Last June a few of us in our moms running group had this crazy idea that if we signed up for a half marathon in September it would force us to keep up our running during the hot, humid, stinky and generally disgusting (for running) days of a NYC summer. It sounded really good in theory. In reality it was nearly impossible to co-ordinate everyone’s schedules between camp drop off, vacations, appointments and of course those wonderful, lovable, demanding children 😉
I was getting some miles in and then BAM! Just like that, I became sidelined with my first “crap, I have to stop” running injury- the dreaded plantar fasciitis. For those of you who have ever suffered from this injury you know that it really friggin’ hurts and the worst part is that it takes an incredibly long time to heal. You need to be able to rest your foot. Um, hello, it is very hard to rest your feet when you live in Manhattan!! Okay, enough whining. Basically, all summer I wasn’t able to run and instead I cycled and worked out with my kick ass trainer, the ex-marine. I was very lucky to still be able to do this but, I missed running. Wow, who am I??! Did I really just write that? Yep. I missed the running.
Flash forward to this past weekend. It was now the weekend of the Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. And my foot was feeling good, finally. I was actually walking pain free for the first time in about two months. Our weekend 1/2 marathon running group had dwindled down to a group of four. Unfortunately others had injuries and illness as well. Jess and I had a non-refundable hotel room and a “let’s go anyway” attitude. However, I was under very strict instructions from my hubby and a few other smarter than me people to not run the entire race. I grumbled and agreed that running the full race would be stupid and I would stop 1/2 way at the Rocky steps. Certain peeps were not convinced that I would wisely stop, apparently sometimes I act stupidly. Huh…I prefer stubborn.
On Saturday morning Jessica and I jumped into her jeep and after an adventurous ride to Philly that included a loooong time to get off the Island (why were all the roads closed??) and then a gas stop in an extremely sketchy area of New Jersey (think Law & Order body dump) we arrived in downtown Philadelphia. This was my first time in Philly. It is a very beautiful city. We met Rachel at the Expo, picked up race kits and perused merchandise. Next stop, after the crazy road trip was beer and dinner. It was an early evening as we would meet at 6:30 the next day to head to the race start.
I absolutely love the energy of the pre-race excitement. Thousands of people gathered, barely awake, waiting in line for the porta-potties, stretching, bouncing, nervous, anxious, chatting, all headed towards one common goal, the finish line.
Jess and I said good-bye to Rachel and Toby. Wishing Rachel an awesome race, the only rockstar who was actually going to run the full 1/2 marathon and headed to our corral. It was an absolutely perfect morning for a run- not too hot, bright skies, no humidity. The course is very flat and the first part takes you right through the heart of the city. Jessica was true to her word (and an excellent wingman) as was I, doubters 🙂 and we stopped the race right at the Rocky statue. It was hard to stop but it was the right thing to do, the little twinge in my left foot reminding me that I am not yet 100%. There will always be other races.
Jess and I spent the rest of the day relaxing, seeing some sites and enjoying some good food and drink. A perfect little escape.
In the end it was a beautiful morning for a run in a different city with hundreds of other people pounding the pavement too. And coach Rachel, congrats to you, our faithful coach who always brings her amazingness to each and every run. You are an inspiration. Congrats on your FULL half!
As for me, back to playing with my balls (MELT method), icing, stretching and best of all running with the moms I adore. Here’s to our next running adventure when we are all well trained, healthy and happy!!!