To the starting line

In about 40 hours, I’ll be on the starting line for the Rock and Roll Philly Half Marathon. I decided not to run the New York Marathon this year in order to focus on the half marathon distance. This mid-September race was intended to be my big goal race. Training didn’t go exactly as planned (I skimped on speed work earlier in the summer and failed at doing core work as usual), but I still put in a decent amount of miles over the last few months. I have a good endurance base, the course terrain is favorable, and the weather should be near perfect (58 degrees at the start). There are always going to be things that I could have done differently, but for now I need to focus on the task at hand.

I’m excited about this race (it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to say that!) and I’m ready to dig deep and leave everything I’ve got on the course. PR or no PR, that’s all a runner can ask of herself.

I didn’t taper too much this week in terms of mileage, but I kept the pace on all of these runs very relaxed – no track work or tempo runs.

Monday, Sept 12 – 9.25 miles a.m. +  3.5 miles p.m. with Lindsay and Sofia at the Athleta fun run

Tuesday, Sept 13 – 5.5 miles a.m. + 3.75 miles p.m. (ran from work to my CSA pick-up, faster than the subway!)

Wednesday, Sept 14 – 8 miles a.m. with a fellow Brooklyn newbie Rebecca 🙂

Thursday, Sept 15 – 4 miles a.m.

Friday, Sept 16 – 7 miles a.m.

Saturday, Sept 17 – super easy 2 miles + a few strides

Sunday, Sept 18 – Philly Half 13.1 miles + 1 mile each of warm-up/cool-down

Total:  58 miles

The legs are feeling pretty good this week. I’m a bit tired today, but it’s (hopefully) nothing a good night’s sleep can’t fix.

I was up around 5:45am this morning to get in some gloriously crisp sunrise miles with my new neighbor (hi Marie!). Running before the sun is fully up is so much easier when you have a buddy.

I finished up the run at my favorite coffee shop in my new ‘hood and treated myself to a cappuccino. Hot espresso, whole milk, chilly morning, nothing better! I’m a firm believer in rewarding yourself for ridiculously early runs – the thought of a fancy coffee is honestly what gets me out of bed some mornings. At least I brought lunch from home today…

I’ve also made the decision to go sans-Garmin on Sunday. There are a lot of reasons why the Garmin and I don’t get along. It takes foreverrr to load satellites in the city (Philadelphia included), the pace and distance aren’t 100% accurate (let’s talk about the how the distance goes backwards when I’m in Times Square…), and most of all – it distracts me. When I wear the Garmin I find myself obsessing over every little change in pace. 6:45 pace? Whoa, better slow down! 11:00 pace? HOLY SHIT, I’m never going to PR. I want to be able to focus on racing by feel and for me, the Garmin takes away from that experience. That being said, different things work for different people, so if you love your Garmin, please don’t be offended.

As for me, I’ll be rocking an old school pace bracelet. Printed this morning and laminated with packing tape. And yes, I’m already wearing it. The original goal for this race was 1:30, but I think that’s too ambitious right now and I don’t want to set myself up for a crash by going out too hard. I feel like I’m probably in 1:32-1:34 shape, so I decided to make a pace band right in the middle of that range. You can make your own FREE pace band on –

They don’t pay me to say that. I just think it’s cool! Remember to cover it with tape, otherwise it will get all sweaty and probably fall off.

I’m trying my best to get enough sleep, rest my legs, and eat well this week….sometimes I am successful. Mostly I’ve been obsessively checking the hourly forecast on, eating lots of dark chocolate, and buying things I don’t need (but really want!) online.

Speaking of dark chocolate…As a FoodBuzz “tastemaker” (i.e. my ad company sends me free foodie samples!) I received a package of Ghiradelli dark chocolate. My favorite so far? The sea salt soiree. See that bag? It arrived on Wednesday. It’s now empty. I love the combo of sweet and salty! Salted caramel mochas from Starbucks, pretzel M&M’s, kettle corn…lately I just can’t get enough. And I checked the ingredient list on this dark chocolate – it’s pretty clean: sugar, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, milk fat, soy lecithin, vanilla, almonds, and sea salt. No weird artificial flavors or colors or preservatives, yay.


Oh yes, I also bought some shoes. Because clearly brown snakeskin pumps will ensure that I run supa fast on Sunday.

Alright blog-friends, you’ll hear from me post-race, for better or worse… If you’re in Philly for the race (running or spectating) let me know either through comments or twitter. I would love to say hi! 

  • katie

    good luck this weekend, and you should try tiny cup in bed-stuy if you haven’t already. super cute cafe, and had the best muffin of my life there [banana nutella]!

  • Anonymous

    whoa, whoa, a banana nutella muffin? i’m on it.

  • Ali

    YAY! I can’t believe your race is already here!

    GOOD LUCK tomorrow. You’re going to be fantastic and I can’t wait to hear about it. Have fun, run hard, sweat profusely. I’ll throw you a party when you return if you bring the sea salt chocolate.

    I’m serious.

    Kick ass, friend. I’m pumped for you.

    Also, way to go with the massive mileage this week!

  • Shayne

    Best of luck! You’ll kill it. Can’t wait to read this race recap… I feel like the build up has been intense. 

  • GOOD LUCK!!!! Also, sea salt almond dark choc is the BEST.

  • Lauren @ Sassy Molassy

    I have faith you’re gonna rock this 1/2!

  • Good luck tomorrow!  One of my best friends has run the Philly half several years in a row now, and I know she really likes the course.  I’ve been (jokingly) jealously watching everyone rave about the sea salt soiree bar.  Sea salt and chocolate is my favorite combo!  I’ve been blathering on and on about the mini chocolate cakes I made with sea salt last week since the last one disappeared.  Maybe a sea salt chocolate bar will solve my craving, since having 6 of those mini cakes in the house is way too tempting 🙂 

  • Carissa Oltmann

    I forgot my Garmin during my first race of the year and PR’ed by about 10 minutes, so…I hear you.  I figured, “just listen to your body” and boy it answered.

    Good Luck!  I’ll think speedy thoughts for you on Sunday.

  • Nicole F.

    Are you mayor of the Daily Press yet?! You should be! And yes, those pumps are going to look HOT on the starting line 😉 I’ll be out there cheering!!

  • Okay, you NYCers are freaking me about with the Garmin issues! I got mine after I moved back to TX. Did you wear yours during the marathon last year? Any problems????

    And how does the pace bracelet work? Do you just look at it to see if it matches your watch or the race clocks?

  • Oh and GOOD LUCK!!!! 🙂

  • Scoops

    My Garmin worked fine for the marathon and was pretty accurate.

  • Anonymous

    i didn’t wear my Garmin during the marathon last year. honestly, i think the signals might get a little messed up on the bridges and in downtown BK. And i knew i wouldn’t run perfect tangents (hence run longer than 26.2), but really only the official race distance and time “counts”, so i figured – why torture myself with knowing i ran an extra .2 or .4 miles longer? i know a lot of people turn off the auto lap function on their Garmins and just use to track pace and time (not distance). maybe you could look into that?
    for the pace bracelet, i start my stop watch and then check my watch and the pace bracelet at the mile markers. i love pace bracelets 🙂

  • good luck good luck good luck, lady.  and remember no matter what happens, you will be rewarded with beer and ice cream on monday!  that’s what really matters, right?  honestly though, i know nothing about racing, but i do believe that everything in life is at least 60% mental, and if you go in with a good attitude and get over self-doubt, you can surprise yourself with how much you can achieve.  even if you don’t pr on this race, i think it’s going to be an awesome one for you because you sounds so motivated to run it hard.  i’ll be cheering from you from brooklyn!

    so, we just opened 3 bottles of prosecco at work and i can’t believe i typed that whole comment without spelling anything wrong.

  • man-friend

    you are going to do great, better than great, actually better than that

  • RunTheLongRoad

    look for me!  i’ll be there, running the race for fun.  i love pace bands — i’ve used one for almost every marathon.  

    hope to see you!


    Good luck this weekend! You will do great, and I think the pace bracelet is a great idea! I wore one during the marathon and helped keep me on track and gave a mental boost to keep pushing when I was tracking ahead of pace. And, those shoes are super cute and shopping and sweets are the beat cure for pre race jitters. Can’t wait to hear how you do!

  • I’m running too…trying to hit the local competitive start standard and hopefuly a NYCMQ as well!!  Good luck-the weather looks awesome!

    With regards to the Garmin, I wear mine in all races primarily to have the data at my disposal afterwards.  The trick is it to treat it like a normal watch.  Turn off the auto-lap and hit the lap button at the mile markers, and turn off the distance field-during races I just have three fields on the screen: total time, lap time, time of day. 

  • Anonymous

    Good advice re: the garmin! It is helpful to be able to analyze data post race…

  • Natalie

    Good luck Megan!  Hope you have a great race!! I was going to see if you could join for part of a long run but then saw you were out of town.  Let me know when you venture back to CP and I would love to meet up for a run 🙂

  • Good luck! I hope it’s a great race!

    Also, Ghirardelli sea salt WHAT? I almost wish I didn’t know those existed.

  • Anonymous

    Good Luck!  You are ready for this lady.  No regrets, don’t hold back. This is your day to shine!!!

  • Good luck lady!!  It’s great that you can adjust your expectations based on your training versus just going out for sub-1:30 and then dying…..because that sounds miserable.

    I wear my Garmin to give me a general idea of what I’m doing whether or not it’s accurate…and for races I switch from auto-lap to manual lap and just hit the lap button when I cross the mile markers so that’ll be accurate even if the rest of it isn’t.

    Represent us well in Philly!!

  • Ericka Andersen

    Wow I feel like that tastemaker program never offers me anything this good! Lucky duck! Best of luck on the half! I’ve been enjoying reading your blog, btw…kind of a newbie!

  • Anonymous

    good luck, friend! I think it’s great that you are excited and ready to race – PR or no PR, that’s the most important thing! GOOD LUCK – can’t wait to hear about the race. Ok, I’ll probably try to track you if that’s possible… 🙂 

    Gotta say, feelin’ a little jealous of your new running buddies. Come back to CP for a run soon!

  • Grace @ Balancing Me

    Megan! I’ll be there and hopefully not hacking up a lung halfway through. Good luck to you – mayhaps see you around the finish line festivities!


    …and eat the bestest ice cream on the east coast afterward, pleeease? 🙂

  • PS – I also hate racing with a garmin. I did for New haven and I think that will be my one and only time. I hate the damn thing sometimes. I just like to go off of a feeling rather than what something is telling me.

  • Anne Marie

    Hey Megan – It was great to meet you today at the finish!! Congrats on the PR, you are a stud!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for saying hi!! So nice to meet you!

  • Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes

    I hope the race went well!!! 🙂