I ran the Philly Marathon Half Marathon this morning. I finished in 1:24:30, which is a new PR for me, by around a minute.
I also placed 4th in my age group. This is unprecedented.
The time is around what I expected. "Around" - I printed up a wristband last night, and had it exactly at 1:24:30, but I had no idea that I'd hit that to the second. And to be honest, I'm not sure I did – kinda think it was 2-3 seconds slower, but whatever. I'm pleased with the time. It was what I expected, given my training this season.
It's not what I was hoping for when I signed up for the race, but given my conditioning, I was pleased with the race – with the time, with my effort, with my approach.
My previous PR was at last year's PDR – a half-marathon only race that many people, including me then, use as a warm-up for the full marathon. I had a 1:25:42, or something like that (forty-something). I knew I left a few minutes on the course that day, since I was taking it easy to prioritize marathon training, and hadn't tapered.
This season, I wasn't up for another full Marathon; I was hoping to go back and pick up those minutes I'd left on the course, though. Turns out it wasn't so easy.
I was putting in similar miles to last year, but just wasn't quite as fast – reps were just a few seconds slower. I wasn't concerned about endurance, having run the Bluse Cruise, but I was concerned about speed. The half-marathon is a good hybrid, it's certainly endurance but you need to run it fast if you want to do well.
Although I arrived at my wristband's exact time, race didn't quite go by plan. Was thinking easy first 3 miles, pick it up through mile 10, then lay down the hammer. Instead, I went out faster than I planned, kept it up for a while, then dropped back a bit at around miles 9-10. Still managed to speed up for the last 3.
Like I said, it's not what I was hoping for when I signed up. I felt like I had a 1:22-1:23 in me. But today – this season – I didn't.
That said, I'm pretty excited about my AG placing. I never imagined I'd place in my AG in such a big race. And I was 82nd overall. I'm a top 5% guy usually; but this is top 1%. Unprecedented.
Easy to make caveats: a lot of people doing the full were going faster than me. It's the Philly Marathon; that's the main event. And yes, I've always been a bit skeptical of AG awards. But in a race this big, that matters less. It's still gratifying.
And thus ends racing season. Don't know what's next on the docket... Ugly Mudder? Some spring 10Ks? We'll see.