Well Philadelphia is a totally awesome city. I loved the food, museums and just the feel of the city. My boys and my brother and I left on Sat. am at 7 and made it to the expo by 11. The expo was great with lots of freebies and organization.
From there we checked into a very nice hotel and immediately set out to find a Philly cheesesteak sandwich!! There was a joint right down the block called Jake's. The sandwiches were yummy and the pizza they had there looked amazing. The best thing about dropping from the marathon to the half was that I could eat and play any which way I wanted before the race.
After Jake's we met up with my sister and her boyfriend to walk to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Oh. My. Goodness. I am just a novice artist but it was sooooooo amazing to be next to the original painting of so many famous pieces. It was just incredible to study the brush strokes of The Sunflower or The Bridge. There was an extravagant painting entitled Lady in Black, that was a sight to behold. Up close you could not figure out what you were looking at but standing back about five feet, you could see the subtle details, it was just so breathtaking. It was also huge, like 15 feet tall. I just can't imagine having that talent.
The other fun thing about the going to the museum with three teenaged boys and one pre-teen boy is that you get all the naked lady paintings and sculptures pointed out to you!
Later that night, we searched for a place to eat and we could not find a place with the appropriate food that could handle a party of 8. So we went all the way to Philly to eat at Applebees! We chowed some pasta and then I warmed up in the hot tub and went to bed by 9. I slept surprisingly well for a pre-race hotel sleep. I bounced out of bed at 5am and went downstairs to my running chicas room to enjoy pre race breakfast and jitters together.
Philly is the city of brotherly love but holy moly it was FREEZING COLD! The start was at 7 am and we arrived to our coral at 6:30 to stand around for 40 minutes in 22' temps and lots of wind. It sucked but there was music and excitment in the air.
We started in the second wave and I felt great, really great for about 6 miles. I started out with three shirts, one pair of tights, gloves and a hat. My feet never really warmed up and a certain times felt swollen. My hands didn't warm up until I picked up a pair of discarded gloves and double-gloved! I shook one of the three shirts at about mile five at the same time as I peed in some bushes in front of church. Sorry God.
By mile 8 my hips started to KILL me, but not in the crampy sorta way more in the Its-so-damn-cold-out-here sorta way. My whole pelvis felt the same way your lower back feels when you are watching a football game outside in the freezing windy cold. My hips just stiffened right up. It felt arthritic I think. I am not really concerned because I don't like running when it is cold anyway. And when I do venture out with my running buddies in the below 20s days, I usually wear a pair of shorts, tights and fleece pants. I didn't think I needed all those clothes for this race and it would have effected my time had I worn so many clothes anyway. But I wouldn't have so much pain though.
The pain only lasted till I got back to the hotel and baked in a steaming hot shower. And I only have a little soreness today. My girlfriends ran really well. Three finished the marathon, with two qualifing for Boston, one ran her first half marathon, and one ran the 8 k and she just had surgery for compartment syndrome in July - so all in all a great showing in Philly!
My time was not my worst but not what I was hoping to do. I clocked a 2:07 half marathon. I am glad I finished and plan to rest for the winter. I am not running much outside and no more than 8 miles at a time. I need a long rest from long distances and I want to build in some more cross training. Don't worry though I plan to run Chicago next fall, so will be back with the big runners soon enough!!!
Photos to follow I can't find my usb cord!