Streets of Philadelphia

“So receive me brother with your faithless kiss or will we leave each other alone like this, on the streets of Philadelphia.“-Bruce Springsteen

IMG_5438Oh hello! Let me start off by saying: go listen to this cover. I love Bruce, but The Fray did an AMAZING job of covering “Streets of Philadelphia”. I’ve been listening to it non-stop all week. Such a good walk-to-work-during-the-fall song. Anywho…sorry I missed Monday’s post, but I was so sore that I could barely type (really, but not really). My hip-flexors are back to feeling normal again, thanks to a 90-minute hot yoga session on Monday night. It was painful, but the perfect way to stretch out my soreness. I ran last night, and then did yoga again this morning. I’d really like to keep my endurance up and not let myself lose my stamina. I’ll be posting my after-race training plan on Friday. Ok…shall we recap the weekend? I don’t even know where to begin. It was nothing like I imagined it would be, both in a good and bad way. Here…we…go.

On Friday, I picked up my race packet and then stuffed my face with sushi at Raw. When I woke up on Saturday, I was hoping I would spend the day resting, but that didn’t really happen. I ran a couple of errands in the morning, and then my parents showed up to the house with a U-Haul full of stuff. Resting wasn’t really an option. But, I was still able to stuff my face with chicken parm, so I couldn’t really complain. My butt was in bed by 9pm, compression socks and all. I woke up at 3:45 on Sunday morning, absolutely unable and unwilling to stay in bed. My stomach was feeling a little off, so I slowly munched on my banana+peanut butter Sandwich Thin. My daddy got up and went with me to the Parkway. A bear hug and Gu-Gel later and I was crossing the starting line. I don’t remember much after that. There were a few signs I remember, and the smell of beer as I was running through Drexel’s frat row. My brain sort of shut off and just went on autopilot. I focused on keeping my legs moving and my lungs breathing. I tried my damnedest not to look at my watch, but when I was approaching 21st and Chestnut-the 6.5 mile mark-I had to peek. I was running roughly an 8:40 mile. I didn’t know if I should be worried or thrilled. I keeping pushing, shortening my strides slightly as I headed into the rolling hills of West Philly. As soon as I hit mile 10, I saw my cousin. She was running the full, so we were able to run together for a mile or so. I saw the 12 mile mark, and decided to haul ass to the finish line. When I got done, I saw that my last mile was logged at 7:38. I about died.

ImageWhen I crossed the finish line, I was flooded with emotions. I was ecstatic, but I was exhausted. I ran to my mom and held on for dear life. It was such a bittersweet moment. I raced almost 20 seconds faster, per mile, than what I trained. Not only did I beat my previous course record, but I also had a personal best time for any of my other half-marathons. I was on cloud nine. The second I felt her arms wrap around me, I started to cry. This is where the bitter part comes in. The finish line was short of a few people who I really wanted to be there. I tried my hardest to not let it ruin the moment, but it was all I could think about once I came down from my runner’s high. Lucky for me, I had post-race brunch to look forward to. We went to Bainbridge Barrel House, which is conveniently a hop, skip, and jump away from my house. A handful of Advil, two bloody Marys, and a burger later, I was one happy camper.

So the weekend turned out nothing like I had imagined it would. It was hands down the most bittersweet experience of my life. As I was running, I made a pact with myself. I don’t want to commit to running a full marathon unless I know it will qualify me for Boston. I’m going to run as many half-marathons as I have to until my pace is fast enough and consistent enough to get me through a full at a qualifying time. With the winter months coming up, it will be the perfect time to hit the indoor track for speed work and cross-train with spin to increase my endurance. I’m working on a new training schedule as we speak…err you read. Stay tuned 🙂

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