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Hope you are doing well!
Here to review the Love Run Philadelphia half marathon. This is my third time running it!
I may be a bit biased towards Philly, but there's just something about the skyline and Museum. Getting to the race early has it's perks. Beautiful sunrise.
Training: I'm currently in marathon training mode, but I use half and full training programs from Coach Jenny Hadfield. Free programs for all distances and skill levels.
The race starts in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Just over three city miles and back to the museum. To the left side of the museum down the Schuylkill River, 76 side side (opposite Boathouse Row). Saw a bunch of the crew teams out for practice! Along the river. Relativity flat, until... Strawberry Bridge. Steep ramp up to the bridge (in mile 7-8), across the bridge, up around the mansion and back. Once you are back from the mansion, you have to keep going to the right, after the hills, it seems like forever until that turnaround! lol... And then back to the museum. And of course, right at the museum there is a slight incline.
Weather: the one factor you can't control. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. A bit chilly earlier in the week. Warming up this weekend. Forecast 50-70 degrees with a chance of rain. Over prepared just in case. Was near 60 before I hit the road. Had a long sleeve set aside for the race. When I saw it was already 50, too warm for that! A long sleeve to wear for a few min and discard at the start. Too warm for that. Even had a space blanket just in case since I didn't bother with long sleeves, didn't use that either. Checked a bag with long sleeve, waterproof pullover just in case I'm freezing during the cool down at the post race beer tent. Before the race, an occasional breeze, but ok with short sleeves. Warmed up quickly during the race. Rained for a couple minutes a few times, was refreshing! About 30 min after I completed, down pour! Glad I had my pullover for afterwards, but didn't bother with it since we were under a tent.
Start of the race, the corrals are packed. There seems to be enough time between each corral start. Crowds were tight. They could of spaced out the waves a bit more. It took over 2-3 miles for it to open up. This may be a godsend. I am guilty of taking off at the start, there was no room for that today. After a few miles, I settled in my desired pace. Plan was to maintain a certain pace (gps pace 7:50, knowing gps may be off by .10) relatively flat until Strawberry Bridge, knowing I would lose .05-10 there. Lost about 6 seconds. Now to maintain for 4 miles. I lost about a second a mile towards the end. The last 20 minutes doing math. Trying not to overthink it, but PR on the mind.. Faded a bit, but definitely felt better than last yr (last yr finish was rough!), able to do a few extra pushes the last few minutes. Previous PR 1:48:49, new PR 1:47:11! Endurance still fading after 10 mi, but definitely feeling/getting better!
Water/snacks: water and nuun hydration stands along the course. There may have been free gels as well, but had my own, didn't catch what they were handing out. Post race: plenty of water, a nuun tablet, snack bag (which I love that it's in a bag, so many races you are drained of energy and are expected to carry an armful of various items without clumsily dropping them!) soft pretzel (this is Philly, right?!), Sun Chips, Peterson Farms treats apple slices, Rockin' Ola Chocoberry (chocolate granola clusters with strawberries) , Coke/Diet Coke, Zevia organic zero sugar tea.
Mug: Love my Love Run Philly Mugs! I am very protective of them! I almost left without it! I had my race bib/shirt mailed to me, still had to pick up my mug post race, very close to driving away without it! The mug has the race logo over the city skyline!
Shirt: Not a tech shirt. Feels like a heather cotton, so soft! Will definitely work this into my casual wear! It has the race logo on the front. City Skyline on the back with the logo below it.
Medal: this is a heavy metal medal with the race logo above the city skyline.
Beer! One free beer post race! Coney Island Brewing's Mermaid Pilsner. It's more of a hoppy amber, hit the spot post race!
Overall: I love the love run. The past three years, it has been my first half of the season, and PR'd each time! It is the perfect race/motivation to train for through winter. Extreme discount the next few days, will be sure to sign up for next year!
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