I stayed in Philly with some girlfriends from college, and Saturday night we prepared an amazing feast of spaghetti, green beans and salad. This meal, plus a brownie for dessert, was the perfect fuel for the next morning.
Mile 1: 9:46
Mile 2: 9:52
Mile 3: 9:42
My general strategy for this race was to have fun, not stop, and hopefully achieve one of the goals I made last week. The entire race I kept focusing on my favorite race mantra: In the first half, don't be an idiot. In the second half, don't be a wimp.
So for the first half, I kept it easy. The course was a little boring (a highway??) for the first few miles, then got more exciting as we headed into center city by all of the monuments. The crowd support was great, and the first half felt easy.
Mile 4: 9:50
Mile 5: 9:38
Mile 6: 9:18
At the half, I took a Gu and prepared to kick it into high gear for the second half. But then... hills. I like hills, even! And these were killer. Especially a long, winding uphill around mile 10.
Mile 7: 9:03
Mile 8: 9:53 (shoe came untied)
Mile 9: 9:23
I generally took a cup of gatorade and a cup of water at each station. I'm lucky that I generally don't have stomach problems, but I do get pretty thirsty!
After we passed the giant hill and the zoo, it was a downhill ride down MLK drive into the city. The scenery was pretty, but I was tired. I was happy that I didn't feel any injuries flaring up, but was ready to be done. All the while my Garmin was marking the course as being a little long (probably due to me weaving so much) and seeing the 12 mile marker about 0.25 miles further than my Garmin read really messed with me mentally.
Mile 10: 9:53
Mile 11: 9:21
Mile 12: 9:15
Mile 13: 9:08
Mile 0.35: 7:49 pace
I tried to power through for the last half. I wanted to PR so badly and knew I could if I kicked it up. I ran as hard as I could through the last half mile and crossed the line at 2:06:40.
National Half time was 2:06:33-- I was just seven seconds off. As PR-ing was my 'A' goal, I'd say I earned an 'A-' for this one.
After collecting my medal, post race food and gear, I hightailed it back to center city for some food. I found an awesome little diner on 5th street and demolished a plate of eggs, Nova lox and hashbrowns. So good!
I had to head back pretty quickly to catch a flight, but I loved my time in Philly. It's a pretty city, a fun race, and full of friendly people. When I was walking back to my friend's apartment, so many random passerby congratulated me on my race! Well done, Philly.
Can't wait for my next race! Thanks again, everyone, for all of your support :)