Saturday, September 21, 2013

Philly Rock 'n' Roll Half Race Recap!

Last Sunday, I ran the Philadelphia Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. This was my second year running this race, and I loved it just as much this year as last year, if not more! The mid-September date has provided awesome weather the past two years and the course is great -  a few miles downtown and then the rest is along the river.

This was my first half marathon since I ran this race last year! The past year went like this for me:

September - Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon and a bunch of other races
October- trained for Philadelphia Marathon
November- ran Philadelphia Marathon!
December- sort of injured- IT band issues
January- started training for Spring halves
February- training/got injured
March- injured- 2 miles logged
April- injured- 1.5 miles logged
May- yay! I can finally run again! SLOWLY got back into it and tried not to freak out about leg
June- first race back! Leg feels great! Went to Hawaii, hardly ran this month!
July- started training for Fall halves
August- raced a 5k
September- Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon and a bunch of other races

When I started training again in July, after allowing myself 2 months of easy running after injury, my coaches had their work cut out for them. At that time, a 9 minute mile felt really hard for me and I hadn't run more than a 10k since February. I had almost zero base built up. About the only thing that I had going for me was that I was excited and ready to work. But I (and they) also knew that I had to do that really careful to avoid another injury. July consisted of a few faster miles, but was mostly just easy running while building mileage. It really wasn't until August that I started doing any tempo runs or speedwork. After weeks of having crap runs, I finally started to feel like myself again and got in a few 10+ mile runs before this race.

My boyfriend, Anthony, and I were both running this race. He had to work until 5pm on Saturday, so I went down to Philly before him to get our bibs at the expo. I also met up with these Oiselle teammates!

Jill, me, Amanda and Ashley!

After the expo, I went back to the hotel to relax and took a quick nap before going to my sister's for dinner. She's about to have twin girls(!!!) so we ordered in a bunch of Italian and cheesecake. Anthony met us there for dinner then drove me back to the hotel, and we were in bed by 10pm. My kind of night! I set the alarm for 6:45am and went to sleep, so you can imagine our surprise when the hotel alarm clock went off very loudly at 5am!! Thanks to whomever stayed in that room before us and didn't turn it off. After that, I tossed and turned until our real alarm went off at 6:45am.

Anthony and I have started a few other half marathons together, but have never run the entire race with each other. I wasn't sure what we were going to do for this race either- we were prepared to run it together or separate mid-race if one person wanted to push. By Saturday, I had solidified my race plan, with the help of my coaches. I was planning to start off around PR pace (7:55) and then pick it up if I was feeling good. To be honest, and I think he'd say the same thing, I wasn't sure that Anthony had trained enough to run a PR with me. Going into this race, Anthony's half PR was 1:43:06 and mine was 1:43:23. I was torn- I wanted to run a strong race and PR, but I also wanted to run the race with Anthony, since I was the one that made him signed him up for it.

We got to the start around 7:45am and it was 50 degrees- perfect running weather! We tried to stay warm until 8am when the race started. In typical Philadelphia fashion, I messed up my Garmin before we even crossed the starting line. I did the same thing at the marathon- what is wrong with me?! So, I was trying to keep us on pace to run a PR, but my watch was off. I don't think I took that 15 seconds into account enough while we were running.

Our first 5k was 8:05 pace, which was slower than I planned on. But after that, we started to push it a bit more. We talked on and off the whole time, checked in with each other, ate some Honey Stingers, drank some water, and before we knew it, we only had a few miles left! I almost never run with anyone else and I gotta say, it did make the miles go by really quickly!

I don't know how Anthony does it, but on little training, he stuck with me the whole race! He even told me afterwards that he felt like he had some left in the tank. Maybe we should have run faster!

I will say that this was the longest half marathon I've run, in distance. For the record, I am NOT saying the course was long (I hate it when people pretend that's the reason that their time wasn't as fast). I'm saying, I (we) SUCK at running tangents! Anthony's Garmin said 13.27 at the end. Um, well that's annoying, because if we had run the tangents, our time would have been significantly faster. Oh well, hopefully I can do this better at Wineglass!

I guess the long and short of it is, we PR'd in overrunning the course, but still PR'd the half! I'm almost positive this is the first half I've negative split and it definitely felt like the easiest half I've run. I remember during the Brooklyn Half in 2012 (where my PR before this race was from) that I wanted to DIE starting around mile 9, so I'm glad I never felt horrible during this race! And I never even got sore, which was a nice surprise, since I usually can't walk down stairs the day after a half....  Thanks to Derek and Allison for making this possible!!

All in all, an awesome morning! I hope I (we?) can do this race again next year!

Next up, the 5th Ave Mile tomorrow morning and Wineglass Half two weeks from tomorrow!

Tell me: HOW DO YOU RUN TANGENTS SUCCESSFULLY?!?!?!  What's your favorite half marathon?


  1. Congrats on your PR, especially so soon after that injury! I ran this race last year and loved it. Hopefully will be back next year too

    1. Thank you! Yes, such a fun race! Definitely want to do it again!

  2. I am HORRIBLE at tangents. Every time I run a race I over run it - sometimes in a marathon by .35 even! :( I seriously am good at math so I sweat I'm running them right - maybe it's just the Garmin has little hiccups? Who knows!

    But anyway CONGRATS on a PR and a great race! Sounds like you probably had a little more in the tank too :)

    1. Thanks, at least I'm not alone in the tangent-sucking world! :)

      I did have some left in the tank- am excited to really race Wineglass in just under 2 weeks!!

  3. Congrats on the PR!!! Love that you and Anthony ran it together too!

    1. Thanks, Gabby! It was so much fun to run with him!! Hope your training is going well!

  4. So awesome!! Congrats to both of you!!

    1. Thank you, Kara!! Can't wait until Wineglass!!!

  5. I ran the Rock 'n' Roll Philly Half, too :) Not nearly as well as you...congrats! It was my 2nd half and my first Rock 'n' Roll. My Garmin said 13.24 so I guess I don't know run tangents successfully, either ;) The fact that I kept darting to the other sides of streets for shade and water probably didn't help, huh?

  6. That is awesome! Congrats! And also thanks. I totally forgot to plug in my Garmin for my long run tomorrow you talking about it just reminded me. You saved the day lol :)