Yesterday I ran the Love Run in Philadelphia for the second time and ran my 6th half marathon. I talked a little bit about my goals in this post if you are curious to hear more 😉 As always I arrived 5 minutes before the start, did a quick dynamic warmed up and lined up in my corral. I noticed the 1:50 pace group nearby and decided for the first time ever I would try to keep the pace group in sight so I could accomplish my PR.
Like most Philadelphia half marathons we started in front of the Art Museum. The Love Run had the first 4 miles were through the city and the rest of the course was mostly an out and back on MLK Drive along the river, except for a couple of hills through Fairmount. Luckily not the monster hill from my marathon last fall.
The best husband ever aka Pat was waiting in the cold (it was about 40 degrees Sunday after being 70 degrees Saturday) around mile 1. I wore a hoody to the start and held onto it to toss it to Pat once I had warmed up during that first mile. Carrying things quickly became a theme for this race… I ended up tossing him my gloves the next time I saw him and ended up carrying my arm band for my phone since it broke a few miles into the race.
Despite this pretty good running pic around mile 4 I wasn’t feeling awesome. By following the pace group I felt like I started out a lot harder than I planned. Most GPS watches tend to go a little haywire in the city but I felt like I was running 7:30 minute miles. Unfortunately the memory on my watch was full so I’m not 100% sure but according the mile markers the first 3 miles were completed in 23:00 minutes. I knew I needed to slow down so I ditched the pace group and just ran my race.
After a quick wave and glove toss to Pat I headed to the out and back along MLK. Since I was carrying my phone due to my broken case I snapped a few pics along the way but they aren’t the best since I didn’t slow down and was just using my iphone, but you can see the back of the Art Museum here. I caught back up the pace group once I got out here but I definitely failed at negative splits and slowed down a ton during the hills around miles 6-7. I never caught back up to them after that.
After the hills and a quick spin through Fairmount Park the course headed back the Art Museum. I was definitely feeling that super fast first few miles and regretted that hard start as I was feeling the pain now. I tried to go with my plan I use during tris and picking people off one by one but I wasn’t able to pick up the pace enough to catch people. FAIL. Race recaps aren’t as good without some talk about the trials and troubles of racing so I figured I’d share a bit of this negativity to keep things real.
Seeing Pat around mile 12 definitely gave me a boost to finish strong but I was predicting a 1:52-1:53 finish. I suck at math in general especially when the blood is rushing to my legs so I wasn’t sure of my exact finish until I saw Pat but I did know it was a PR.
Once I found out my final time was 1:50:53 I was super pleased! A 4 minute PR! Although I felt like I should’ve pushed a bit stronger those last 2-3 miles but I could get into a good groove mentally to push through so that’s something I need to practice a little more.
Overall it was definitely one of my best runs and I was proud of myself. Another thing I would like to work on for my next half is some speed work. Let me know if you have any great workouts to share! Did you do the Love Run? Did you race this weekend? What is your half marathon PR?