Sunday, September 16, 2007

PR! Sort of! I Think!

Philadelphia Distance Run, September 16, 2007: 2:38:06 (12:04 min/mile)

Montgomery County Half Marathon, September 24, 2006: 2:38:15 (12:05 min/mile)

Phedippidations Worldwide Half (my own half marathon), October 14, 2006: 2:23:16 (10:56/mile)

Well, it all depends on how you look at it. Either I had a nine-second PR, or the highly unofficial time of 2:23:16 stands. Funny, when I set that time, it didn't seem so unofficial!

It was a great day today. Perfect weather, chilly, a bit windy, loads of sun, and a field of 15,000. I am happy to say I was not the 15,000th runner to cross the finish.

I was in corral 16 (there were 17) so it took a while to cross the mat. The race starts and ends at Eakins Oval, by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. And of course the music at the start? Theme from Rocky, which for some strange reason, made me tear up.

The race was due to start at 7:45 and at 7:20 I was still in the car with the Number One Daughter and her boyfriend, and wouldn't you just know it, all of a sudden I had to see a man about a horse. WHY WHY WHY???

I will spare you the details. Let's just say I made it to my corral on time.

Miles 1-3 went by in a blur. I was wearing a great t-shirt, photos to come, and got a lot of comments on it. There were loads of spectators, but they were strangely quiet. It was odd. I actually tried to high-five a few kids but they were not interested. Later on I high-fived a couple of homeless guys, one of whom said something about me being a "hootchie mama." What's not to like about THAT?!

Number One Daughter and BoyFriend were at mile 4, where I stripped off my top layer as I heated up. They promised to be at mile 9, which seemed like a million miles away, but gave me something to look forward to, you know, other than crossing the finish line.

The course heads out of the city along the west side of the Schuykill River, crosses a bridge and heads down Kelly Drive, home of the famous Philadelphia Boathouse Row.

And there were the kids, waiting at mile 9, where they wanted to "talk to me about the car situation." The car was at mile 9. They wanted to know if I'd be up for a four-mile walk back to the car after the finish, or if one of them should skip the run and drive to the finish.

Ha ha ha ha. I managed to convey that I had no brain matter available at the moment. I just knew I wanted them both to run me in, so I said, no problems we'll hail a cab back. Despite the fact that none of us had any money. "Money in car!" I mumbled. And off we went!

My trusty coach had given me explicit instructions, to wit:

I believe you need to approach this totally as a supported training run. Your main objective here is Army Ten Miler. Don't shake your confidence by not making a goal. run easy the first ten miles, say, start at a 12:00 pace and see if you can sustain that or even improve it a bit and then have the BF help you bring it in. At the ten mile mark, the race is down to a 5K race left. Walk easily and purposefully through water stops and start running again. Don't be afraid to slow down, just don't start "plodding along". If you are "plodding", walk 100 yards to rest and collect yourself and then start to run again, faster than "plodding."

Don't forget pacing. Try to stick on 12s, or 12:30s, or 11:30s.
Well, y'all know me. Wind me up, point me in the right direction, and tell me what to do.

Mile 1: 11:38
2: 11:45
3: 11:38
4: 11:49
5: 12:18
6: 11:31
7: 12:18
8: 11:18
9: 14:03 (extended car discussion)
10: 12:34 (2:00 on the nose)
11: 12:07
12: 12:02
13: 11:57
.1: 1:08

I only walked the water stops. Until mile 11 when I told BF that I had to walk for a minute. He said exactly the right thing to get me moving again: "If you stop now, your body will start shutting down and it will be really hard to start again." (I don't know if he actually talks in italics or not.) That got me going because I was REALLY getting sick of this running thing.

I must confess that I took my iPod Nano and I'm glad I did. I listened to music on and off. From mile 11 to the end, I belted out U2s "It's a Beautiful Day" (chorus only) about 20 times, much to the bemusement shock and horror of my companions. But see, it WAS a beautiful day, so I had to sing it.

We saw the 20k sign and I knew the end was near. I kept running.

I sprinted that last .1 in 1:08. I want to run a .1 mile race. I bet I'd be really fast.

We crossed the finish line hand-in-hand and if I screwed up that photo I'll be really mad!

After hanging around picking up various schwag and free food, we started hunting for a cab.

Curiously, there were no cabs in Philly. None. As in zero. We hung around the art museum for a while, then the BF said he would run back to get the car.

As in running. That thing that we had just finished. That thing the thought of which made me slightly nauseated.

While he ran back, NOD and I started walking along Boathouse Row, Kelly Dr. BF made it back to the car—a good four miles—in oh, about 30 minutes. He picked us up and we made a stop at his boathouse, one of the oldest and most prestigious in the nation.

Vesper Boat Club

Inside Vesper Boat Club

After a lovely fancy brunch, we headed back to NOD's place, where it suddenly dawned on me that I would have to drive 2 1/2 hours home to D.C. I'm smart like that.

Caff frappacino in hand, I hit the road and made it home in one piece.

It was a day to remember.


Plods said...

Awesome! It's totally a PR! Go Jeanne :)

peter said...

PRs are nice. Way to go! And I'm impressed that you built a 4-mile cooldown jog into your race.

m said...

Go Jeanne!

Danielle in Iowa said...

Well, how about you set an official PR, but not an unofficial PR? I'm all about calling a PR kinda non-race run a PR, even if it technically doesn't count :-)

And I hope you didn't check out that horse in the corral ;-)

Susan said...

WOW - that is fantastic! You did an amazing job. Good job.

Thomas said...

Well, well, well. Hootchie mama. We're constantly learning new things about you!

a.maria said...


i hope my race goes that well!!!!! good job not "plodding along". i'll have to remember what BF said.

he coulda been talking outta his ass, but.. it'd make me keep running too! ;)

21stCenturyMom said...

Sounds like a fantabulous day! Offical PRs beat unofficial PRs - always. You have to trust the course measurements and stuff like that.

Go Jeanne!

Neese said...

i love your splits would love those to be mine for my half, could I borrow them? hehe ;)

Mike Antonucci said...

Way to go, Jeanne!

LBTEPA said...

What a GREAT day! You are a hard-running, hoochie-mama cool-tshirt-wearing, instruction-following LEGEND!

Black Knight said...

Yes it is a real PR!!! Frappaccino....a new taste to discover!

Runner Susan said...

I want to run a .1 mile race too. You are a genius!

Well done Jeanne!

Anne said...

I love your strategy -- and advice you were given, especially from the guy on the course that cautioned against walking too long. I've heard it before and believe it; your body does think it's time to stop. Sounds like even Rocky would appreciate race day as this one unfolded.

David said...

You and those horses. How well I remember.

Sounds like a perfectly played out race. The Army 10 Miler will be a landmark occasion. I can feel it.

Go Army. Beat Navy.

Just12Finish said...

Great race Hootchie Mama! Nice splits and nice finish. Smart of you to take BF's advice to keep running. He must be quite to stud to run in 4 miles and run back 4 miles!

Dori said...

Great race! Great race report! Congratulations on your official PR. :-)

Rae said...

Great job!! I love Philly, it's so gorgeous! It sounds like you had a blast and a half!!!

You are so set for the 10 miler!

Running Jayhawk said...

Nicely done, Jeanne.

Sign me up for that .1 mile race! I am SO THERE.

Vickie said...

Wow! Great job. I guess I'd better get training more if I want to come close to that by the end of Oct.