The #RNRPHILLY Half Marathon

Gonna have to burn them shoes.

Race: Philly Rock n Roll Half
Official Time: 1:55:23
Course: Flat and pretty.
Weather: A little known weather system called a Humidity Vortex moved in STRAIGHT FROM HELL.

Top line: I thought I was going to PR in this one. I did not. Not even close. 10 minutes slower than that. It wasn’t my worst, either, so there is that. We also raised a good bit of money for charity.

Excuses: Going into weekend, I’d been showing signs of a slight cold, scratchy throat, tired, achy. I think it was going away by Saturday night, Sunday morning. But one of the pleasures of being me is that race nerves don’t just make me go to the toilet like crazy — my apologies to the maid at the Hilton Garden Inn — they also make me snotty. So did I still have a cold, or was the steady stream of snot threatening to drip onto my pre-run banana just nerves? The world may never know.

The race: Started out just over the pace I needed, figuring I could pick it up once I figured out how I was feeling. You’ll see below how well that didn’t go. By mile five, I was fairly certain I wouldn’t be able to keep it up. And I was sweating. Sweating like crazy.

How much was I sweating? At mile 6, when I looked down for a Gu, they’d had both gone, slipped right out of the belt thanks to the sheets of water lubricating it. (Non-runners: Gu is a little packet of slime that contains electrolytes, sugar and caffeine that one chokes down at various points in the race.)

How humid was it? My feet would have been LESS wet if I’d just stuck them in a bucket of water. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to toss those shoes once and for all. They’re smelling up the entire back yard. (Yes, they’re outside and killing flies and mosquitoes.)

But I finished. So there’s that. If New York full is this kind of humid, I’ll just go ahead and figure out a way to give myself a heart attack before the race starts to save me the embarrassment.

The good news:  This was the race I was running with Team in Training. Our work team this year was small — only five of us. But we managed to raise  $6,695 bucks to fight leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers. In fact, there is still time to donate!

Ken, Natalie, Tracy, Becky, Abbey
Ken, Natalie, Tracy, Becky, Abbey

This wasn’t an official race for the New York chapter, so we traveled on our own without the usual cheering squad. But the thing about wearing TNT purple is cheering squads will find you. The Philly chapter staffed the water station just after mile four. More importantly,  a couple of coaches — one from D.C. and one from the Philly area — ran with our runners in the last three miles of the race. Like angels did they appear. I’m pretty sure one of those guys ran with me, but I was so focused on my suffering that I just thought it was some dude in a green shirt who decided to have a chat at Mile 12. Didn’t occur to me until after that the coaches wear green shirts.

And while I didn’t PR, Natalie and Abbey, two of our other runners did, which was very exciting and surprising considering the conditions.

The splits
Mile 1:  8:09.3
Mile 2:  8:01.8
Mile 3:  8:15.3
Mile 4: 8:08.5
Mile 5:  8:14.4
Mile 6:  8:25.7
Mile 7:  9:25.0
Mile 8:  8:50.0
Mile 9:  9:35.9
Mile 10:  9:26.6
Mile 11:  9:04.6
Mile 12:  9:10.7
Mile 13: 9:02.5

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