Happy race week to anyone running the Philadelphia Marathon and its accompanying half-marathon this weekend!
I first signed up for this race in May, and was excited to start a training cycle that would get me back in the running saddle following an intense, skiing-focused winter that led to me completing my ski-patrol training. Between then and now, as Emerson would say, some absurdities have crept in. Thanks to a family emergency and other factors over the summer, I didn’t run the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon, which I’d hoped would be a warm-up for this one. Thanks to spending a whole month sick on the couch recently, I didn’t work my way up to 13.1 miles slowly so much as I squeezed in the necessary long runs just in the nick of time.
Still, I choose to view this training cycle as a success. Because guess what? The training cycle was totally imperfect, but I finished it, anyway, just like I’ll finish the race this weekend.
And it’s not like I’m untrained, exactly. I have several confidence-boosting runs in my training log, including a great 10-miler last weekend that included about four miles on a beach with word-problem wind (as in: Amy runs two miles at 8:30-minute-mile pace while heading east, with the wind at her back. Amy turns around and runs two miles at 11:30-minute-mile pace while heading west, into the wind. How many miles per hour is the wind blowing?).
I’ve asked lots of runner-friends in real life and on Twitter for advice about the course, and have heard from several runners that there are a couple of quad-eating hills at miles 7 and 9. I had noticed them on the elevation chart, but I’d been hoping they look worse than they feel, especially considering my pancake-flat training runs in Virginia Beach.
Otherwise, I just keep hearing that it’s everyone’s favorite race course, that they ran a PR despite the hills, that the finisher’s shirt (a long-sleeve technical T-shirt) is really cool. I’m looking at it as a catered training adventure, an opportunity to explore a cool city by foot and a chance to hang out with a bunch of my runner-friends. Really, it’s hard to see how things could go wrong!
Have you run the Philadelphia Half Marathon? If so, please share some advice or insight about the course by posting a comment below!