Monday, September 23, 2013

Rock-n-Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon 2013

As I've previously mentioned, I heart Philly and I really heart this race! I was so excited schedules lined up and made it happen this year.

We walked the 1.5 miles to the start and it was chilly. I was a super fan, let me tell you! I was almost giddy. I was really happy to be running a half marathon in less than 80 degree weather, because honestly, I can't remember the last time I did! (so I totally just figured it out- the last time I ran a comfortable weather half marathon was The NYCHalf 2012- 18 months ago!) I remembered from my previous RNR Philly race, it warms up a bit as the day goes on, but nothing like the terrible heatwave I dealt with in California- or pretty much any race I've run in the past 18 months ;)

Pam and I said good-bye to the speedy Sarah and we waited until the race started to jump in a port-a-potty line (people scatter, it's quite funny to watch actually. PS- there is no need to run to your corral if you're in a later one), then we tried to head to our corral but it was a cluster mess. This was not my first rodeo at the Rock-n-Roll races, so all was to be expected.  

The Mountain Climber, 
because apparently that's what I looked like with my backpack on
and all my running gear.

We started faster than I thought, but I couldn't help it. The weather was so beautiful! What was not to like about it?! Plus, I love that we get to run through downtown Philly at the beginning of the race when you're fresh and can look around at all of the sights! All the shade from the buildings added to the cooler temps and I was in heaven! I didn't remember running all the way to Independence Hall or any of the other local landmarks the last time I ran the race. I found out, the course had changed a bit last year, and I'm definitely a fan.

Sadly, Pam's ankle injury from Dumbo wouldn't let her go and we parted ways around mile 3. There was a long portapotty line that I didn't want to lose time for. Luckily, we were about a block from our hotel, so Pam just went there after I left. Even though, you establish in the beginning it's ok to run off, I still feel bad. But sometimes you just have to run your own race, you know?

The one complaint I have is the loop back to the start/ finish area. There was so much energy and crowd support, but as soon as you headed to the out and back for the 2nd half of the race, it just died off- and you still have another 6 miles to go! I tried not to focus too much on it, but I kept looking for the turn around bridge. 

 Can't seem to get away from him :)

I tried really hard to hold back- it was still semi-early in the race. I didn't want to race it,  it was supposed to be just an organized long run. But I was feeling really good and I wanted to push it! I kept myself busy by continuing to marvel at how nice the weather was and I finally let myself just go as fast as I wanted to, which I'd pay for later.
This was exactly how I thought it would feel for Dumbo, but since that was during yet another heatwave, I felt like I needed to overcompensate. I wanted to feel like I was actually running a race instead of making sure I didn't die of heat stroke. My hips and ITB were not ready to go that fast, though, and honestly, I had forgotten what it felt like to hurt like that during a race.

I also decided it would be a good plan to zigzag along the course to add on more mileage. That got to be a little tricky, because I hated zigging into crowds of people. . . I'm sure people thought I was crazy. Once I stopped doing that and adding about a mile on, I decided I should try and shoot for a sub-3 finish- yea, that didn't happen but I'm totally ok with it. After looking at my time, I'm pretty sure if I would've stayed focused, I could have easily. Oh well. Next time!

The turn around bridge finally showed up and this awesome sign was next to it. For some reason that really choked me up for the rest of the race.

As we got closer to the finish, I remembered hating this last stretch because the museum looked so close, yet it was so far! I also remembered the last time, I was so excited because B was at the finish waiting for me, that I couldn't wait to be there. No one was waiting for me this time and I still had a 1.5M hike back to the hotel. Those are some pretty depressing thoughts! 

Then I heard the song "Shout" from a distance and getting closer. So, I turned to look:

and there was Mr. Incredible, riding a bike with a boombox attached to it.
A-mazing. I did notice a couple of other "musicians" on bikes with boomboxes, which was super clever. They could move around to different places on the course as it progressed. Kudos for that! It was definitely an awesome energy boost so close to the finish.

So, I think it's settled. I'm a pretty big fan of this race. It's the trifecta of races: the course, the weather and the city are all top notch. Plus, you can run up the Rocky stairs if you want to.

If you don't believe me, I think this finisher's photo says it all

 Or this one :)
YaY! for 15 miles for my 15th Half! 


  1. Replies
    1. Now that you say that! haha. So creepy.

  2. Congrats! Looks like it was a fun race. But I agree with the comment above re: Mickey. LOL

    1. Thanks! It was a great race.

      Yea. . .I didn't think about it before!

  3. I was there too! I totally agree with the lack of crowds during the second half of the race. Kelly Drive is beautiful but it felt like I was on my usual weekend long run. I was also disappointed with the water stations.
    Sorry we didn't get to catch up!
    Karen @karenlovestorun

    1. I was ok with the lack of crowds, but it was just kind of an abrupt change of pace from the finish line excitement to a long run in the park. Next time we should totally try to meet up!

  4. Looks like a really fun race. I'm impressed with your zig zagging to add miles. Tara would not approve of this plan, ha! Tangents, tangents, tangents!!! Also, kudos for pushing even if you weren't going to PR. I have a habit of completely throwing in the towel if I'm not going to PR, lol. Athlete, for realz, right here!

    1. I did think about Tara when I was doing it, too! haha!

      I honestly haven't been close to PR range since I decided running a marathon would be fun. Can't wait for this one to be over so I can focus on speed.

  5. Congrats!! I love how each RnR medal is so unique to the city it is held in. ( I have to say that Mickey is kind of creepy)

    1. Thanks! I like that, too, about RNR.

      Yea, the consensus seems to be that Mickey is creepy. haha!