I signed up to run the Philadelphia Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon with my friend Danielle. It was exactly one month since my last half marathon (Providence Rock n’ Roll Half), so I had to be careful with my training to avoid burn out, injury or my biggest fear, losing my fitness level. The week after the Providence race I took it pretty easy and only did some cross training. Then the second week out I did a few shorter runs during the week and ran ten miles on the weekend. The third week out I kept my mileage during the week short and did a seven mile run on the weekend. Then the week leading up to the race I did a normal taper. On race day my legs felt great and the weather was perfect!
We took the Mega Bus from NYC to Philadelphia and were greeted by some sort of colonial re-enactment. Once we found our way to the expo, things began to feel more normal. In true Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series fashion, the expo had great samples, booths and energy. What I’ve learned from running these races is the women’s shirts run small, so make sure to check yours before walking away from registration. After the expo we enjoyed a pasta dinner and then took a cab to our hotel. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza and they gave us a “Welcome Runners” box when we checked in filled with fruit and bottled water. I think this is a great touch that all hotels should do! Also, side note, but the hotel had a “women-only” wing that required a special access card and had chocolate in all the rooms. Again, this is something more hotels should consider. The hotel was a short cab ride from the expo and race, and the staff were great!
After a quick nap, we had dinner at the TGIF across the street, went back to the hotel and got our race-day outfits ready to go. The next morning we shared a cab with some random people and got to the starting line with plenty of time to spare. The race course was flat, friendly and filled with some great local bands. The section along the river was beautiful and running past the “Rocky” steps was inspiring. There is a small hill at the end, but other than that, no surprises! I crossed the finish line a few minutes faster than my previous half marathon and my legs felt great.
We collected our medals, chocolate milk, bagel and snickers protein bar and started our journey back to the hotel. After quick showers, a Philly Cheese Steak and a few handfuls of candy corn, we were back on the Mega Bus to NYC after an amazing weekend. If you are looking for a fun and flat race in the Northeast, I would definitely recommend this race. It was also my second Rock n’ Roll race, so I’m looking forward to my extra bling!