doing so well. Once I got around the Art Museum and saw the finish I sprinted as fast as the could and crossed the finish line with a very exhausted smile.
After the race, the hubby did what he promised and took me to Pizza Hut to get a Large Pan Pizza (my favorite) and tradition post race meal.
I couldn’t wait to get home and dive into it! I honesty didn’t want to share with the hubby because I was so hungry but because he got me breadsticks as well I was nice about it.
Like my husband said to me, he couldn’t believe how well I did especially after running the Marine Corps Marathon 3 weeks earlier. It showed me that I have been making progress in the half distance and that when the conditions are right I really can surprise myself.
After a week off recovery from the Marine Corps Marathon I was excited to get back out logging some miles. Next race is the Philadelphia Half Marathon in less than a week! So this week was spent enjoying the miles again and lightly getting myself back into running.
Monday, November 7, 2016
3 miles around town – first run post Marine Corps Marathon
Tuesday, November 8th
4.33 miles before 6:00am and it felt great!
Wednesday, November 9th
3 miles in the rain!
Thursday, November 10th
3 miles in my Marine Corps Marathon shirt to celebrate the birthday of the Marines!
Friday, November 11th
Saturday, November 12th
5 miles around town! I had some amazing splits at least for me right now!
Sunday, November 13th
How were your workouts this week? Any end of the season races coming up?
2016 was a great year! Brian and I celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary, extended our family with our Portuguese Water Dog puppy, Lola, I recovered from meniscus surgery, I officially went full-time with FCA, I coached my 6th field hockey season, and we ran our second marathon!
Yes, this year was a whirlwind! But I am so excited to see what 2017 brings along with it.
Honestly, I am a little disappointed in terms of my running I feel that I was at a good point going into the spring race season and then on that fateful day my knee began to give out on a long run and I was done until July. I didn’t log as many miles as I hoped for the year and I didn’t get that sub-2:00 half marathon I was hoping so badly for, but I am glad I came out on the other side a fighter.
I am still trying to figure out some of my goals for 2017. I am certain that I will not be running a marathon in 2017. My husband may try to do another one but I don’t think my knee could handle another marathon cycle. So I am setting my sights on more creative goals such as trying to run a half marathon in all 50 states (as a very long term goal).
We went to the expo on Saturday and it ended up being an ezcersion that took all morning. But we were able to enjoy the expo and talk to other runners which got us pumped for the race!
Got my bib – check
Sweet gear – check!
The sweet shirt I bought at the expo. It honestly took me a while to finalize my race day outfit. The high for the day was 60 degrees and I always wear leggings on race day (especially a marathon because of chaffing).
I finally decided on this combo.
We woke up at 4:00am on Sunday morning to get out of our hotel at 4:30am so we could get to our parking garage before all the roads were closed. We were able to take a nice nap in the car before walking to the start.
I was so pumped for this race but definitely nervous at the same time. This was my second full marathon so I feel I had every reason to worry.
The views along the race course were amazing. You were able to tour most of Washington D.C. while running the race.
Here are a couple of the sights during the race.
Now it’s time for my race day experience. I was honestly nervous before this race but I am not surprised it was only my second full marathon. I started off pretty strong, the first 3 miles were almost ALL hills! I saw my dad playing his accordion and his girlfriend at the end of mile 3 that kept my spirits up at the beginning of the race. Once I got a quarter through the race I started to pass some of the sites in the area.
The Blue Mile which was around mile 6-8 was amazing. They had pictures of Marine veterans that were killed in action, it wanted to make you cry and definitely moved you emotionally. Then there were families holding American flags for you to run through for about a quarter mile or so which was amazing.
At around mile 14 or 15 I started to melt emotionally. I wanted to quit and just end it there but then I heard my friend Hannah who works for with me yell my name over and over again which was exactly the boost I needed to keep going at that moment.
I reach mile 18-19 which was crossing the bridge and let me just say the bridge felt like it went on forever! It was never ending, or it felt like it was.
Once I hit mile 20 going around the Pentagon then heading into Crystal City, I was excited to see my dad and his girlfriend at mile 21 then when I looped back around seeing them again. But I was bored of running and wanted the race to end. I had realized at the point that if I kept pushing hard I would make it under 5 hours, but I was to the point where I didn’t care anymore. I just wanted to finish the race and that was enough for me.
I have concluded especially after seeing the outcomes of other runners that it was a hard day for most people because of the high being in the 70s. I just thought to myself, yes, I wanted to finish the race in under 5 hours but finishing the race was enough for me. I didn’t need anything else to keep me down about it.
I was rounding the corner and saw the finish line, up the hill, yes, I just said up the hill. There was a hill about 150 meters long before the finish line which was about 200 meters away once you got up the hill. I wanted to run up the hill but I just couldn’t bear it. My legs were dead and I felt that I was moving up it faster speed walking with long strides than running up it.
Once I crossed the finish line there was lines and lines of marines there giving high fives and congratulations. It was an awesome way to end the race as well as seeing the Marine Corps statue right in front of you as you would cross through the shoot to receive your medal.
It was amazing to receive my finisher medal from a Marine. He said to me as he put the medal around me neck, “You did all of that for this!” He was right I did mentally push myself to my limit and was full of tons of emotions and only received a medal to show for it.
At the end of the day I don’t care. This medal came with so many emotions and barriers that I was able to conquer throughout the race.
I am so glad I was able to do this journey with my husband, even though we race separately we still have a connection that we finished two marathons in our first year and half of marriage. I am so blessed by his love, support, and encouragement!
This medal was pretty sweet too! My two marathon medals are definitely my favorites on my rack. This medal represents a lot of emotion, strength, and prayer that only God could help me get through while running 26.2 miles.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)