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Mar 31 / Jane

The Love Run 2014

I had planned to run this race in a downpour and I was not disappointed. Sally arrived at my place right on time. We transferred her into my car and headed into Philadelphia (2nd day in a row for me!). It was drizzling when we arrived at the surface lot I had scoped out on parkme.com. It was the closest lot to the start and finish, and closest to our after-race brunch. We made our final preparations and opted to leave our dry clothes in the car instead of risk a muddy gear check. We stopped by the Run Around Princeton team port-o-potty, took a “before” picture, and headed into the corrals as directed by the persistent MC.

Our "before" picture

Our “before” picture

I had no goals going into this race; I was just planning on using it for my long run, as part of my training for the NJ Marathon on April 27th. But I was feeling good, so I lined up behind the 9min/mi pacer and planned to stick with them and at least finish under 2 hours. We started right on time, running into center city. We ran the opposite way the RNR course ran, so we got to see a little more of Independence Hall and Love Park. We ran past the building I raced up yesterday and past where the after-party was.

There were a TON of spectators throughout the city and volunteers a-plenty at the aid stations and at every intersection. It was incredible the amount of people out there in this weather! (Honestly, standing in the cold, windy, torrential downpour, that’s crazier than running in it.) 😉

Most of the race was in Fairmount Park and by the time we hit the park, it had almost stopped raining. It was still windy though and it didn’t last: it started raining very heavy around the 8 mile point. Thankfully, I was dressed well and was comfortable despite the weather. We hit the turn-around at the 9mi marker and I waved at Sally running the other direction before hitting 10 miles.

With 5k to go, I tried to pick it up. The last mile, I really pushed myself. And then my bib fell off! So I ran with it in-hand and crossed the finish in 1:57:41, not a PR, but damn close (my 13.1 PR is 1:57:26). I really felt great and felt I could have gone faster. If I’d planned to PR today, I think I could have done it, by a lot. But if I don’t push myself, I’ll make all sorts of excuses to just run comfortably. And this run, despite the weather, was comfortable.

I pulled out my phone to congrats from my family who’d received text updates of my progress (I love live tracking!) and waited for Sally in the chute. Less than 10min later, my phone buzzed she’d finished and with that I realized she’d walked right past me! We met up at the food tent and shivered our way to hot chocolate, a welcome treat! We took a post-race photo with Three Logan Square in the background and made our way back to the car and dry clothes.

Photo Apr 01, 12 00 28 AM

Finishers!

Photo Mar 30, 10 34 08 AM

Saturday I ran up the red building in the background. Sunday I ran a half marathon around it.

It was there I realized Sally had just run a MASSIVE PR: 2:05:04, nearly 3 minutes faster than her last PR at the Trenton Half! Absolutely amazing, congrats, my friend!!

Warmed and dry (at least temporarily), we headed back into the downpour just a couple blocks to meet Sally’s friend Laura, and her husband, Kevin, for brunch at this really neat place called Figs. Sally and I both ordered the salmon omelet and it did not disappoint. That and some Moroccan coffee and I was ready to run the half all over again! Okay, maybe that’s a lie, but it was perfect fuel for the ride home.

And thus, and active, Philly-filled weekend came to a close, with a glass of sparkling wine and ice-pack on my knee. I took Monday off work to recover, but ended up waking up early to our maintenance man.  Who the heck called him?! Oh wait, I did, on Friday. Oh well.

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