Sunday, November 20, 2011

Philadelphia Marathon Weekend 2011

I ran a half marathon(21.1 Km) in Philadelphia today. It was a good day.

The race started at 7. Sunrise was 6:50.

I used a new anti chafe cream that worked great. No chafing which is good.

I like the race culture and the people who race. Good camaraderie. I arrived at the starting corrals at about 6 - about a mile walk from the hotel. There was already quite a crowd.

It was in the low 50s (and a bit windy) so I was wearing a sweatshirt over my singlet and had a space blanket to wrap in. It was the one I used was the one I was given at the finish of Boston 2005 which I considered to be lucky. I left it at the start (but got a new Philly one at the end so am break even on the space blankets for the weekend).

There were 25,000 runners.

The race countdown started at 6:59:50. At 7, I started to walk/run. It took 6 minutes to get to the start line.

After less than half a mile, I was warm so shed my sweatshirt (they collect the clothes for charity). The runners were thick so running was tough. The crowded running continued for the full race.

It was an easy downhill for the first couple of miles but I was feeling heavy and not running fast.

It was feeling warm despite the temperature only raising to the mid 50s (13 degrees C). So dumped the water from the water stop on my head.

The course was supposed to be flat but trust me, it was hilly after the first 2 miles. Bridges are aggressive hills.

Mile 3 and 4 clicked by. Still not easy. I was thrilled to miss the 5 mile marker. Was thinking mile 5 was long but the mile marker was 6!

By mile 7, I was thrilled to be over half. And resigned to just finish. No personal records. Just plod.

I sometimes count steps but know when I reach that point that I have issues. I run about 500 steps per mile. By mile 10, I was counting.

In the end, my slowest half ever at 2:03:47. 9:28 pace which seems way slow. Still hit the top half for age but disappointing. Need to train harder.

My goal is always to be in good enough shape to run a half (and have to train for a full). I think I need to change this to run a half in a certain time.

I have run about a dozen half marathons and 6 marathons (so technically, 24 half marathons). Thinking about my future runs and racing.


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