Philly: come back race and traveling with friends for birthday

It’s been a while since I’ve actually written a post. What better one than to start with my come back race post injury.

It all started when I wanted to do a race on my birthday. Really just wanted a medal. I posted to twitter and my running gal pals had mentioned some interest. I choose Philly because it was a city I had always wanted to visit and what better way to explore than to run it. I also figured the weather would be better than SoFla. After only a day of convincing, we had pushed the magic button to get into the Philly Rock n Roll race. That was all decided in October of 2013. Clearly, anything can happen.

June I tore 3 ligaments. The main question I had was can I run in Philly and can I train for my marathon in December. I’m stubborn and while I withdrew the idea of a marathon race in December, I gambled and assumed I’d be running. No. Matter. What. I wasn’t going to give up my girls weekend getaway.

Birthday weekend arrives. I had been running a month at a slow pace and hadn’t done more than 6 miles. I had no idea what to expect. So we traveled the city and spent all day at a themepark the day before. Probably not the best idea but Soooo worth it. I got to meet a running friend finally IRL (in real life). It was an awesome adventure. Tons of laughing. My ankle was a bit tired but rested a good portion of the evening. Ate well. Got a great nights rest.

The best part was that the race didnt start till 8am. Which NEVER happens in SoFla. We’d melt if we started that late.

One friend was volunteering as she was unable to run. One was going for a PR and the other just to finish as I was. We all ran our own races that day. I was feeling pretty good until mile 6. This was the farthest I had run and my ankle was starting to act up. By mile 8 I was already doing the run/walk. I was still feeling pretty good though. The race course was beautiful. I just took it all in and was so thankful I was even able to step up to the start when my doc was sure I couldn’t. Again. I am super stubborn. By mile 11 I had resigned to mostly walking as my ankle hurt less that way. I knew I would finish and that was all I cared about. Well… I wanted to catch up to the running squirrels but they were no match for my ankle. The weather was hotter than I had wanted but they were prepared and had ice soaked towels which I kept around my neck. The moment I could see that finish line, I just burst into tears and also into a full stride. The pain was gone as it always is when the finish line is in site. I cried passing that finish line where my besties were all there waiting for me. It meant a lot that I could share that moment with them. That we could travel and share this experience together. We had never traveled together before like this and we all have had experiences with bad travelmates.

After hugs and happy moments, I immediately found a huge mound of ice where I took off my shoe and iced my ankle. Walking to a medic tent wasn’t worth it. This was way more convenient. We found all the post-race food and drink we could and I proceeded to find the Rocky statue and take my pic in front of it. I wanted to wait till I had that medal. To show that I had conquered what I wasn’t sure I could accomplish. I definitely earned that medal. It’s one of two of my most proudest races. Miami Marathon being the first. All in all I am proud of every race I finish. There is always at least one moment where I just want to stop and give up but I don’t because I am stubborn and refuse to be defeated. It holds true for my life the last few years. Nothing comes easy or even stays. I keep moving forward even if I seem to falter for a bit.

I highly recommend doing Philly RnR. I actually hope to return in 2016 to try and hit my sub 2:00 goal. The course is definitely flat and pretty shaded. The roads in the city aren’t bad either. Some dips and cracks but I’ve seen so much worse. Like Sarasota. Worst roads so far to run on. The fear of twisting my ankle is high so now I rate races on the quality of the roads.

This was a great race. Great trip. I really got to know my friends even better. I really hope we can start a new tradition of going away each year for a race. I am hoping for Savannah RnR. My goal to do a race in every state is slowly happening. PA

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