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Living in Philadelphia I'd often heard of the PDR and what a great race it is. Once my running career started last year I knew it would be a race I'd want to run. Unfortunately last year the race coincided with opening day for the Eagles, which I had tickets to, and therefore missed the race.<br><br>
This year the stars were aligned I was able to run the race.<br><br>
Saturday the family and I headed down to the expo. I picked up my chip and bib and did a little shopping. We grabbed some lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe and then headed to the Museum of Natural Sciences. We were able to meet up with fellow KRer <b>Tom</b> and his DD at the museum where we played amongst the animals and dinosaurs.<br><br>
Eventually it was time for the family to depart. I had decided to spend the night in a hotel close to the start. This was a very wise decision and it saved me a few extra hours of sleep. I dined on room service, watched college football and got to bed early.<br><br>
I woke early got myself ready and headed over to the start area. I stopped over at the Thinker statue where I met up with another KRer <b>Lora</b> and her sister. <b>Tom</b> came along eventually as well. We chatted briefly and then went on our way. Tom and I went on a short mile or so warm up run and then split again.<br><br>
The weather for the race could not have been any better. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. It was blue all around. At the start the sun was out the temperature was around 50.<br><br>
I really had no race plan for the day. Since I'm training for the NYC marathon my only goal was to run 14 miles. Part of me thought I'd just make the race a simple jog and just finish somewhere around 1:50. Another part thought I should just go for it and try for a PR. My current half marathon PR is from the National Marathon, March 2007 - 1:45 and change.<br><br>
My first and thankfully only hiccup of the day came when I powered on my Polar watch and tried to pair it up with my foot pod. No dice. This was the first time I'd ever had an issue with it. The watch and the foot pod simply wouldn't find each other. I was a little nervous. This would end up being the very first race, of ANY distance, that I ran with knowing what my pace was at all time. I've always run my races with either my Garmin or my Polar.<br><br>
I milled around the runner's village and then went to my corral. The lines at the bathrooms were ridiculous. Good thing I didn't really need to go. I heard later from another friend that it took him forty minutes to get through the line.<br><br>
I got into my assigned number 2 corral pleased at how close to the start line I was. After a few minutes of waiting and the national anthem the horn sounded and we were off.<br><br><b>Mile 1 - 7:34</b> It was surprisingly open for the first mile and I found I had to do little weaving. Part of me felt like I was going too fast. I spotted a gentleman who I was standing near in the corral and his pace looked good. I decided to latch on to him and follow him for a bit. We came up the Ben Franklin Parkway.<br><br><b>Mile 2 - 7:27</b> - Around City Hall. I was feeling good and pretty much decided at this point I was going to go for a PR. At the very least I figured I'd keep on trying for 7:30s as long as I could. If I felt bad at any point I'd simply slow down to long run pace.<br><br><b>Mile 3 - 7:39 -</b> 5K split was 23 minutes and change. I had begun talking to the guy I was running next to and this made the miles go by easier. He had run the race three times before with a PR of 1:35. He was shooting for around the same so I figured it would be good to stay with him as long as I could.<br><br><b>Mile 4 - 7:30</b> - We were coming up Walnut st. and back on to the Parkway. I was still feeling good and we approached the start line. At this point I knew it was a nice out and back along the river.<br><br><b>Mile 5 - 7:34</b> - I had learned that my pace mate was named Marshall. He was from Jamaica and lived in Philly. Very nice guy. We were on the West River Drive at this point. It was very scenic.<br><br><b>Mile 6 - 7:44</b> - I had told Marshall somewhere during the last mile that I thought I should probably slow down a bit. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to hold the 7:30 pace for the entire race. So this mile was a little slower. I hit the 10K split in 46 and change.<br><br><b>Mile 7 - 7:45 -</b> Another slower mile but I was okay. In retrospect conserving the thirty seconds or so I did over mile 6 and 7 probably really helped me at the end. I knew the Falls Bridge and the cross over to the other side of the river wouldn't be far off so I decided to push on.<br><br><b>Mile 8 - 7:30</b> - I picked it back up a bit and had lost Marshall. We came up to the bridge and took the only hill on the entire course. Really it wasn't even a hill but I did feel it a little in my legs.<br><br><b>Mile 9 - 7:36</b> - It was time to head for home and I knew if I could maintain my current pace I'd be in for a good day. I pushed on passing a few people along the way.<br><br><b>Mile 10 - 7:28</b> - I knew it was only a 5K from here. I felt good and pushed with all my might.<br><br><b>Mile 11 - 7:26</b> - I was starting to feel a little fatigued near the end of this mile but knowing it was only two miles to the finish helped pull me along.<br><br><b>Mile 12 - 7:26</b> - We approached boat house row and I knew it wouldn't be long now.<br><b><br>
Mile 13 - 7:24</b> - Passing boat house row along a road I had driven a million times. I knew the finish was just around the corner.<br><br>
I came around the Art Museum and made the sharp turn towards the finish line.<br><br>
Crossing the finish line I raised my arms in victory.<br><br>
Final time <b>1:38:26</b>. A PR by almost eight minutes.<br><br>
I grabbed some water and spotted my pace mate Marshall. He had finished a minute or so after me. I thanked him for pushing me along and went on my way. I spotted <b>Tom</b> and learned of his great run then met up with my family.<br><br>
After a shower at the hotel it was off to <a href="http://www.jimssteaks.com/" target="_blank">Jim's Steaks</a> for some serious PR reward. I devoured my cheese steak, along with dozens of other PR participants who had the same idea.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://www.jimtardio.com/philadelphia/philadelphia-jims-cheese-steaks-cook-small.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
So what had started out as a plan for a nice leisurely long run turned into a PR at the half marathon distance. I think it's time to start racing without my speed/distance watch more often. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/headbang.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headbang"><br><br><img alt="" src="http://www.runphilly.com/elite/galleries/pdr/2007/images/starth_phillih07.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><img alt="" src="http://www.runphilly.com/elite/galleries/pdr/2007/images/finishoverview_philly07.jpg" style="border:0px solid;">
 

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Woot! Great time and smart racing! Bonus points for excellent post-race grub. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Now I'm doubly jealous - getting to run an awesome race like PDR on a perfect weather day AND having cheeseteaks afterwards?! NOT FAIR!
 

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Congratulations on a huge PR!
 

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Great race report!!!! Awesome time. You are way too fast to run with me! lol. Supposed to be a great race. My whole running group makes a big event out of it with tailgaiting, etc.<br><br>
Congrats on a great race and training run for NYCM
 

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<b>LL</b> - you blew that time outta the cheesesteak, errr, water.. Sweet job and way to continue rocking your running career! Looking forward to seeing what fall marathoning has in store for you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Dang, awesome job <b>LL</b>! I think you're priming yourself for NYC no problem. And I agree the others - excellent post-race grub
 

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8 minute improvement, that's pretty huge. It really sounds like you should be shaping up well for your fall marathons, guess you're just going to need to choose whether you want to make New York or Philly the one to run hard.
 

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Great job Larry!!!
 

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Larry:<br><br>
Awesome run. I think your confidence is increasing as quickly as your pace - as it should be. Great even pacing for a major PR.<br><br>
We'll have to see if we can petition John's Roast Pork to open after the PDR next year. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 
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