RNR Philly Half RR: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

A surprise as usual. Why no race EVER comes out the way I plan it????

I headed out to Philly Saturday noon.  I love Philly. I miss Philly!!!
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I was staying at my best friend Maricela and her DH’s house, in Old city, a gorgeous part of Philly. I was already attacking the Nutella jar in the bus, with a bag of pretzels I managed to finish in 20 minutes. Maricela was on call this weekend and she got called in, I kept her company, as I used to work at Jefferson when I lived in Philly some years back, but that meant we had dinner late (at an amazing new place called Barbuzzo) and didn’t go to bed until midnight. Ooops. Up at 6, my contacts were not having it. My eyes were itching really bad and that meant I didn’t sleep enough. I never sleep enough, but when the contacts itch, it is BAD!!

 

By 7 am I met up with Mr. Bacon by the start blog post photo

we went by the elite runner’s tent, and we saw Ryan Hall as he headed out to the start line. 
I had checked my camera by then but I’ll give you just his posters in Center City from the day before.
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Mr. Bacon was super nice and wished him luck, I was “yeah!”, hehehe! Ryan is SO thin!!! It made me feel fat for a split second (by the second half of that second I remember Shake Shack and all was fine again!).

This was my friends’ third race and first pikermi, I was so excited for them!blog post photo

The race was sold out but really well organized. I had never done a RNR race and I was very impressed.

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Corral time, we were off. My PR was 1:44:09 (7:57 average pace), from May’s Brooklyn Half. I was hoping I could get closer to 1:41, I was so confident I could do it, mostly in this flat course… I would be proven wrong. AS USUAL.

Mile 1 through 5 had us running through Center City and these miles flew by. Around the Mile 1 marker I spotted Royal Dryness ahead of me. I shouted, nothing. I catch up to him and wish him luck. I could tell his pace and mine were not matching, and let him go. The mile markers adn my Garmin were not matching, sometimes by a quarter of a mile, which made pacing complicated. But, I was going with heart rate and I thought I was doing fine. The sun had come up and it was right in our faces for a couple of miles, it was hard to see, and it was getting hot. I kept a conservative pace and decided to save it all for later. When we got to Kelly Drive, thing got easier: shade!!

Funny aside:
runner dude: momomomomomomommmm
me: [pausing my mp3 player]: sorry, whaaaaat?
runner dude: you need to control your breathing!!!
me: oh, no, that’s just the way I breathe, I just have this crappy heart and I am fine, but I just breathe a little loud, I can’t help it, but am ok, don’t worry, I am sorry it is so annoying, that is why I run with the loud music, it annoys me too, but…
runner dude: I see you are fine if you can talk that much while racing.
me: OK!!! sorry!!!!
I just wanted to apologize to EVERYONE, in GENERAL, and FOREVER! It IS really annoying, I get it… but what can I do??? Not race? Uh… NO!

I was feeling good, miles kept going very fast and I realized I loved this course. I really liked it. It got a little harder on the M Luther King road as it was VERY slanted, for a couple of miles. We were also in the sun, and it had gotten hot. The last .20 was a total struggle, I was dead and I felt like I was running in place. Finish time: 1:43:08 (average pace of 7:52). A 1 minute and 1 second PR! Not bad, but also not what I thought I could do… I really should have been able to go faster. This was just a 64.5% grading (compared to last week’s 69%!). I am blaiming it on not sleeping enough, as I really can’t find anything else! But I have raced before with little sleep and done ok, so…

 

I saw Mr. Bacon right by the finish line, he had finished just a bit before. Packed a ton of food and sat down… Most of the Loopsters were a bit disappointed and without a real reason for it. Royal Dryness and Seanh kicked serious @ss though! Loopsters trickled in and out, but here’s the pictures I managed to get!

From Left: Royal Dryness, who looks exactly like his avatar, all the time and everywhere apparently. You really can’t miss him! Mr. Bacon, Shawn Li, bigbrownpit behind me, edruns72 in turquoise, Goal Junkie and John J-rw.

 

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Seanh and Watch_LN_Run were there too but not in my pics!! Ah, here’s Philly Run-atic and me, later
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Congrats to all of you!! I loved the medal. I loved the race. And I kept telling myself I was an idiot for being disappointed with my finish time. I was literally slapping myself mentally every time I had one of those thoughts.

A little while later I caught up with Maricela and her DH and we decided to get a picture before we headed back. So proud of you guys!!!
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and then I realized the person I had asked to take the picture was in a little group with Laura Yasso! I introduced myself, as we have friends in common, and we chatted for a bit. She’s so delightful and energetic, I could have been there all day talking to her!!!!blog post photo

We started walking home and snapped a few more pics, as you can see my disappointment was vanishing by the second.

 

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I had had a great race, met a lot of great people and put down my best effort.

 

That is all that matters.

 

And that I am not injured, that’s the other thing that really matters. 

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Ever seen Logan Square like this?

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Later, we went to refuel to one of my favorite places in Philly: Monk’s. I had amazing fries, a burger, mussels, and dessert. And a beer. My first beer in 4 years, which was the last time I was there.

 

Yeah, I’d say this was a great great great weekend.

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