The Philadelphia Distance Run has been my favorite race since I bandited in 2006. I ran with Chima, who hadn't run more than 8 miles in the previous 7 years I don't think. His goal was ambitious: 7:00/mi. I drove up from Baltimore to crash at his girlfriend's place in Manayunk. At the time they hadn't been going out real long, now of course they're married.
The weather was perfect, which I found out would be a staple of this race. I couldn't go into the corrals with a number, so I waited for Chima about a quarter mile up the road. Magically, I spotted him very easily and jumped in. We ran even, comfortable splits and by mile 4 we were running 6:48-6:50, well below his goal pace. I was enjoying the run, it was super nice out. Once we crossed the bridge to the other side of the Schuykill, Chima was finally starting to have to work. The pace slowed, but only to 7:00-7:05, so with the time we had in the bank, we ended up with an average of 6:59 per mile pace. It was great.
So then I went back the next year to run for real and it was an epic failure. I had been running through a piriformis/sciatic problem and it crippled me at mile 6. I only finished because I was too far away to not finish. I ran 1:35. At the time, it was the worst race I think I'd ever had. Fortunately there were a few more years of worseness to come.
Following year (2008) I went back and ran much better, but still didn't do great. I was hoping to run very well this year, and Alfred Terry ensured that I would not be able to do that.
I did make it out to Philly for this year's race, and I was glad to get there. My brother and I drove down and met up with Arjun, Melissa, Jen and Nina, who were thoughtful enough to celebrate my birthday with a mini-surprise in the hotel room. I appreciated their kindness and we later met up with Joel and Alix for dinner at our favorite Philly restaurant, The Continental.
The next morning they all went out and killed it, with some amazing PRs and generally great runs. Our favorite Philly post-race spot is back in Newark, DE, at Deer Park Tavern, so my brother and I detoured slightly to go hang out there with the gang.
Sad that I couldn't do the race, and sad that it's the last year that the official name will be the Philadelphia Distance Run. Like a common whore, the race has been bought up by the Rock n Roll franchise, so it will be named the ING Rock n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon next year I'm sure, brought to you by P.F. Chang's. Bleh. The only sweet thing about it is that this year's shirts were dope, finally no more cotton and it's bright orange. Doing all these ING races I'm just going to have a floor full of orange shirts.
All the walking around did some serious work to my knee. Was not feeling good at all by the time I got home. Monday's PT session was rough as a result. I feel like I'm not getting anywhere, and my motivation is being crushed every day when I see how awesome everyone else is doing. I know, selfish - I'm happy that everyone is doing so well but I also just don't see how I will be able to compete next year when I'm back to my 3rd grade level of fitness and everyone else is just steamrolling along.
I'm also going nuts being stuck at my parents' house in NJ. I can't even go out and enjoy the things I normally do here, like go to the beach. I was about to say "go for a ride" but I don't think I'll ever bring my bike back here to ride again.
I made it into the pool yesterday. A little over two weeks out of the pool and I didn't feel terrible, but I'm also back to where I was right after I got hit. That is to say, I swam 1000 yards with a pull buoy, then 650 without. Can't flip turn, can't kick really. It was better than nothing.
Today I'm struggling. My motivation and energy are really low. My dad's going to drop me off at the pool and I'm going to try and walk home. It's about 2 miles.