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Inspired Living

FIT Project (Philadelphia Edition)

Sarah Stanley

Here we are! Another race recap! Woo hoo!! Sept, 18, 2011 Philadelphia Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon

Little did I know when I woke up on the morning of the 16th I wouldn't sleep for THREE days.

I primarily fly Southwest Airlines. And my flights have always been exciting. Be it crying kids or the cute guys beside me. Today's flight was no exception. I had to work in the morning, quickly catch a ride to the airport in the late afternoon and make the 6:15 p.m., flight direct to Philly. East Coast, here I come again! As I was at the gate counter, where I was informed that this flight had a lot of "cute, single men" according to the gate keepers. I told them that I usually have good luck and they literally clapped their hands and said go get them! I laughed not really thinking much about it.

Because I was one of the last people to board, my seat choices weren't many. As I was making my way (slowly) to the back of the plane, I noticed a guy near the window seat. He looked up at me three times. Figuring I may as well have a good seat mate for an almost cross country flight, I was like that's my seat. As I got closer, the guy on the aisle practically jumped up and was like "you want to sit here?" I was like sure! I stuck my backpack under the middle seat and sat down. They asked if that's all I had packed and I replied "Absolutely! I am a very light packer." They were impressed.

Before we even took off, we exchanged names, James on the aisle and Charles (Chuck) on the window, yours truly in the middle. Let the ride begin. Chuck was making a connecting flight from California and James was from Philly who was in town for work. I will spare you ALL the juicy details (will be saved for the book), but I will say by the time we landed around midnight, we were like the three musketeers. It was literally the best flight of my life. And that is saying something as I fly multiple times per week! We exchanged phone numbers and walked to the transportation area. However, the night was just beginning.

Chuck was actually in town to meet a girl who stood him up (no joke). So James took him back to his place till Jordan and I drove to get him. By this time, it was 3 a.m., when we picked Chuck up and 4:30 a.m. when we got back to Jordan's place. Hello exhaustion!

I tried to get some sleep, but that was short lived. One of Jordan's roommates got up at 6 a.m. and made himself breakfast, complete with bacon. Which set the smoke detector off. Apparently, no one else was bothered by the constant beeping. OMG. And then to make matters worse, my room didn't have any curtains and the sunlight was streaming right into the room. I got up and took the batteries out of the detector. Which didn't do a bit of good. No sleep for the weary!

So I got up and did a little work. When Chuck got up we talked. Asked some more questions and found out that he was on Millionaire Matchmaker. OK then! We went our separate ways - me to the race expo. It was now a cloudy day in Philly. I was freaking exhausted and went back to the house in hopes of catching a nap. Well, I got locked out of the house. FOR THREE HOURS. After pulling on the door handle for three hours, it finally opened. The dead lock only locked half way. If only I had known that three hours previous! I went took a quick nap for about 30 minutes and then James called. We decided to get a bite to eat. Since I also had not eaten in over a day. My race was not boding well!

James and I picked Chuck up and went to a Greek place down on South Street. We had a great time. Flight 1678 was such a epic flight! We walked around town for little bit, then they wanted to watch the Mayweather fight. And apparently no place was showing that. We got stuck in the Philly's baseball game traffic. Sweet. Am I going to get any sleep this trip?

We finally made it back "home." At 12:30 a.m. Jordan and Chuck decided to go out. And I got a few hours of sleep before I was rudely awakened by screaming, drunk and high girls. I have NO earthly clue why the boys brought them back, but I wasn't happy. How was I going to run a race on NO sleep and barely any food?! But by the grace of God.

They spent a few hours making a ruckus around the house before leaving at 4:45 a.m. I needed to get up at 5:30 a.m. I was already awake, so no need for an alarm. I got up, rubbed my eyes and stumbled to the train station. Good morning Philadelphia!

It was an absolutely AMAZING morning. Beautiful skies, perfect crispy air - just made me want to dance (if I could).

Today was also a special day. It was the 10th RnR race of the 2011! And 14 of us have run all 10 thus far! But more on that later.

I ran this race last year (after cycling from D.C. to Philly) and really enjoyed the course. I "judge" a course based on scenic views, if we get to run through towns (downtown included), neighborhoods and running surface - no concrete please! This race is a lot of fun. I love the international flag lined road by the Philadelphia Art Museum, running through downtown, then back by the art museum down to the river front where Row House is and back to finish by the Rocky steps.

Today's race was pretty uneventful, the before and after race are where the story is at!

Remember what I said above about Rock Idol? Well, there were 14 of us that have run all 10 Rock 'n' Roll races in 2011 thus far and there was a special, first ever awards ceremony for us! Kind of cool!

So after finishing I quickly changed out of my soaking wet running clothes and into dry running clothes. Ha!

Now on to more juicy recaps. No kissing involved :p. The race didn't start till 8 a.m. I finished a little before 10 a.m., the awards were supposed to start at 10:15 a.m., but they didn't get going till 10:30. By the time they were done, it was 11 a.m. My flight was at 1:15 p.m. And I was planning to get a shower (unlike last flight). Which meant I left my backpack at my room. Nghia (a dear friend, who also ran all 10 RnR's so far this year) drove me to get retrieve my bag. However, getting out of Philly was a nightmare. We finally made it on to the highway when I realized I put the wrong address in Google Maps. FUDGE. So we had to make a U-turn. Which involved getting onto another highway which wouldn't let us make a U-turn. Finally, about eight minutes later we were able to and we were back on the road. Going the right direction. Time was ticking. I had no idea how I would make the flight.

Made it back, ran in, grabbed my bag, said hi and goodbye to Chuck and Jordan and dashed back to car. So much for a shower. It was 12:20 p.m. EEK. If I wasn't worried before, I sure was now! I got to the airport around 12:40 p.m. Ran to security. Which had a LONG line. Thankfully a super kind TSA agent saw my plight and waved me over to a empty line (the special line). W00T! Dashed through it, sprinted to the gate.

And upon arriving was told that it didn't look good (was flying standby). EFF. I just did a second half marathon sprint to get there! And sure enough, the flight was full. With a lack of food AND sleep, never minding running a race and no shower, I was spent. I sat down on the bench and just cried. Yep, even strong people cry! In fact, I didn't make the 6:30 p.m. flight either. And I ended up spending about 18 hours in PHL airport. Another night of no sleep. And another back-to-back race of flying with no shower! Thankfully, I had Action Wipes and clean clothes. But STILL. Finally, I had a 6 a.m. flight the next morning. I was SO HAPPY. Back cross country. Only to come back east in a few days.

Vermont 50 mile ultra marathon up next! But first a shower :).