Saturday, September 24, 2011

Night before Philly

Scott Mersiowsky won the Braswell 5K in a "later-life" PR of 17:24. Congratulations to him. I hope he enjoys his $150 cash for first place. Meanwhile I was at home, running 4.2 miles at 7:19 pace. Probably the right choice. No way to know. I might not have run as fast Sunday had I had to out kick Scott and run a 17:23.

I left Fredericksburg for Philadelphia around 10:30am on Saturday. The GPS took me through D.C. and onto the Washington-Baltimore Parkway. I don't think I'd ever been on that road before. Near BWI there was some construction which slowed me down. I got off the Parkway and onto I-95. Past Baltimore I got off to eat some lunch and use the bathroom. [Pretty exciting post so far!] Eventually I arrived in Philadelphia. For some reason the GPS decided to take me past the infamous cheesesteak corner with Geno's and Pat's, and then down the 9th Street Italian Market. Thank goodness I came in on Saturday, because on Sunday, 9th Street was closed for some sort of street festival. When I finally got to Marshal's, he was outside waiting for me in his bike clothes. We drove for what felt like 2 minutes to find a parking spot and my bladder was bursting at the seams. Then it took us what felt like 30 minutes to get back to his apartment! Ugh! We did stop at the grocery store though, but I'm not including that time in our walk. I regret not putting my stuff in his apartment prior to going to park.

His apartment was nice. It was just like Thug Mansion, but one floor. He had the same couches, TV and coffee table. It was just like old times, waiting around to run a half-marathon on Staffordshire Avenue. The only real inconvenience was that I couldn't connect to the Jefferson Wi-Fi, even with Marshal's password. Alas.

We promptly went to the Expo. On our way there, I was spotted on the street by Jen Bain, a friend from my freshman year of college. Completely coincidentally, she was there to run the race too! So that was nice seeing her briefly.

At the Expo we grabbed my packet and then started looking around for compression socks. There seemed to be a lot less people selling specific things, but a majority of people trying to get you to sign up for their races too. Eventually I found a pair that was like $35, or 2 for $60. So I bought one, feeling ripped off, and then we left. But not without a bunch of samples of Nutrilite chomps and some other little things. On our way out the door though, amongst 50 other expo-visitors, I spotted Frank Shorter walking in through the back door. I called him out, "HEY FRANK!" He turned and waved, and I said "are you running tomorrow?" He stopped and pulled up his pant leg to reveal a huge swollen knee and said "Not this time." Then Marshal and I walked back to talk to him. With both of us wearing our Team Blitz shirts, he asked where it was from. I told him it was based out of William & Mary, so he asked about some names of runners from around his time. It was cool chatting with an Olympic champion, but I felt pretty uncomfortable thinking about the article I read about him the week before in Runner's World. I felt like I should say something, anything, to tell him that I was sorry about what happened to him. But there are no words for that... nothing to say. It would just be awkward and not what he wanted to hear in the middle of the hallway of the Philadelphia convention center. So I saved all three of us that terrible moment and kept my mouth shut.

After a trip to the Reading Terminal Market, we went back to the apartment.

I wore my compression socks for most of the evening while Marshal whipped up a delicious and probably healthy Chicken Parmesan feast! I was stuffed! We watched some of The Office on DVD and then I turned in a little before 10 P.M. I slept in his room and he was gracious enough to sleep on the futon. 6 A.M. was on it's way.

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