Saturday, the day before the race, I ran a bunch of errands and just took it easy. I picked up my bib from the expo, grocery shopped, and even painted my nails in a speedy pattern.
|Lightening bolts to make me go, go go!|
Sunday, I woke up, threw on my clothes, made breakfast, which was two slices of homemade french bread slathered with almond butter and banana, then headed out the door. I stopped by 7-11 to grab a water bottle then headed to the Art Museum where the races started. I met up with some Back on My Feet buddies who were running and before I knew it, it was time to get into the corral.
I found my corral and waited for it to start. Right before my corral started the race, Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" came on. Yes, it's super cheesy, but I adore it, so I got excited. There was a sign, though, that this race would be a good one (at least in my superstitious runner's brain). The Philadelphia Phillies, a team who I have become a big fan of, have started every home game this seasons with Kanye West's "All of the Lights." I already loved the song, but after going to a few home games this season, it always makes me think of the Phils. My iPod shuffle has literally 15+ hours of music and of all of the songs it chose to play first during my race, it chose "All of the Lights" by Kanye West. To most people, that's a funny coincidence, but for me, starting that race, it pumped me up like none other and was a sign of things to come.
The race has the first 5 miles through Center City Philadelphia, then the next ~8.1 miles around Kelly Drive and West River Drive. I ran this course last year and run most of the course in my normal running, so the race went by really quickly because I was familiar with the course. My original plan was to do the first 5 miles at 8:15 min/miles and pick it up to 8 minute miles for the last 8 miles or so, with the goal to go sub-1:50. I found myself going closer to 8 minute miles at the start, but it didn't seem that difficult. I worried about pushing myself early, but I thought that if I want to beat my time last year and PR, I need to push myself.
Before I knew it, the first 5 miles were done and we were of to start the Kelly Drive/West River Drive loop. I started to realize that maybe if I coud keep it up and actually finish faster than I started, I could possibly get close to 1:45. That time was one I kept in the back of my head and dared not say or hope for since it seemed so impossible to do. The fact that I could do it made me excited, determined, and nervous.
|Never said I'd look good running. I look awful, but when you push yourself, you look like this!|
In the last mile, I was really tired, but determined that I would hit my new goal time no matter what. I found a girl who I had been running near me for a few miles and was annoying me (she looked like a seriously talented and strong runner and that annoyed me haha), so I made sure to catch her, pass her, and keep her behind me for good. As we turned the bend to the finish, I couldn't sprint like I wanted to (never a good race finisher), but I did what I wanted: I PRed and didn't throw up on anyone (felt like I was going to, though!)!!!!
|Do I look like death?! I felt like it.|
|Sweaty and wanting to sleep, but soooo happy!|