Ok world, I have decided to start blogging about my races, travel ect. My first attempt at this will be a recap of the Philadelphia rocknroll half marathon.
I work full time as an emergency room nurse in Eureka, California and was frantically trying to wrap up a busy day to catch my flight that was supposed to leave in a few hours. Eureka’s airport is tiny. The same people that check you in also land and board the plane so flights are limited and notoriously famous for being delayed because of the redwood curtain of permanent fog. I arrived at the airport right on time to find out my flight was delayed and I would miss my connecting flight. Oh joy. I spent half the night on the SFO seats trying not to think about all the previous people and their germs they left behind. I was set to leave the next morning at 8:00 am but alas, more delays! The united staff were not even sure if I would make to Philadelphia that day so I opted for a flight to Newark airport instead and then rented a car and drove to Philadelphia. I finally ended up in the great ol city of Philadelphia where I promptly fell asleep too exhausted to do anything else.
Airport sleeping, you work with what ya got.
The next day I went to the expo where I met some awesome oiselle members and picked up my swag. I was still exhausted from the previous two days and was asleep by 8:30 that night ready for a 4:00am wakeup. My stomach is very sensitive and I get especially paranoid about bathroom mishaps on race days so I make sure to eat four hours before go time. I read the phrase PGP (pregame poop) on a tweet by Kristen Metcalf, oiselle’s awesome team manager, and will use the brilliant phrase here. It was almost go time and I had not taken care of the PGP! My body was not cooperating and I have had to run into bushes during races plenty enough to be paranoid about this detail. More on this later.
Time to finally head out to starting line which no one would ever have trouble finding. Just follow the MASS of people resembling runners all walking in the same direction. I showed up at the elite tent and was immediately denied entrance. I spent 10 minutes trying to convince them to let me in but I apparently didn’t have this magic red bracelet that granted entry. No one mentioned a red bracelet the day before! Finally an official looking guy came over and granted me entry. I dropped off my bag and went for a warm up run with Ashley, another Oiselle teammate. Into the elite tent again to drop off warm ups where again they wouldn’t let me in. This was starting to get old. Finally they remember me and it’s off to the start.
I was under coaching instructions to relax the first five miles, don’t blaze forth like I usually do. There were some fasties in this race and it was hard in the beginning to relax and let people pass me as I settled into pace. Around mile 4 I found myself running next to two big guys and overheard them say they were pacing themselves out to run in the 1:16ish range. This would be a big PR for me but I felt great so I tucked in behind them and ended up running the rest of the race like this. I love finding pacers especially during long races like this. The entire race went smooth. I kept waiting for the inevitable stomach cramp I am so used to during races reminding me, you didn’t do your PGP but it never came! The last 3 miles were tough as usual in half and I slowed to 6:00 minute pace the last 2 miles which took me out of the 1:16 range but I still ran a 1:00 PR and was happy with the performance. The one thing I need to work on in future halfs in refueling. I was supposed to try and drink the Gatorade offered at the aid stations around mile 5 and 10 but at each station I accidentally grabbed the water cup instead and got about 0.5% in my mouth with the rest all over me or up my nose.
My splits for the half:
After the race, the two guarders of the elite entrance gate would of course would not let me in to pick up my clothes for the third time! Other than that mishap I loved racing here. The course was flat, fast and beautiful. I was happy with the day and ready to enjoy being a tourist.
Next up vacationing for a month in Europe and running with some awesome ultra runners in Spain. Blogs to follow!