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Dah da dah da dada dum dum dum (Rocky theme song)

So after my performance in Richmond and OBX it’s doubtful that I can finish a race strong. I’m sure that my diabetes and the meds are preventing me from performing at my top level. Mostly due to the added weight from the insulin. Doctors argue with me. But I know it is certainly a factor. This race I will be traveling by myself. My wife is concerned. However I really want to run this race. It’s the 25th anniversary of the run and it’s the same weekend as the new Creed II movie comes out. That along with the fact that I’ve wanted to do this for several years. Unfortunately it is so close to Thanksgiving that I get talked out of it all the time. I’m doing this one……and getting my 16th different state! I do the long drive up to Philly but stop just out of town about 5 hours from home. Another three hours of driving needed. It’s a good break. I leave early and expect to arrive at the expo almost the same time it opens Saturday morning. Once I get to city center exit……traffic jam! I love Philly! I crawl my way to a parking garage across from the convention center and head to the registration. It a big one and I spend a little time walking around and getting free stuff. Like food and hats etc. it was fun…..but it gets boring quick. I head across the street looking for a place to eat. The Reading Terminal is an awesome place that is packed full of people. However…..I don’t think I want to eat here. And it is a little early yet for lunch.

I decided to drive up to where we used to live in Warrington PA. I considered it the worst year of my life. The commute I had to take daily into Philadelphia to work, the community, the church we went to, and of course the boss I worked for. It was all Painful. Going back and seeing the area and even the run down old townhouse we lived in was quite depressing. However I was back. Philly hadn’t defeated me…..I was about to beat it……Marathon Style! My hotel was skinny building set near the center of town about 2 miles from the start line. Not bad since I only reserved a room a few days before. Well I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to go. Last minute.

The hotel was a cool place and the area was really neat. I walked around and saw the city after checking in. I walked around admiring the architecture and history in this old city. Walking past the Freemasons building made me think about National Treasure and if the stories were really true…..maybe? I got my dog together and went to find a place to eat. The hotel clerk gave me a recommendation of the “oldest tavern” in the city……I tried it… was slammed packed. Appeared to be more of a Tavern than a dining establishment. I needed food. Another place close by fit my needs and I enjoyed my meal by myself. Visiting on these trips alone certainly isn’t much fun. I miss when my wife isn’t with me. Race day morning! I get up and get dressed. Also having to pack everything myself and put it in the car because there won’t be time when I return. I typically finish after check out time. That always means no change of clothes and no shower. I make haste and begin more brisk morning walk in the dark two miles to the start line. The city is epic in the dark early morning hours.

The race is packed with 30,000 marathon competitors and I’m in the back of the pack. That’s fine. I know that I’m going to need to pace myself to finish properly. I wait in line for the porta potties and literally get back to the corral with maybe only a dozen people behind me……lol. This is going to be something else. I had joked about putting my music playlist on repeat for all of the ROCKY music. I didn’t but it would be fun. Maybe for the first hour…..not! Plugging away once the start begins and it is a bit chilly. The running warms me up until we get near the river. A big part of the race takes place along the river and back again. There is a bit of a breeze which ultimately chills me to the bone. And……I struggle. I Push on….I run…..I walk…..I run….and walk again. Little by little I make my way through the first 25 miles and just then….beaten down and tired. Just then……I hadn’t heard it all day……Dah da dah da dada dum dum dum….the Rocky theme song comes on! Just as I see the iconic museum up ahead. It’s like I’m pushing to run up the stairs! No time for walking… to run now!

I finish. Not much to say about my performance. I know this one will be my last for the year. I need to go back and train harder and loose this weight… matter what the doctors say. The two mile walk back to the parking garage was COLD…..I head back and drive all evening 10 hours to get home. So ready for my bed. Marathon #36 and State #16 are finished……2018 races are finished too. Less than perfect but it’s all I had.

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