Philadelphia Half Marathon Recap!

by Nicole on November 22, 2010

Seriously, thank you so much for all of the amazing inspirational comments on my last post. Even though I share stories and a part of my life everyday, it does take courage to post wants/needs/desires and hopes, but you all made it so easy and so worth it. I wish I could give you all a giant hug. So THANK YOU, from the bottom of my baker’s heart.

You know we had a big weekend. I didn’t get to post at all because we left Saturday morning and didn’t get home till Sunday afternoon. We were busy busy busy. Saturday we met up with Danny’s parents at Le Bus in Manayunk. I had been having big dreams of their 6 grain pancakes with blueberries, so I got them for lunch. DID NOT disappoint. I had been dreaming of these for after our race, but it was too crazy to get to Manayunk, so it had to be a pre-race meal. I love their pancakes and bread basket. Yum.

We stopped by the raco expo to pick up our numbers, t-shirts and to walk around. It was packed and I was very overwhelmed and claustrophobic so we left pretty quick. For dinner we went to Melograno, (2012 Sansom St.) where the food was delicious, but I was less than impressed with our waiter. He was not friendly at all and when I asked for a little bit of a special order (of things on the menu) he flat out told me no, rudely, without asking the chef first. Still the food was great and we enjoyed our dinner.

I know this post is long. But there is SO much I want to share!

Race morning we got up at 5:00 am. We both fell asleep quickly around 10, so we got a good amount of sleep. I brought some overnight oats (I knew there was a fridge in the room), but the hotel did put out coffee, fruit, Luna and Kind bars, and instant oatmeal at 5 am. We went down grabbed some coffee and fruit for later. I had 1 cup of coffee and my overnight oats, which was the breakfast I ate the morning of all my long runs. There was not going to be ANY change race morning for me.

(Danny was upset his said “Daniel”. It is too formal for him…)

dressed and ready

We hung around and left at 6:20 and walked down. Danny and I pretty calm, I was getting really excited. My biggest fear was I’d have to go to the bathroom and use those porta potties I HATE. (GOOD NEWS: I didn’t have to.) The race start was about 1 mile from the Hotel Palomar so it was a nice warm-up walk. We bought cheap sweatshirts for $15 each that we knew we’d take off and donate before the race began.

Lovely, I know

Race Start

Danny and I crossed the start at about 7:25 am. We were in the orange coral, which we thought was a bit far back from where we belonged. When we started our race training, I didn’t know what to expect so I over estimated our time. We were completely fine with it though. Before the start, I began to get nervous, but I knew that we trained enough and we were ready.

Mile 1 and 2 I was struggling to find a pace. I always find until I get into a groove, I just think about the future miles. Mile 1 we came in a 9:50, and I was happy, because my first mile is always my slowest. Mile 2 was 9:00 and mile 3 was 8:04. When I got to the first water station between miles 2 and 3, I started to feel good. I LOVED how our names were on our bibs because so many people said my name and it got me excited. Miles 3-10 were pretty easy. We stayed around an 8:30 mile, which was right on track for our sub 2 hour half. I loved reading everyone’s signs and hearing the cheering from the crowd. They really kept me going because we didn’t use ipods.

Mile 10 was a pretty big hill. Mentally, I was okay with walking but before then we didn’t think we needed to. We were about to walk when we saw our cheering crowd. I wish I got a picture because they were AMAZING. I almost started crying because I was so happy to see my mom, stepdad, cousin Jess, sister-in-law Katie, her husband Jeremy, 3 kids and Danny’s parents. We ran over and gave them a quick hug and were just flying high. They gave us the push we needed at the hardest part of the course for us.

Miles 11-13 were flat (THANK goodness). I knew we were right on pace and had to keep up a 9 minute mile, which we were doing. The last 1/2 mile was tough, but all I could think about was the end. We ran as fast as we could and ended with an (unofficial by my watch) 1:57 half marathon time!

Race Finish

We mostly used our water belt and cut up a PURE bar to keep us fueled. We had trained with that, so we knew it worked well. I cut up the PURE bar so it was easy to take pieces. I only ended up eating 1 piece the entire race and same with Danny. We pretty much stayed clear of the water stations because of our water belt.

Final Thoughts: I can’t even say how proud I am of Danny and I. We trained hard and it payed off. Now it’s time to recover and relax after months of training. I loved running Philly because it’s a city we love and have spent a great amount of time in. I also loved how the half and marathon started together. Thank you Philly for being a beautiful city!¬†Thank you for following along and reading our story, but most importantly THANK YOU to our family who came out yesterday to see us for 30 seconds. Your presence was SO special to us and we are SO grateful to have your support and love. You made our race.

*and thanks to my sister and friends who were there in spirit/phone calls/picture and text messages!!

Here’s to many more races in our future! (of many distances, don’t worry Danny.) We are half marathoners!! 13.1!

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica Sara November 22, 2010 at 8:07 am

Woohoo! So excited for you! Philly is such an awesome race & the names on the bibs are fantastic. What a great city & crowd! Congrats on an awesome race!!! Wish I would’ve seen you :)
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Claudia November 22, 2010 at 8:39 am

Congrats to both of you!!
I’m sure it must have been amazing to be running this race with Danny.

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Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg November 22, 2010 at 8:57 am

Yay, congrats!!!! Great job!!!

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Estela @ Weekly Bite November 22, 2010 at 9:13 am

Congrats on the race! That’s great!

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Kat November 22, 2010 at 9:36 am

CONGRATS!! That is so incredible

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Christine November 22, 2010 at 9:51 am

So proud of you both =] Cant wait for the next one!

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MelissaNibbles November 22, 2010 at 10:02 am

Wow great job! You’re both amazing. You run fast girl!
Your prerace meals sounds delicious. Pancakes…yum….
You look great in blue!

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Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic November 22, 2010 at 11:08 am

Congratulations!! You guys are awesome. I’m not running a half anytime soon but I do want some blueberry pancakes now… ;)

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Lauren November 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm

SO PROUD OF YOU BOTH!! All of your hard work paid off! xoxo

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Laury @thefitnessdish November 22, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Congrats on the race!!! I am actually from the Philly area…my friend ran in it she said is was VERY hilly. Great job!!! You worked so hard!!!!!

I was in AC this weekend, and actually glad I came home on Saturday b/c of race traffic. My sister in law lives in the city near the art museum area, so she slept over Saturday night at our place in the suburbs so she wouldn’t have trouble with traffic getting out of the city on Sunday.
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Scott November 22, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Awesome recap, great race! Welcome to the half marathon club! Hope you are not hurting too badly today.

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joanna November 22, 2010 at 5:29 pm

SO SO SO incredibly proud of you both. Such an accomplishment! :)

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Jessica@Healthy Exposures November 22, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Congrats, Nicole! You both did awesome – you’re making it sound too easy!! Sounds like you were definitely well prepared and took it all in stride :) Now have a lovely break for Thanksgiving!
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Megan November 22, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Congratulations Cole and Danny!! I am so proud of you!!

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Helena November 23, 2010 at 9:15 am

Congrats Nicole and Danny!!!!! You inspire me in so many ways my beautiful niece. Will miss you both Thursday!! :(

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Emily @Cleanliness November 24, 2010 at 10:29 am

I RAN IT TOO!

Darn, I didn’t see you!!! Congrats :o )

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Belinda @zomppa December 12, 2010 at 9:43 am

Congratulations!! What an amazing accomplishment!! I’m thinking of signing up for one – I am NOT A RUNNER – and gallowaying it…you are inspiring me to do so!

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