Well the original plan was to run 22 miles for my final long run…. I was going to run 6 miles to the start of the half marathon, run the half, and then run my final 3 miles. I ended up running 7 miles to the start and figured running the last would finish me off right around 20 plus I would end up walking a least a mile to meet up with the hubs after the race… so I decided I’d finish at 20, collect my medal, refuel with chocolate milk, and then enjoy some brunch. This worked out well since we ended up meeting up with friends after the race. Note: I have very few pictures during the race because I told Pat he could stay home and sleep in since I wasn’t really “racing it” so I didn’t really feel the need for any extra support or encouragement. Plus he is always such a trooper on every race morning I figured he could use a break.
The 7 miles to the start were weird…. Thinking about running that far to start a race just sounded bizarre. I decided to just wear my watch and go without run tracking so I wouldn’t be motivated to run harder than I wanted to since I was doing 20-22 miles not just 13. I would just like to say that not knowing my time or feeling like I needed to race for time was completely freeing… I love to run and really enjoy and usually don’t push myself for time but this was ever better because most people around me were racing. Basically I tried to stay around 10 minute miles… if I was racing the half I would probably shoot for 8:30-9 minute miles, so yeah, that wasn’t happening for 20 miles.
The best part of the race besides basically just chilling while running it was all the costumes! Since it was on Halloween soooo many people dressed up and looked fantastic. I was most impressed with people that were carrying props for their costumes for 13 miles!!! That is serious dedication. I wore “halloweenish” workout clothes- gray and black with my orange bib- that was about as festive as I got because I’m lame and not creative.
Back to the race… so the first 3 miles you run directly into the city and loop around city hall which was definitely the most scenic and my favorite part of the race. This race was actually my first half marathon two years ago and still my PR! Two years later marks my 5th half marathon on a course I absolutely loved! It was slightly modified this year… I’m not sure if it had anything to do with College GameDay being held at Independence Mall area or because of construction but mile 4 was a slight uphill. Around this point some guy says to his friend- “I think we’re halfway there” and I reported that he was maybe ¼ of the way there at best. Haha. Mile 5 loops you back down to the Art Museum area and then you head out on Kelly Drive.
The Kelly Drive loop is a 8.4 mile loop I run pretty much every weekend and ran for all my marathon training long runs that were in Philly. It’s along the river, there are water fountains, and it’s flat so it’s basically perfect. The bad thing about the loop during races is that there is usually very little crowd support along it… and basically the entire second half of the Philly marathon is along this loop. You finish the loop and end up by the Art Museum and you’re done. Awesome race and perfect weather!
My overall time for the 20 miler was 3:22:47 which is a 10:08min/mile pace. Perfect! The 20 miler I ran with my friend Annie the week prior was 3:32:27 which is a 10:37min/mile pace. Her and I took a half mile walking break during that run which is likely why it was slower. I didn’t take any walking breaks, except through water stations during my solo 20 miler but I did end up waiting around after the first 7 miles to get into my corral to start the half. All in all I’m pleased with both these times and feel marathon ready. I know doing a 22 miler would’ve given me a little more confidence going into the marathon but Annie and I are planning on running together so hopefully we can help get each other through!