Race Recap: Rock ‘N’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

Recently I wrote a recap of my Hot Chocolate 15k in Philadelphia, which was fantastic and I highly recommend. Well, now seven months later is my recap for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon!

Yes, I know, I’m a little late. Get over it. Recaps are awesome.


Let’s start back to last May. I graduated college in May. Thus, jthom moves home and enters the real world. Yikes. I had a paid internship lined up in Princeton after graduation which wasn’t a horrible gig as I saved money and applied for real jobs. My point is that I had moved home, was working a nine to five internship five days a week, and I lived at least an hour and a half from all my friends. I essentially had a lot of spare time on my hands.

This is where the crazy idea to sign up for a half marathon came in. I had always wanted to run the 13.1 mile race, but never really committed to training. Well, that summer seemed like the perfect platform.

First I researched the hell out of half marathon races to find the perfect one (at the time I thought I’d only be running one of these in my lifetime LOL). I found races around the globe, personal stories from beginners to experts and the things no one tells you when you’re training. With all that research, I picked the Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon as my poison. Every mile there was a live band, was set in the heart of Philadelphia and just seemed like a fun way to spend the hour and a half run.

I set up a training schedule that had me running pretty much every day. I also picked up kickboxing and spin classes that summer as my cross training. Over all, everything was pretty good, the schedule was about 16 weeks, so it allowed for some recovery weeks if I needed. Long runs were the most essential since my body wasn’t used to running for 2+ hours. Podcasts will be your best friend on your long runs, trust me.

My schedule looked similar to this.



To be honest, I don’t remember a lot about the expo, but I know it was better than the Hot Chocolate 15k. I also didn’t have anything to compare this expo to since it was my first race, so I wouldn’t take my opinion too seriously. Maybe one day I’ll be an expert, but today isn’t that day.

FullSizeRender (21)


I will say I wasn’t a fan of the shirt. I’m not a huge fan of the dry fit and women’s cut shirts. They always shrink after the first wash, which annoys the crap out of me. But whatever.


Race Day

Okay, whoever said you can eat the morning of a race did NOT account for nerves. I had to force feed myself a piece of toast with peanut butter.



Regardless, I got there in plenty of time (I live 20 minutes from Philly) and had time to use the restroom, which you should do even if you don’t think you have to go. Do you really wanna chance messing up your PR? I’m kidding. Sorta.

The start was slow because I was back in corral 22, but that’s usual for large races. Once it started we ran through the city part of Philly. Every mile a band would be there playing and it was definitely fun! I wish it was a little louder so we could hear it running up, but it still brought some great energy. In general, I’m a complete nerd when it comes to Philadelphia’s history, so I loved running through the city.

Around mile 4, we were looping back to pass the starting line and I saw my mom and sister! Later my mom told me that I didn’t look tired at all  (I’d like hope I’m not spent on my fourth mile in — that’d be bad news). Regardless if you saw your people or not, the crowd was so great and the signs were hilarious. My favorite read, “shut up feet.

During mile 12 was when things started getting tough. I was exhausted and playing a mental game with myself. We had run out of the city along the river then what I assumed was a highway. The course had turned to concrete on both sides and you could see injured runners getting medical attention only three quarters of a mile from the finish line. Heartbreaking.

I seriously don’t look tired at all, but I was so exhausted.

As much as I was cursing myself for signing up for this stupid race, I didn’t let up. I promised I wouldn’t walk and I didn’t. Mission accomplished. Somehow I managed to cross the finish line with a smile (or sorta smile) on my face at 2 hours and 28 minutes.

I’m not one to set to be the fastest at a race, but I definitely will want to beat that time in my next race coming up.

Until my next race!



Did you run the Rock ‘n’ roll series (in Philly or not)? What did you like/not like? 




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