Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How to Navigate the Confusion that is Rock n Roll Philly


Today's Tuesday on The Run Topic is "What do we do besides Road Races?"  Well, I got to tell you, we don't do obstacle races, zombie runs, mud runs, or tri-athalons. The closest thing we've done to an "off road" race was the mile on the beach we did last month at Virginia beach. I know it was only a mile, but it was a challenge
So with that being said, we are going to stick with what we know, which is road racing.
Last weekend I participated in the Rock n Roll Philly and here's how it went.
 
Maria and Lacey
 
 
Maria was nice enough to drive me to the expo on Friday. Parking at the Convention Center was $6 every half hour (which I think is ridiculous). But because Mazda was one of the race sponsors and Maria drives a Mazda, we got free parking, score! I don't think the expo was that much bigger than Virginia Beach's expo. However, they had some different booths, such as Altra and Hoka shoes. We thought we arrived in time to hear Kara Goucher speak, but we just missed her. I was proud of myself for not buying anything at the expo. I almost splurged on a trigger point foam roller but I had just bought a high density one the night before on Amazon for half the prize.

After receiving a ride to the expo on Friday, I was a bit stressed about how I was going to get into the city on Sunday for the race. I was planning on taking the train in. However, when I looked up the schedule, the first one wasn't leaving until the time I needed to be there, due to the weekend schedule. Luckily I was able to get a ride into the city.  I was not exactly sure where the start was because there wasn't an exact address. I had asked someone at the information booth at the expo where exactly it was and she was no help. She told me to look for the pointy building. Really a pointy building? That narrows it down. She told me to just pull it up my Google map and I could find it. She said you would be able to walk to the start from the convention center. So needless to say she was no help. 

The morning of the race I got up extra early because I didn't want to feel rushed. I drank my coffee and had my bagel. I even got on the treadmill and did a warm up mile. I wanted to leave in plenty of time as well, because even though it is not far from my house (20 mins or so) I didn't know how traffic would be, or if we would have trouble finding parking. We parked in the same parking garage that we did for the Convention Center, even though it was going to be expensive. we thought it was better to do that then to wonder around. After spending a half hour in the car we looked up where the start was from where we parked, and it was several miles away. There was no way we were going to walk from there. We finally found where the start line was so I just hopped out of the car there, so my friend could go find a parking spot. After waiting in line for a porta potty, I found myself getting hungry again. I realized it was already three and half hours since I had my breakfast. I was glad to have packed those sports bean to eat while waiting in line(or as my friend calls them, magic beans).  Then it was time to make my way over to find my corral. I'm glad I got there early enough because there were people in my corral that couldn't even get in to their corrals.

Before the race started, I just told myself to do my best (which I always try to do obviously) and it is what it is. I did have higher hopes for this race since I knew it was going to be cooler than Virginia Beach a few weeks ago but still a flat course. You couldn't ask for a more beautiful day (in my opinion). Yes it was a bit humid (which I don't mind) but it evened out by being overcast with a slight breeze. I usually don't take a GU until at least 3-4 miles into it, but I could still tell I was hungry and had a side stitch so I thought it would help having one at mile 2. Well that didn't help that much either. It wasn't until mile 6 when I took another GU that I felt better. Even with having a side stitch for half the race, I was proud of myself  for keeping a good pace.  In the back of my mind I knew that the person who drove me to the race had a possibility of being called in to work that morning, so I was kind of worried about not having a ride home. I think that may have given me a little incentive to keep pushing so I would finish in a certain time.   I felt much better during the second half of the race and I finished strong.
 
 
 I received my medal for completing the Half Marathon then I went to the other booth to receive my Beach to Bell medal. This medal is for completing both Virginia Beach and Philadelphia.

 
In addition to those medals, I will receive my Heavy Medal one in the mail in a few weeks for completing two Rock n Roll Race Series so far this year. Even though I did not stick around to enjoy the festivities, I still enjoyed the day and celebrated when I got home.



Some tips to remember if you are running Philly:
 
1. If you are staying downtown in one of the hotels, you will luck out with not having to pay for parking for the Convention Center or at the race or deal with the traffic. However, the hotel may charge for parking.

2. If you are driving be prepared to pay for parking everywhere you go and deal with the city traffic and having all the roads be one way.
 
3. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to where you need to be. Make sure you have a plan for race morning and know where you need to get to. I felt the directions were very vague that were on the website and can be a bit confusing.
 
Have you ever run a race where it was difficult to get to the start line?
 
 
 
 

44 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great race. I really need to do more races.

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    1. It was alot of fun. Especially since it was so close to where I live.

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  2. I felt myself getting tense just reading about the parking/finding the start issues - can't imagine all that and race nerves, too! Great job on the race and how cool to get two medals (plus that bonus one coming soon)!

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    1. Yeah I was a bit stressed until I found where I needed to be. They really do have awesome medals. Looking forward to getting my next one.

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  3. Disney races are a bit difficult to get to the start line, but that's just because of the sheer number of people trying to go on those tiny Disney roads haha.

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    1. Actually I think Disney is easier. Because if you're staying on property, you just get on a bus and follow the crowd to the start.

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  4. I stress about parking with every race I have to drive to. It's enough that I may not sleep well that night. I'm constantly wondering what routes to take, is my GPS up to date, etc.

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    1. Same here. Luckily I did get a goodnight sleep, and left plenty early so I wasn't feeling rushed. And even got a ride so I appreciated that.

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  5. Wow, I can't believe that the start line location was so vague :( It was definitely smart of you to leave early and have the extra time to deal with the confusion.

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    1. I thought so. Maybe I dont understand directions well...haha. Because the lady said it was at the same start as the 5k. If so why didn't the directions say that instead of just a highway.

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  6. Getting to the start line is always stressful enough, but having such a vague location description definitely isn't helpful. :(

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    1. Oh I know. Fortunately my ride figured it out and wasn't stressed.

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  7. Wow, that sounds like a rather stressful expo and pre-race experience. I am glad the actual race went well and helped make up for that though! Congrats Lacey!

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  8. Parking is usually always my biggest stressor when running races! Bummer you missed Kara but I am glad your race went well!!

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  9. Thanks! Yeah it would've been neat to meet her.

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  10. I haven't done a Rock & roll race but want to. I love the bigger races... & am always getting to the start line right as it begins. Late is my middle name.

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    1. Haha yea I seem to do that as well. But I made sure I was plenty early for this race.

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  11. Driving and parking always stress me out! I hate it when I show up for a run and they want another fee for parking- really! I would rather them charge me upfront then have to worry about having cash. Congrats on a great run! Pretty medals!

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  12. I ran the Love Run and despite the weather, I loved Philly. I hope to run there again. I flew there and walked everywhere or took the trolley so no problem with parking.

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  13. That sounds stressful and also bizarre that they did not tell where the start line was-a pointy building in downtown Philly? that would be many of them!

    anyways it sounds like it was still a good race and also seemed to be flat and fast. I need to do the RnR Philly at some point since I went to college there-I love that town!

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    1. Yes it was nice since it was flat like Va Beach but the weather was a little cooler which was great.

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  14. Whenever I race in Philly, I always take the train in. It's super easy and definitely less expensive. The race starts in Philly are usually right near the Art Museum (Philly RnR, Philadelphia Marathon, Back on My Feet...) so it's about a mile and a half/two mile walk to the start line. Congrats on the race - I didn't run this weekend but saw the runners as we were driving by on our way to Manayunk so I was cheering for everyone! :)

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    1. I wanted to take the train in, however the line I needed to get on didn't run as early as I needed it to to get down there in time due to the weekend schedule.

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  15. That parking is ridiculous. Here in Chicago I'm used to absurd fees like that but still it never gets less painful to fork over that money just to park your car. Congrats! I'm glad you had good weather - when there's a breeze that makes for a perfect race! Also, I'll never understand you crazies who can drink coffee before a race. I would not survive with coffee in my system haha

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    1. Haha I don't think I could do a race without drinking coffee prior. It gives me the extra boost I need to get through.

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  16. Sounds like a fun race! Except for the crazy parking fees!

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    1. Yes it was! It's always fun experiencing different races.

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  17. Awesome that you finished strong and rav a good race. Congrats! Not knowing where the start line was would have stressed me out. I was just looking at the R&R schedule for next year. Looks live Cleveland would be closest to me, though Philly & DC are possibilities. I really want to do a R&R race some time!

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  18. They are alot of fun with all the bands along the course and the headliner band post race.

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  19. I really want to do this race sometime so thanks for some great tips!!!

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  20. I have pretty much only run small, fairly rural races, so parking hasn't been a major issue for me. $6/half hour is crazy!

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    1. I know right! I need to start running some smaller races so I don't have to fight the crowds and parking.

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  21. Congratulations on your finish, great job!!! Sounds like a really fun race!
    I haven't run Rock and Roll Philly, but I did the Philly Marathon they have there in November and I really loved it, such a beautiful old city!
    But I agree city parking is such a bear, I think I had to pay $40 a night if I remember correctly:) but I had picked a hotel that was less than a mile walking distance so I just walked to the start and back after:)
    So glad you had a great race, and a strong 2nd half, Congrats!!!! Love all your bling:)

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  22. Congrats Lacey. You sure have a lot of new bling to add to your race medal collection!

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  23. Sounds like a crazy race! I want to run it, but the logistics make me nervous. I feel the same way about DC races and those start less than 10 miles from my house LOL.

    Great job on running strong and YAY for lots of medals.

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  24. I love the dual medals :) Philly sounds a little scary to me with all the traffic and parking issues. You gave lots of great tips though! I bet the Vegas Rock n Roll will be great!

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  25. I love those medals! Glad your side stitch went away eventually and you were able to finish strong! Great job :)

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  26. Those tips are spot-on----I ran Philly a couple of years ago and the parking was crazy! Good job on the race!

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  27. Congratulations on your races and all of your medals! Navigating that race sounds like a nightmare! I haven't had any bad experiences with getting to the start line, but finding my family/friends after crossing the finish has been a problem in the past. At Boston, I ended up walking (or hobbling) a few blocks before I could find my family... It was so chaotic and packed with people!

    Amy @ http://www.livinglifetruth.com/

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  28. That is an insane price for parking! I drive a Mazda too, so I have to love that perk! Crazy parking situations are why I try to stay at host hotels providing a shuttle! Unless it's in the town I live in, I almost always do the overnight thing to avoid race morning craziness (like looking for the pointy building, lol!) Thanks for linking up with us!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.