Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rock and Roll Philly 1/2 Marathon

This past weekend Deb, Nikki, and I completed state number six in our quest to run a half marathon in all 50 states.  We flew into Philadelphia Friday morning for a nice girls weekend with a little bit of running thrown in!  We quickly learned that the cab drivers in Philly are quite shady!  They DO NOT like it when you want to pay with a credit card.  We eventually learned that we had to warn them as soon as we got in that we would in fact be paying with credit!  After our first encounter with the crazy cab drivers we headed to the Pennsylvania Convention Center to pick up our packets.  The expo wasn't overly busy which was really nice.  As we came around the corner I noticed a lady who I thought looked a lot like Jackie Evans from Biggest Loser.  After talking with Deb and Nikki for a few minutes and then seeing Dan Evans it was confirmed that it was in fact them.  We had our picture taken with them.

We also got to spend a lot of time talking with them about their experience on the Biggest Loser as well as the Rock N Roll 1/2's they have run.  We had been discussing running Vegas and they told us to do it and run with their cause, Kids Fit Foundation (here).  We are looking into the possibility!  How fun would it be to run Vegas with them in the evening on the strip?

After we left the expo we decided to visit the Liberty Bell to take a few photos.

Once we finished there we stopped in the gift shop for a bit and then sat down to determine our plan of attack for the evening.  Of course while we sat there we updated our facebook statuses and communicated with each other via facebook even though we were literally right next to each other.  It made for some great laughs!  Afterall, how can you not find humor in a very bad cross dresser?  We finally got motivated and headed to dinner at Bobby Flay's Burger Palace and the food was quite yummy!  We ended the night at a wine bar where we talked with the bartender to determine where we would be getting our Philly Cheesesteak on Saturday morning! 

Saturday morning we enjoyed sleeping in and leisurely drinking our coffee (diet pepsi for Nikki) while chatting away.  We headed out to Tony Luke's for those Philly Cheesesteaks!  We took the bartender's advice from Friday night and ordered a philly cheesesteak as well as the pork sandwich and split it three ways.  We also had the fries with cheese whiz.  It was absolutely delicious however we all agreed that we preferred the cheesesteak to the pork sandwich.  After lunch we decided the best way to see the city would be to take a tour so we headed on over to the sight seeing tour kiosk and purchased our tickets.

We made quick friends with the tour guide and convinced him to stop at the "Rocky Steps" for an extended period of time so we could get a picture!!  It really was a great way to see the city and learn about the history and of course it was a fantastic way to get to do this!

We ended up having drinks and dinner at the Bleu Martini and once again the food did not disappoint!  After finishing dinner we walked back to the hotel and got everything ready for our early morning wake up call!  The cab driver that took us to the start line may have been the nicest cab driver we experienced the entire weekend!  We got out a few blocks from the start line and ducked into one of the hotels to use the restroom and then we walked the rest of the way to the start line.  We of course had to stop and have our picture taken before hand. 

After the picture we headed to the start line to get into our corral.  The day before the race I had received a text message from Coach Joe letting me know he would like me to shoot for :08/mile faster than my intended marathon pace in October.  He also mentioned that he had a feeling I was going to crush that and do great.  As we stood in our corral I switched my Ipod so it would play Eye of the Tiger as I crossed over the starting mat.  I figured it was only fitting given we started by the "Rocky Steps".  I headed out intending to run 9:32 pace.  I did okay the first mile coming in around 9:20 or so.  After that I seemed to increase my speed which I am thinking was a direct result of the course being flat and fast.  I decided to run by feel and work on my hydration and fueling.  I alternated between water and sports drink at each mile marker.  I also took a gel before the start of the race and had gummies at mile 6 and mile 10.  It seemed to work perfectly as I didn't have any calf issues until mile 11.5.  The other problem I had was the fact that I missed an ever important spot with my body glide so by mile 7 I had raw skin going on.  I considering stopping at medical but decided having something put on it would hurt more since it was an open sore at this point so I decided to just suck it up for the final 6.1 miles.  I survived but I still have raw skin that is trying to heal.  Lesson learned that you can never use enough body glide!  I ended up finishing the race in 1:58:46.  Not too bad considering I was shooting for about 2:05.  It was a great tune up for the Columbus Marathon on October 16th!  Once I received my finishers medal, some water, and a banana I headed over to the "Rocky Steps" to meet up with Nikki as she had called me when she was at mile 12 and we made a plan to meet there.  Once I made my way to the steps I ran into Katye (here).  We shared a hug and talked for a bit and then Nikki and I went to the finish line to cheer Deb in.  She looked great finishing!  She was all smiles and gave us a double thumbs up.  We told her to grab her medal and goodies and meet us at the Rocky Steps.  Deb mentioned that we had to run the Rocky Steps even if we had just run 13.1 miles.  I was about to take my medal off and Deb told me I had to leave it on so I sucked it up and off we went! 

Wow, we really ran up all of those steps!  We were definitely rock stars on Sunday!!  Once we finished our step run we headed back toward the hotel and ended up with one final crazy cab driver.  We were really considering jumping out of the cab and getting a different one as it was that bad!!  Once back at our hotel we got showered, packed up, and headed to the airport only to find out our flight had been delayed.  We proceeded to go through security where my luggage ended up getting searched...good times.  Once we landed in Pittsburgh we headed to the car for the two hour drive home.  On the way home we talked about our weekend and how much fun we had.  Deb also looked up some flight details for the Vegas Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon in December which we are hoping will cross off another state on our quest.  Lots of laughs, great food, and many memories made with amazing friends!  Looking foward to state #7!!

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!


  1. What a great recap and race! Awesome job!

  2. I've always wanted to run up the rocky steps!! Jealous!

    And a goal of mine is to run a half in every state too but I've only done 2 so far. :(

    How cool that you got to meet those 2 from biggest loser! They are from a town not far from where I live.

  3. Congrats on beating your goal time! I seriously can't wait to see you beat the crap out of you marathon next month. You are going to rock it!

  4. Great job! Your weekend sounds like a lot of fun, too!