Wait a second, you ran a half marathon?
That was the response I got from more than one person after running the Rocky Run in Philadelphia, November 12. Oh, just a little half marathon?! I literally hadn’t said much about it and quite honestly wasn’t even sure I was going to run. Following the Chicago Marathon I was exhausted. While my body felt well enough to run, I was super busy at work and filled in my mornings with extra work rather than running. Not to mention, I just really didn’t feel like running…at all. So from October 9, the Chicago Marathon and November 12 the Rocky Run I ran a total of 19 miles. 19. Eek. While I was seriously wondering how I was going to run 13.1 miles after basically not training, I wasn’t alone. In the car on our way up to Philly my nine year old who doesn’t miss a thing, asked me how exactly I thought I was going to run a half marathon after not running so much for the last month. Very good question, son- very good question!!
Truth be told if our friends weren’t also heading to Philly I would have totally bailed on the race. However, I’m glad that we kept our plans as scheduled. I should note it wasn’t a typical half marathon. It was, what I’m convinced my dad would have called a half marathon the hard way. A 5k followed by a short break and then 10 miles. My plan was to take it easy on the 5k so as to not use up too much energy before the 10 miles. But, it was too hard not to race the 5k. I haven’t run a 5k in years. I still kept it somewhat under control, but certainly went out harder than I had intended. I ran the 5k in 26:00. Not a PR, but certainly not “slow.” After a fifteen minute or so break it was time to start the 10 miler. I should note that it was unseasonably warm in Philadelphia for November. It was practically 70 degrees with 80% humidity. Who would have thought?? Far from ideal race conditions as far as my body is concerned.
Over the years I’ve learned to pay more attention to my heart rate. I have breathing tricks to help regulate it when I know it’s higher than I would like. Nothing was doing the trick during the 10 miler. My heart rate was high and even my tricks weren’t really bringing it down. It would be at a time when you are worried about not feeling 100% that you realize the medical personnel were few and far between along the course. The course itself was relatively flat and enjoyable. But there was little to no crowd support so it was a touch boring. So glad I brought my headphones and I enjoyed music along the way.
I literally had no expectations going into the race. The plan was to finish and have an enjoyable day exploring Philly with our friends. And alas that’s exactly what I did. I still managed a sub two hour half- 1:57:12. My 5k clearly being the faster portion of my race, but the 10 miles still at a respectable pace. We all know I’m all about the stats. How did things shake out??
In the 5K there were 5823 runners. I placed 643rd. Not too shabby. There were 2874 female runners. I placed 122nd. In my age group of 40-44 there were 389 runners and I placed 15th. Well that was better than expected. In the 10 mile there were 3217 and I placed 751st. There were 1427 women runners and I placed 215. In my age group there were 188 and I was 26th. So overall a nice showing. How about for the combined effort?? There were a total of 2008 who thought it would be a good idea to run a half marathon in two races. Of those 2008 I came in 421st. There were 806 women and I was 85th. Finally, in my age category there were 128 and I came in 12th. Considering I have only been running for less than 4 years and I ran a marathon just last month. I’ll take those numbers. More importantly I finished strong and felt well enough to enjoy exploring the city following the race.
So what’s next…well for the first time in several years I have no races scheduled. None. Zero. I’m not sure what my running plan is going to be. Running and I might need a break…just for a bit…in the back of my mind is the idea of running Boston for the Alzheimer’s Association in April of 2024. There is something about the feeling of crossing the finish line in a race that I will certainly miss. So I don’t think I’m totally done with racing. I think I’ve just hit the pause button. I welcomed a Peloton bike into my fitness life this month and I think I’ll be spinning and lifting…lifting and spinning. I haven’t lifted consistently since April…eek! Remember when I said was going to be better about that, well apparently I was not. I’m doubling down on lifting and spinning for the foreseeable future and then I’ll see where running and I shake out in the Spring. I want to wake up excited to run and I haven’t felt that way for a while. I look forward to finding that spark again. Until then you can find me @runreadridemom over on Peloton spinning until my heart is content.