Philly RNR Half Recap!

Thanks to Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia for providing me with a free entry in exchange for helping to promote this race.

I had a rough beginning of my training, but I am fully in love with running right now.

And running buddies, because I have some awesome ones.


Yup, I’ll keep ’em. So, I won, and K-Scott snuck under the tape.

Gia, Meggie and I rolled into Philly around 11 and went straight to the expo.

Packet pickup went smoothly, I picked up some margarita shot bloks, and we rolled out to grab lunch, check in and have a chill afternoon.


We went out for a little shakeout run, and did touristy things around the city.


P.S. We are also an unofficial New Balance fan club. From center, clockwise: New Balance 870s, New Balance 890s, and the beauts on my feet, my favorite running shoes, are the New Balance 1400s.


Running the Rocky steps, NBD.

I changed and met up with a few other girls for dinner, including the lovely Jen and Michele, at Rouge, a cute restaurant on Rittenhouse Square.

Race Day

The other girls had 3 more on their schedule, but Jess had me “just” running the race, which was fine with me.


It gave me time to meet up with and chat with my cousin Leanne! It was her second half, and she totally PRed! I’m so proud of her.

Meggie and I walked over to the race start from the hotel, and it was chilly on the walk over. We were all a little chilly last night and weren’t quite sure what we’d wear today. I knew i’d warm up as soon as I started running, so I went with my favorite skirt and t-shirt, but wore that same gray Army Ten-Miler t-shirt over my outfit.

The race started right by the Philadelphia Art Museum (aka right by the Rocky Steps), which was a fun place to line up.

I put down my half PR, 1:50 as my estimated finish time, so I was put in corral 5. (RNR races are SUPER beginner-friendly.)

As I said the other day, my goal for the race was to run my marathon goal pace, 8:58.


I started out trying to just get into a rhythm where I felt good–strong but not pushing too hard–and then looked down at my Garmin: 8:25. Hmm…that was my PR half-marathon pace, which is a good 33 seconds faster than goal marathon pace.


I tried to slow down, but was nervous that by slowing down, I’d slow down too much and not be able to get back anywhere near MGP.

So, for the first 5 miles, running through downtown Philly (I guess they call it Center City there?), I just ran at what was comfortable, and it stayed near 8:30ish. Remember that long-sleeved t-shirt? What you don’t really know about me is that I tend to be a bit of a packrat and get really emotionally attached to things…especially t-shirts, and especially race t-shirts. The Army Ten-Miler was my first long race in 2006, and the shirt was special to me but the first long-sleeved one I grabbed when I was packing yesterday morning. I ended up letting it go around mile 4 and immediately wondered if I regretted that decision.

Before realizing it was just a t-shirt. (And I have two very similar t-shirts from subsequent Army Ten-Milers.)

The race looped onto Kelly Drive, along the Schuylkill River. I was initially a little bummed to see we’d run along the river since you can certainly run there without paying to race, but the road was closed, and it was gorgeous. It reminded me a lot of running the GW Parkway during Marine Corps. The first mile had been fairly crowded, but by this point, runners were plenty spread out.

When I ran the D.C. Rock ‘n’ Roll Half, there were a lot less bands than I expected for a race called the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half, but there were plenty of bands today, and they lifted my spirits every time I saw them. The race went so quickly, and I was shocked by the time we went over the Falls Bridge around mile 9ish to turn and run on the other side of Kelly Drive. At this point, I tried really hard to slow down despite actually finding it uncomfortable, and tried to keep my pace between 8:50 – 9:05ish on the current pace, hoping they’d average out to about 8:58ish.

During the last mile, I was so, so happy: that I’d had a such a strong run, that I felt so good, that it was a gorgeous day, that I saw my cousin before the race, that I’ve gotten faster over the years, that I’m able to run at all, and that I have such fun running friends. I was also really proud of myself for pacing myself and running strong without depending on anyone else to help me stick to a good pace.

This run was another confidence-builder, for sure. Philly RNR, I <3 you. I see the hype.


Meggie and I celebrated with a quick mimosa before hitting the road with Gia and Kristen.

I’ve never been so happy to not PR.

I’m so excited for my upcoming races.

I’m so excited for NYCM.

I <3 running.

Did you run Philly or race this weekend? Feel free to link up your recaps below!

19 comments on “Philly RNR Half Recap!

  1. Annie @ Annie Get Your Run

    I’m glad you enjoyed RnR Philly! I live right by the start so I’ve done that race several times, going all the way back to when it was called the Philadelphia Distance Run. Next time you’re in Philly, let me know! I’d love to meet up for coffee or something.

    1. Theodora Post author

      It really seems like this might be one of their marquee races. I had fun at DC RNR, but Philly was SO much fun, and so much more music!

  2. Liz H

    Congrats on the strong race! My long run was kind of like your race this weekend. I ran a lil slower than I would have liked, but I finished feeling strong and confident which is such an awesome feeling when you’re in the thick of marathon training! What are your upcoming races? I think I am race free until 11/3… might need to change that!

    1. Theodora Post author

      SUCH a good feeling. I have a few upcoming races!
      Fifth Avenue Mile this weekend
      Franklin Lakes Half (you should totally come out and run RHONJ territory with me)
      Runner’s World Half!

  3. Ashley

    Amazing! But quite frankly, not too surprising speedy πŸ™‚

    You’re like the half marathon queen over there . . . you’ve got the full in the bag. Now if only I could motivate myself to train for the full…

  4. Rachel

    Welcome to Philly! I forgot it was the RNR Half this weekend. I was out for brunch on Sunday and saw a bunch of peeps with their race bibs and medals. I was probably sitting on a bench in Rittenhouse Square at the same time you were eating lunch.

    Glad you had a good time, and a great race.



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