Sadly, but not unexpectedly, it was not faster than my first.
I'm still awaiting my chip time, I think it was approximately 2:30
I woke up around 5:45, when it was still dark out, got ready, made myself almond butter and raspberry preserves on a slice of wheat bread, grabbed a banana, and met my friend outside of my place at 6:15 to carpool in to Philly. We got there a little after 7, found parking pretty easily in a garage with a flat rate of $11 (not bad considering the rates of some of the lots!) about .6 miles from the start line. I ate my little breakfast in the car on the way there because I don't think my body knew I was hungry yet at the crack of dawn.
I was excited to see (and be able to identify) long distance runner (and last year's winner of this race) Ryan Hall warming up with the other professional runners on my way to my corral. As there were over 18,600 people registered, the race had a wave start. The fast people (you know, like sub-5 minute pace!!) went first at 8, then every minute and a half or so, another wave of people was released based on estimated finish time. My corral crossed the start line at about 8:21 or 8:22. This made the road much less crowded for everyone at the start (I didn't even have to walk at the beginning), and as we had D-tag timing chips on our shoes, our individual time did not begin until we crossed the mats at the start line.
I had fantastic splits for the first half of the Half (10:40, 10:33, 10:31, even a little 9:36, though that might be where my GPS got off a little because we went through a tunnel and I briefly lost GPS reception). Then beginning with mile 5 it was more like 11:02, 11:19, 10:56, 11:18, 11:26, 11:23... and the last 3 were even slower with a couple short walk breaks sprinkled in, mostly by the water stops.
Here's where the course took me
My initial goal when I signed up back in May or early June had been to finish around 2:16 (10:25 pace), shaving about 5 minutes off my April half marathon (10:46 pace). Runner's World Smart Coach came up with that goal for me based on my previous half marathon time, weekly mileage at that point, and training moderately hard. However, as our summer continued to be brutally hot, I continued to log the miles suggested in my training plan but not necessarily at the right pace. My speedwork sessions definitely suffered in June and July, and I rarely had a run outside with temperatures below 80 and/or humidity below 60% until only a couple weeks ago.
Once I realized I was never going to get in all that speedwork, I decided I would just try to beat my April time, which was still kind of ambitious. In April it was just 50 degrees, and cloudy. Today it was 64 at the start line and had crept up to about 73 by the time I finished, and was sunny. I was so thankful for the shady stretches! When we turned the corner around some tall buildings downtown, we got some shade, and along the east side of the river there was a nice shady section.
I enjoyed running past the Franklin Institute, City Hall, The Liberty Bell, the Art Museum, then along the Schuykill River past all the boat houses, then finishing back at the Art Museum (The famous "Rocky" steps). There were sooo many supporters lining the streets, as well as occasional bands (as it was part of the Rock n' Roll series) and it was a lot of fun!
Phila City Hall (Pic from August visit)
Art Museum Steps (Also from August visit)
Photo from [this blog] of Boathouse row
(We ran on the road behind the boathouses--into the distance in the picture,
crossed the river about 3.5 miles down, and came back on the other side of the river)
After finishing, there were tons of snacks being given out: water, Cytomax, little bags of pretzels, (I missed the mini bagels), mini Lara Bars, Dole Fruit cups and "Real Fruit Bites," and bananas. I grabbed some stuff, met up with my friend who also ran today (who had hoped to improve from April's 2:08 to 2:00 but finished around 2:26) in the "Family Meeting Area" and we headed back to my car. We dropped our goods off at the car, grabbed swung by a nearby Starbucks (mmm, Venti nonfat Starbucks Double Shot!), and made our way back home.
Back at home with my medal!
(No, I did not run in flip flops)
According to my Garmin FR 405, based on my age/weight/activity class/heart rate, I burned 1534 calories.
I think I deserve ice cream tonight!