2011 Philadelphia Half Marathon


November 15, 2012 by Sarah

It is almost race day!  Mark and I are running the Philadelphia Half Marathon on Sunday and I couldn’t be more excited.  This is our second year running this race, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give a recap of last year’s race.

Where it all started….

After running the Broad Street 10 mile run (also in Philadelphia) last May, Mark and I decided we should take the plunge and sign up for a half marathon. I was excited, but also very nervous – I wasn’t sure that I could do it.

I was just looking over my training plan from last year and it is crazy to think how much can change in a year.  I am a much stronger, more confident runner now than I was at this time last year. 

A few highlights (and “lowlights”) from my training last year…

  • I had a few problems with my calf muscle towards the beginning of my training.  It literally felt like my muscle was tearing away my leg when I was running and I knew I needed to give it time to rest and heal if I wanted to run the half marathon.  Soon after my calf muscle was better, I was sick and missed another long run.  I was nervous about missing out on some of those long runs, but needed to take care of myself. 
  • I incorporated a lot of yoga and strength training into my training plan, which mostly consisted of P90X DVDs (I didn’t belong to a gym at the time).  This helped me to stay active when I couldn’t get the miles in like I had planned to do.  Now I have a better understanding of the importance of cross training and strength training to running and it is a vital piece of my current training plan.
  • Most weeks I ran 3 times a week and kept between and 10 and 11 minute pace.  My goal was to run around 215 miles in the 12 weeks leading up to race day.  I ran 188 miles, with most of those miles happening in the second half of my training.


My plan was to take my training seriously and finish strong. I had a few hiccups with my training as I was getting started, but took care of myself and stuck with it and it got better.  

My overall goal was to complete the race but I also had a few time and performance related goals that I set as the race date was approaching.  I set A, B, C, and D goals in order to push myself while also being realistic.  This is something that I continue to do today, but I think it was especially important since it was my first half marathon.

Here are the goals that I had outlined for the 2011 Philly Half Marathon:

A:  10:00 pace, 2:11 finish time
B:  10:20 pace, 2:16 finish time
C:  11:00 pace, 2:24 finish time
D: 12:00 pace, 2:37 finish time

*My overarching “stretch” goal was to finish under 2:15 and keep a 10:15 pace.

I finished my first half marathon in 2:17:48 and I was thrilled.  Mark and I ran most of the race together (we got split up at mile 10) and had a great time.  We finished strong and I was so proud of our accomplishment.      


The road to my first half marathon was a bit rough, but completing that race and celebrating our accomplishment with friends and family was a milestone that I’ll always remember.  I am excited to get back out on that course and see what this year has in store for us!


One thought on “2011 Philadelphia Half Marathon

  1. […] November 26th: Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai (I roasted the spaghetti squash towards the end of last week, but ended up not making […]

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