Happy Wednesday! I had a very eventful weekend at Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly and I want to tell you all about it!
We arrived in Philly on Friday afternoon. After checking into the hotel we headed over to the Expo at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Luckily I was able to pick up my bibs and race shirts very quickly as it wasn’t too crowded. I didn’t take too many photos at the Expo because I wasn’t there that long, but it was a typical Rock ‘n’ Roll expo. It was smaller than the San Diego and Chicago expos, but there were still plenty of vendors. Here are a few photos from the Expo.
The Brooks merchandise was awesome! I did restrain myself from purchasing anything, but their hats and shirts were super cute!
Saturday morning arrived quickly and we were off to do the 5k. I grabbed half a bagel from the free breakfast offered at the hotel, which I think helped me very much during the race. Before the race I was super happy to see Dani, Sara and GB. It’s so much fun to see running buddies before a race!
The weather was pretty decent for the 5k so I figured I would have a good time. The course was a nice and easy out and back MLK Jr Drive. I was actually familiar with this route because of the Hot Chocolate Philly 15K race that I ran back in April. The scenery leaves much to be desired, and there wasn’t too much crowd support (until the very last .1 of the race), but I appreciated that it was a simple route.
So I was supposed to run this race very easy since I had 16 miles to complete the next day. Well I didn’t look at my watch and ran by “feel” which was very dumb. I was “feeling” the race energy a little too much and ran about 90 seconds faster per mile than I should have – whoops!
Even though I foolishly ran too fast, I still really like the race.
#WeRunSocial Meet Up
On Saturday afternoon I attended the #WeRunSocial meet up at Reading Terminal. It was fun to catch up with friends and to also meet Dani in person! I also ran into Stef and it was great to chat and catch up with her as well! Garmin and Momentum Jewelry provided some great giveaway items and I was lucky enough to win items from both companies!
I’ve been looking at different fitness trackers but I could never decide on which one to purchase. Now I don’t have to decide!
Half Marathon Race
I had 16 miles on my training plan for Sunday so I opted to run the extra miles before the race. I thought it would be a great warm up before the race. I had checked the weather the night before and I knew it was going to be brutal. On race morning it was 90% humidity with a 70 dew point. Let’s just say it was not ideal running conditions.
I was running late on race day morning so I missed the #WeRunSocial group photo before the race. I was SUPER bummed because I underestimated how long it would take me to get to the race start. The good news is that I was able to meet up with my IG friend Terry-A right before the race. This was my second time running in her city, so we just had to meet!
Before I knew it we were off. I was pretty much soaked by the second mile, but I was surprisingly running pretty well and ahead of my long run pace, but around mile 7 the wheels starting coming off. Ultimately the humidity started to get to me and the course got a little boring at that point.
The first half of the course was through the city so the crowd support was awesome! I loved seeing all the sights on the city, then we started running on Kelly Drive. I appreciated that it was flat but noticed the lack of crowd support so it was very quiet running along that route. If I didn’t have my music, it would have made things even worse! I’d also like to add that this is NOT a flat course. I swear everyone I talked to said this was a flat course, but it was not! Even though it wasn’t overly hilly, it definitely wasn’t flat!
I went into this race with the mindset that I would treat it as a long run so I was really trying to nail my long run pace. I fell short of this goal because of how I ran during the last half of the race but I have to be happy with the fact the I got in 16 miles in less than ideal weather conditions.
I think these two photos pretty much sum up my race experience.
Before I close my recap of the half marathon, I need to give a shout out to my mom. She completed her FIRST half marathon this weekend, and she did it as part of the Remix Challenge. I’m SO proud of her!!
Overall Pros and Cons (for both races)
Crowd Support – I really enjoyed the fantastic crowd support during the first half of the half marathon race. People were SO supportive and you could tell that they genuinely enjoyed supporting all the runners on the course.
Volunteers– I think I mention this in the “Pro” column in all my race recaps but it’s because I feel so strongly that volunteers are the backbone of a good race. Every single volunteer that I came across was smiling ear and ear and cheering on all the runners. I never had to wait to grab water and it seemed like every water station had a great system. I was really, really impressed!
Bands – I think this Rock ‘n’ Roll race probably had the most bands, and they were good bands too! The music was awesome for both the 5K and Half Marathon race. At one point I wanted to stop and dance but decided to just keep plugging along!
Race Shirts – I’m sorry, but Rock ‘n’ Roll missed the mark with both race shirts. I personally think that they are both hideous so I was really disappointed, especially since the San Diego and Chicago shirts were both so cool!
Finish Area (Half Marathon) – The finish area was really congested. I was confused on where to go so I just kept following the crowds, lol.
Post-Race Food – For the 5K they were giving out huge bottles of water and bananas which was great, but I thought that the Herr’s cheestix were kind of an odd choice. The post-race food for the half marathon was okay, but again, it felt like a random assortment of items. The one thing that was cool was the frozen greek yogurt bars that Whole Foods were giving out toward the end of the finisher area – they were SO good!
Overall, besides the weather on Sunday, I really enjoyed my weekend. I think that Philly is a great city to run in with plenty of things to see and do.