We got up at 5 am, left the hotel around 5:55, parked, walked over, and arrived just before 6:30.
We immediately got into the long porta potty lines and shortly after my family arrived!
Next thing I knew it was only a few minutes before the race was starting and we were lined up in our corral.
7 am... after walking for about 2 minutes up to the corral (as opposed to almost 40 at Broad Street), we were off! It was pretty crowded at the beginning, but nothing like Broad Street, we weren't almost tripping over people. We passed my family and Dave right in the beginning! Tom was cheering SO loud.
The first few miles were a big loop around the start, which was nice because we got to see my fam multiple times. It was super cloudy, which was amazing because you could feel the humidity right from the beginning. I was feeling pretty good and these miles were fairly uneventful other than checking out all the funny costumes people were wearing, not to mention this guy who juggled the entire 13.1 miles!
Then we headed down a big hill around mile 4 and I got a mini side stitch. I think it was from running too fast down the hill, but it subsided pretty quickly once we started our out and back. I didn't enjoy the beginning of this part because the road was super slanted. But soon we had some beautiful scenery with the river and the art museum approaching. And then we started seeing the leaders come back which was inspiring and provided some eye candy, hello shirtless Mr. America hehe.
Next thing we knew we were at the Art Museum turning around. Passing all the runners behind us was kind of fun, I felt fast and we were cheering on all the people towards the end that looked like they needed some inspiration! Shayna had her ipod on her arm, so we decided some tunes would help pump us up. Next thing I know we were headed into the next out and back for miles 8-12 and the sun started to come out but a lot of this part was shaded by trees, thank goodness! Around mile 9 there was a band along the course, they weren't playing and we were kind of bummed, until we realized there was a girl passed out next to them. Thankfully she had some medics with her, but it definitely gave me the chills to see her laying there.
My knees started to ache as we approached double digits, but I was still feeling pretty good and I knew we only had a few miles left. Around mile 11 Don't Stop Me Now by Queen came on and it totally pumped us up, we were singing and loving it. I hope the people around us liked Queen :) I was really starting to anticipate the big hill at the end and then we started to hear the crowd cheering ahead of us...
I was like, oh somebody has some fans, those people are loud. And then I saw my dad across the street in a tie dye shirt that he wasn't wearing at the beginning of the race. I was like oh, hi Dad! And then he points across the street and I realize... OMG those people cheering are MY friends! I was blown away!
Over a dozen of my friends were screaming for us with matching tie dye shirts holding homemade signs! I couldn't believe how awesome they were!
That gave me the perfect boost for the end of the race! As we passed the mile 12 marker I kept thinking, omg only 1 left, I'm going to finish this thing!
And then around 12.5, the big hill came. I knew there was a hill right at the end of this race from reading people's race recaps from last year and I knew what to expect since we ran down it in the beginning of the race... but then here it was. My knees and hips were both in pain, but I didn't care... I was definitely ready to make that hill my bitch! All that hill training in Valley Forge was worth it because I killed it. So many people were walking up the hill and I felt like a champion passing everyone. I refused to walk and soon enough, the hill was over and I could see the finish!
Passing Shayna's mom and her boyfriend gave me some energy and next thing I knew I was passing my huge fan club of friends and family all screaming my name and I sprinted to the finish!
I wanted to finish in 2:15, but I was feeling kind of disappointed when I looked up at the race clock and it said 2:16... but then I realized we didn't cross the start line until 2 minutes after the clock started! I hit my goal and finished in 2:14:44 (chip time)! Here are my splits!
Seriously, I ran the mile with the ridiculous hill at a 9:32 pace?! Shayna finished shortly behind me with a smile on her face too!
Jenn came in strong a bit after us but apparently my team of photographers was a bit distracted, sorry Jenn!
After I finished, I got my metal and headed back to my fan club to give everyone sweaty hugs and get tons of congratulations!
I DID IT! I felt amazing after finishing and having my family and all my friends there really just made it so special! What an amazing experience!