Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rock n Roll Half Marathon Philadelphia - a quick race report

Just a quick one here...

Last weekend was the Rock and Roll Philly 1/2 marathon.  I'm not a big fan of the Competitor Group, but this is just an awesome course with a great field of runners.

I took the train down on Friday night, a very smooth, easy and cheap way to grab packets.  While I was down there I volunteered at the PowerBar tent, handing out samples and answering questions.  I have to say the PowerBar's commitment to the sport and providing quality products has really impressed me.
Working the booth on Friday PM.
Sunday morning we were treated to some EXCELLENT weather.  Sunny skies, light wind and temps in the 50's.  We left early and found our usual spot near JFK Plaza, hit the hotel's bathroom and headed up to the start.  Lauren was racing, as was my brother, his wife and my friend Bill.  Everyone had different goals for the day.  I knew I wanted to run a little faster so after a mile warm up I stepped into the corral, stretched and got ready to roll.

The gun went off and I immediately found Mike, Kathleen and Todd.  It was nice to have some familiar faces, I think it kept my HR down and kept me relaxed.  I really had no "plan" per se, just to see how my legs reacted to some 5:50 miles and how long they could hold on.  We went through mile 1 right on target.  Todd started to pull ahead and Kathleen backed it down a little.  As we went through the next two miles of sun and sun glare I noticed that I was sweating, so I made a point to take water at every other stop.

One thing I like about this race is the amount of competition.  You can run 5:45 miles and have a pack to run with.  We headed out of the city toward the Art Museum again passing the mile 4 marker.

I was in a good pack here, we were all very consistent.
This is my favorite part of the race, out Kelly Drive.  The sun is still hidden by the trees and terrain so it's still cool, it's protected by wind and the race is really just starting. Typically if you can hold on to pace out to the Falls Bridge at mile 9 you're going to have a good day. That's not to say it's "easy" those last 4 miles back in to the finish, but it's manageable pain!

As we clicked off the miles I was feeling decent.  It was cool, I wasn't sweating and the legs weren't feeling too bad.  We were starting to pick off runners who went out too fast so that helped mentally.  I was still with Mike in a pack of 5-6 runners.  As we hit the slight incline at mile 9 and cross the Falls Bridge, Mike started to fall back.  We were with 5 or so of the top 13 females who were really battling it out.  I cross the bridge and managed to drop the pace into the 5:40's consistently, picking off runners and focusing on finding the Art Museum which meant the finish line.  I checked the time as I hit miles 11 and 12 and I thought there was a chance I could get into the 1:15's.
The slightest uphill at mile 13.....that sweet, aweful pain knowing the finish is 30 seconds away.
I hit mile 13 and gave it all I had.  Wasn't quite enough, but close.  1:16:06.  Good enough for my 3rd fastest half marathon.  I'll take it, looking back I had averaged 33 miles per week for the last 20 weeks since Boston and I had done NO specific run training.  A good day and some good luck picking a manageable pace.

Good enough for a negative split....

Garmin details.

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