Philly Rock N Roll Half Marathon: Mixed Feelings

by - Monday, September 20, 2010

It's taken me a little while to process this race. I had such mixed feelings about the results.

  • I was happy that I managed to PR, but disappointed that I fell short on my goal of breaking two hours.
  • I was frustrated that my Garmin and several other people's Garmins recorded the course being an extra .4 to .6 in length. That's a lot of extra course.
  • I loved running on a flat course that had a decent amount of shade.
  • And I'm eternally grateful to the guy in the bright yellow shirt who saw me really struggling at mile 13 and gave me some encouragement and told me to run the rest of the way with him.

Mom and I at the start, in front of the art museum steps and finish line.

Everything started well with the race. There were plenty of porta-potties, proving race directors do listen when you fill out the post-race surveys. I managed to find my corral and after hopping the fence to get in, I made friends pretty quickly.

I met two guys who were also hoping to run the race in less than two hours. We planned to stick together and see what we could do.

We lost the first guy pretty quickly, he sped right past us, but me and the other guy hung together until mile 6 or 7. It was nice to have someone to run with even though we didn't chat a ton.

We lost each other at some point after that. I was mentally struggling. Looking at my Garmin and seeing that it was almost half a mile ahead of what the course said was really disheartening. I'd see 8.5 but the course said I was at 8.

No one I talked to at the end knew if it was an issue with our Garmins not picking up/holding a strong signal in the city or if the course was really measured that poorly.

I debated at points turning it off or making the screen only show total time, but just didn't have the energy to fiddle with it while running.

Near mile 11 I ripped off my pace band. It was equally disheartening seeing my hopes of finishing in under two hours slowly slip away.

I walked a lot in those last two miles. The sun was beating on me and I just felt so defeated. The course ended on an uphill and I was hurting. I was ready to stop and walk and this guy in a bright yellow shirt saw me about to stop and was like "No, come on!"

That little bit of encouragement got me through. I got over the hill and crossed the finished line and set a new PR. So thanks to the guy in the yellow shirt.

I should have been thrilled. I shaved more than five minutes off my PR finishing in 2:07:45. But I kind of just wanted to cry.

A day later, I have a little bit better perspective on the whole situation. I set a new PR. I broke 2:10. I'm spitting distance from break 2:05.

Breaking two hours will come with time. I know that and I'll get there eventually.

On another positive note, major props to my mom who finished the race this weekend too. She was expecting to mainly walk with a little bit of running because she was having problems with her Achilles. She estimated she'd finish in about three hours. Well she killed that time and set a PR of 2:31:51.

Congrats Mom!

Here we are at the finish line with our medals!


And thanks to my Dad for being our race support: Driving us down to Philly at 5 a.m., holding all of our gear and waiting around for hours for us to race. Thanks Dad! You rock!

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