On November 18, 2012 I achieved one of my biggest goals in life. I finished my first half marathon. Despite training on a dislocated hip for a good chunk of my training, my 1:51 was my half marathon PR until my tenth half marathon last September.
There were a few reasons why I picked the Philadelphia Half Marathon as my first half. The biggest reason being the time of year. This race is usually the week before Thanksgiving so this way I could be home for Thanksgiving. As a native Eastern Pennsylvanian, running a big race in Philadelphia seemed only appropriate. I didn't do any research on the course or elevations. I had no idea what I was looking for. It ended up being the best first half marathon I could have asked for.
Last year I wanted to run RnR Philly but the dates just didn't work. I needed to go back to Philly. Even if it wouldn't be my best race, I had to go back. So, when I talked to my coach about kinda training this summer, it was obvious that Philly would be the goal.
While things didn't end up the way I thought they would with training, I'm still thrilled with what I accomplished during this training cycle. I ran three half marathons and two 5ks. I PRed my 5k and came really close in my other one (11 seconds). While my half marathons weren't the best (1:56, 2:16, 2:10) I could not have been prouder of myself. I did what I wanted to do each time. In Chicago I wanted to have my best race of the year (check), Maryland I wanted to finish (check) and Virginia Beach I wanted to pace Kat to a 2:10 (check).
I was trying to think of goals for this race, but I don't want to put any pressure on myself. I'm still not 100% (I'll give it 80-85% max) and I have a few more races left this year that I need to be healthy for. Mostly, I want to break two hours again. The course is great and the weather looks perfect. If I do it, great! I'll be thrilled. If I don't, then I finished my 18th half marathon and that's just incredible to me.
I want to thank you all for following my journey this training cycle. I hope that by being real through some pretty crappy times I helped you realize you might not be alone and things don't always go according to plans. You have to take things as they are thrown at you and be vulnerable.
Here's to a fun weekend with friends and rocking through Philly one more time!
Will you be at RnR Philly this weekend?