September 22, 2010

ING Rock N Roll Philly Half Marathon (now w/ pics)

"It's just... you never quit anything since I known you"- Adrian to Rocky Balboa

My Sub 3 friend, Jeff, said something to me on FB that sent running a lot of bad feelings about my race. He said that even though the actual race was less than ideal, my experiences and new friendships were priceless. Nothing could be more true. While I can't recall much about the 1:27:47 of the race, I do remember the many hours spent with a few precious ladies.

I really need to do a post about this, but Friday morning before I left, I got attacked by 3 wild dogs and ended up pepper spraying them and myself. Yeah, fun. So... I almost missed my plane due to clean-up related issues revolving that incident. I met up w/ Reyana Friday afternoon and the fun began.

Saturday morning we met Flo for a run. The 3 of us jogged along the trail by the river. I loved seeing this part of the country, especially the rowing houses and the teams out practicing. (They don't have that here.) After our run, we hit up the Famous Rocky Balboa steps and got a video of my best impression. (Check out my FB page for that.) So... lots of expo fun, meeting up w/ Kat and then onto dinner that night.

Sooooo many fun and fabulous girls- Kat, Flo, Reyana, Sharon, Audra, and Loren. I love hanging out w/ women from the North. They are so refreshing and honest! LOVE IT! On to the race...

Sunday morning Reyana and I went to the Seven 11 (hahaa, those aren't here, either) for some coffee and I had a fig newton bar. I ran a 3 mile warm up on the same trail as Saturday. It was crowded already. In fact, I planned to meet Reyana at the trail after our warm up, but couldn't find her.

I then headed to Corral 1, but had to use the restroom AGAIN! I saw the girls, who were hanging by Corral 2. I explained my bathroom dilemma and they convinced me to CUT IN LINE! So... I asked a nice-looking lady if I could squeeze in front of her, being that i was Corral 1 and she was in Corral one billion. She said yes, but seemed a little annoyed. SORRY!

And, we were off. My Garmin pace out of the box was at about 6:30. This seemed a little fast, but felt good, so I just went with it. Little did I know the Garmin was ALL WRONG. At about Mile 5, I began noticing my lap beeps were WAY OFF the mile markers. Like, 0.25 mile off. This Brooks girl next to me asked my goal and I said about 1:25ish and she was like, "You know the Garmins are all off. You are really looking at right under 1:30 pace." HUH??????? At this point, being that i am completely aloof and ignorant at the same time, I was having sooo much trouble calculating my actual pace w/ the mile markers. At about Mile 7, I determined that even though my Garmin said average pace was 6:33, I was actually at about 6:45. So, I was still feeling pretty good and attempting to make up some lost time. I was able to bring it down to 6:30ish for the final miles. The two "hills" were in the last mile, so that was sort of a bummer. In general, I loved the course. A few more turns than I would've liked in the early miles, but once out of the downtown area, it was flat and beautiful.

_RANDOM_ I saw a hot air balloon, which I've always wanted to ride in. I mentioned it to the group of guys I was running with. One guy told me that the balloon really doesn't go anywhere. HUH?????? It just goes up and down. Um, yeah, that makes no sense.

I was mad at myself for trusting the doggone watch, but I was also disappointed that I am not in as good of shape as I thought. I was able to pick it up enough to finish in 1:27:47, a 4 second PR. Bwwwwahhh.

Thoughts taken away from race:
1. Sub 3 is still a Pipe, but maybe not for next year, or possibly Boston.
2. I did not taper MUCH, had 64 miles for the week, including 9 the day before.
3. My psyche is fragile these days. It's hard for me to admit that some days I have trouble holding it together. Some days are awesome. I have great friends, a good job, and new training partner. But... there are still lingering feelings of anger, disappointment, and resentment. It also seems that there is some sort of constant drama going on revolving the small town- Ex situation. It never ceases to amaze me how some people find other people's heart ache to be entertaining to discuss.
4. Cytomax hates me. I had stomach distress following the race.
5. I totally, totally appreciate Flo for letting me use her Garmin during the race. BUT... I need to figure out how to depend on myself better. The Garmin stats at the end of the race said 13.56 miles @ 6:30 pace, so obviously not right. (13.1 miles @ 6:42 pace was actual.)
6. I need to work on focusing mentally. I really just daydream and let my thoughts go to pot during a race. It is rare that I am focused on pace/running the whole time.

And... that's that. Run strong, friends


  1. Anonymous9/22/2010

    The hot air balloon is part of the zoo, and it really does just go up and down. Rides are ten minutes, I think, and they allow you to see the zoo, Fairmount Park, and the city.
    You've really been dealing with a lot lately, and I think it's impressive how much you're able to hold yourself together and perform at such a consistently high level. Congratulations on the PR!

  2. Anonymous9/22/2010

    bummer that the garmin was all wrong and that you didn't hit a 1:25 but holy moly you are still fast to me. you've been thrown so much lately and have handled it all with amazingness. and to then drop a fast race?! i definitely continue to look up to you. i hope it's not too corny to say that i've been dealing with a lot in my life lately and i really do try and see how you're handling everything. not trying to put pressure on you or anything (because nobody is perfect!) but you should recognize that you're still very motivational. WHEW long comment. and totally hallmark :D

    and i can't wait for pictures! i've seen a few through facebook but i want to see them all :)

  3. Nice job (even though you are disappointed). I was watching you guys on FB and was jealous the entire weekend. If I wasn't running Twin Cities next weekend I probably would have been there. And, yes, the Garmin sucks on that course - I ran it in 2008 and totally screwed myself looking at that watch :(

  4. Wow - you are one speedy lady! Good job on the PR. And for the record, I have done a hot air balloon ride - they are slightly boring so make sure if you do it, you are at least over some beautiful area to look at. Have a wonderful day!

  5. Glad you had a fun weekend even if the race didn't go as planned. If everyone's Garmin is off doesn't it mean the course is long? I know they are certified, but I can't believe there's no error in their method...

  6. Your response to the finish sounds too familiar:)! Good job nonetheless for PR'ing and making the best of circumstances.. While racing gives us moments of sheer pride and joy, what the heck do we do with the rest!?

    Someone told me once that it is everything/everyone around the race that we actually remember and take with us, and I believe it!

    Keep on growin'

  7. Terrific race with everything else in your life swarming around you. Also, I have found that most Garmins are unreliable in big city (aka big building/interference) races. You are better off manually lapping your times. Keep running

  8. I hope my comment was taken as a positive and not a negative. For my first Boston, in which I ran a 3:20+, I was just thrilled to be able to run a marathon after some of the crap I went through in 2007. I was disappointed in the time, but happy to be back out there in marathons.

    We're not professionals, we're regular everyday people, but most of us are special people to do this marathon training thing. And it's kind of cool to hang out and meet all of the people with same interests and likes.

  9. Great job on the PR, regardless of it being only 4 seconds, it's still a PR! awesome! And please tell us about the attack. That sounds really scary and I hope you're alright from it.
    I think it's normal to let yourself daydream during a race. I sometimes get bored while running and I NEED to think of something completely different.

  10. I don't think a sub-3 is a pipe dream at all. You were less than 10 seconds/mile away in Seattle. You'll need A+ stuff but I think your fitness is strong enough to do it.
    P.S. I hate Cytomax too. Drank it in Nashville and felt my legs lock up soon after.

  11. Well heck and I thought you were kicking some serious booty with a PR, lol. I'm so sorry about the tummy woes, it is really my biggest nightmare because I have come so close to the same issues (although for you much more serious with your speedyness and all).

    Regardless of the success of the race, I think your heart got a little needed TLC with the awesome weekend of girl power. I loved seeing the picks and I think we def need to plan a girl race weekend every year (maybe this time I can make it....but I did have a great 20 miler thinking of your ladies).

    I'll say this hoping like heck no one is offended, but sweetie you need to get your heart, mind, body and soul out of that toxic environment STAT! Your not getting the southern hospitality I grew up knowing and loving, so truck up north where we know how to have a good time and get this crap out of your head (I know so much easier sad then done). I hate hearing you going through these down spells, when you have so many peeps ready to kick up their heals to provide you with a loving environment.

    OK enough of my mothering....big hugs and regardless congrats on an awesome weekend.

  12. Hey, my sweet Rebecca. I cannot even begin to tell you what a fantastic weekend it was finally getting to know you. You are just as cute, funny, kooky, smart and fast as you appear online. :-)

    I won't even tell you to "buck up" about the race, though it's a massive achievement in all your reader's eyes, these things are always going to be measured against our own set of standards. However, I will say that you are faster than a speeding bullet and you have the power and strength to go sub3 at Wineglass. It's not going to be warm like that and you're going to be tapered. So think positive race thoughts as you enter your final week of taper. You can do this.

    Oh, and thanks for breaking my car. ;-)

  13. Anonymous9/24/2010

    congrats on the PR, even if it's only a baby one. and maybe you would have been able to go faster had you known you were running 6:45s at the beginning, since it sounds like you did pick it up at the end. every time I look at your race progression I am in awe, so just run hard at wineglass and take what comes to you!

    you (and flo) look gorgeous in your pictures!

  14. Hi! I stumbled upon your blog via another running blog... which I found via yet another blog (ha ha!) Yours is really entertaining and well-written and I plan on coming back to read more. I wholeheartedly agree with what you say about the experiences and new friendships you've made through running. It's like that here in Chicago and and made my relocation from the West Coast much easier. I have met people I never would have if we didn't have running in common. In fact, I love it so much, I'm producing a film about female marathoners who are trying to qualify for the Olympic Trials. Next up: the Chicago Marathon! Will you be doing it?

    Best wishes,


  15. Anonymous9/28/2010

    Congrats on a PR! I don't know anyone who could go through all the things you have and still continue to improve. I think you will have a fabulous 2011, especially if you can get away from some drama and start a new chapter. So you will be at Boston?? I hope so because then I definitely have a chance to see you there! :)

  16. Thanks for the good luck comment. I think your next race is Sunday, too, right? Good luck to you as well. Here's hoping we both meet our goals.

  17. nominated you for a blog award