Guest Post: RnR Philly Half

We all went to bed early after our big day on Saturday, but as tired as I was I just could not sleep! I tossed and turned and woke up every hour to check the time. I had set my cell phone alarm, but was afraid it wouldn't go off! I woke up at 5 a.m., a full hour early than I needed to be up. I got dressed, tried to eat some BelVita cookies, and paced until 6:45 when I finally decided to start the 2 mile walk to the Start. Hubby came with me, but the kids stayed in bed. 
 My friend, Heather, was in the corral behind me, so we met up before the race for some hugs and encouragement. I LOVE seeing friends before races! 
Time to line up! I was in corall 21. Out of 23. Really. They moved us pretty fast though, we started about 30 minutes after the Kenyans, who finished less than 30 minutes after that! It was crazy! There was a great shirt that I saw, and couldn't resist taking a picture!
I passed her at mile 8. ::giggle:: Running a race in Philly has one advantage. The scenery! The buildings there are amazing! We ran past the Liberty Bell, the Capitol Building, the Museums. The streets were lined with people cheering and ringing cow bells. There were jazz bands, DJs, rock bands. You could almost always hear music. At mile 3, I saw my first wipe out when a man slipped on some paper cups and went down hard. I felt so bad for him. I went towards him to help but he was waving people away. I hope he finished! At mile 3.75 we came up to our hotel, and I was so excited to see my kids there holding a sign and ringing the cow bell and clapping. It was my favorite part! 
Soon after the course went past the starting line where I saw my favorite sign of the day: "Hey Stranger! I am proud of you too!" She was also at the finish line! LOVED her! At mile 5.5 my music quit. I was using my MOTOACTV, which I LOVE, but I think I started part way through the playlist and it ran out. I now know that it will not start over. I need to load in more songs! You could hear music most of the time, but I know it slowed me down. I have to say, though, that I no longer clomp my feet when I run. Pure silence from my feet. Not so much for others, lol, but I was so happy! At around mile 7, I saw another great sign held up by a little boy: "Run faster, or my Grammy and PopPop will catch up to you!" LOVED it! After that we entered Fairmount Park. Lots of trees and rocks, bridges (Mr Incredible was playing music under one. He had a nice costume with real muscles!), you could see the Zoo balloon! You could also see the other runners across the lake! Around mile 8 I noticed the team of 2 with matching tanks that said "I can't believe it doesn't move" or something along those lines. One had a camera on her hat and was filming the other. The other one was LOUD. She had one of those grating voices, and I really missed my music at this point! She ran in front of me, actually crossed in front of me, to go see Mr Incredible, screaming at the camera the whole way, and my ear actually rung! Crazy!! Mile 9 was the bridge. It was not a huge bridge, it was very beautiful actually, but something about it started to wear me out. The downhill afterwards was nice, and we were still in the trees and shade, which was *so* nice. At this point I was still ahead of my last Half's time, by about 4 minutes. This is the last time I will be ahead though! At mile 10 I started to really feel it. My legs were *so* tired. After the water table it was harder to start running again. I was definitely slowing down now. Around mile 12 I started to get very sad. I knew now that I was not going to PR and we were running alongside the highway which was making it hard for me to breathe. I had to use my inhaler, and I was starting to get weepy. At one point I just stopped running and walked a bit. I hated that I gave up for a few minutes, but I really just lost it. I refused to walk past all of the people though, and started running again. A LOT of runners were no longer running, I noticed, and when my gps watch said 13.1 I stopped it at 2:39:47, almost 5 minutes slower than my best time. The race wasn't over, though, because I still had 1/4 mile to go. The last little bit was uphill, but I was determined to run the last bit. I didn't want my kids to see my walk in! My official time was 2:45, and the mileage would have been 13.35. 
 See me in the back, lol? Poor hubby kept getting photo bombed! He and the kids were there at the finish line, ringing that cow bell and banging those clapping hands. At this point, I was crying pretty hard, from being tired, sad, happy, relieved. That finish line is pretty emotional. I am tearing up now just thinking about it! I got my medal, and waited to compose myself before getting my finish line photo. After the photo you walk through all of the food and drink vendors: Hershey chocolate milk, water, Gatorade, bagels, fruit cups, Snickers Marathon bars, chips. SO much food! I grabbed a little of everything, lol, because you never know what you will want after a race! I met up with family, and after a quick photo we headed back to the hotel...another 2 mile walk! 
What a crazy day! I am very proud of my time, proud of finishing with a cold, and finishing well. I had wanted to PR, but I am no longer sad that I didn't! There is always next time!