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Sep 16 / Jane

Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon 2013

I’d signed up for the Philadelphia RNR half marathon sometime in the spring on the recommendation of friends. After my RNR DC half experience (link), I was wry to sign up for another RNR event, but with so many good reviews, I had to check it out myself.

Working Saturdays killed any hopes of me getting to the expo, so Brennan (runner friend from PI) picked up my packet along with hers. In return, I drove on race day. I was nervous driving into Philly; the last time I drove in must have been in high school to go to the Trocadero. And 30,000 people in town for a race is a little different than 500 people for a metal show. So, I mapped it out and made a plan. Brennan met me in the morning and we headed down towards the Franklin Institute. The tiny garage was crowded when we entered. We circled the entire thing before cramming my car into a “compact car” space (there was plenty of room, it just looked small…).

Once there, we pinned on our bibs and affixed our timing chips. We headed over to the start and checked our bag of sweats (worried it would be freezing at the finish due to a cold spell that left the last three day’s high in the 50’s.). In the chute, I hooked up with Gwen, a good friend of my sister’s from high school and fellow runner. She was wanting to take it easy due to a back injury and I was hoping to just run well. We figured it’d be an easy 2:05 day for us.

We started off running through the city, past the Liberty Bell and likely other notable places (but they weren’t labeled, so who knows?). =) After about 4 miles we headed into Fairmont Park, along the Schuylkill River. Gwen and my pace was all over the place in the beginning 8:27, 7:54, 8:41, etc. It evened out along the river, and overall I was feeling pretty good. The 10k mark past and I realized I’d run a 10k PR (55:52!). We hit an aid station right before 8miles, then headed over a bridge and back towards the Art Museum. I hit a 10mi PR (1:32:06) and then slowed down. Gwen ran ahead to the finish and I slowed to almost a 10min mile pace. The last 5k were out in the open, it got sunny and warm and I was tired from my yo-yo’ing pace earlier in the race. I also wasn’t out to PR so time wasn’t really on my mind. But, I knew at the 10 mile mark I would PR and that’s all I was going for.

I crossed the finish in 2:03:03, wohoo! What a great race, I’m so grateful for Gwen’s company! It was nice to have someone pushing me. I really wasn’t confident going into this race, I felt it might have even been my slowest half to date, just due to lack of training. So, needless to say, I’m thrilled!

I collected post-race goodies in the finish chute and met up with Gwen before reconnecting with Brennan in the bag check area. The cold spell had officially broken, it was sunny and in the 70’s. …It was HOT! We took some post race pictures with the Rocky Art Museum in the background, enjoyed our “free beer,” and headed home for brunch with Alex.

Brennan, Gwen and I

Brennan, Gwen and I

The Art Museum

The Art Museum

It really was a great day.  The weather was perfect for running, the course was mostly flat and scenic.  I had great company all day, commuting and running.  I really couldn’t ask for more, and then to run a PR!  For all my doubts about running another RNR race, overall this one was well done and I’d likely run it again.

PS. Brennan, the place across the street was totally the one with champagne brunch! I read the sign more carefully the next week, haha. Do over soon??

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