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5 Thoughts 5 Days From The Philadelphia Half Marathon

After 12 weeks of training, many mid-week 3-milers early in the morning and late at night and seemingly endless weekend long runs, the Philadelphia Half Marathon is finally here. With the race looming just five days away, I’m excited, nervous (and a little bit terrified).

My mind is certainly running in overdrive and below are the five things I can’t stop thinking about five days from the big day:

1. My knee. First and foremost, I’m praying that my knee holds out and allows me to get through 13.1 mostly painless miles. I mentioned a few weeks ago that completely out of nowhere, I started experiencing pain in my knee and had to cut a 6-mile stepback week long run short to a 3-miler. After that, I rested and even went to the doctor and had an x-ray taken of my knee. The doctor didn’t see anything alarming and thinks I probably experienced pain from overuse, but even his non-diagnosis still has me worried. During my 12-miler last week, I started experiencing a dull pain halfway through, but it wasn’t bad enough to stop me. I’m confident I can get through the 13.1 miles but I trained for this race with a time goal in mind and I want to reach it, while still running smart and healthy.

2. Logistics. Isn’t it awful that race day logistics stress me out way more than the thought of running 13.1 miles? The organizers of the Marathon weekend have sent out an email with logistics and provide more details about parking and public transportation on their website, but that doesn’t make me any less worried. Unfortunately, I’m heading to this race completely alone after friends decided to sell their bibs, so I’m on my own to figure out getting there. Anyone out there who has done the race who knows of a super secret parking place they’d like to share? As of now, I was thinking of parking in a Center City garage and taking a cab (or walking) as close as I can get to the starting line.

3. Weather. Leave it to me to worry about things I can’t even control. A few days ago I started stalking my trusty AccuWeather.com for the race day weather forecast. As of a few days ago, it was forecasted to be an absolutely stunning day, but now I see rain, clouds and wind. Yuck. It’s not ideal, but it’s do-able. Luckily, there are still five days until the race, so maybe Mother Nature will give us all a little break and make Sunday a beautiful day for a run.

4. What to wear. Speaking of weather, now I have NO idea what to wear. I figured it would be freezing cold and planned to wear my usual winter-weather Under Armour running pants and a long sleeve running shirt. I actually prefer running in the cold, so I was looking forward to a slight chill in the air. However, with the weather forecast so up and down, I’m honestly not sure what to wear on race day. Usually, I like to have this aspect planned for and out of the way during race week, but it seems that I’ll need to continue playing it by ear until Sunday.

5. Playlist. I need two and a half hours of upbeat, energetic and motivating songs. Right now I have about an hour and a half of music on my Half Marathon playlist, but definitely need some fresh tunes to keep me going. Your suggestions welcome in the comments!

Are you participating in the Philadelphia Marathon or Half Marathon? If so, what thoughts are running through your mind this week?

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17 thoughts on “5 Thoughts 5 Days From The Philadelphia Half Marathon”

  1. WOO HOO!! Race is this weekend, soak in every minute, it’s going to be a memory for the rest of your life. AHHH now it is time for me to give some advice:

    PARKING: In regards to parking, don’t stress. Just get down there to give yourself enough time. I would say lean away from taking a cab because roads will be closed because of the race hence not allowing cabbies to get very far. I would drive and get down there by either public trans or walking.

    WHAT TO WEAR: My biggest issue as well. I love running when it is a little chillier. Despite being a bit chilly you are going to get warm. Wear a crappy sweatshirt to the start line then ditch it as you take off (lots of races collect all the left over clothes and give it to salvation army!!) .. If i were actually still running it (i’m still super bummed) I would wear my long long under armour pants, thin long sleeve or a tshirt (probably a tshirt)….HOWEVER, go out and buy a crappy pair of $1 gloves (the ones when we were little kids, I have a green pair I can give you on Friday if you want) and a cheap headband/head warmer. Two very important parts that will keep you warm!! If you get too hot with them on, you toss them to the side when you’re going bc they were only a $1!!

    THE TUNES: I stressed SOOOO much over song choices (especially during my marathon)… I am a BIG music listener when it comes to training. But I’ll be honest, when actually going during the races I dont listen at all… I really dont think I notice the music, the emotion and adrenaline hides it. You could play your list on repeat and you dont even notice! 🙂

    Pace yourself, really make sure you’re looking at your watch during the first five miles because they are going to go SOOOO quick. Let other people rush out of the gate and you pace. You’ll be the one finishing before them anyway. Good luck, you’re going to kill it! Cant wait to catch up on Friday!!!

    1. EEEEEKS! RACE WEEK is here. So exciting. Thank you for all these great tips.

      Good call on the gloves…I should definitely do that. It’s going to be chilly in the morning.

      Pacing myself is going to be tough. My Garmin broke (ugh) so I’ve been using an app on my phone. It’s a little harder to look at than my watch, but I’m going to do my best to monitor. Believe me, I’m slow anyway so I won’t be racing to keep up with all the speedy people.

      See you Friday!

  2. So excited for you, Jessica! I completely understand your worries — they are all valid and all-too-common before a big race! The biggest thing to remember is that your training has prepared you well — you won’t NOT finish 13.1 miles, especially with all of the excitement and enthusiasm in the year.

    As for parking, do your best NOT to have to walk a long distance to the start line. You want to keep your legs as fresh as possible!

    As for gear, wear what you’re comfortable in and what you’ve trained in. they always say not to wear anything new on race day, and it’s SO true. The idea to buy cheap gloves is a good one, and I recommend a thick headband that you can put over your ears and then push back if you’re too warm. Thick headbands are my go-to cold running gear because they keep my ears warm (but not hot) and can easily transform into a regular headband.

    And finally, just run your race! When I did my first half, I knew I couldn’t come out and do 7:45 with the faster runners — I would have died later on. I ended up starting out slow, keeping a pace I kept during training, and STILL ended up running faster than I ever have! The competition will do that to you 🙂

    I am so excited and can’t wait to hear all about it when you cross that finish line. You go, girl!!

    1. Thanks for your great comment and advice, Abby! 🙂

      I’m definitely going to try not to park too far away…I have an idea of where I want to park but I need a Plan B in case that doesn’t work out.

      It’s going to be difficult to keep my pace in the beginning, but I’m going to try my best! 🙂

  3. Wooooo!!

    I’m also going crazy about a few things too! I’m lucky my friends husband is driving us into the city, so we don’t have to worry about parking. But weather/clothes! eeeeek!

    I’m planning on wearing shorts (I get SO hot when I run, plus my knee brace fits better with shorts) and a long sleeve top. I’m buying cheap sweats from walmart to toss at the start line. And that is a great idea about the cheap gloves!

    For my playlist I’m have a mix but I’m also doing a 2nd short playlist of 10 songs that are the need to have that I can listen to just on repeat if need be. But I’m weird like that where I like things on repeat when I run.

    And YES, pace at the beginning. I got so caught up last time (in a much, much, much smaller race) and my first mile was like 8 min and I had a hard time getting into my groove. My goal this time is to start smart and I’m hoping that the crowds and SO MANY PEOPLE are going to help with my motivation.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    1. THANKS for the tips, Erin! I’m still a little stressed about the parking situation, but hopefully that will work itself out. Lucky that your friend is driving you….that’s a relief and one thing to check off the list.

      SHORTS…eeks. I can’t. I’m such a wuss when I’m cold. I do plan on bringing a cheap sweatshirt to toss at the beginning, so hopefully that will work well.

      I like your idea about the shorter playlist…that’s so cool!

      GOOD LUCK TO YOU TOO! 🙂 We’re going to rock it.

  4. I am so excited for you! I know you have a lot of worries, but it will all work out just fine! I am doing my first race on Thanksgiving, the Turkey Trot. Last night, I ran my longest distance to fate 3.21 miles. Can’t wait to be where you are! Best of luck.

    Here are some of the songs I run to. They are corny, but they work!

    Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
    Starships – Nicki Minaj
    Good Feeling – Flo Rida (my favorite running song)

    1. FUN! Believe me, you will definitely get to where I am. I was exactly where you are literally at this time last year! The most I had ever done was a 5K and from there, it just grew and grew. Isn’t it cool to see yourself improve? HAVE FUN at the Turkey Trot! I’m doing a Thanksgiving run, as well. Let me know how it goes!

  5. How exciting! I hope everything goes really well!!!! It’s always been on my bucket list to run a marathon! I have an ankle injury from high school sports that flairs up every time I run. I need to see a specialist – but it always gets pushed to the back burner! But anyways, I hope the weather holds up and you come up with a great playlist!!!!!!!

  6. I’m running and looking forward to it. I came up to run this with my cousin because this is her first. I did a longer training schedule, so I am actually kind of at peace with the race. There isn’t much more that I can do than show up on Sunday and knock it out. I have multiple outfits I can wear and still not exactly sure what the end result will be.

  7. If I had been there, I would have taken you! 4am in the morning and all! You’re my inspiration and I love seeing your continued dedication to run. Mostly because you seem like you’re having the time of your life! When I move back, call me if you’re in a pinch again! And if all goes as I’d like, I’ll be joining you anyways. 🙂

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I live by the saying “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and help others do the same to reach their biggest, brightest goals. Read my story here.

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