Philadelphia Half Marathon Race Recap

Oh where do I begin with this race?! Last year my brother suggested we run the Philadelphia Marathon races. As he and I are runners and from that area (1 hr North) we thought it was a great idea. A few cousins of ours were starting to run as well, so we invited them to join us. The plan: The boys (my brother and two cousins) were running the full, and the girls (my cousin and I) were running the half. Unfortunately, at the last minute my brother’s work schedule didn’t allow for him to come, and he was missed!! For the three cousins, it was the first full for the two guys and my other cousin, her first half. This made the race even more special. I won’t lie… I teared up watching her cross the finish line and when ALL of them finished. I am SO extremely proud of all 3 of them for accomplishing this goal.

I have always felt a great bond with the cousins that ran this. To see them emerge as runners even from afar, was so great! We all diverged on the city and the Race Expo.

The expo was well organized and not crowded. A great feeling as some are so packed in small rooms it feels claustrophobic. While at the expo I met fellow Half Fanatic Aimee, and it was great to chat and plan out race day. Then, we wandered into Chinatown for some Pho for dinner. Yum!

Race day came, and it was dark and cold on our way to the start line. Here we are huddled together to share body heat. Soon after, we all parted ways to our respective corrals.

Now, the race. Wow. The course was great (even the hills) and the non-stop crowd support was AMAZING! The entire time I felt there was ample support at aid stations, from the crowds and other runners. This event was well organized from start to finish.

I changed up my fueling after it not working so well the last race. I realized through training runs as well that gels don’t sit well in my stomach mid-race. So, things changed a bit. Pre-race I had animal crackers and almonds (being in a hotel, I didn’t plan this well and know that for next time) and a protein bar. About 20 min before race time I had a Clif Shots (mocha). Throughout the race I nibbled on Honey Stingers Energy Bits and at mile 9ish, had a Honey Stingers Waffle. For some reason I am always hungry at around that point. Overall, my energy was good. The big hill at mile 9 took more out of me than I wanted, but, that’s okay. I had contemplated running a 3/1 interval, than a run 2 miles walk 2 minutes interval. Finally, I decided to just run and see what happens. I still took a couple walk breaks, but they were short and less than I normally take. I stopped at Aimee’s stand quickly, and other than that, was running. I felt good, and finished strong, sprinting to the end.

My final time was 2:24:53. Although I have a trail half marathon PR of 2:21, this is a PR for busy road races. This made me feel good since I was using new fueling and was freezing the whole time (several people said 35-45 was perfect running weather, I respectfully disagree!).

Afterwards, we all finally met back up after we finished our races. Headed back to the hotel for the longest showers ever… and my cousin Elliot and I (the only one up for going out) headed to dinner and celebratory beers.

Overall, a great race. I know where I can improve for next year… and, the entire clan is hook on racing and wants to do it again!! YAY!!!