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!