Discount Monday: Happy Early Thanksgiving

Race weekends mean expos and expos usually have some discounts!

1. Pittsburgh Marathon and Half Marathon (5/2-5/3/15, Pittsburgh PA): 10% off with PHILLY10PGH15 through 11/28/14

2. Charleston Marathon (1/17/15, Charleston, SC): 10% off with PHIL14 (price increase on 12/2!!!)

3. Philadelphia Hot Chocolate 15K (4/4/15, Philadelphia, PA): Free hat with PHILLYHAT2

4. City Sports: 20% off a non sale item if a Insider Rewards Member or 10% off if not a member with MARATHON14

5. 12Ks of Christmas Holiday Run (12/13/14, Washington DC), $5 off when you go through here!

6. Route 66 Marathon and Half Marathon: Early Registration discounts to the first 400 runners.  $60 for the half marathon, $70 for the full marathon, $75 for the half/5K, $85 for the Full/5K

Philadelphia Marathon Race Review

I’m waiting to officially go on vacation at my FAVORITE (not) airport in the world, Philadelphia (there’s a reason I’d take amtrak to BWI when I lived out here), so might as well kill some time with a run down of the Philadelphia Marathon.  I did the half a few times when I lived out here and apparently the Full seemed like a good idea over the summer (don’t they all start out like that?).  I flew in Friday from Cleveland and was able to get checked in to the hotel and pick up my packet from the expo.  I stayed downtown, so everything was in walking distance.  I found a little Italian wine bar and was able to find a seat at the bar to have some dinner before settling in for the night and watching some college basketball.

Saturday, I woke up and headed back to the expo to volunteer during the first shift.  I grabbed a cinnamon pretzel from the pretzel factory (hey, no judging) for breakfast on the way.  After doing my thing, I ended up getting a new pair of running shoes for myself because they were ONLY $70 and no sales tax and then asked my mom if she needed any.  I should have spent 30 seconds at the Saucony booth were they were $10 cheaper.  I did some window and real shopping while wanting to beat OSU football over the head due to keeping Indiana in the football game before heading to church.  Grabbed a light dinner and took it to the hotel to eat in the quiet of my of my room.  I tried going to bed at 930/10, but didn’t fall asleep until midnight ish.  Yawn.

I woke up bright and early and hit the alarm clock a few times before rolling out of bed at 545.  My clothes were out so all I had to do was throw them on and grab a few things before heading out.  The walk to the start wasn’t bad, maybe 15-20 minutes.  I got into my corral and waited for the gun to go off.  Rolling waves were let go starting about 7 and it took about 10 minutes for me to get through.  The first mile was down the parkway and then we took some turns to south Philly and Penn’s Landing.  We cut through old town Philly and south street before heading out chestnut street (and past my hotel).  I did the first 10K in just over an hour.  We hit up 30th street and passed Drexel and Penn.  I forgot about the devil hill around mile 8/9 that I’ve always hated.  We waved at the zoo and headed down to Kelly Drive and the River.  We kept on trucking to the Art Museum where the marathoners and 1/2 marathoners split.  If I didn’t have a hotel room and had made a special trip out here, I probably would have gone that route, but I kept on chugging on the full marathon.  2:18 for the full, which wasn’t surprising because I could feel my legs getting tired.  We ran the other side of Kelly Drive all the way to the Falls Bridge (which is about 1/2 a mile from my old apartment) and did part of Kelly drive again.  For some reason, hair pin turns were common today.  We then took a stroll in Manayunk (and thankfully missed out on a devil hill there).  I was really starting to feel the tiredness and kept thinking all I have to do is finish, a hard thought when you were at the half marathon point and the marathon winners were finishing 5-8 miles ago. One more hair pin turn before we headed out of Manayunk and back towards town.  We kept on going and telling ourselves one mile at a time.  Seeing mile 25 is always a site for sore eyes because you know you’re really almost done.  The legs were shot and I somehow got across the finish in 4:55:27.  I’ll take it since medicine gets in the way of training sometimes.  The mayor was at the end (as always) giving high 5s to finishers.  I grabbed my medal, food and broth and just kept walking to the hotel for my $10 million shower.

Good course with decent crowd support, but too many hair pin turns.  My yellow and black tights were a hit with spectators, which is always a hoot.  Definitely a good race to do if you’re looking for one!  Now, to do the marathon shuffle to catch my flight

To Boston, With Love, Philadelphia

Tonight, about 3000 runners and 30 runners took to the streets of Philadelphia to support Boston and those affected by the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday.  Something that started out at about 10 locations in Philadelphia on Tuesday/Wednesday turned into 30 by this afternoon.  It was so large, that about 10 minutes before we took ourselves for a run down Market Street, the police blocked off Market Street for us.  Yes, we had that many runners running for Boston.  CBS and ABC were covering the impromptu meetup and Mayor Nutter gave a phone call.  As one of the people from Philadelphia Runner put it, “Let’s not let fear extinguish the running community in this city.  If you’re going to run at Broad Street, run at [the] Broad Street [run], if you’re going to cheer at Broad Street, cheer at Broad Street.  Don’t let the fear stop us from running or stop us from cheering or from training.  Don’t let it stop us from PRing!”  The best way to tell you of tonight’s meet up is to show you:


Philadelphia Runner Meet Up; Run for Boston

Philadelphia Runner Meet Up; Run for Boston



All in For Boston

All in For Boston

Running Groups meeting up at City Hall

Running Groups meeting up at City Hall


Down Market St We Go!!

Down Market St We Go!!

photo 3














Philadelphia 1/2 Marathon

You know it’s Thanksgiving Week when The Philadelphia Marathon and 1/2 Marathon is run. Normally, this would be prefaced by the OSU-M*ch*g*n game, but that unfortunately was changed.  Anyways, we’ll do this race review bullet style!

  1. Saturday: headed to the expo on 2.5 hrs of sleep to pick up my bib.  I had to work call on my rotation so I was up from 5:30 AM Friday AM to about 9 AM Saturday AM with about a 30 min nap while at work and 2 hrs of sleep before driving back to Philly.  After picking up my bib and some retail therapy, I stayed and volunteered for a bit (mainly for the free long sleeved shirt, but also because I think runners should volunteer at races every once and awhile.  I ended up with a 930 PM bedtime and missing Standford upsetting Oregon in college football (of all weeks, right?).
  2. Sunday Pre Race: wake up at 5:30/ 5:45 AM.  You would think that would be enough time to get ready since my race stuff was out and just had to be put on, hair pulled back and teeth brushed.  But when you don’t leave until 6:15 for a 7 AM major race with 35,000 people, you forget about parking and road closures.  Slow downs on 76 before I got off at 30th St Station slowed my down.  I parked in a lot by 30th street station at 6:39 AM and hustled to the start.  Hustled as getting to the Ben Franklin Parkway as the National Anthem was being sung and in my corral as the wheelchair athletes pushed off.
  3. The Race up to 10K: You know the saying that you should get a good night sleep 2 nights before a race because you don’t sleep well the night before?  Keep that in mind.  Less then a mile in, I saw some guy wearing a tutu.  I guess it’s not just the ladies who like to wear these things.  The first 4 miles I felt like were really congested.  In Philly, we have the narrow historical streets which seemed more of an issue this year (why, I don’t know).  My mile 2 pace was something around 11 minutes (thanks congestion).  After mile 4, one of my favorite sites was some Philly guys who had a sign hung that said “You say ‘Philly’, we drink” so we had a few people shout Philly and these guys yelled back and drank (why aren’t there more drinking games like this during a marathon?).  At some point, I also saw a volunteering penguin.  Once we hit Chestnut street, the road started to widened and us runners spread out.  After mile 5, my foot hit a pot hole and i gracefully prevented myself from falling on my face and breaking my nose. I hit the 10K mark at 1:00:06 (I run a slower 10K when I have longer races)
  4. The race: 10K onward.  I love the Philly Marathon because it’s (mostly) flat.  I made it through mile 7/7.5 with no problems really but then we started having the 1-2 hills of the course.  Perfect timing for me to start to fade because of not enough sleep.  We hit Drexel and the lives college students have today.  standing outside cheering runners with alcohol, in sweats and banging on pots and pans.  Hill #2 came around mile 10. Yeah, I was beginning to crap out as I put it later.  We ended up on MLK Drive and you pretty much know you have a little over 2 miles left.  And a dancing unicorn before mile 11.  I had one of those just keep running and don’t care about time mantra.  We split from the Marathoners the last 1/4 of a mile or so and turned towards the finish.  I got a shout out from Bart Yasso (also fun) and was just glad to be done
  5. The time: 2:11:41. I’ll just have to be ok with it

As always, love the Philly 1/2 Marathon and Marathon.  Maybe one of these years I’ll actually do the full…

Philadelphia Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon

Another half marathon in the books! This is 1/2 Marathon number 12 for me (lots of bling there!).  I took a trip downtown on Friday to pick up my packet and volunteer at the expo in the afternoon.  Volunteers got free parking at one of the garages around the corner from the Convention Center which meant I stayed a little longer afterwards to go to Reading Terminal Market and pick up dinner.  At the expo, if you were picking up for other people, you could only pick up for 1 other person and you had to have their confirmation sheet signed by them (understandable) and that person’s photo ID.  If you picked up your packet and more than one other person’s packet, you had to pay $20 per extra packet. Really? Let’s see how much you can nickel and dime runners Rock n Roll.  I felt bad for one guy who was picking up for his brother in sister in law (all with the same really uncommon last name) who had written notes from them that he could pick up their material since they were coming from out of the country.  The people at the expo told him they’d have to pick it up Sunday before the race.  Needless to say, after the people paid by RnR left, I gave him the packets for his family.  You could also register at the expo for the low, low price of $125!!  I only really ran this race because I signed up last year for $60 (next year’s race price at the expo? $70).  Anyways, the expo was your pretty standard expo only missing some of the smaller local running places or businesses. Why you ask? Apparently the cost to have a booth went up too :-/.

Saturday, I was able to get some good pasta and water in me.  The water kept me up going to the bathroom all night long. The race started at 8AM in front of the Art Museum, so I was up at 6AM and left around 640.  It took about 5-10 minutes to find an open lot once I got into the city since we had to deal with road closures.  I was about 6/10 of a mile from the start and was able to hit the bathroom before getting my bag checked and set in my corral.  When the gun went off at 8, the elite runners were off, including Kara Goucher‘s husband Adam who was returning to competition after 2 years off due to injury.  It took me 19 minutes to get to the start (which by that point, the elite athletes were already coming past us in the the other direction at mile 4).  I was going by my watch time and by mile 2, I was able to duck into the McDonald’s at 9th and Market for a bathroom break.  Huge shout out to the older gentleman who let me go in front of him (but they were also using the women’s bathroom as a unisex stall).  After a quick break, I was back on the streets of Center Philadelphia.  Come mile 4, we were heading back towards the starting area, just in time to see the elite men’s winner cross the finish line.  Yes, with a time of 58 minutes and change, the leading male runner finished the half marathon in the fastest time on US Soil. EVER.  That’s a shot to your ego right there.  I was doing a 10 minute pace or so the entire race.  Since the last 8.5 miles or so were around the Kelly Drive loop, I pretty much knew where I was mile wise.  It was nice crossing the East Falls Bridge because I knew there was only 4 miles to go.  After I passed the 9 mile mark, I was nearly clothes lined by another runner.  I was trying to pass 2 women in front of me (2 friends) and the one was pointing out something to the other and stuck her arm out just as I was coming by.  Very scary since I slowed down to avoid it right as her arm was across my neck.  I made my way through the familiar territory and began seeing more fans closer to the 12 mile mark.  I have never seen such a quite crowd!!  People were there, but not cheering.  You could hear other runners joking they wanted more cow bells or more noise from the crowd!!  I finished with a time of 2:14:18.  Take off my bathroom break at mile 2 and it was more like 2:12:30. Not too shabby since I ran a 2:25 last weekend.

As always, you have your favorite signs that you see on course.  This time around we got:

  1. You’re almost done. For real! (held by a lady around mile 12.5 when we had .6 miles to go)
  2. Hurry up, they’re almost out of beer! (there was a MG64 beer garden at the end of the race for those over 21 yrs old)

Unfortunately, this will probably be my last Rock n Roll Race.  $10 price increase to sign up at the expo for next year’s race?  The fact they’ve taken over at least 4 races that previously were run by people in those cities (Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, DC that I know of)?  That and I can go run this route on my own or find a race that’s locally operated for a better price.  Not sure I agree with the way they run things on the management end.  I hope people who were first timers enjoyed their experience! It’s always a good thing to get the first out of the way 🙂

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