Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rock n Roll Philly

I literally found myself smiling randomly in the middle of this race.  I had been planning to run this race for a long time – Rock n Roll races are fun, it was flat, and I have wanted to go to Philly.  But with a few weeks to go, Adam made the leap and registered as well.  When I started the Challenge, he was barely running at all.  In June, he ran the Dash4Dad four miler which was a really long race for him.  And now, just a few months later, he was tackling a half marathon!
 Carb loading the night before
The weekend started out great.  We headed to Philly Saturday morning (though slightly later than planned – my fault) and checked into our hotel (thank you Marriott points and Adam’s regular work trips for that one!)  The view from our room was gorgeous. His parents and sister were already there, so we headed out and had lunch in this crazy market full of restaurants.  Afterward, we went to meet up with one of his friends from college who is now at UPenn.  Adam’s dad went there for graduate school, so we got to see his old townhouse and hear stories from his parents when they were there.
We tried to go to dinner at a local Italian place but the wait was almost an hour and a half, so we had to pass on that.  Eat pasta, get all the race gear ready, early bedtime, go!
Race morning was here!  Relatively speaking, it was a late day (wakeup at 5:30 AM) because 1) it was only a mile walk from our hotel to the start, which prevented the need to account for traffic and 2) the race wasn’t until 8.  Woohoo!
Adam and I headed to the start with plans to see his parents and Rachel around mile 2 and 3 since the hotel was on the course.  It was actually pretty chilly (around 54 at the start i think) but made for great racing weather once you got moving.  The morning was very smooth and well run and we were off!
I had agreed to pace Adam for the race.  This is scary to me because we all know I’ve messed up my own pace pretty bad a few times, and it was even worse because my Garmin did not work at ALL the first two miles (unless we really did run 4:30 min/mile!)  I heard others had the same problem which might be from the tall buildings in the city.  Luckily, we were able to hit within about 10 seconds of our target (8:45 min/mile) anyway for all miles.
 It's hard to see, but that guy is juggling!  I saw him in Virginia Beach too, quite impressive!
Adam’s race plan was simple: start at 8:45 pace, take walk breaks at the water stops around miles 4 and 8, and slow down as needed.  The goal was to break 2 hours.
Well, we got going, and he never slowed down!  His leg was hurting but he did SO well!  There is nothing more exciting to me than sharing someone’s first half marathon.  If you’re thinking of running one but don’t want to do it alone, let me know!!!  Crossing that finish is truly incredible.  You suddenly realize you did something very difficult and you rocked! 
We did it!
The first few miles were in the city and had lots of spectators, which I love.  Then it moved into a park setting which was very beautiful and scenic but lacked fans.  Overall, a pleasant course, though the water stops were a little chaotic.  
Before I knew it, we were done!  Though I never pushed him to run (OK, maybe to run one race, but a short one) I saw his mileage increasing and I knew he was capable of running a half.  This race was especially significant because Adam's whole family came to Philly to cheer us on.  They were awesome spectators, and I know it meant a lot to both Adam and me to have them there to share the weekend and his first race.  We are so lucky to have such great friends and family!
 Thanks for cheering us on, Udasins!
I’m thrilled to say that race #10 is successfully in the books.  One step closer to the finish line!

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