Race Report: Gore-Tex Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Race Report: Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

The start (Island Photo)

I ran the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014 as a guest of race sponsor GORE-TEX, returning to the City of Brotherly Run and Sisterly Endurance for the second time as a runner. I’d scored a personal best at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2012 and I was back to give the Philadelphia Half Marathon a go on Sunday, November 23. Meanwhile, my husband Phil was out to run his fastest marathon ever.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

The City of Brotherly Love (Island Photo)

The event is a big city race with a small town feel. Unlike more crowded marathons in New York and Chicago, runners wander into corrals just 15 minutes or so before the race’s 7 a.m. start. The vibe is relaxed and unhurried. It feels like the city simply wants you to relax and have a good time. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is at the start and the finish passing out high-fives to runners, setting the tone for a friendly, mostly flat and fast course.

Nearly 25,000 runners finished races at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon Weekend, with 12,795 finishers in the half-marathon, another 10,364 in the marathon, and 1,699 in the 8K. And approximately 60,000 spectators lined the course to cheer us on.

Travel

Phil and I stayed at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, which was perfectly located for the race and touring the city. We arrived late Friday night, and ate breakfast on Saturday at the delicious Dutch Eating Place at the famous Reading Terminal Market right across the street from the hotel.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Dutch Eating Place (RunKarlaRun.com

It isn’t a trip to Philly without Amish baked treats like a grilled Sticky Bun. Yum! Then we were off to the expo just next door.

I headed back to the market later in the day for a blogger meet-up with Katherine at Food, Fitness, Fantasy, Jen at The Final Forty, Mer at Scoot a Doot, and Vic at Scoot a Doot. It was so great to finally meet these ladies after reading their blogs over the years!

Race Report: Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Bloggers! Courtesy of (Katherine Rautenberg)

The Marriott was about a mile to the start of the race, so you could easily walk or cab if you wanted to save your legs like we did. On Saturday after the meet-up, we headed to the Rodin Museum near the start and then out to dinner in Center City.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

The Thinker at the Rodin Musuem (RunKarlaRun.com)

It was all walkable from our hotel (though we cabbed to the museum because it was raining).

On Sunday after the race we walked back to the hotel, showered, and returned to the market for some post-race cheese steaks, cannolis and other goodies. It really was a great location to stay as a running tourist.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Bib in hand! (RunKarlaRun.com)

GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014 Expo

We got the expo when it opened at 10 a.m. on Saturday to get our bibs and check out the vendors.

Because I’d switched from the full to the half, they didn’t have my name on my bib.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Blank bib (RunKarlaRun.com)

But luckily, they had a name-writing station for folks like me!

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Add your name! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

(RunKarlaRun.com)

I also stopped by the GORE-TEX booth to try some Brooks GORE-TEX shoes. They popped me in a pool of water, had me splash around, and sprayed my feet as if it were raining. My feet stayed perfectly dry!

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Waterproof shoes! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Honestly, this is a game changer for me. I had no idea GORE-TEX made liners for running shoes before this race. Now I’m so glad I do! Keeping my feet warm and dry is my #1 challenge with winter running. I’m one of those people who has cold feet in the summer. So wind and snow whipping through the mesh of my running shoes is killer. But the GORE-TEX liner built right into the shoe is waterproof, windproof, and breathable. It also adds less than an ounce to the overall weight of the shoes—that’s about the weight of a hair tie, less than a gel pack or single sock. I’ve been training in the Saucony Ride 7 GTX and am permanently adding them into the rotation as my winter running shoes. No more wet, snowy socks and winter wind blowing through the mesh of my running shoes. You can find GORE-TEX running shoes from Brooks, Saucony, ASICS, New Balance, North Face and lots of other brands.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

(RunKarlaRun.com)

The Start

Come Sunday morning, it was time to run the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014. The start area was well-organized. Getting through security and to baggage check was easy.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

We’re ready to run! (RunKarlaRun.com)

But the port-o-let line was long. We hopped in line at 6:30 am. After 15 minutes, we still had a long way to go. So I (and a few runners around us) urged Phil to politely ask the folks at the front of the line if he could cut. He was in the first corral, far from where we were standing, and was actually starting at 7 a.m. Whereas most of us were in corrals further back, near this set of port-o-lets, and starting much later. My Purple corral didn’t start until 7:25 a.m., so I had all the time in the world. Thankfully, the runners in the front of the line totally understood and Phil was able to get to his corral just in the nick of time.

I waited my turn and got to my corral just as the first wave of runners started, with 25 minutes to spare for my own start in the Purple corral. Finding and getting into my corral was easy peasy. We slowly made our way forward as corral after corral started. Finally, at 7:25 a.m. we were off to the sounds of Rocky!

The Course

GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon Training Update

Philadelphia Half Marathon Course

The Philadelphia Half Marathon course is mostly flat with a few rolling hills between miles 7 and 10. The race takes runners on a foot tour of the city’s beautiful historic buildings, narrow spectator-lined streets, and parkland along the Schuylkill River.

The course starts and finishes near the Philadelphia Museum of Art along Benjamin Franklin Parkway and tours Center City for the first six miles, passing landmarks like South Street and City Hall. It then takes runners across the Schuylkill River into University City, where Drexel University students cheer loudly. The next few miles gently undulate as runners wind their way past the Philadelphia Zoo through Fairmount Park and back to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

At mile 13, half-marathoners break right to the finish and marathoners break left for the second half of the course—a 13 mile out-and-back along Kelly Drive and the Schuylkill River, past the famous Boathouse Row, up to Main Street Manayunk and back to the Museum for the finish.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Runners after the race. (RunKarlaRun.com)

Hydration stations sit roughly every mile or two with seven total on the half-marathon course. Clif Shots were available just before Mile 10. Center City was packed with spectators, especially along the nearly two-mile stretch from miles 5 to 7 on Chestnut Street. The narrow street and thick crowds made it one of my favorite parts of the course, along with the loud screams of college students through University City.

The best spectators? Some college kids in University City were karaoke rapping the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song from the lawn of their frat house. It put a huge smile on my face. Close second: the costumed party people at Mile 11. When I was running by they were blasting “Holding Out For a Hero” by Bonnie Taylor and screaming their heads off. It was exactly what I needed.

With more than 23,000 runners in the half and marathon, those first 13.1 miles were pretty packed. I managed to have plenty of room to run most of the time, but at narrower parts of the course and at turns, I definitely felt the pinch. There were a few times I got boxed in and had to slow down considerably. Each time that happened, I used it as a chance to shake out my shoulders, calm my breath, and take a break for my next surge. It wasn’t crowded enough to hamper my race, but just a few more folks and it would have been.

Race Report: Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Crossing the finish line. (Island Photo)

I’d suggest race organizers look at spreading people out into a few more staggered-start corrals. As you can see from my finisher photos, it was pretty crowded right across the line.

Race Report: Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Finisher photo! (Island Photo)

Karla’s Race

Every now and then you have a race where everything just goes right. This was it. After missing three weeks of marathon training thanks to some ill-timed stitches, I decided to run the half instead. I had no delusions of running a PR, since I’d only been running again for two weeks and hadn’t done any speed training. But I did set a few goals beforehand:

1) Run as hard as I can. “I still want to run the hardest race I’m able.”

2) Finish strong. “Go out conservatively, hang on through the hills at Mile 8 and Mile 10, then let it rip until I cross the finish line.”

3) Enjoy it. “Two of my favorite (now eclipsed) PR experiences happened when I was in a good mood and ready to enjoy the day despite the fact that I was sucking serious wind. That’s what I want to do here: push hard and play hard.”

Done, done and done. I nailed every single goal. Whoo-hoo!!! It felt really good after a rough training season.

Race Report: Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Running hard (Island Photo)

Out of the gate, my legs felt I was swinging tree trunks. They’d gotten really cold waiting for the start in 35 degree temps and it took them a few miles to warm up. That actually helped me start slowly. My first four mile splits were very conservative. (These are approximate. My GPS was behind/short about a tenth of a mile the entire race, so my paces were actually faster.)

Mile 1—10:07

Mile 2—10:21

Mile 3—9:59

Mile 4—10:07

Nice and easy. But for some reason, I started letting pernicious doubts creep into my mind during Mile 4. I started thinking I wouldn’t be able to speed up, that I should just walk and quit now, awful thoughts that cropped up out of nowhere. Then I realized: I was hangry. My stomach was grumbling. So I downed the chocolate-flavored Clif Shot I had with me, and magically, all the negative thoughts went away. Chocolate is so good like that.

I started picking up the pace, the number of spectators multiplied, and I soaked in the folks cheering my name. And boy was I grateful that those first seven miles were largely flat.

Race Report: Gore-Tex Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Elevation

Race Report: Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Coming into the finish (Island Photo)

Mile 5—9:37

Mile 6—9:34

Mile 7—9:10

I noted the time on my watch at what I guessed would be the half-way mark: somewhere between 1:04:36 and 1:05. That was the time to beat. I really wanted to run a negative split. But the toughest part of the race was ahead.

During Mile 8, I reached the first real hill of the course. Thankfully, it coincided with the screaming college kids of University City. I tried to keep an even effort on the hill, stay cool, and ride the enthusiasm of the crowd.

Once I passed the Mile 8 marker and crested the hill, I realized I was in great shape, felt good and could start pushing more.

I cruised through the downhill Mile 9 past the animal smells of the Philadelphia Zoo in 8:58. I actually liked the scent. It’s that familiar odor that reminds me of childhood and I soaked it in. The steepest hill was next, and again, I aimed for an even effort, not even pace. I crossed Mile 10 in 10:02.

Race Report: Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

High-five time! (Island Photo)

Mile 8—9:43 (uphill)

Mile 9—8:58 (downhill)

Mile 10—10:02 (uphill)

With the worst hills behind me and just three miles to go, I decided to let it rip, according to the plan. At this point, I knew I had a negative split in the bag. Now I wanted to see just how much time I could shave in that second half. So I gave those three miles everything I had left. Turns out, I had a lot left in the tank. Once I reached the final water station at Mile 11, I went into what I call “hee-hoo” mode, because that’s what my breathing sounds like. The sun was shining at this point and I just sweat it out, blowing past runners left and right.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

The final stretch (RunKarlaRun.com)

Signs and volunteers shouted for half-marathoners to break right and I could see the art museum shining in the distance. I kept repeating “Just Keep Pushing” and “Last Mile, Fastest Mile” over and over and over. And I just about did it. Unfortunately, that last mile has a sharp uphill stretch. So I was more “Second to Last Mile, Fastest Mile.”

Mile 11—9:16

Mile 12—8:37

Mile 13—8:49

Race Report: Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Getting my high-five from the mayor (Island Photo)

Once I saw the finish line in sight, I pushed with everything I had, logging a 7:19 pace for the final tenth of a mile. What? I clearly started this race a bit too conservatively. I got my high-five from Philly Mayor Michael Nutter and crossed the finish in 2:05:46 at an overall pace of 9:35. Best of all, I ran a 4-minute negative split, running the first half at a 9:54 pace and the back half at a 9:18 pace. Boom!

Race Report: Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

High five! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Race Report: Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Done! (RunKarlaRun.com)

It was my fastest half-marathon in more than two years, since I ran my PR of 2:00:30 at the 2012 Staten Island Half. Yeeeeeeeee-haaaaaaaw!

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

My precious (RunKarlaRun.com)

I was so excited as I crossed that finish line. I honestly couldn’t have been happier with the race, unless I’d miraculously run a PR too. It felt so good to go into a race with a plan and then execute it to perfection. I wish every race could feel this great. It’s really motivated me to keep training through the winter and see what I can do next spring.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Philly! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Phil’s Race

Once I got my high-five, my medal and my heat sheet, I paused for a finisher pic and scooped up some of the post-race food. A giant soft pretzel?! A cup of chicken broth? Yum!

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

An Amish cheerleader (RunKarlaRun.com)

I moved quickly to baggage and headed to the changing tent to put on some dry clothes. I wanted to catch Phil finish the marathon, but knew it would be close.

He started at 7 a.m., hoping to finish in 3 hours. I started at 7:25 a.m., and finished at 9:30 a.m. So I only had 30 minutes to spare from the time I crossed the finish. I changed, made my way out of the finisher area and walked almost a mile back out to the course.

Camera in hand, I had about 5 minutes to spare. I started scanning for the 3 hour pace group and Phil. He was hoping to hit three goals:

1) Qualify For Boston. Time to beat: 3:05. He’s qualified twice but never actually gotten into the race. He wanted to qualify with enough time to actually be able to get into the 2016 race.

2) Run A PR. Time to beat: 3:03:36, scored at the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon.

3) Run Sub-3. Time to beat: 3:00

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Phil brings it home (RunKarlaRun.com)

His plan was simple: start with the 3-hour pace group and finish with the 3-hour pace group. Easier said than done. There were two pace team leaders, who ran perfect splits until Mile 7 when one of them waved farewell and bowed out of the course. The second one would carry them through, he said. That is, until Mile 14 when he stopped to use the bathroom. The group, marching along at a 6:50 pace, kept on going. A few members of the group worked together to keep on plugging, hoping the pace leader would catch back up to them.

He never did. Mile 13 to the finish is one long out-and-back. Once Phil reached the turn-around at Mile 20, he said he scanned the other side of the course hoping the pace leader was just behind him. Nope.

I waited at the finish from 2:56 on. I asked the people around me if they’d seen the 3 hour pace team yet. They hadn’t. And I didn’t see them at any point in the next 7 minutes. Neither of the 3 hour pace leaders saw their group to the finish.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Philly Phil! (RunKarlaRun.com)

It’s the first time Phil has had a bad pace team experience. I felt bad for him. I’ve had both good and bad experiences with pace teams. It goes to show: they’re a great tool to use when things go right, but you can’t always count on them. I was impressed that Philly even had a 3 hour pace team. Most races don’t, instead opting to have the 3:05 BQ time be the fastest pace team. Oh well.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

We did it! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Phil said he felt great through the first half and even until Mile 20. He was on sub-3 pace until Mile 22. That’s when things fell apart, he said. Running by himself at that point, he just didn’t have any push left. Phil is tough on himself as a runner. He thinks his legs were done, but he also thinks he may have mentally given up. It’s so hard to tell which is the case in those last miles when you’re physically and mentally exhausted. He was really wishing he had the pace team or another runner to just hang on to. He lost a minute in each of the next three miles. He’d completely given up on all three goals.

But then one of the runners from the pace team caught up with him—a guy he’d been running with earlier in the race. He was on his way to his first BQ, saw Phil and said, “Come on! Let’s finish strong!” At that point, Phil realized he could still PR if he pulled it together, so he dug in for the last mile and gave it everything he had.

I got all the people around me to scream his name when I spotted him. He crossed the finish in 3:02:45, nailing two of his three goals and finishing 375th overall!

We got post-race massages, ate our food, and walked back to our hotel victorious.

What I Wore

GORE-TEX sent me lots of gear to race and train in. With a clear, sunny day and starting temps around 35 degrees, warming up to around 40 by the finish, I was really torn about what to wear. Those conditions are right on my “line” between wearing shorts or skirt, a tank, and arm-warmers, or warmer gear like tights and a long-sleeve shirt. So I packed everything and made the final call the night before. Gore gave me all of this gear except for my headband and arm-warmers, which I bought myself, and my socks, which Zoot sent me back in 2013. Here’s what I wore from bottom to top:

Race Report: Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Winner! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Saucony Ride 7 GTX shoes

Zoot Women’s Ultra 2.0 CRx Compression Socks

Gore Running Wear Sunlight Lady Pants 3/4

Gore Running Wear Sunlight 3.0 Lady Shirt

Gore Running Wear MYTHOS WINDSTOPPER Lady Gloves

ASICS Arm-Warmers

Hippie Runner Princess Crown Headband

It ended up being perfect for the day. I got hot later in the race and took the headband off. By the end of the race, I could have been in shorts or a skirt, but my legs were so cold at the start that I was glad to have them covered.

And after the race I put on:

Gore Running Wear MYTHOS 2.0 WINDSTOPPER Soft Shell Jacket

Gore Running Wear MYTHOS 2.0 WINDSTOPPER Soft Shell Tights

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Runners after the race (RunKarlaRun.com)

The Takeaway

My experience at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014 confirmed that this race has climbed its way into my list of favorite races.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Bling

After running both the marathon and half-marathon, and having had a great experience both times, I’d recommend the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon to any runner who’s looking for a big-city marathon that still delivers an easy race experience: no lottery, no complicated logistics. The course is gorgeous, the crowd support is good, and the ease of it all is excellent.

Plus, Philly is a really fun city to visit with great food, museums, and vibe that’s really welcoming.

Karla Bruning

About 

Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.

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12 2014

24 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    Wahoo for both you and Phil!!!!

    I felt so upset on his behalf about the pace team. That just shouldn’t happen. I’ve only seen one pace leader so far do a great job (at the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half). Most of the others go out way too fast and end up burning out the people trying to keep up and they miss their race goal times. Their job is to help people make their goals, and when they commit, they ought to try to do that. Sorry. /rant

    It seems like you both ended up doing fantastic and it makes me want to run Philly again. Plus, I can never get enough of Reading Terminal Market.
    Judith recently posted..Mother Nature vs My Track WorkoutMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning
      2

      Thank you! I lived at Reading Terminal Market on this trip. So much good food! Yeah, I felt bad for Phil, especially since the presence of a 3-hour pace group is what sold him on running this particular race. I had two AMAZING pace team leaders at the 2010 NYC Marathon who brought me all the way across the line. But I’ve also had the exact situation you describe–leaders going out WAY too fast. I wish more leaders would run negative or even splits, rather than trying to bank time. It’s just not a good strategy. What’s especially sad about this is that Phil says the leaders were GREAT and running perfect on-the-nose splits…until they weren’t running at all. But I’m glad he managed to hit two of his three goals anyway!

  2. 3

    Great job both of y’all! The Gore-Tex lining should’ve been present at W&D this year. I think they could’ve sold a lot due to the forecast and actual rain that fell on the race. From all the pictures I’ve seen, everyone was soaked!
    Lesley recently posted..Christmas FavoritesMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning
      4

      Thank you! Yes, that looked like a wet race! Some GORE-TEX lined shoes definitely would have come in handy.

  3. 5

    Congrats to both you and Phil! I was really looking forward to this report and it didn’t disappoint. I’m still trying to decide between Toronto and Philly for another marathon attempt and I have to admit Philly has a slight lead in my thoughts right now.

    As for Gore-Tex shoes, I just bought my first pair of winter trail running shoes. Admittedly they use a different product, but same idea and I have found them amazing out in the snow the last few days. I figure they should be good for snowshoeing too.
    Kristi@Blog for an Average Runner recently posted..Somersault Champion Challenge AwardsMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning
      6

      Thank you! Having done both Philly and Toronto, that’s a tough call! Toronto is the faster, flatter course, Philly has more spectators. Both have great weather and organization, but Philly is later in the season. I personally tend to do better at November races over October ones. Less summer and more fall training with a little longer window. But I don’t think you can go wrong with either one! And yes, I imagine waterproof shoes will be great for showshoeing! I’ve tended to snowshoe in my winter boots, which are a bit heavy for it. Waterproof running shoes would be so much better!

  4. 7

    Congrats to you and Phil! Loved reading your recap and am so glad that you both had such great races. Way to go to dig in and find something extra when you’re tired.

    Here’s to lots of good winter training for the both of us so that we PR in the spring!
    Elle recently posted..Meet Kelly Phuah, Triathlete!My Profile

    • Karla Bruning
      8

      Thank you! Yay to winter training! I feel really invigorated!

  5. 9

    So happy to hear how well your race went, Karla! And I’m also very happy for Phil, especially given that not everything went according to plan. I’ve never really relied on pacers before, but man, I just cannot believe his bad luck …
    Sadye recently posted..RetirementMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning
      10

      Thank you! Phil never ceases to amaze and impress me! In the same situation, I may have completely fallen apart. He’s really happy about having another shot at Boston. He really wants to check that off his bucket list!

  6. 11

    Karla I loved this! Everything about it, especially as it was in Philly and I got to read about the city I love and miss so very much, but I mostly loved your smiling face with your medal (which was an awesome medal by the way!!). It just shows how happy you are, and you accomplished those goals :) Happy for you!

  7. 13

    Congratulations on awesome races to the both of you! And I know I’ve said this already, but DAMN Phil is fast! (I mean, so are you, but DAMN he is!). Philly half will go on the bucket list, especially with what is clearly the best post race food ever. Congratulations again! I’m so glad you had such an amazing race experience! :)
    Kellie recently posted..NYRR Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff 5 MilerMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning
      14

      Thank you! Um, I scarfed down that pretzel right quick.

  8. 15

    Philly is definitely going on my list!! This sounds like a great race!! Congrats to both you and Phil!! I love that the college kids were doing the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. That just sounds awesome.

    I’m very intrigued by the Rodin Museum!! And to see The Thinker somewhere other than in Paris! And GORE-TEX running shoes? Pretty sure I found my Christmas present to myself.
    Emily recently posted..Turks & Caicos 2014My Profile

    • Karla Bruning
      16

      The Rodin Museum was small but lovely. They had The Thinker cast in two sizes and the original doors that it was designed for. Yup, now that I know about GORE-TEX running shoes, I’m never going back to wearing regular shoes in winter–I’ll save those for other seasons, dry days, and treadmill runs. Going for a run in the drizzle today–going to wear my Saucony GTX’s!

  9. 17

    Love hearing about this race (and would love to do it sometime)! And congratulations again.

    On the GORE-TEX note, I also have cold feet, so this is good info!

    • Karla Bruning
      18

      Thanks! I have no idea how I didn’t know about waterproof running shoes before. Game changer!

  10. 19

    First, I must say…I LOVE your race recaps. Secondly, I am SO glad you had such a great race and experience, and I’m SO glad we got a chance to meet “in real life!” :)

    I know I really need to work on being more strategic/pacing myself during races, and I can see that it totally works — so, thanks for the inspiration! I make the same mistake(s) over and over again, and you’d think I’d get it by now, haha. Congrats on meeting all of your goals, especially after a tough training season!

    And, of course, congrats again to Phil! That is SO exciting. I can’t believe that happened re: the pacers. I guess I never really thought of pacers having to drop out of the race, or hit the bathroom unexpectedly, etc…but I suppose they’re not robots and things happen, right? I’m so glad that he managed to pull himself together and finish strong! I know exactly what you mean — you NEVER know whether it’s your body or your mind (or both!) giving up in those final miles!

    Congrats again to both of you! 😀

    • Karla Bruning
      20

      Thank you on all counts! I’m glad we got to meet IRL too! Getting to the point where I can run a race strategically like this has taken me SO much practice, and I still sometimes go out too fast and blow it. It’s so easy to do it the wrong way and so hard to do it the right way for some reason. As for the pacers, accounting for the unexpected is probably why there are usually at least two leaders per group. But who would have thought both would drop out/back!? I’m proud of Phil for still nailing it.

  11. 21

    Sorry I’m late to comment Karla – that time of year! Flat out like a lizard drinking.
    Really pleased you had a great race (and experience). I think #3 is key for you – being relaxed and free of pressure enabled you to achieve #1 and #2. Now just get in shape for your next half (marathon training?) and start calm and relaxed. Sub-2!
    Ewen recently posted..Finishing 2014 better than 2013My Profile

  12. 23

    Yo! That’s awesome! Glad you both did so well. Looks like a pretty epic race. I’ve only been to Philly once, but I loved all the history there. Sounds like that race is a great way to see the city!

    • Karla Bruning
      24

      Thanks! We both had a great time and LOVE running Philly!


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