Best Way To Celebrate My Birthday? 2016 Rock N Roll Philly 5k With @MatMilesMedals

What is YOUR perfect way to celebrate your birthday?

Since starting my healthy lifestyle journey in 2009, I have spent each birthday since celebrating with activity and sharing with as many friends as possible. :)

2016 marked the first year since 2013 that I wasn't celebrating my hosting my annual virtual 5k in honor of Tedy's Team so I needed something equally fulfilling to bridge the gap.

So what did the wife and I do? We headed to Philadelphia for the weekend (Sept 16-18) and I took part in the 5k and half marathon. I had run the Philly half in 2013 and it still holds as my PR (1:44:12).

Since I had been battling knee pain since my ultra in August 2016, I didn't expect another PR, but I was ready to explore the city with the wife and friends!

My birthday was the day we arrived (Sept 16) and we had a fun day, expoing (they even put ther red carpet out for me), walking around Philly, enjoying local brews and eating a delicious dinner with friends. 

Since we were less than a mile to the start, we walked as a group to the race. Since it was my bday weekend, I opted to rock my cape for the 5k. I was ready to go out there and have fun. Thankfully Briana (@MatMilesMedals) was up for the challenge of running a fun 5k with me - aka she was ready for selfies, photo stops and shenanigans. 

The 5k was new to me as it wasn't an option when I last did the race in 2013. It was a nice out-and-back course along the water. 

This stretch is actually the last couple of miles of the half course so as we were toeing the Start Line I was reminiscing about my last time here and how strong I felt going into the Finish Line.

On this day, I would be focusing solely on fun and enjoying Briana's company. 

The first mile flew by. Before I even knew it we hit the mile marker. I guess I was too into the conversation to pay attention to photo opportunities. I knew I'd make up for it.

Mile 1: 10:52

It was awesome high-fiving folks as they were coming towards us making their way to the Finish Line!

Alright it was time to make up the lack of pics in the second mile. ;) I wasn't sure if we were going to have any bands on the course. I know Rock N Roll is known for the music on the course, but I didn't know what to expect for the 5k. Low and behold RnR didn't disappoint. There was a band and my girl broke it down with the dance moves. :)

Is her outfit on point or what?

And just like that we were halfway through the party and it was time to turnaround.

In addition to great music on the course, RnR knows how to bring it with the race signs. How badass does Briana look here?

But I couldn't let her have all the fun!

Does this sign exemplify how I run a race or what? ;) Good lesson for life in general as well.

I was pretty proud of us for not sitting on the couch that morning, but instead getting out and knocking out 3.1 fun miles. 

Mile 2: 10:48

We cheered on the runners around us. Picking people up as they look to be struggling is one of my favorite mid-race activities. 

Oh and taking in breathtaking views of course. 

It was time for another quick dance break before finishing up this run. I was sad to see my fun run with Briana come to a close. She lives in LA so we rarely get to hang out so I kind of wanted the run to keep going, but we already had a day of plans to hangout! 

Mile 3: 10:42

We powered up the last incline as we knew we had bling waiting for us and we had to finish this negative split 5k off right. It was great being cheered in by the wife and our friends who had already finished!!! Have I mentioned how awesome social media is yet? ;) 

FINISH TIME: 33:48 (10:54 min/mile pace)

Pretty sweet medal, right?

Thanks Briana for being my running/picture mate! It was a great way to kick off the birthday race weekend. Also our Sparkly Soul, Sparkle Athletic and PRO Compression sock game was  ON POINT! Can you people handle all this awesomeness in one pic?

We headed off to meet the rest of our crew at the beer tent (I skipped the Michelob Ultra) before heading back to the hotel to shower, change and start the day of sight-seeing and We Run Social meetup-ing. :) 

Big thanks to the wife for coming and cheering me on. Always great to see her smiling face as I come into the Finish chute. :) 

Thank you Rock n Roll for a fun 5k course with everything I needed: music, signs, beauty and photo ops! ;) 

Have you run the RnR Philly 5k? What was your favorite part?


Disclaimer: I did receive complimentary entry into this race as a RockNBlog ambassador, but all opinions are my own. Ain't nobody got time for lyin'!