I ran the Philly half-marathon on Saturday morning and really enjoyed the race!
Overall, the course was great and the weather was beautiful and ideal for running- low 40s. We took a scenic route down to Penn’s landing and then up through Rittenhouse Square towards North Philly. We then took a turn into Fairmount Park and came out running back towards the Art Museum for the finish. There were a good chunk of spectators around Center Philly cheering loudly.
In the end, my finishing time was 1:27:37. That is 6:40 pace per mile.
Some of my favorite parts were probably when strangers were yelling my name. “LUKE” was across the front of my bib so they could see the text as I ran by. I would always smile when that happened and feel a little extra push. The miles through Center City heading towards North Philly were my favorite as the crowds were loud and really encouraging.
Going in to the race, I was really not sure what I was going to run time-wise. I was confident I could run under 7 flat for a while, but not for how long. I was slightly worried what would happen when I really started to hurt. My longest run heading into this was only 8 miles. I set a goal for sub 1 hr. 30 min. and thankfully ended up crushing it.
I was hitting closer to 6:30 pace probably up until miles 7-8 and then slowed down a bit for a few miles, hitting around 7 flat. I was happy with my grit during that stretch, however, as I did not slow down drastically. I was getting some encouragement from others and tried to dish out some to other folks as well.
During the last stretch of a mile and a half back towards the Art museum, I was hurting but I don’t think I was passed by anyone, rather I was passing some other people. This part probably made up for the slower miles.
Big kudos to my Dad, who is 58 years old, for running another half-marathon. He just keeps crushing it and runs a lot each morning in Philly before work.
My legs are still sore as hell-my quads don’t like stairs-but the pain is worth it. I’m fairly excited to train for another one. My next longer race will probably be the Broad Street 10-miler in May. This half proved to me that I still have the speed in me, I just need to put in more miles, especially doing a longer run once each week.
Running is a special experience. The ebbs and flows with running are remarkable. At this point, I’m convinced it’s mostly mental. I’m excited as I look forward to see what I can do. I’m trying to see how fast I can go while enjoying the process. Some days I definitely don’t want to run as much, but experiences like the half will definitely help serve as motivators to get out there. Over the winter months I’ll be looking for more running buddies to help with the cold.
I’m also going to be looking to make some changes training-wise. As mentioned, I plan to add a longer run as I go forward that will be at least 9-10 miles each weekend. I think I spent too many of my miles in the middle zone range, an area where I’m pushing more than I need to without getting a ton of benefit. I’m going to try to run rather slow/easy on my easy days and quite a bit quicker on days where I’m trying to go faster.