Ahh, kind of fall. It’s a time where races open up to all kinds of possibilities for me because I become convinced that it’s actually cooler. Now that I’ve moved further north than Florida, I just assumed that cooler weather existed everywhere. It doesn’t. Granted, it’s definitely cooler than Florida, but not cool. And the humidity… does it not go somewhere? This weekend it didn’t and I was even further north, in Philly.
I had a free half marathon submission for the RNR series since last year’s Savannah half was so terrible. I decided to use it to run Philadelphia since the course looked appealing and I needed to cross another state off my list. Plus, it is close to my dad’s birthday and he’s into history, but had yet to see the Liberty Bell. Or so I thought. He explained while we were in line that he apparently had seen it as a child. But that basically meant he hadn’t. So onward an upward, we saw it! I will admit, I did read a lot more of the informational pieces than I did the first time I saw the Liberty Bell, so it was really a win on all sides.
On Friday my boyfriend and I took off to see the City of Brotherly Love and basically pick up my packets prior to the massive crowd. We arrived early in the day so we went to the hotel – Home2Suites – and figured we could at least drop our bags off and roam around. The staff at the hotel were so pleasant. I asked if we could simply drop our bags off and come back later, but instead they upgraded our room since one was available. This was terrific since I was already starting to get sleepy from the lack of sleep the night before, plus my allergies were really taking a toll. My starving self was so happy that a BurgerFi was attached to the hotel, that I didn’t even bother looking for somewhere else to eat that was more local. I figure since there isn’t a BurgerFi in Charlotte, I could just go for something I already know that I love. The bajillion calories was also alluring. I was starving, don’t judge me.
Packet pickup went smoothly, but the merch area was a cluster. Only one of the cash registers was functional so it took forever to check out. Regardless, I had my 5K and half marathon bibs and was ready to go! So then we walked to the LOVE statue, because: Philly. Back to the hotel for a nap! It was amazing. Then more roaming. Philly is really pretty. I like all the green space that has been allocated. Plus there was this mini golf that had mini replicas of landmarks. Adorable! My parents arrived shortly after and we stumbled upon a pub – I had Shepard’s Pie but the lighting was so dim I didn’t even attempt to take a picture. We also went to an awesome gelato place! Again, no pictures. I am a slacker.
The 5k went well. The weather was sunny, but breezy. I felt great running it. The scenery was nice and you are surrounded by the museum and some other great Philly landmarks. We then walked the entire city (or so it felt) and killed my feet for the next day. We also went to the National Constitution Center on what happened to be Constitution Day! They passed out cake, so I was sold. I’d also received a really cool swag bag from the team at Visit Philly and they included two free passes for us to attend. I was a little taken aback that they only offered free entry to active duty military and not retirees. Either way, we had fun. The museum is interactive. My favorite part is in Signer’s Hall. They have life size bronze statues of the men that signed the Constitution. We decided to pose with them. I had a blast. Plus I became President. It’s the little things.
Sunday was so humid. I was really looking forward to some overcast breezy weather. Only half of that happened. Overcast, yes. Breezy, no. Because of all of the walking we had done the day before, I was hit hard by the struggle bus. The first three miles I was simply trying to convince myself that I could keep going. My mantra was: knees up, knees up. Just blah. The first four miles put you right back at the start though which is great if you have people there to support you. Seeing my parents and my boyfriend during the race was really nice, especially since I was having such a hard time getting going. Around mile five or six I finally started to get in the groove (my time reflects this to be a fact, too) and I felt better about things. The scenery was beautiful. Seeing some of the rock walls along the road were cool because I’ve generally only seen them outside of cities.
I’d recommend this run to others. I thought it was a nice way to see Philadelphia. It’s one of the things I love most about running half marathons. You get to see the city from the ground in a different way than trying to guess where to go.