I ran the Philly Love Run half marathon in Philadelphia yesterday. This race has been in existence now for 3 years and I’ve run all 3 years.

You get a mug each year as part of your swag. They seem to be shrinking each year. :)

You get a mug each year as part of your swag which I love since I’m such a big coffee drinker. They seem to be shrinking each year though. 🙂

The first year (2014)  I set my current half marathon PR in the pouring rain.

Such a wild day running in the pouring rain

Such a wild day running in the pouring rain

Last year (2015) my knee was still recovering and I was just hoping to finish without crippling myself.

Yay! Done! Knee ok. Let's eat.

Yay! Done! Knee ok. Let’s eat.

This year I knew I wasn’t in PR shape but I also knew after last week’s Cherry Blossom 10 miler that I could run strong 10-minute miles for at least 10 miles so my goal was to finish between 2:10 and 2:15. Well, despite the ridiculously big hills between miles 7 and 8 I did it and came in at 2:13 with a 10:09 average pace.


Each year the course has changed between miles 6-9 and that has always been the hilliest and most challenging part of the course. I’m going to do a comparison of all 3 year’s courses in detail at the end of this recap but first I’ll recap yesterday’s experience:

Expo: I’ve yet to attend an expo since I live an hour and a half from Philly. I’ve relied on my friend Jane (and her resources) to grab my bib and swag every year. They are fine with someone else getting your bib as long as you show a copy of that runner’s ID.Thank you Jane!

Philly Love Run Race Day

Pre-Race: I slept at Mr SOTSS’ the night before so at 4:15am when the alarm went off I got up and shut it off quickly, got dressed, made a travel mug of coffee and toasted a bagel with a little butter and wrapped it up in foil so I could have my breakfast on the road. Mr. SOTSS’ dog Chester eats breakfast really early so he was happy to see me moving about at 4:45 am. I fed him (and Duncan too) just before I left the house at 5am.


Old school note left on the kitchen counter. Wouldn’t want the dogs to get fed twice although I’m sure they’d be ok with it 🙂

I ate half the bagel, half the cup of coffee and had some water on the drive down and by 6:30 am I was parking. The lot was almost full! Each year the race gets larger so if you plan to drive be sure to give yourself plenty of time to park. There is street parking if you are lucky but I hate stressing about parking so I just shelled out the $20 for the parking lot and patted myself on the back for getting there as early as I did. The lot I parked in is only 3 blocks from the start. By 7:30 I had met up with Jane and her friends.

Start–Mile 4: It was cold in the morning. Temps were just below freezing. But graciously mother nature decided to ease up on the original predicted wind and there was plenty of sunshine too. I decided to seed myself in the 1:45-2:00 hour corral.

View from the corrals

View from the corrals

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I was doing laundry earlier and thought about how erratic the weather’s been lately as I washed everything from light short sleeve T-shirts and heavy fleece pullovers. I was running in 79 degree weather just last week and then just a few days later running with wind chills in the 20s. Today it’s in the 60s but this weekend we’re supposed to get more freezing temps. I guess the life lesson here is just learn to be flexible about ups and downs.

Trying to be flexible with his cone of shame. Poor little fella is really getting frustrated

Trying to be flexible with his cone of shame. Poor little fella is really getting frustrated

I should have gone out for a recovery run on Monday since I spent most of the day sitting after completing the Cherry Blossom 10 miler on Sunday—but it poured down rain all day and I just couldn’t get myself to go. So by the time I set out for an easy recovery run on Tuesday I was tight, sore and stiff, especially in the hamstrings and hip flexors. It was super cold and windy and actually felt worse than it did on Sunday so I was happy to just get in 4ish miles and come inside to warm up.

The cow tattoo still holding strong 24 hours later

The cow tattoo still holding on 24 hours later and my “lucky” 11:11 pace required a wish for sure.

Yesterday I ran another 4 since my workload was light and I had the time. Another cold and windy one.

Forgot about this Adidas hat of mine. I love it. It's got a nice short bill.

Forgot about this Adidas hat of mine. I love it. It’s got a nice short bill.

4 is the new 3 for me lately.

4 is the new 3 for me lately.

There might be one more short run before the Philly Love Run half on Sunday. Otherwise I’ll enjoy the rest and hope that it results in fresh legs for Sunday. I’ve run this race twice before. The first year (2014) I set a huge PR and it was POURING RAIN!!! You can read my recap here. Last year I was still recovering from my wonky knee and just wanted to get through it in one piece. Ironically I had time to realize that the course wasn’t as flat as I thought. It made me relish in the prior year’s PR even more. There is a HUGE hill at mile 6 and another hill at mile 8.


Duncan and I are hoping the next week flies. We’re halfway through his cone/stitches recovery. We ventured out in public and he’s been getting better adapting so that he can play with his toys.

Work it

Work it

Squirrels better not be making fun of me...

Squirrels better not be making fun of me…

How has your week been?

Ever been to Philly?

Ever PR at a race with a huge hill?

Ever run in the pouring rain?