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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When you just look strictly at the numbers, one may wonder what happened. A runner with a 1:48 at the half-marathon distance turns a 3:03 at that same distance two weeks later (and yes, that runner is yours truly.)<br><br>
What happened? Injury? Timing glitch? Too much too soon? A combo of all that?<br><br>
First, let’s backtrack. 3:03 was roughly the time I woke up in the wee hours of the morning to make my early flight to the Philly area Friday to make the huge Kickrunner get-together. Some would be people I had met previously both at the Flying Pig in May and other various San Francisco area meet-ups this last summer. But many would be new people I only knew virtually, and some were coming from across international borders and even an ocean, and I was excited at the prospect of meeting up with everyone.<br><br>
Okay, let’s backtrack some more. Before my first ever running forum race meet-up (the Cincinnati Flying Pig in May), I was injured three weeks before with a pretty nasty case of ITBS. Well, I kept up the trend this time around as well - the night before my flight, a ligament in the outside of my right knee shifted and popped loudly during yoga class (lotus position - I curse thy name! Grrrr!) The words pop and knee in the same sentence are never a good combo; I felt no super overt pain afterward, but I knew something was amiss as I tested the leg out. Thus, unfortunately there would be a sense of uncertainty (again) for a race to which I was traveling.<br><br>
Perhaps this was appropriate. Long before that injury, I had planned to run with fellow forum members <b>Frankie</b> & <b>Auntie Moe</b> regardless for friendship's sake. I had not intended to put out a super fast time in the first place. Plus, I knew that due to injury and training issues, they had mentioned how wary they were of attempting the half-marathon distance, and sometimes wondered if the 8K wouldn’t be the better option.<br><br>
I knew it would be a challenge regardless for those two. However, I wasn’t expecting it would be a challenge for me as well. I hoped deep down that the knee would not become an issue - not only did I want to support <b>Frankie</b> & <b>Moe</b> as best I could in their attempt, but also I wanted to keep that initial intent of running for friendship's sake.<br><br>
Mentally to me, the prior couple days of the Philly get-together had been a proverbial blur. From the uneventful trip into the airport and the happy coincidence/circumstance ride from the airport with <b>Beaker</b>, <b>Moe</b>, <b>BigGahoona</b> (all of whom I had never seen in person before) and <b>Frankie</b>, all the way to the carbo-loading fest at Buca di Beppo, I met up with Kickrunner members old and soon-to-be friends/acquaintances. As it turned out, just the sheer numbers make me wish we had a day or two extra (I ended up barely chatting with folks like <b>Solitude</b>, <b>dob259</b>, and <b>Noni</b>, who I actually met previously during her vacation into the Bay Area) but you can only do your best and you take hope that there will be a next time.<br><br>
Which brings us to race day. I drove in with <b>phillytom</b> from his place into the city (he graciously played host to me for Friday & Saturday night; I can’t thank him and his lovely wife and kids enough for their hospitality.) Inclement weather had this spoiled California-weather-boy worried, but it turned out the rain would held off and the wind for the most part rarely went beyond the annoyance stage. I heard the tent would be the meetup spot, and soon enough, folks like <b>Voodoo</b>, <b>LL</b>, <b>Bob</b>, <b>Theia</b> and her DH, <span style="color:#008000;"><b>Maria</b></span> & her sis, and <b>TimLH</b> had wandered by at various times, along with my running partners <b>Frankie</b> & <b>Moe</b>.<br><br>
When we noticed the clock hit about 6:50 or so, everyone scurried out to our various starting spots. Our threesome ambled somewhere near the back of the pack and chatted nervously about our surroundings and situations, our worries, and what might or might not happen during our race. I furiously tried to keep my hands warm as an over-revved announcer that seems to be the norm at running races tried stirring participant enthusiasm over strains of familiar musical standards related to the Rocky series of movies.<br><br>
During this waiting time, <b>Frankie</b> and <b>Moe</b> talked about the plan they had in place of which I had not been aware of previously. Run a mile, walk a mile. That was perfectly fine by me - I was there to stick with them no matter what. At the starting signal, the assembled throng of runners, marathoners to the left and half-marathoners to the right, rumbled forth onto city streets, and soon enough, we put one foot in front of the other and crossed the timing mat into the unknown.<br><br>
And then, it happened...again. The blur. Many sights and many memories - too many to list, it would seem:<br><br>
- The plethora of gear - homemade arm-warmers, gloves (some of which were rather expensive), plastic bags (we actually ended up picking up a couple bags and tossing them into garbage cans) - strewn about the roads. Frankie and I added our throwaway cotton T-shirts to the collection between miles 2 and 3. Of course, the best gear we saw then was something that wasn't thrown away - <b>Nettie's</b> tutu (designed by <b>Moe</b> herself) as she passed by us on her marathon jaunt.<br>
- Ambling by landmarks like Independence Hall, the Ben Franklin Bridge, and the Battleship New Jersey, a sight that <b>Frankie</b> had wanted to see all week but never got around to doing (he did compensate a bit with a cell phone pic as we passed by.)<br>
- Playing tag for a few miles with the 5:30 Clif Bar Pacing Group, who had a damn terrific, most singing-est pacer around. And the lady from that group(?) that <b>Moe</b> went up and made into an unofficial member of our team<br>
- The dozens of kudos from spectators throughout the race liking how we were “Kickin’ It In Philly”<br>
- Finally figuring how to pronounce the word “Schuyllkill” at mile 7.<br>
- The mental boost we received at mile 9 meeting up and chatting with fellow KR member <b>Merigayle</b>, if only for a brief few seconds.<br>
- The proud feeling I got watching <b>Moe</b> blaze down a steep downhill near Mile 10<br>
- Group worry when we spotted the young man who seemed to be in a world of hurt with a volunteer on the side of the road at mile 12.<br>
- Finally reaching Eakins Oval and wondering where in the heck the finishing line was.<br>
- And of course, the incredible, spirit-lifting cascade of cheering from our fellow Kickrunner members in the bleachers in front of the Art Museum right before the finish. I felt like I was floating on air those final yards as we held each others hands aloft as we crossed the timing mat together as one.<br><br>
Throughout this whole time, we three swapped stories about our lives, our running experiences, and almost anything else under the sun, or for that day at least, under threatening, dark gray clouds.<br><br>
At the end, I felt like I was witness to something pretty special. My running partners had expressed some serious doubts pre-race, but they had a plan, put in motion, and improvised continually along the way to account for circumstances. And yes, I’m proud to say they made it happen, and I’m certain even better than their wildest hopes had envisioned.<br><br>
So to answer the question in the first paragraph, what happened?<br><br>
I had a great time, figuratively and literally, that’s what happened. It’s the best 3:03 and change I think I’ll ever run.<br><br>
And overall, this might have been the best race weekend I’ve ever had with virtual friends old and new, now come to life. We shared laughs, stories and good times and now have a whole new set of wonderful memories to take with us as we venture forth in life. I’m just glad to have been a small part of it all.
 

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Wonderful read, Moon. Its easy to imagine the fun you had sharing the miles, and the weekend, with friends. Well written. Thanks for sharing!
 

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You had some good company during the race <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> Not all races are about PRs. I was so excited when i saw you guys coming thru the aid station!!!!!
 

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Great report, <b>Moon!</b> It sounds like you guys had a great run. And yes, WHERE will we come up with a swim cap for Voo!? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> Congrats on your half!
 

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You always write such wonderful reports!!! You are a true friend, you stuck by Frankie and Moe and will forever be one of my heros!!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> What a great friend!<br><br>
How's your knee feeling now?
 

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I know what you mean by <b>the blur</b>. It's happened to me on my longer solo runs at easy pace, although for me I found it much more intense at longer drawn out faster pace of what I ran on Sunday. So much happens, it's darn near overwhelming.<br><br>
It's interesting that you say it happened for you while accompanying Frankie and Moe, so maybe I should reserve potential or hope that one day I could run along with others, still get <b>the blur</b> and be able to interact sufficiently with the companions. Thank you, I'll have to think more about this.
 

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Loved your report Joe!
 

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Moonie,<br><br>
Excellent RR! Glad to hear that you had a blast, sharing the experience with Moe and Frankie - it sounds like all three of you had a great time!
 

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Sounds like a darned near perfect weekend <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
Good stuff<br>
hup
 

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I love reading all these RRs. I should be working....but that is what next week is for. Great job, you are a wonderful friend <b>Moonie</b>
 

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You know it's gonna be a good day when you can run amongst friends and have someone like Moon around, smiling and loving every minute of it. <b>Great job Moonie!!!</b>
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks <b>Jen!</b><br><br>
As far as the knee, I think I have a MCL sprain. I did have a small strap around the area during the race; my knee started feeling wonky between mile 9 & 10 when we started the downhill portion, but otherwise held up ok.<br><br>
I'll probably keep a brace on the thing for a week or so plus do the R.I.C.E. routine. I'm tempted to get out and run too, though that may not be the most wise thing.
 

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Remember, some wise dude in our group said that "Sometimes just going the distance is enough" Social races can be a ton of fun. Sounds like you had a great time.
 

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well said <b>Moon</b>. Well said.
 

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Sounds like a great time. Glad you were able to run with your friends and help them to their goals. Great race report. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_salut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="salute">
 
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