ING Rock & Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon 2010

Otherwise known as the Philadelphia Distance Run…

Otherwise Otherwise known as my attempt at 22 miles!

Yes you read that right folks. Sunday’s ING Rock & Roll Half Marathon was not my main concern of the day. I made the executive decision when I signed up for this race that I would use it as part of my marathon long run training plan.

Even though I had run 20 miles 3 weeks ago, I still needed to hit that number again 3 weeks out from the actual marathon before I could begin taper. I figured that this would be a great opportunity to work my long run in with a race. It would be fun to run and new course and with other runners. This was my first experience with the Rock and Roll race series so I didn’t know what to expect but I had heard good things!

I planned out what I would do a few weeks ago. I decided to run from my apartment down to the start line. The start of the race was about 4 miles from my apartment so I figured I could run down there, get a 4 mile head start, run the race – 13.1 miles – and then run home another 4 miles to hit around 21 miles.

That was my game plan.

Run to the race, run the race and run home. 

Easy as pie, right? I wanted to focus on running the race and enjoying myself getting my mileage in for the day. I had no plans to actually race the race.


I woke up ready to go. I had all my stuff set out and I was ready to head down to the race. I had my breakfast and one thing lead to another, as it always does, and before I knew it, I was running late!

I thought I had given myself more than enough time to get down to the race, say hello to a few people and then enter my corral. I was wrong. I ended up rushing out the door (and forgetting my damn camera battery! All the pictures are taken from my phone) and having to run fast (8:00/min mile fast) for 4 miles to get to the race on time.

Not the best way to start out my 20+ mile run.

I started out strong and was just trying to make it down to the start line. It was sort of fun to run down the course the wrong way. People were setting up the water and aid station and I was flying past them with my race bib. I think they thought I was nuts.

About a mile away some guy yelled to me, “the race is starting!” so I had to pick up the pace.


The good news is I made it to the start line in time and met up with my running buddy for the day, Jill. The bad news is I was tired with only 4 miles on my little garmin.  Not good.


I decided to not think about my legs being tired from the sprint and focused on the run through the city.  The Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon course had us run 4.5 miles in the city and the other 8.5 miles along Kelly/West River Drive.

I was excited to run through the city but I was pretty disappointed when I learned that I would be running on Kelly/West River Drive because I run that multiple times a week and at this point in my marathon training, I am so over it!

I signed up for this race thinking it would be mainly through the city, like the Broad Street Run and like last year’s Philadelphia Half Marathon. I decided that the best way to look at this situation was that this was a course I knew and was very familiar with so I already knew I could totally handle it. Plus the main fun of the RNR series is all the bands and music, right? That would totally push me through.

Not so.

The course legend boasted 13 different band sites, which there were, but less than half of the bands I passed were actually playing music! I was kind of annoyed that the bands were just standing around and not even playing, and this was true at most of the stops for the bands!

Aside from the bands not playing and my not starting off on the best foot I managed to have a solid first part of my run. The first 13 miles of my run were pretty awesome. I kept at a 9:15 pace for most of the time and was feeling strong.

After 14 miles I started to fade. I’m not sure if it was the fact that I overdid it getting down to the race or what, but my pace slowed down  finishing up the RNR Half.

I finished MY 13.1 miles in 2:03, which I am pretty happy with. My official race time was 2:20 which I crossed at MY mile 17 for the day, when I was at a little under 3 hours of running for the day, does that make sense? I feel like I am confusing myself typing this.


After crossing the finishing line and grabbing myself a medal I took a left turn out of the finisher’s area and began to make my way home, slowly but surely. I was a little sad about this because there were people I wanted to talk to and say hello to but I couldn’t stop because I had to finish my 20+ goal for the day and if I was to stop I wasn’t sure if I would be able to start again.

And yes, people thought I was crazy continuing to run after the race with my bib still on and my medal in hand.

I had called fiancé at mile 15 asking him to meet me on the other side of the river to help me get home because I was feeling it! And by it I mean pain! The last 4 miles home were HARD. It didn’t make the situation any easier with the fact that I had to run back up Kelly Drive AGAIN for the 3rd time that morning.

After a tear or two I eventually made it home. I am so thankful that fiancé came down to meet me on his bike. If I didn’t have him to talk to it would have been a long and lonely 4 miles back.

My goal for the day was to hit 22 but I ended up calling it quits at 21.5, which is good enough for me. I wanted to pass 20 which I did and I feel good about, but this run wasn’t as awesome as I had planned and honestly it made the thought of the Chicago Marathon, which is in t-minus 3 weeks away (someone, hold me!) scare the crap out of me a bit.

I finished my 21.5 mile run in 3 hours and 40 minutes which comes out to a 10:13 pace. Not too shabby. I was hoping to be in the 9:40 range, but it was a rough run mentally, emotionally and physically.


I was very excited to get this pretty new piece of hardware to add to my collection.


It represents my finishing the half marathon but also my new PDR – 21.5 miles! Woohoo!


Obviously 21 miles calls for an ice bath.  


I shivered and played my new favorite ipod game – Diner Dash! Ha!


Another perk of having fiancé with me on my last leg of the run was that he was able to order pizza from his bike while I kept on running and if that isn’t motivation to finish I don’t know what is.

Being the classy lady that I am, I enjoyed a slice (or two!) of pizza from the comfort of my ice bath.


Do you see this look of lust for that slice in my eye? Pizza is serious business after a 21 mile run and it made the ice bath more enjoyable.


Jackson thought I was nuts, per usual.


Maybe that’s because I am! Not many sane people run 20+ miles, do they?!? After my run, ice bath, pizza and a shower I passed out for the rest of the afternoon. A nap was mandatory after my morning!


But not before I added my new bib and medal to my race board! Can you spot them?


What are your thoughts on my run and race recap?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Becky September 20, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    You are my motivation to go out and run long one last time. You did it!

    I am obsessed with your race board. I want one. I need to run more races.

  • Reply Melissa Cari @ Miles for Markets September 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    OMG leslie I can hear your voice throughout this post! Congrats on the run! I cannot believe you had to start with 8 min miles for the first 4. That's crazyyy. Seriously congrats. You're going to do amazing in Chicago!

  • Reply Holly September 20, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Hi Leslie…I recently found your blog and have become a regular reader. This is a great race re-cap and you are such motivation. After my last 1/2 marathon I could not have run another mile, let alone 8 add'l miles, so congratulations!

    You say you're over Kelly Drive which I totally understand…I am over my current route. But if you were going to suggest a route to someone visiting Phily would Kelly Drive be it? (I'm coming to Philly for work in a couple weeks.)

    Thanks and congrats again…

  • Reply Leslie September 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Holly – If you are coming to Philly definitely run on Kelly Drive/West River Drive. It's a great loop. Also the Wissahickon trail is nice too! Email me if you have any additional questions!

  • Reply Carly September 20, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Congrats on the finish. I might think you're a little crazy too. 😛

  • Reply September 20, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Awesome job girl! I could not imagine running 20 miles with the first 4 at an 8min pace!

    I'm actually doing something similar this weekend. So I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who is crazy 😉 My marathon is the weekend after yours, so I signed up for a half marathon this weekend to do as part of my 20. I plan on doing a 2 mi warm-up, running the 1/2 at my goal marathon pace, and 5 mile cooldown.

  • Reply runningphoodie September 20, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    You are hard-core! Way to go on pushing yourself through the challenge. Oh, and that picture of you looking at the pizza? Hilarious 🙂

  • Reply jacqui September 20, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    you're awesome Leslie!!! Great work..that's gotta be the hardest thing to do – that's alot of miles!! i really like your race board!

  • Reply Lacey Nicole September 20, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    WOW leslie, way to go!!!!!!! i'm so impressed with your stick-with-it-ness!!! those are some major miles. and i can't believe you made it to the race in time!!! off to the races really means something, huh 🙂

    congrats on a great LONG run 🙂 AND a rock n roll race! i still have to do one…!

  • Reply Forward Foot Strides September 20, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Cute post, I enjoyed your race report especially since i want to run a r n' r!

  • Reply lisaathome September 21, 2010 at 8:38 am

    You're awesome! Great job!!

  • Reply Julie September 21, 2010 at 10:47 am

    You did great!! Obviously your crazy, but thats why I love you!! Thanks for motivating me 🙂 Ttys!

  • Reply kilax September 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    I love that you did this! What a fun way to get your 20+ in!

    I totally get unmotivated the last few lonely miles of a run. It will be different at Chicago though!

    What is with the bands not playing?! LAME!

  • Reply ladypurpl September 21, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Congrats for making it through a difficult start to your race day! I wish I could have been there to motivate you on! It looks like fiance and Jackson treated you right though.

  • Reply RunningOnCoffee November 4, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Nice race recap! I ran this race too (but I only walked a mile to and from my car on either end of the 13.1)

    You forget to mention that it was a little warm and sunny too! Which I'm sure was less of an issue at 7:45 am than it was at 11am on your way home. I found the same thing of many of the bands as I passed them… it was too bad. The ones that were playing were a little loud! (Like one was right next to an overpass, or something, and there was a lot of echo…not the best planning?)

    I also found teenager volunteers fooling around at some of the water stops – throwing water on unsuspecting women running just in front of me. I don't think it was appreciated.

    I think all the logistics of the race went smoothly (i.e. finding nearby parking, port-a-potties– actually, they were running short on tp at 7:50am, most of the water stations were well stocked, the finishers area had plenty of snacks, and it was easy to meet up with my friend who also ran at the end).

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    error: Content is protected !!