The last half marathon I raced was the the Philly Half in 2019 and recapped it in this post. At the time, running sucked and I finished in 80:40.
Four years later and running has done a 180. Pittsburgh was the cherry on top of a fantastic spring season. Here’s how the race went.
I felt good from the start, but the lead women’s pack went out in 5:20s for the first few miles and a lot of people went with them. That was faster than I was willing to commit to, so the first half of the race was very lonely, just picking off people who went out too fast.
I was clicking off ~5:25s pretty comfortably, but was very conscious of not going too hard, as this would be ~20 minutes longer than the week before.
The course was rolling hills but nothing killer and I hit 10 in 54:30. The hills at 11 were about as much as I could handle. They hit right when you’re hoping to push and there’s just no good way to get through them. Miles 11 and 12 slowed a lot naturally but I felt like I was fighting through well enough.
Mile 13 has this amazing downhill stretch where you can rip if you have anything left which I did. I had a good kick in the final straight to just barely dip under 72, a final time of 1:11:52, smashing my previous PR of 1:17:37 from like 9 years ago.
Shout out to Meghan who made the trip with me and cheered loud despite me running by myself, plus Kelly and Brett who ran! Everything was better with her versus going out there alone.
I thought sub 72 would be a pretty good time, and after running the course, I’m even happier given the difficulty. I’d guess this is worth just over 71:00 on a flat course like Philly. And this validates the Broad Street time, which felt hard to put into perspective. This is a real race distance on a real course and a time that feels comparable to Broad.
It was a wonderful end to the spring season. From February to now has been a realignment of what I thought was possible. After a workout in early March I wrote “first time I could see holding 5:40 pace for a half marathon” and the average pace for Pitt was 5:29.
It’s time to take some time off, enjoy life, and decide what’s next. A marathon is looming.
Mile splits below
- Mile 1 – 5:30
- Mile 2 – 5:22
- Mile 3 – 5:30
- Mile 4 – 5:22
- Mile 5 – 5:30
- Mile 6 – 5:22
- Mile 7 – 5:30
- Mile 8 – 5:24
- Mile 9 – 5:29
- Mile 10 – 5:34
- Mile 11 – 5:41
- Mile 12 – 5:49
- Mile 13 – 5:13