Monday, September 17, 2018

R'n'R Philly Half Marathon Recap

It was a busy weekend in Philadelphia!

Not only did I get a quick tour of the downtown scene, I had the opportunity to lace up and hit the streets running, quite literally. Let's just say that the City of Brotherly Love did not disappoint.

With a 7:30 start time, and a 1.5-mile commute from my hotel, I was up by 5:45 a.m. to allow for a quick breakfast (I had brought along some instant oatmeal) before heading out. There was a 6:45 meet-up for the We Run Social group pic that I was hoping to get to, so I left the hotel around 6:20 and shared a cab to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (near the start line) with a fellow runner.
on the steps (made famous by Rocky), overlooking the start line
A short while later, I was able to find Kim as we were lining up. I have known Kim for awhile (via blogging and social media), and we finally had the opportunity to meet at the R'n'R Chicago back in July. 
Kim and Kim
Before long, our corral neared the start line, and we were off! We wished each other well, and went our separate ways (having run both the 5K and 10K the day prior, Kim wanted to take thing easy). 
still a bit foggy at the start line
I, on the other hand, didn't really have a specific plan. My glutes have been a bit on the angry side recently, but everything was feeling good on race morning. I had done an easy-paced 3-mile shakeout run the previous morning, but then spent almost 2-1/2 hours driving from Hanover to Philly (ugh!). After a few hours of sightseeing (and over five miles of walking), though, all of my angry muscles felt much better when I'd gone to bed Saturday night.

As with most races, the first couple of miles were pretty crowded. I had started back a few corrals, so there were was a bit of weaving to get around some of the people. For me, that's actually a good keeps me from going out too fast.

The temps were mild, but definitely humid. We were lucky to have some fog and cloud cover. The first four miles took us on a scenic tour through downtown Philly. Being the art geek that I am, I was in total (art geek) heaven admiring all the amazing architecture and numerous statues everywhere. Seriously, is there any better way to explore a new city than on your feet?

The race course wound back to the Museum, and then took us out onto Kelly Drive, a street alongside the east side of the Schuylkill River. The temps continued to climb (as did the humidity), but the majority of the route (along the river) was shaded from the heat of the sun. 

There were water stands (some of which also had Gatorade) every couple of miles. Although there weren't many spectators, there were numerous cheerful volunteers at all of the water stations. There were also a lot of rowers on the river, which made for a serene vista.

For the most part, I felt pretty good. My glutes had been a little stiff at the start, but nothing in comparison to what they'd been like in previous weeks. My energy felt fine, and I was able to run comfortably (kind of in that auto-pilot mode). Try as I might, though, I just didn't quite have the mojo to push myself to go any faster. I was also mindful of the heat, and the fact that I still had a marathon to run in four this wasn't the time to be a hero.

Near the 9-mile mark we crossed over a bridge, taking us to Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive for the return trip (on the west side of the river). By this time, the cloud cover was completely gone, and the sun was shining strong. And the intermittent shade (from the trees) was diminishing. 
near the 10-mile mark
There were times I could feel myself slowing down, but I never felt the "need" to walk. Well, there was a brief walking episode in the 11th mile when I tried to put the extra SiS gel (a course volunteer had given me) into my fuel belt and it was a total failed effort until I stopped running (briefly) ...only to have to retrieve said gel from the belt (a few minutes later) because it made everything bounce (I wish I was making that up LOL).

The final miles were hot, even for this heat-loving gal. I could feel my shorts dripping with perspiration and my shirt was a saturated mess. I made it to the finish line, feeling strong but on the verge of fatigue. But I was done!
My watch showed 2:09:29 (official time was 2:09:24), which was a little disappointing because I've been hoping to get my time closer to the 2:00 vicinity. Then I noticed my watch also showed 13.4 miles (almost 1/3 of a mile further than the half marathon distance). Hmmm...

My splits were a bit all over the place:
Mile 1 - 9:13         Mile 8 - 10:02
         2 - 9:33                 9 - 9:35
         3 - 8:37               10 - 10:14
         4 - 9:50               11 - 10:46
         5 - 9:36               12 - 9:46
         6 - 9:41               13 - 9:13
         7 - 9:41               (.4) - 3:42

Other than mile 3, I find it ironic how miles 1 and 13 are my two fastest miles. Anyways, the 9:40 pace is a bit faster than my pace from two weeks ago (at the NewBo 13.1), which was 9:46. Even though this half marathon time reflects a slightly longer course, the fact that I ran it with an itsy bitsy faster pace makes me smile. That's my fastest 13.1 pace in 16-1/2 months. I'm totally good with that.

My stats showed I was 40th in my age group (out of 249), 1163rd within the females (out of 3732), and 2837th overall (out of the 6747 half marathon finishers). I'm totally good with all that, too.

Here's a sampling of my pics...what do you think? To buy or not to buy? 

Overall, I thought the R'n'R Philly Half Marathon was a great event. The course was pretty flat for the most part,and well supported in terms of water/aid stations. I also saw several medic stations along the route. My only complaint (and it's a small one at that) is I wished we would have had a few more miles in the actual "downtown" part of the city. That said, the 9-ish miles along the river were quite serene and shaded.

The race shirts are gender-specific, and I think the graphics are nice. And, check out the medal! The reference to Love Park and the Liberty perfection.

Sweet, huh!
This was my first time visiting Philadelphia, and I'd LOVE to go back. The city has a lot to offer, and this R'n'R event was a top notch experience for me.

So, talk to me! Have you ever been to Philly? Is this a race that you'd like to do? Have you ever run a race where the distance wasn't in sync with your GPS tracking device?

**Disclaimer**As a member of the Rock'n'Blog team, I received a complimentary registration for the R'n'R Philly Half Marathon. The views and opinions expressed here, though, are all my own.

**I'm linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

**I'm also linking this with Debbie and Rachel and Marc and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner
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  1. Great going, those are pretty even splits really and I love how your 1 and 13 were two of your three fastest. The medal is cool, too. Every race I've done has come out longer, the Birmingham Marathon was 26.47 miles (but then I was wayyyyy off the race line, running in the gutter for that, so not surprising).

    1. I was pretty careful to run the tangents...but, oh well. I still LOVED the race ;-)

  2. Well your first mile was probably fast because you are excited about the race. And the last mile I bet your couldn't finish fast enough with that humidity. That's probably why they were your fastest miles. I have that pattern a lot at races. No matter when I start my watch it is always off from the course I am running. I normally don't start it until a 100 yards or so past the start now. And somehow it end ups calculating more accurate...go figure! Great job on your race! Sounds like it was a busy, yet fun weekend.

    1. Somehow, I always seem to manage a faster pace in that last-mile, no matter how tired I feel.

  3. Sounds like a fun weekend! Congrats on a great finish time.

  4. Congrats! Sounds like you ran nice and strong. I haven't been to Philly since high school so I'm looking forward to returning for the marathon in November. Wonder if that course is at all similar to RnR??

    1. Philly was a great place for the race! I have no idea what the course is like for the marathon (?), I would assume it would be similar, though.

  5. Congrats on a great race! I've never done a race in Philadelphia but it's definitely on my list.

  6. I always run more on the course than the race distance. It's a great way to see a city, and I do sometimes choose races based on the scenery.

    1. I thought the city was neat! All kinds of fascinating architecture...

  7. Glad you liked the Philly half. I have run that race several times and always have a great time. I actually have not run it since it became a RnR race, but I would go back and do it again in a heartbeat. I love how it starts out with a tour of the city, then ends up along the Schuylkill. The marathon is kind of similar, except the out and back is longer.

  8. The fact that the shirts are gender specific is so cool! I've never seen that for race shirts! I need to look into that Rock n Blog thing.....

    1. They give you the option for a women's size or unisex...I always go with a women's shirt because I don't like the "boxy" cut of a unisex shirt on me (so NOT flattering).

  9. Congrats on the race! I can't remember if I have been to Philly...maybe when I was a kid.

  10. Congratulations! I'm glad you had a great time in Philly. It seems that this race the past few years has had really tough weather - boo to high humidity! Glad you and Kim got to meet again. I wish I was able to make it down there but I did see some runners when I had to drive in the city. Hopefully you can come back and we can run together! :)

  11. your splits were pretty evenly paced that's great. My favorite photo is the one of you and Kim together. So glad you had a fun weekend. Philly is a fun place to visit and run in.

  12. I'd really love to do some east coast races someday. This one looks like a winner! I've never even been to Philadelphia, so I need to put this on my bucket list. Nice job on your race!

  13. How are you able to run this many half’s without injury!? I love that, I wish my body would let me run more long races like that

  14. I'm still so sorry we didn't get to meet up!! Next time I will plan better! I hope to run this race again next year. I need some redemption haha.

  15. I was so happy that I was able to see you again. I needed my #Kimstrong fix :)

  16. I ran this last year and loved it. Mind you, I was still coming back from injury and it was beyond steamy and humid (the day before had been perfect, but then race day was just soggy and nasty), and the uphill to the finish line was pretty tough for this Florida girl, but other than that, it was fabulous.

    You did great and I'm so glad you loved it!

  17. Congrats on another great race! And yes, I love the medal. I've only been to Philly once, when our sons were in middle school.

  18. Reading this post makes me want to start running again! I love Philly, and I imagine it being a pretty cool place to run. Like you, I've definitely run longer than the race is supposed to be, and sometimes this has been a real sore spot for me!

  19. I love Philly. I think it needs to be a racecation for 2019 or 2020. Congrats on the great race, and the KimUp!