I’m back to running at least one half marathon a year. This year, I signed up for the Philadelphia Half Marathon.
This is my official bib. Funny thing about the blue corral. First, if you don’t run, corrals are where the runners line up to race. They’re designated by speed so that the faster runners don’t trample the slower people. Blue is the equivalent of steerage. Blue is for the first timers who don’t really know how fast they are. Blue is also for people who screwed up their training schedules, like I did, even though I promised myself I wouldn’t. Blue is for people who run in tutus, or for loved ones, or favorite charities. Blue is where the party is at because people back there are in it for the fun. The people in the blue corral will eventually finish but they will finish.
This is a cowbell. Runners like cow bell. When Frank and the Pumpkin went to see me run, they made sure to ring the bell as much as possible. I live ridiculously close to the route. It’s nice and easy for them to cheer me on. And then they walked the two-and-a-half miles to the finish to meet me. We walked back home again, so really it was five for them and 15-and-a-half for me. You need a lot of cow bell for that.
My race outfit. It’s important to be warm but not too warm. We were so lucky. The weather was absolutely perfect; sunny, dry, and in the 40s. That’s almost shorts weather but I was OK in leggings and a tech shirt.
Here’s a cat grooming on my shirt because in our house a cat is always on something, and likely grooming. I don’t like to wear the shirt until I finish the race. I feel like it’s cheating. Although, at about the 10th mile, I wanted to see how far I had to go and I was glad someone else decided to wear their shirt since the map is printed on the back. Very clever idea! This is my post-race outfit. Nice and comfy. If you get very sweaty during a race, those clothes can’t come off fast enough.
For long runs, it’s nice to have a water belt. This one holds two bottles, which I left in New York. I used it anyway since the pocket is really roomy. With a formal race, there are plenty of water stops so no need to B-Y-O-Water. But for long runs on my own, this is essential. This year, the Pumpkin joined me on all my really long runs. She biked along and not only kept me going but also provided water and snacks. She wants to run the next half with me so we’re starting to train together. It’ll force me to slow down and properly nurse an over-use injury I got.
The race goes through quite a bit of the Drexel Campus. This was mile seven. It’s blurry because I’m breathing heavy and shaking the phone.
We ran all the way past the Philadelphia Zoo, which was really neat. I never get that far normally since I need to turn around earlier. At this point I stopped taking photos and just ran as best I could. Somewhere after this was a nasty hill and one group of spectators who had donuts.
It’s now official that my first half marathon wasn’t a fluke. I can really do it, but not well. I still have trouble sticking to my schedule religiously and I really feel it when race day comes. I’m already planning the Brooklyn Half in May because I can’t not run in my beloved borough. I have to round out my collection. Then, who knows? There are so many options. But, I will continue to run one a year. It is so vital to keep moving.