I did it! I ran a race completely electronic free, just for fun and relaxed! The morning of the race started as usual, I got dressed and sunscreened up & headed down to the Westin’s lobby for complimentary coffee, bottled water & bagels.
The hotel was offering shuttle service to the start line, but it was just under a mile away, so I thought warming up wasn’t a bad idea so i walked down the boardwalk and enjoyed my coffee along the river.
The weather was cool & humid and ended up staying that way the whole race. I was not complaining because it was supposed to be almost 90 and humid, so we caught a good morning. At the start of the race I was really nervous with how my IT band & knee pain would tolerate 13.1 miles. The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on April 12th was the last long run & speed work i’ve done. I really backed off of running due to the IT Band, so I knew this was not a race to “race”. I had no time goal in mind, but I thought I could walk/run a 2 hour half marathon based on my easy runs lately.
To ensure I didn’t “race”, I made the decision days before the race, not to wear my Garmin. It would have depressed me to see slow miles pop on my watch & I needed to relax and listen to my body. Hence, I went without music as well. I have never in my life ran more than 6 miles without music–so hey! There’s a PR! 🙂 I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to run happy without music, but after the first 3 miles, I just cruised, enjoyed my surroundings & relaxed. I actually never got bored!
The race winded up along the river on an asphalt path. It was SO BEAUTIFUL. Everything was lush, green & alive. Then the hills started. I was careful to slow down (IT Band pain does not do well with downhill running), but to my own surprise I didn’t need to walk much. I walked through the water stations, but other than that the knee & hip held up WAY better than I expected.
This race seemed to fly by, but a few things I remember was reminding myself that I needed a week or two off after this race to truly recover from the IT Band. The pain never got so bad where it locked up my knee (as it did 2 weeks ago) and the pain level itself never got above a 4/10. My chiro and i decided I could run as long as the pain stayed under a 5. Another thing I took from the race was that i actually can look forward to running as I get older. Once the PR’s stop, I will be able to enjoy racing without having to always go faster. I also think I’m ready to run with more people. Maybe do group runs from a local running store or run with more friends. Random thoughts, but when you don’t have an ipod random is what happens.
Without headphones in I was able to hear the announcer say my name & city/state as I came down the chute! I am honestly starting to prefer these smaller races compared to the big ones. I never felt crowded on the roads and the personalization on the bib, the announcement as I crossed the line, the free race photos, the hospitality at the hotel & after the race all made me feel as special as I ever felt running a race. And I don’t know what it is about the Philly/Wilmington area, but I love running here.
After I finished I hopped through the hospitality tent, they had SO MUCH FOOD. I’m talking BBQ sandwiches, pasta, fruit, chips, vitamin water, chocolate milk…it felt like a picnic! I wasn’t super hungry, but I had chocolate milk & a pear, watched the full marathoners & headed back to the hotel to shower.
Since I knew this race wasn’t going to be hard, I figured i’d have a ton of energy to do something fun afterward so I went to a Phillies game! It was the perfect day, super hot & sunny, and my after race meal was a hot dog, margaritas & ice cream in a baseball helmet! Does anyone remember when Dairy Queen used to serve ice cream that way? And you had to collect the teams? I was having a bout of nostalgia in the ballpark.
This race day couldn’t have been any better. I had such a blast. If anyone is from this area I highly recommend the race. And maybe a ballgame as well ;).
Last Weeks Work!
Tuesday: 30 min rolling/myofascial releases & mobility exercises for hips/glutes.
Wednesday: 5000m row, 20 min Myrtle Routine
Thursday: 2.5m walk
Friday: 40 min running drills- emphasis on hamstring pulls
Sunday: 5.8m walk
Total Miles: 8 walking, zero week for running!
What’s your favorite post-race activity?