Monday was a rest day and since I was traveling for work I figured I’d get my thoughts together from the RockNRoll Half Marathon while in the air. I’m not sure I know where to start with this recap because there is so much to talk about. This race was not really about me, but more about my sister since this was her first half marathon. It was all about the experience and just having fun. This was a normal training run for me (14-ish miles with my warm up), but I still needed to be on target with my pace and use this has more prep for the Chicago Marathon. I’m going to apologize now for the picture overload, but there is so much good stuff that I have to just share it all.
Hint: if you don’t feel like reading just scroll through the pictures for a quick recap 🙂
You ready? Here we go….
Marie and I drove to the hotel so we could do the whole expo thing and get our packets. I love going to expo to walk around and scope out all of the new running stuff plus there is always a ton of free stuff. By free stuff I mean mostly food samples which is always a plus.
When walking to the expo we ran into some other November Project people. We were immediately greeted with smiles and hugs which was awesome. John, aka Red, is the leader of November Project Virginia Beach. Katie, aka Juice, is a member of the Philadelphia tribe and owns her own juice company, TheJuicePhilly. They were going to the expo too so we walked over with them, exchanged numbers and planned to meet Sunday morning for the bounce.
November Project is just amazing and if you have one in your city, you have to promise me you’ll go at least once. Deal? You will have the best experience (come on who doesn’t love free hugs). I promise you that you will walk away wondering why it took you a year to go.
We picked up our bibs, shirts and then snapped a couple of pictures before walking into the actual expo with all the good stuff. Gundalow also game along for the ride.
It was great to see ProCompression there. They have the best compression socks and if you stalk me on Instagram you’ll see just how much I love these socks. Anyone else?
The highlight of the expo was stopping by the Nuttzo booth. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this nut butter (I’m kind of a nut butter addict). If you see some, it’s totally worth the splurge. After getting some free samples and chatting with the girl, she hooked me up with a jar of the PowerFuel plus some other goodies.
We also hit up the Larabar stand and Krave for some free jerky.
Honest Tea has a new drink on the market so we tried a little of that too.
We walked back to the hotel to drop off our bags and then relax a bit before we needed to head to dinner at Devil’s Alley. I ate here in April when I ran my half PR at the Philly Love Run so figured I should stick with the same meal plan for this race.
I also rocked this Run Fast Eat Slow tank which I absolutely love.
Dinner was a turkey burger (no bun) with avocado and the grilled sweet potatoes. #YUM
Then it was back to the hotel. I laid out my race down outfit and got my breakfast ready.
ASA headsweat visor, Newton Distance shoes, low ProCompression socks (not pictured) November Project tank and Lululemon Speed Track Short.
We also scored some VIP wrist bands to enjoy a nice pre-post party!!
In bed by 8pm to catch the Property Brothers marathon and then lights out by 9am.
My normal hotel breakfast is LoveGrown Super Oats (dash of cinnamon) and I make it with the hot water from the coffee pot. I also added in one of the Nuttzo Powerfuel packs. I forgot a spoon so I used the bottom of the jar scraper I got in my Nuttzo bag from the expo. I ate a banana and drank 16oz of watermelon Nuun.
I made sure to get in some stretches, put on glide, lathered up the hamstring with my doTerra Deep Blue Cream and then made sure the HR monitor was synced. I took a water bottle of CarboPro with me for the walk.
Off we go…
Elevator selfie….because why not?
We walked to the start and met up with the November Project group. The bounce started at 7am which gave me time to get in my 10 minute warm up. My warm is an easy run increasing pace every 4 minutes until I hit race pace. This race I was targeting 157-162 on my HR monitor.
We did the bounce….hit up the bathrooms and then it was off to the corral. I was corral 6 based on my estimated completion time of 1:45.
One thing Philadelphia does a great job at is the wave starts and setting up the corrals. I mean they literally put on the best races here. I still get goose bumps while waiting in the corrals. It’s just such a great experience and a feeling like no other. If you are a runner you understand.
Just like that we were off….
I won’t take you through every mile, but this race felt a lot different than most. For some reason I got into a rhythm right from the start while normally it takes me a few miles to get myself together and comfortable. I had my watch on the HR screen the entire time and never focused on the pace. I just ran…and it felt great. I’ve struggled a bit with the HR monitor since it tends to rub for long runs, but this was the first race that I wore it and focused on the zones.
I don’t know what it was, but I felt it all come together and now understand why people use the HR monitor for training. It kept me right where I needed to be. It pushed me when I started slowing down and forced me to slow down when I was pushing too hard. The 157-162 kept me right around that 8ish pace the entire race. I felt good, I felt confident and most importantly I trusted the paces. Learning to believe in myself that I can run at these paces is the one thing I’m focusing on this year. As I look to Chicago in a few weeks, I know what I need to execute and I’m feeling more and more confident that I CAN do this after how this race went.
I saw John (aka Red) walking at mile 8ish so I cheered him on and made sure he was okay. Before I knew it he was running with me. He was struggling, but stuck with me and my paces. We chatted and it was good to have company the rest of the way. Katie (aka Juice) joined us around mile 10-11ish and ran with us to the finish.
I’m getting pretty good at these running selfies.
I crossed the finish line at 1:45:54 which was still pretty solid. This was half marathon #12 and #4 for the 2016 racing season.
I met up with Marie’s friend Kelli from NJ. She waited for me to grab my banana and water and then we snapped a few photos.
One with Rocky of course.
I also won a $5 gift card from WholeFoods.
We then went to the finish and found a good spot where we would be able to see Marie. I’m pretty sure this was one of the best pictures coming into the finish.
We stopped by the VIP tent for some mimosas.
After a quick shower and change we headed to brunch at the Continental Mid-Town.
Fine looking brunch crew.
After brunch we stopped at Snap Kitchen. I devoured this dairy free and gluten free chocolate brownie. Now I’m wishing I would have bought two!
We got the car, picked up our Starbucks and then hit the road back to Baltimore.
Overall…it was just a perfect day and definitely one of my favorite races this year.
And well…that was RnR Philly!!