Last year, I’d sworn that I would not run the Rock n’ Roll half marathon after viewing my disappointment at how last year’s race went and in general, the “corporatization” of the race that once used to be the Philadelphia Distance Run. The hiking of the starting price for this race didn’t help either. And so time passed, and as I aligned my personal and racing commitments, I decided, then instead, to focus attention on a local race, the Hands on House race, held near my hometown, despite the hills and the challenging course in general (link), I figured this would be a nice change of pace.
Except, work commitments, being as they are, scuttled my ability to run this race. I am still training for a good distance prior to a slight break in October because of international travel, but I could no longer do any half marathon prior to this break, which I’d previously had hoped to. I was seriously bummed, dealing with a number of situations in the last few months, I had very much hoped that after last March’s Love Run in the pouring rain, another race weekend and race would help give me the lift that I very much needed. Having to pull out of Hands on House meant that my next race weekend would not be until November.
Until last Thursday.
I attended the City Sports run club’s usual jaunt on Thursday, that evening’s session sponsored by none other than the Competitor Group who sanctioned RnR Philly and other RnR races. At the end of our run, they raffled off several prices, two of which were free entries to the Philadelphia race, a free code that could be used for either of the 5k or the Half Marathon, each run on different days for those who wanted to run both.
To boot, the leader also took us out to Tria, where I took on an Italian ember spiced/herbed beer.
The rep read off the ticket numbers for each of the prices. Personally, I secretly hoped I would not win the code as I was flying out to Atlanta that Sunday morning, so participation in the half would be a moot point.
“Last three numbers are 131,” he read out.
“Oh wow,” I exclaimed to my friend Rachel next to me. “That IS me.”
Befuddled not knowing what to do, I stared at the envelope debating whether to give it back, since I simply couldn’t do the half. Then the race rep explained that if I wished, I could also use it to run the 5k, by which point had risen to $50 for registration. A few of my teammates suggested I sell the race entry, although said entry code would expire 31 August, so even raffling it away would be inefficient at best. At Tria, I searched through the Delta schedule to see if it was possible to even consider switching my flight. Then I counted the weeks between the present time and the time of the half.
Not enough time to ramp up my mileage safely for a last ditch half. I had declared myself out of the Hands on House awhile ago, so I did not ramp up my mileage like expected. Even then, the bottoms of my shins were beginning to act up, and I didn’t think it was worth risking it, especially as I had run this race three times already.
I decided I’d go for the 5k. I could still be a part of race weekend; I could travel at ease the next day and it wouldn’t endanger my current training.
In any case, it still felt good to be racing something prior to the Philly Half, my spirits and mind need it quite badly.