Last Sunday I ran Philly’s first ever LOVE Half Marathon. CGI Racing put together a fantastic half – super organized with wonderful volunteers (who stood outside for hours in a freezing downpour). If you like the Philly Half in November (my favorite race), then you’ll like the LOVE Run. I’m so happy that Philly has another distance race in the Spring…something other than Broad Street.
This race was a lot of firsts for me: first race postpartum, first race in a total downpour, and first race where I didn’t look at my Garmin (not one single time). The weather was awful – freezing, windy, and nonstop rain.
My original plan was to make this a fun run, especially since postpartum running has been very blah lately. Standing at the start, freezing and wet, all I kept thinking was the faster you run, the faster you get done. Screw the fun run, I didn’t want to spend another minute in these conditions if I didn’t have to.
That’s when the strategy changed to let’s run HM effort and not look at the Garmin. I love running by effort (although I rarely do it) – there’s no magic pace to hit, no pace charts to follow, just you and your breath. And not looking at my Garmin was WAY easier than I thought…partially because it was under my windbreaker and I couldn’t see it anyway.
M1 – 8:51
M2 – 8:19
M3 – 8:51
M4 – 8:14
M5 – 8:20
M6 – 8:43
M7 – 8:19
M8 – 8:08
M9 – 8:52
M10 – 8:48
M11 – 8:41
M12 – 8:45
M13 – 8:36
Official time: 1:53:07 (8:38 pace)
Not the most consistent pacing and the wheels came off a bit towards the end but that’s to be expected after a year plus of not racing. I was in total shock when I crossed the finish line and looked at my watch. I was hoping for a (barely) sub-2:00 finish time. If I were eyeing my Garmin I would have freaked out about my pace during the middle miles (what are you doing? You have no business running that fast!). Not looking at my Garmin was the best thing I did that day. And also having absolutely no expectations helps tremendously.
Thanks to Oiselle teammate Danielle for keeping me company for a few miles. It definitely took my mind off the misery of the weather.
Race photos: me, my sister, and sister-in-law pre-race (and rain) and post-race awkward selfie.