I wrote about my race expectations and I’m pumped to say that I did much better than I thought I would! Although I’m not back to my pre-injury PR, I have a post-injury PR! I ran a 1:40: 50! Previously my post-injury PR was 1:41:22…hey…a PR is a PR. 🙂
I am wondering if going into the race without any specific expectation or goal is helping me. I ran just listening to my body. It was towards the end of the race where I could tell I was close to meeting 1:41 that I realized I could maybe pick it up. The strange thing about this race and Philly is that although I raced well–I felt not so great. I didn’t feel like I was running strong–my legs felt tired, my cardio felt not as strong as it had in the past races I ran well in. I am wondering if I have this runners black out where I just forget how terrible I felt during the race!
I won’t do a super in depth review of the course but wanted to share some of my thoughts about my race experience:
Packet Pickup and The Expo
Packet pickup and the expo were really easy to navigate. They had a decent amount of vendors and room to wander. I enjoyed walking around sampling some of the treats they had! Especially the ice cream! 🙂 You can also easily pickup packets for friends if you have a copy of their ID.
The race starts early at 7 am on a Sunday. This means that some public transportation might be tough. I get a little anxious about race starts (even if I’m not setting a huge goal!), so we took an Uber. Holy moly! I’m embarrassed to say–but it cost us $50! They knew it was a race day and jacked up the price. Dave and I just bit the bullet and did it because we figured we’d have to worry about paying for parking (not too bad–was $14/15 in the area) BUT we would also have to deal with traffic. For peace of mind, I was okay with splurging on the Uber. I think we might have made it okay to the race start if we took the T but it might be cutting it close for me (factoring in time for porta potties and anything that could potentially go wrong like a delay and what not).
I remember that one year I ran the porta potty lines were ridiculous. I had to pee at the start of the race but decided to hold off until later in the race so I didn’t have to stress. I ended up being able to hold it until the finish but ran pretty much straight for the bathrooms at the end! This year I planned a little better and used a porta potty that was in one of the parking lots before going to the start. Depending on your pace, I think the porta potty lines along the course aren’t too bad. I also read on Dani’s recap that the porta potty lines as you move farther back aren’t long.
There are 3 waves for the race. Dave and I went into the 8 pace group but really wish I went a little bit ahead of my pace. There seemed to be a LOT of people who were not faster than 8 pace that went in the faster pace groups. It makes it really difficult to have a good start because of the people who are either walking or aren’t running in the right pace group. Having said that, it wasn’t tooooo bad being in the proper pace group–it was just a little frustrating for the first mile trying to keep a good pace.
I had some pretty terrible memories from the Philly Marathon with an out-and-back race. I just remember feeling so miserable thinking “oh.my.gosh…I still haven’t made the turn around point!” Even though I knew that the Boston Run to Remember was an out-and-back…I still signed up. I ended up not minding it at all! I think it helped that it was a half marathon versus a full marathon and that I used to run this route a lot in the past. I could think back to memories I had running along the same path with friends and it made it easier. I really liked the intersection at Mass Ave and Memorial drive. This intersection allows the spectators to see the runners at 3 different times. Seeing people I knew really helped motivate me to keep a smile on my face! The course is also pretty flat which is always a bonus.
The Water Stops
I can’t completely comment if I felt like there were enough water stops because I wore a CamelBak. What I can comment on is that all the stops had a lot of enthusiastic volunteers!
Would I run this race again? Yup! I think the race supports a great cause — remembering those who killed in the line of duty and also to honor and celebrate those who are putting their lives on the line to give back to the community. Will I run it again next year? Not sure! I’m going to play it by ear and see where I’ll be and if I have other races I want to try. The Run to Remember half is a little pricey–getting up to $120–and the 5 miler will get to $65. Dave and I may have to move to a more expensive apartment and also have been trying to save money. We might have to set a limit on the number of races we run since it can get expensive!