Philly Half Marathon 2009 Race Recap

The Philadelphia Half Marathon was this past Sunday, November 22, 2009, and it has taken me a few days to put the recap together because it has been a crazy week for me! Sorry for the delay. Enjoy!

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Sunday morning was pure perfection. The weather was a little chilly for just standing around outside, but it was perfect racing weather. All these pictures are courtesy of the fiancé so shout out to him!

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Fiancé was able to see the elite runners start while I was waiting in the coral to start! Cool picture!

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Mile 1: I got to see my family right from the start which was nice, but it seemed there were WAY too many people squeezed together that first mile. I was weaving in and out of people to try to keep my pace. Here we went by Love Park, but I didn’t even realize it, there were too many people and lots of spectators at this point, it was nuts and the first mile just flew by!

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Mile 2: The first two miles went from the Art Museum down to the Delaware River. I felt like between these two miles, I saw lots of runners that were overdoing it right away and they slowed down. This made for more weaving in and out of ‘traffic’

Miles 3-4: Here we ran along the Delaware River, not too entertaining, at least for me. There weren’t very many fans in this area. It’s times like that that I seriously rely on my ipod. I love my running jam out sessions!

Between miles 4 and 5 we ran a bit down South Street which was fun too. There was good energy there.

pics 054 Fiancé got some good pictures of Michele running the race too! Hi Michele! Haha!

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Miles 5-6: We ran past Independence Hall at this point. I knew my parents, fiancé and Aileen were going to be seeing me somewhere around these miles, but I didn’t know exactly where, so that kept me on my toes with my eyes out to see them. These miles were right down Sansom Street, right down the middle of Center City, so there were tons of people out cheering, which was nice. I even saw the mayor handing out oranges!

At this point I was happy to see my own personal cheering section and even more happy to be halfway finished!

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Some more good pics of Michele! She was happy to be halfway done too as you can see in the first pic!

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Miles 7-9: This was a straight shot up 34th street and right through the heart of Drexel University and University of Pennsylvania. There were lots of college kids out cheering (and drinking) watching the race go by, so they were pretty entertaining. I was a little jealous of their kegs and eggs!

Mile 8 had this massive hill I had to power through which was rough, and unexpected, since the majority of the course was fast and flat, but I enjoyed the challenge and pushed on.

Mile 9: We went right past the Philly Zoo and then there were all these zig-zags we had to go through in Fairmount Park making our way up to Memorial Hall. The zigs and zags came with some more up hill action. At this point I saw a kid, who must have been maybe 9 pass me and I wasn’t going slow! It was nuts!

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Miles 10 – 11: This was rough for me. I knew I only had 3 more miles to go, but the course made us go up part of East River Drive on one side of the road and then turn around and go back the other side. I hate running up one side when you see people ahead of you going the opposite direction. It was mentally tough!

Miles 11 – 12: I was in the home stretch and finally on my turf! I had run this part of the race many times in my previous long runs and I was headed for the finish line.

Miles 12 – 13: I saw Aileen waiting for me around Mile 12 and she was cheering me on. I ran over to her and yelled “ I want to PR!” and then continued to sprint and push myself the last mile. I was a woman on a mission!

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I was fighting my clock the entire time, I wanted to make this race my best yet! I was checking my watch constantly because I knew what time I had to beat from my previous PR (and my first Half!) at the Annapolis Zooma Half Marathon. My previous PR was 1:53 with a pace of 8:46 minute mile. And for the Philly Half 2009….

A NEW PR!!!

My final time – 1:51:38 with an average pace of 8:26 minute mile in 13.22 miles (a little over from all the weaving) – Here is the breakdown:

Mile 1 – 8:29

Mile 2 – 8:17

Mile 3 – 8:19

Mile 4 – 8:37

Mile 5 – 8:40

Mile 6 – 8:22

Mile  7 – 8:14

Mile 8 – 8:50

Mile 9 – 8:35

Mile 10 – 8:48

Mile 11 – 8:31

Mile 12 – 8:16

Mile 13 – 8:01 (woohoo!!)

Mile .22 – 1:33

I couldn’t have been happier! I beat my previous PR by 2 whole minutes! I was ecstatic! Aileen had been talking to me about negative splits before the race started and I have never taken much notice to the splits before, but I am super proud of that last mile in 8:01!

Check out the race map here! Check out my Garmin stats here!

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After I crossed the finish line, got my medal, ate a pretzel and found my family, I bundled myself up because I was cold! I was happy I got to cheer Michele on as she pushed for the finish in her first Half Marathon! Way to go girlfriend!! You rocked!

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And then it was time for celebratory pictures. Thanks so much to Aileen for making the trek from NYC to cheer us on! pics 092     Thanks to fiancé for being awesome and waking up in the early morning hours to see me race and for documenting the race by taking awesome pictures! You rock!pics 098

Thanks to Michele for coming up and sharing her first Half Marathon experience with me. It was fun to have a friend in the race even if we didn’t run together. I can’t believe that a few months ago we pinky swore to race this together and now its over!

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Also I was so excited my parents got to be there to see me run and cheer me on. It was great to have their support.

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It was so amazing to get this awesome medal. It means so much to me because I put lots of effort into my training for this race and it totally paid off. I am so proud of my new PR!

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I would also like to congratulate my other blogger friends who ran in the race too! Half Marathoners – Sabrina & PB and Full Marathoners – Kim, Denise, Sarah and Lauren. Everyone did awesome so congratulations to all!

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10 Comments

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10 Responses to Philly Half Marathon 2009 Race Recap

  1. Anonymous

    How much was the photographer?

  2. Leslie Elizabeth

    fiance aka anonymous – thanks for the fabulous pictures! :)

  3. Marisa (Trim The Fat)

    Awesome recap! Congrats on the PR! That is amazing!

    Funny about the 9 yr. old! I would have never even thought about running a race like that at 9! Heck, I didn't even think about running ANY race until recently -lol!

    Great job!

  4. Genesis

    congrats Leslie! thumbs up to fiance for the great pics.

  5. Charm City Kim

    Great recap!! And wow – you are FAST runner! Congrats on your PR!

    Maybe one day, I'll be able to keep up YOUR pace. :-)

  6. Chari

    Congrats on your PR! Reading about your experiences really helps me stay positive about my first half marathon coming up in January.

    Your pace was awesome.

    Give fiance a kiss for the great pics!

  7. lauren

    awesome recap! What a PR. congrats – it is very inspiring how fast you are!

    Oh and I loved the portion through Drexel. The music was great and these two guys that were handing out pierogis. ha.

    and thanks for the shout out!

  8. Carissa @ Starving Artist

    Geez, you are like Superwoman lady! Congrats on your new PR, that's really amazing :)

  9. Lisa

    I know this is an old post, but I had to say congratulations on your PR! Sounds like you ran a great race! I really enjoyed your expo and race recaps. Between the shirt, posters, bib, and goodies this looks like an awesome race. I'm moving up to the East Coast soon and I think I'll have to put this on my calendar for 2010.

  10. Melissa

    I know this post is from forever ago, but I just wanted to say.. wow, you are SO fast! I ran this same race, but much slower :-) I still loved every second! I can't wait for this years race!! Also, I'm pretty sure that your family was near mine in the middle of the race (along Sansom). I think I can see my brother in the background of one of your pics!!

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