Tag Archives: half marathon

Philly Love Run Recap 2016

14 Apr

Philly Love Recap

I do NOT recommend not running for weeks and weeks and then stepping up to the starting line of a half marathon.

While I don’t recommend it, that’s exactly what I did.

I signed up for the race (to be my third running of it) back in December, not only because I enjoy the race and have been doing it since it’s first year, but also as inspiration to get out and run more regularly. I’d fallen into a funk and I knew that running would help me out of it, I just needed to get out there.

Well, that funk was bigger than I thought because I only ended up running the first handful workouts from my training program. 32 of 400 training miles, that’s it! I just didn’t want to, that was it. Sure I made up excises about time but they were only half truths.

As race time grew closer I knew that there was no way I’d be running my usual speed so I decided that I’d run with Bill. He’s a couple minutes slower per mile than me so surely I could keep pace with him for 13 miles. I actually was excited at the prospect of running together with him and not worrying about that ever important PR. I’m enough of a realist to know that you don’t PR a half marathon without training and if I couldn’t PR I’d just have fun with it.

Philly Love Recap

I smiled as I ran through the streets of Philadelphia, taking in the sights around me and letting my mind wander to other things. I sang along with my music. I chatted with Bill. Things were going great.

Until they weren’t.

Around mile nine my body started to give out. By mile ten I was sunk. I stopped to walk and it didn’t take long before Bill noticed I wasn’t right behind him and he came back to push me along. There I was, sobbing in pain, “running” down MLK Jr. Drive. I’m sure the cops we passed were wondering if they needed to intervene.

The next three miles were spent in agony, some of the worst pain I’ve had in my life and I’ve seen some pain. I walked, I ran, I cried, I walked some more. My right hip and knee were on fire. I think at one point my IT band tried to escape my body entirely. I altered my stride. I tried to favor the left but I was questioning if I would finish. In fact, had it not been for Bill I probably wouldn’t have finished at all.

Finally, mile thirteen, only a tenth of a mile to go. I blasted my music so I couldn’t hear anything else and turned on the afterburners. I hauled ass up that last hill and across the finish line. Looking back it probably wasn’t nice to leave Bill in my dust after he had helped me make it through, but the competitor in me had to finish strong. I was going to be hurting anyway so go big or go home, right?

Philly Love Recap

See the pain and elation all over my face.

The stats:

My official time: 2 hours 32 minutes 52 seconds (11:40 pace). That’s something like 50 minutes slower than last year’s time but I’m only a little disappointed. When I take my lack of training into account I’m actually quite proud I finished at all.

How do I feel?

For the Thursday after the race, pretty damn good. I was a stiff the last few days and pretty sore but now just the injuries are bothering me. Yep, the injuries. It’s not like I thought I’d escape not training for 13.1 miles without a scratch.

My right IT band is not feeling to great and because of the issues I had with my right side, I was a little too hard on my left and now my left foot/ankle is bothering me. I’m not worried about the IT band, I’ll get that back to normal before long but after all I went through with my right ankle, I’m a little concerned about this pain on the left. For now I will rest, ice, elevate and use the electro-stim machine.

So there you have it. Do NOT attempt a half marathon without doing some training first.

Philly Love Recap

Always earned, never given!

I run for the bling!


2015 Philly Love Run Recap

7 Apr


March 29th was a big day for me, I ran in my third half marathon. That wasn’t really the only reason it was a big day, the race I ran on that Sunday was the last race I ran last year.

It wasn’t long after the Philly Love Run last year that I knew something was wrong and it took me the entire year to lace up and race again.

I trained smart for this year’s race. I knew I needed to train and properly prepare my body for the 13.1 if I wan’t to keep myself off the PT table and out of the doctor’s office. I took my 12 weeks of training seriously and dedicated the time, even on days when I didn’t really feel like getting out there. Remember, it was a cold winter!

It wasn’t until about twelve hours before the race that the nerves hit me. What if this was just another repeat of last year? What if I couldn’t even finish?

I had a goal time in my mind. For me I aim to PR with every race, so even after the months of PT and the surgery I had to try to beat last year’s time. My goal was lofty. Last year’s time was one hour, fifty five minutes and one second. This year I was going to push and run it in one hour and forty five minutes.

Many of my friends thought I was crazy and I received more than one side glance when I shared my goal.

Time to race!

It’s cold. It’s windy. Am I ready? I’ve done all I can to prepare, all I can do now is run.

From the start I found someone to keep pace with so I wouldn’t take off too fast. I was that woman’s wingman for as long as I could keep up, I stayed right off her left shoulder for the first two miles. I lost her when she was able to take an inside route on the turn around.

Things were moving fast, before I knew it I was heading back out of the city.

I sucked down my GU and mentally prepared myself for the first hill that was literally right around the corner. UGH, it’s longer than I remembered it being and it’s right into the wind! The eight minute mile pace team caught me…SHIT!

I managed to pass them at the top of the hill and keep them behind me for a few miles.

There was a change in the route, another unexpected obstacle. Another hill, a steep one and that hill was followed by yet another that wasn’t part of last year’s race.

I train on hills, but I was expecting a mostly flat course.

Mile nine, major side cramp. I slowed down a little to let it pass and tried to keep myself calm. Every footfall was vibrating through my body making the cramp feel like I might actually explode.

By mile ten it was gone…Thank God!

Mile ten, only a 5K left to go. 5K is a piece of cake, I’ve totally got this!

Another GU to take me through the finish.

That felt like the longest 5K of my life and I’m starting to get tired. The eight minute mile pace team was long gone but according to my GPS I was still holding my sub eight minute splits. I swear that pace team was running much faster than an eight minute mile.

I’m closing in on the thirteenth mile, time to kick it into gear. An uphill finish.

My knee was killing me but I had to push, I had to pick up a second or two. I’m flying up to the finish line, I can see it now. I’ve got laser focus. I’m passing people left and right on my quest for a strong finish. I dart through the finish line and tears immediately well up in my eyes. I did it!!

philly love

Not my best photo but I’m still proud.

It took me the better part of a half an hour to get ahold of myself enough that it wasn’t taking what was left of my mental strength to keep from breaking down.

My official time? One hour, forty-six minutes and nine seconds. Only sixty nine seconds over my goal time! To me that’s a win, a MAJOR win.

So how was I feeling in the days that followed? I was a little stiff. My IT band was bugging me for a few days. The ankle that put me through hell is still a little stiff but otherwise in great shape.

Running is so much more than just physical ability, in fact I’d say it’s mostly mental. Fighting against the “inner quitter” when she’s screaming in your ear to just give up, to cut that training run short, to just slow down. Pushing through ┬áthe unexpected changes in plan. Getting over that fear of the unknown.

I’m trying to get over my fear right now. I haven’t run since March 29th because I’m afraid. I’m scared that this year will end up being a repeat of last year after all. For the past week I’ve been fighting against that inner quitter to get back out there and prove that this year is not a repeat of last year. I’m thinking today might just be the day that I get back out.

I’m looking forward to a fun filled race season in 2015.

philly love recap

Here’s a rundown of my half marathon performances:

Marathon Park Prep, March 16, 2014: 1:57:18

Philly Love, March 30, 2014: 1:55:01

Philly Love, March 29, 2015: 1:46:09

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