Philadelphia Half Marathon Race Recap Part 1

HOLY TOLEDO! It just took me a solid 3 days to figure out how to log back on to my wordpress account. I don’t even know what happened. Totally putting a cramp in my race recap. But now, I’m Back and ready to roll! In reality, the days off worked perfectly because they gave PHL enough time to send me my b-e-a-U-tiful race pictures, which you will now be blessed with. Read on friends, read on.

Oh man… Where to start? I’m still exhausted (and sore!) from the whirlwind weekend that was the Philly Half Marathon, but I’ve already put in two solid runs this week, including a super fun turkey trot (my first ever!) with one of my former athletes! Elyse graduated last year and is doing awesome in her first collegiate season at Elon. Keep your eyes out for this speedster, she’s already got the 2nd fastest 6k time in Elon history as a freshman!

Pre-TurkeyTrotting experience. I have horse teeth.

Back to Philly though…so many great things happened this past weekend I think it needs to be split into two parts or you’ll be reading for days. Here are some pre-race highlights, then I’ll get into the race nitty gritty in the next post.

  • Upon arrival I trekked out to my fave coffee place, Mugshots. It was about a 6 block walk from the subway station, so I set off, rolly suitcase in hand. Approximately 9 blocks later I realized either i was blind or my beloved Mugshots was no longer there. After a quick consult with Mr. IPad I realized that they had moved and were now located 6 blocks BACK on the other side of the street. I was sweating by the time I arrived. Yikes!
  • I randomly struck up a conversation with the people next to me and ironically one of the girls had recently moved to Philly from the town next to where I live in Cleveland!
  • After coffee I lugged all my stuff to the hotel. (More walking. Get off your feet Abbey!) Even though I was 5 hours early the room was ready! Saweet! I dropped my stuff off and enjoyed a Picky Bar and some Nuun and caught a cab out to the expo, where I picked up some 2Xu compression socks and a Sweaty Band (more on that later).

    Travelin’ girl probs…Nuun tabs do not fit in my airport-purchased aquafina bottle…Luckily I’m occaisionally smart and was able to bite it in half to make it fit 🙂

    Best snack/pre-race hydration EVAA! Picky Bar + Nuun Lemon Lime. Booyah.

  • When it was time for lunch I decided to be gutsy and take a bus. While at the bus stop my bags accidentally bumped into a homeless-ish looking woman sitting on a bench. I immediately stopped and said “oh my gosh, I’m so sorry!” She politely responded by yelling “I DONT CARE BOUT YOUR BAGS YOU MOTHER [FLETCHER] GET YOUR MOTHER [FUDGING] BAGS AWAY FROM ME. [FUDGE]!!!” Both hilarious and extremely frightening all at the same time. Philly was welcoming me back with open arms.
  • That night we had our Team ETP dinner at Maggianos. Simply put, it was amazing. I met some truly incredible and inspiring people who, like me, are living with epilepsy. It was awesome to talk, laugh, and cry with them over the course of the night. One of the biggest take-aways for me was the fact that for each one of us, our experience was completely different.Different types of seizures, different triggers, different levels of severity, different medications. And that is what makes epilepsy so difficult-there are so many types of epilepsy and we all get lumped together. I left the dinner with so much excitement for the race the next morning.

    Chanda Gunn, U.S. Olympic Hockey player and fellow seizure-sufferer (I hate the word epileptic). She’s awesome and has the cutest two little kids.

    Another Abbey! (Spelled Abbe) Who also has epilepsy! It’s like we’re twins.

    So after the dinner I made my way back to the hotel and laid out my outfit for the next morning. After a quick phone call with Hubster, who was getting to the hotel super late, I crawled into bed and started trying to fall asleep. It kind of worked, and I was asleep by the time Hubster got in around 2. My alarm went off at 5 and I hopped out of bed and started making my oatmeal with peanut butter and banana, which I ate all of about 6 bites until I felt nauseous/nervous and couldn’t force it down anymore.

    The outfit: Team ETP shirt, Oiselle Distance Shorts, Sweaty Band, 2Xu compression socks. Not pictured: Moving Comfort Rebound Racer (best sports bra EVER), and Mizuno Wave Rider 15’s.

    I broke one of the cardinal race rules for this race, I wore something (2 things actually) that I’d NEVER worn before. Luckily it didn’t backfire on me. This was the first time I’d run in compression socks (usually just use them for recovery) and 2Xu did me well. I really liked the extra compression, and I think it helped a LOT with leg fatigue. My only complaint was that I did not buy the Elite 2Xu race socks because I did get a little hot spot under the ball of my left foot. No blister, but I think the extra cushion on the Elite sock would have helped a lot.

    The second “new” thing I tried was the Sweaty Band. I have been looking for ages to try to find a band that actually stays on my head. The Sweaty band seemed to do the trick, when I tried it at the expo my initial thought was “This is awesome! I have found the miracle!” Unfortunately around mile 4 I felt an odd sensation on my head. One quick swipe of the hand confirmed my fears. The Sweaty band was no longer on my head and was now approximately 30 feet behind me on the streets of Philadelphia. $15 down the drain. Still in search of the perfect band. How do you get bands to stay on your head? Do I need to be teasing my hair?

    Race Ready! Obviously my lighting needs work after looking through all these pictures. Yikes.

    My wrist was Race Ready too with some mental help: Believe I Am tattoo, Relax bracelet, and Athleta band I picked up at the expo. Not Pictured: “Joy” Believe I am tatt on the other hand 🙂

    Finally I need to brag on Oiselle for a minute. I have a long history with crappy running shorts. Specifically the fact that they ride up in the leg area. No matter what. I HATE SHORTS THAT RIDE UP. The one shorts-leg lost in the thighs look (and I don’t even have large thighs) just grinds my gears. Not to mention leads to chafe-age. The only time I’ve worn shorts without spandex underneath in races I have ended up with some serious chub-rub. Both gross and painful. But on Sunday, I wore the Distance shorts for 13.1 miles and the legs did not ride up and I had ZERO chafe-age. And I looked stylish and cute. And like a real runner. Need I go on? Best purchase ever.

    Stay Tuned for part II: THE RACE! But first, tell me: How do you get bands to stay on your head? What band works for you?

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