11-24-2014

Philadelphia Half Marathon Race Recap

Feeling pretty bummed out today. Not only did I not PR, but I ran my slowest time for a half marathon. But not all races can be PRs and the best race ever right?

This one might be long, but here are the bullet points in case you don’t want to read ;)

  • Finished in 2:12. 3 minutes slower than my PR.
  • Felt great until around mile 7. My legs just started feeling heavy. Put in my headphones (First time I’ve ran a half with music).
  • Lots of weaving and sudden stopping due to narrow roads.
  • Feeling bad that I held my mom back and she probably could have PRed but decided to stay with me.
  • I probably wouldn’t run this race again due to how packed it was the entire 13.1 miles.

Alright, let’s get into the details.

The race started at 7am, which meant we had to be up at 4:45 to leave the hotel by 5:15. We stayed on the NJ side, about 15 minutes out. I didn’t get much sleep because my dad snores so much, but I knew that wouldn’t affect me much since the sleep you get the week leading up to it is the most important. So we got up at 4:45, got dressed, ate our oatmeal and drank our coffee, and were ready to go!

 

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We got to the start area around 5:45, and went to the lines for the port-a-johns. This is one of my few complaints I have about this race. There were a lot of them, but signs said to form one line in front of each one. This meant there was a HUGE line of people waiting, and it wasn’t moving. I like how NYRR has just a few lines that go to multiple port-a-johns, so that if some are faster than others, you have a few options, as opposed to waiting for just one. This just really annoyed me.

We waited in that line from around 6:10 until 7:00 when the race started. The gun went off and we were still in the line. As we finished though, we saw our corral color was running by, so we just hopped in (we were in the line for corrals ahead of ours). The timing was fine, but I think there could be a better system for that.

Anyway, we crossed the finish and of course as I cross my Garmin screen goes back to the main screen as opposed to the timer screen. So I had to reconnect to GPS etc. once I started running, so I figured it would be a minute off the whole way. Who wants to do math while they’re running 13.1 miles?! :) I think I might have gone out too fast, because around mile 3 I was like “Hmm…did I go out to fast?” So yeah I probably did haha. But I really did feel fine until mile 7. I actually ran a 10K PR on the course! 1:01.

I don’t know my splits or anything since my watch was all weird, but the course was decent. There was one long stretch around mile 5-6ish where the road got really narrow and it was hard to run. A lot of people were hopping up on the sidewalks to run. The upside was that on that same road it was like running through a tunnel of people. Since it was narrow, the spectators were right on top of you, which did pump me up when I was starting to feel the fatigue.

Around mile 7ish we hit our first hill. I felt fine going up that one. Around mile 8-9ish, the second hill came in. This one was longer and a bit steeper…and also where I walked for the first time. I ran about halfway and just wanted to take a short 30 second break. My mom was ahead of me but stayed back and I told her to run ahead. She didn’t want to. So we kept going along.

At mile 11, “Work B*tch” came on, which is my motivational running song, so I thought to myself ok LET’S GO! ONLY 2 MORE MILES! I tried to speed up during the chorus of the song and easy run during the other parts, because my legs had just about had it.

Mile 12 I was done. My PR was way out the window and I honestly had a moment of thinking “What’s the point? I can just run/walk now since I’m going to get my worst time anyway.” I told my mom to just go on without me, that she might be able to get close to our PR time if she went. She said okay.  She left and I thought, no you know what, I WILL run this last mile as fast as I can and finish strong. I picked the 4:15 marathon pace group ahead of me as my target and tried to catch them. Who knows how fast I was actually running at that point haha. I didn’t see a Mile 13 sign so I had no idea how far I had left, but there was a huge crowd and I heard the announcer so I just ran it in as fast as I could. I passed a lot of people in that final stretch which felt good. I finished only 30 seconds behind my mom. I was sure glad that was over with!

 

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How I’m Feeling

It just really sucks when you train for months for something and feel like you blew it. Last night I was searching for other half marathons coming up to see if I could find one and try again. I did find one in Brooklyn but I’m having a holiday party that day so it just wouldn’t be possible.

I’m running a 1 mile race this weekend, and a 5K on Dec. 6. If I can at least hit a PR for those and end the season on that note, I’ll be more happy.

What frustrates me is that nothing hurt while I was running. My legs just weren’t going anywhere. I don’t know if maybe I didn’t eat enough the day before or morning of? Who knows. I also feel bad that I held my mom back.

What I’ve been telling myself is that although this race didn’t go as planned, I have dropped my 5K time significantly since I started training. I haven’t ran a sub 28 minute 5K in about 3 years, and a few weeks ago I ran 26:46. So I’m getting closer to that PR. A big thanks to Coach Marc for helping me improve on that, and have a great training season!

I’m just feeling bummed. I really wish I could run another half. I also just wasn’t a huge fan of this race due to how packed it was. My knees are pretty sore and I feel like the constant stopping and running around people might have to do with it. Who knows. But I do know that I want my next spring half to be a smaller field. I was originally thinking RnR DC but will probably find a smaller race.

But I’m happy my dad and my mom’s friend’s family (who also ran) were there to watch. It was a fun weekend, and my dad was really excited to post his pictures of him running up the stairs of the museum like Rocky lol.

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The night before we bought this doll thing with a long stick? Not sure exactly what it is but it helped my mom and I spot him as we ran by since who else is holding up something like that.

Philly Half
He always comes to our big races to cheer us on, even if he only sees us for probably a minute total :) Oh and here are the shirts we wore. I had talked about these in a previous post, and some of you wanted to see what the final product would look like. We used double sided velcro as opposed to pins, and we got a lot of compliments!

Philadelphia Half Marathon

So that’s that. I’d love to hear some advice from you.

Have you felt upset after a big race? How did you deal with it? Did you run a “redemption race?”

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11-17-2014

Last Week Of Philly Half Training!

Last week was the last week of training..woohoo! This week is taper time. I can’t believe it’s finally here. Although these past 15 weeks haven’t been specifically training for a half marathon (it’s been training to break a 5K PR), I have prepared to run a strong half marathon as well by doing long runs and tempo runs. 

When I started working with Coach Marc, I told him “I want a 5K PR this season…but I do want to run a fall half too. But the PR is most important.” So that’s what we’ve been working on. And hey, I’m only 1 min. away from that PR! I’m running a 5K Dec. 6 and Dec. 20 so it has to happen at one of those…right??!

Anyway, here’s last week’s training:

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 2 mile warm up, 10×400, 1 mile cooldown. I did this at my local park again and it was tough. For some reason felt harder than when I did 1000 meter repeats here! Last track workout before the half.

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Off. I was supposed to run 3 miles but was feeling SO tired that day. I said I would run the 3 miles on Saturday instead. Spoiler alert – I didn’t.

Friday: 8 miles. Last long run! I always feel so sluggish the first 2 miles, anyone else? After that I felt great. Finished in 1:21. Though I learned not to wear shorts when it is below 40 degrees out. My legs were totally numb when I finished, and I think that’s why the last mile was so hard. I ran with my mom and her friend who is also training for Philly. It will be her first half marathon! She is faster than me and my mom so I predict that she will finish before us. Maybe we’ll use her as a pacer ;)

 

A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on


Saturday: Oops didn’t run. Dan and I were at the Rutgers game, which is always an all day affair. No I did not wake up early to run. I was going to but let’s be real, I just don’t do morning runs.

Sunday: Easy 3 on the treadmill. Threw in some hill repeats at half marathon pace and 2 400 repeats at 5K pace. Then did some lifting. 

So that’s a wrap! I will be writing a post on my thoughts on this training cycle soon, but I have really enjoyed working with Marc. It provides me with accountability, and it’s nice having someone to answer all your random running questions :) 

I think I’m as prepared as I can be for the half. I really didn’t skip many runs this cycle (except for last week, let’s ignore that). One thing I know I can improve on is cross training. I do lift, but I know I should do more cardio based cross training as well.

Anyone else running the Philly Half??

What is your favorite way to cross train? If you’re a runner and love spinning, have you found it improves your running?

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