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    Hey! I'm Beth - a 27 year old foodie living and working in the Washington, DC area who has lost almost 90 pounds through Weight Watchers. I love good food, wine and getting creative in the kitchen, and then balancing that out with running, The Shred, and yoga. Please feel free to browse around and hopefully you'll find some ideas, recipes and motivation!

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Philly Rock N Roll Half Marathon Recap

So yesterday, I ran my first half marathon. I honestly still can’t believe it, but let’s rewind a little…

Saturday morning I woke up and got myself packed – its crazy how much stuff you have to bring with you when you travel for a race! I made a good breakfast to start the day off right – –


2 eggs (pan fried with a lid over them so the top cooked too – my new favorite way!) (4 pts), a sliced tomato from my CSA, and a toasted bagel thin (1). Then we got on the road up to Philly and the traffic was pretty bad, so I ended up cutting it pretty close getting to the race expo in time to pick up my bib and swag bag (obviously my favorite part..) I still made it though but had to zip through the expo and didn’t snap any pictures.

After the expo, we headed to the hotel room that I ended up getting last minute. We stayed at the Westin in downtown Philly, and I got the room for $85 on priceline!! I went back on priceline to see how much it would be to book it directly through the site (and not through name your own price) and it was $286!! I love me a good deal.


Here’s a picture of everything I got in my swag bag and my bib. The samples that came were GU chomps, a mini builder protein bar, CytoMax powder, and these dole fruit things with yogurt and oats. There was also a shoe wallet, some chaffing liquid, a $10 coupon off at Sports Authority, and of course, my bib and dtag for the race.

We met my parents for dinner Saturday night at this cute little Italian restaurant, and I got a mozzarella and roasted veggie salad to start.


It was awesome! The mozzarella was housemade and the veggies were grilled to perfection. For my main course I had a pasta dish with eggplant and a tomato ragu, but the picture turned out blurry and dark, so I’ll spare you. Just picture a dish of penne and you’ll be right on. 🙂 I drank lots of water but skipped the wine, and we all shared a piece of tiramisu for dessert.

Unfortunately, I was feeling pretty awful all day Saturday. My nose was running (I went through a whole box of tissues!), I was coughing, and just soooo congested. I was worried I wouldn’t be feeling too well for the race, but I was not coming all this way, paying the entry fee AND for a hotel, and not going to run. Wil and I just went back to the hotel after dinner, rented a movie and chilled out. I did NOT sleep very well since I was coughing/blowing my nose all night, so when my alarm went off at 6:03am I felt sort of in a daze.

I had laid out all of my clothes and gear the night before to make the morning a breeze:


Sneakers, running pants, shirt, sports bra, knee bands, socks, bib, dtag, gu, sportsbeans, long sleeve shirt, hat, camelbak, and my new SpiBelt (bought that at the expo!). Last minute I decided NOT to wear my CamelBak because the race had 8 water stops and I thought that would be sufficient. Also, I wanted to carry some gu/beans with me, but it’s so hard to get it out from the CameBak, so the spibelt worked perfect for that.

I also brought some breakfast with me:


Jar of almond butter, banana, arnold thin, and a knife! I made a ab + banana sammie and also brewed some coffee to have pre-race.


We left the hotel around 7:20 (race started at 8) but they were already shutting streets down so it was tough to find a place to park/get around the city. Luckily we found a lot that was $10 for the whole day, so we just parked in there and got out to head towards the start line.


Even though I was not feeling so hot, I was excited to run!! I was in Coral 14, and was SHOCKED by how many people we had to walk past to get to my start area. There were thousands and thousands of runners and spectators – I’d never seen such a huge event up close!


I was so excited for the run but Wil told me to stop smiling so cheesy…


But I couldn’t help it – I was excited!!


The elites started at 8:00 and then they started the corals in waves. Mine left around 8:17am and I was off! The run itself was pretty amazing. There were bands every single mile, and the course was really flat – perfect for a first timer like me. The number of people running helped pump me up so much and there was so much going on during the course that served as milestones, so it really helped break up the run. I had Cytomax (similar to Gatorade) at all 8 water stops, and then had a Gu around mile 6 and again around mile 10 (100 calories each).

Mentally, I took the pressure off myself when I was sick and just told myself to finish – not to push myself too hard or try to finish in a certain time. Removing that pressure helped tremendously – I actually got to enjoy myself rather than stressing over my finish time and pushing myself to go faster. I stopped twice – once to use a portapotty, and once to walk through the last water station on the course (mile 11.5 I think) but other than that, I ran the whole time! I sprinted the last tenth of a mile, which doesn’t sound like much but I regretted my decision pretty soon after I started sprinting because I was exhausted. Wil got a picture of me almost at the finish:


As I was getting towards the end, I was really nervous about finding Wil/my parents, but then I heard BETH!!! and Wil had spotted me and told me where to meet him. I was seriously GLOWING at the end of the race, so, sooooooo happy.


Sweaty, too. 🙂

My parents came to the finish line as well and I was so happy for the support.


My final time was 2 hours 16 minutes 18 seconds, or a 10:24 pace.

I am sooooooo happy that I ran a half marathon – this was my biggest goal for 2010, and now I have achieved it! I can’t even believe it. 🙂


48 Responses

  1. Beth! What an amazing accomplishment . You have got me all revved up for my second half. Congratulations on your spectacular finish, even though you were getting over being sick! I hope that all is well with your nephews…You sure showed the testament of what a little faith can do!

  2. Congratulations Beth!!!! Kudos for all your hard work and dedication these past few months. Keep up the good work!

  3. I’m so proud of you!! You rock!

  4. Congratulations….. what an accomplishment….

  5. Congratulations!! This is my first time posting, though I’ve followed your blog (via WW) for quite awhile now, and I just had to say that I’m so happy for and proud of you!! Since starting WW in January, I’ve become quite the little runner too, and will be running my first half in Texas in March. It’s been really inspiring to watch your progress as you trained for this, and it’s nice to read that other people have good and bad days with running as well! Must be a wonderful feeling– I can’t wait! 🙂

  6. I am SO proud of you! You should be so impressed with yourself. 🙂 Think how far you have come!!!

  7. KICKASS! Way to go Beth! That is such a great half time, AND you were feeling sick! MCM next year??!! 🙂 I’m daydreaming about it right now!

  8. Way to go, Beth!!!! That’s such an awesome accomplishment!!! You must be so proud of yourself!!!

  9. Congratulations Beth! So glad to hear you had a wonderful experience in your first half marathon! Your time is simply awesome – I am hoping to PR with 2:30 this fall! Congrats again!

  10. Congrats! What an amazing accomplishment. Not only did you finish but you totally rocked it!!! How awesome does it feel to complete your biggest goal for 2010 already?! Wahoo!

  11. Congrats!! Great job!!

  12. Way to go!! You did awesome!

    You made out great with the room too. I work right across the street from Liberty/Westin and have had to book rooms there plenty of times! That was an awesome price.

    Where did you eat? Davio’s? Their food is awesome!

    Also, one of the attorneys that I work with is a runner and that looks like him in one of your pictures! I’ll have to ask if he did the marathon!


    • Salento was the restaurant – it was good! My sister recommended it and it was on 23rd and Walnut. How funny that I might have snapped a picture of your coworker!

  13. Way to go! Such an awesome accomplishment! I have my first one in December and I am scared and excited, so I love reading recaps of other first timers. Congrats!

  14. Beth congrats! Sorry you felt sick,that is the worst!

    Do you think you’ll want to run another one?

    • YES for sure. I feel like there were a few things I would have done differently slash not been sick – and I really want to try again. I felt VERY prepared for the distance, I just would have adjusted my food a bit and obviously not been sick. 🙂

  15. BOO YA half marathon. You rock – even when ill.

  16. CONGRATS! I was excited to hear your recap on the race. The Rock n’ Roll series is so much fun… I’m hoping to do the same half again next year as well!

  17. Congratulations!!! What an accomplishment!

    Glad to hear the little ones are doing well, also.

  18. Congratulations! I am in awe of your dedication and guts! I can’t even imagine running a half marathon! Way to go girl!

  19. CONGRATULATIONS on an amazing half! I ran a 1/2 yesterday too 🙂 I’ve been DYING to run a Rock N’ Roll or Country Music Marathon! They look sooo fun!

    • Congrats to you!! The Rock N Roll Half was AWESOME. I loved having the bands and the cheerleaders all along the course.. it made it go by really fast!

  20. I am so proud of you!! I am running in my 4th half and it will be my Hubby’s first 🙂 I am hoping that he enjoys it as much as I do!! Ours is the Denver Rock N’Roll 🙂

  21. Congrats!!!! A job well done 🙂

  22. Congrats Beth! You’re amazing!

  23. Beth!!! Great job, that must feel like such an accomplishment! I’ve been considering running some sort of 5 miler myself, but have been to chicken.
    Your determination gives me hope though! You should feel so proud of yourself 🙂

  24. Congratulations Beth! You worked so hard and even though you are sick it sounds like you really enjoyed every second!

  25. You did it!! Congratulations! Hope you are feeling better today. You should be extremely proud of yourself.

  26. Way to go Beth! Congratulations!

  27. Amazing!!! You are such an inspiration. Congratulations, you rocked it.

  28. […] Philly Rock N Roll Half Marathon Recap […]

  29. aaawww…. I just got teary-eyed reading your recap. Congratulations on your first ever half-marathon!

  30. Congratulations! 🙂 You should be SO proud of yourself!

  31. […] Beth lost around 80 pounds and ran her first half marathon […]

  32. Congratulations!! There’s nothing like setting a goal for yourself and seeing it happen! Would love to know what your plan is for the next time around and how it’s different – after my marathon, my next goal is to beat my half time!

  33. Fantastic job on your first half! You seriously rocked it!.

    I have my first half in less than three weeks and am getting so nervous. Thanks for the inspiration and reassurance.

  34. You look so cute!! Congrats on your half! That’s sooo cool!

  35. Congrats on the 1/2 marathon, Im running one in a month, my first.

  36. Congrats. You did so well, especially considering you were sick the day before. So now that you completed your first half, are you going to do another one?

  37. Congratulations! I was out there too–it was hotter than I expected, but it’s a great course and lots of fun. I can’t believe there were like 20 corrals!

  38. […] Run a half marathon – Check! September 19th I ran the Rock n Roll Half in Philly. You can read the recap here. […]

  39. […] what to post on here. Don’t get me wrong – I try to be as honest as possible, show you both the highs and the lows, but at the same time I don’t take my camera out to videotape myself by the candy […]

  40. […] the recap from my first half marathon gives me a little bit of the chills. When I first started running back in April 2009, I could […]

  41. […] the recap from my first half marathon gives me a little bit of the chills. When I first started running back in April 2009, I could […]

  42. […] goal of any Weight Watcher and something I never imagined myself being able to say! Outside of completing my first half marathon which was a big moment for me in feeling like I really had changed my life, hitting goal and […]

  43. […] goal of any Weight Watcher and something I never imagined myself being able to say! Outside of completing my first half marathon which was a big moment for me in feeling like I really had changed my life, hitting goal and […]

  44. […] My first one ever in Philly… […]

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