ODDYSSEY Half in Philly… BOOM!

Not sure what BOOM in the title was for, just felt like it. OK, let’s break this puppy down (not literally of course!!!).
A Half. Outside of Philly. Saturday May 26.  Around 60 degrees.
– The 
ODDyssey Half remembers that running is fun
– Costume Contests
– Certified course, photographers, around 2K runners, pretty flat course, scenic, medals, Beer Garden at the Finish
The course is truly unique and takes in the beauty of Fairmount Park; beginning on the Memorial Hall Green and winding around the tranquil Belmont Plateau before touring the stunning Schuylkill River along West River Drive. Runners will finish back at Memorial Hall for a post race bash.
My take: easy to get to and back to Center City. Really scenic and Flat. Annoyingly mean hill in the last half milem but otherwise great.
For What?
Revenge!!! I wanted something closer to 1:41 last week in Brooklynm and I ended up with a 1:43 something… pffft.

                         And so…?
The Start:
(Well, gotta back up. No sleep (or vvery little sleep) the three nights preceding. We are starting in bad shape! Friday, being in Philly and all, we went to sleep at around 1 and had to be up at 4:30! Eeeeek, it hurt a little to wake up. I even asked M if we should even bother. Fine, we’ll go!). They had some megabuses taking us from Center City to the start, it took only a few minutes. The start was great! Lots of people dressed up (we didn’t even have time to remember to bring anything!! SO LAME!), we left our bags fast in a megabus too, and lined up.

There were no corrrals and a half with just 2K people… crazy!! I think the smallest hald I’ve done had 15,000 runners. I was at the start and could actually see the start. Insane.
The Race:
We take off soon enough. M is just keeping me company as he had done a PR the week before (around 1:20) and didn’t want to push it. He had also run the previous three days, incluiding a group 10 miler at around 6 pace Friday at 5 pm; he’s tired too (and add getting to Philly the night before…!). I notice it’s humid. It’s arond 60 and I am tired and sleepy, should I even bother trying to do well or jsut take it easy from the start. We (he!) decided I’d give it a shot. Half a mile into it, at half pace (around 7:45) I realized I was already pouring salt out and my heart rate was over 200. Not good. Gotta slow down NOW.

I backed off the pace and saw half the field pass me. It’s ok, go guys, I will be fine. It got really hot fast. I looked at my pace and estimated a 2 hour half. Oh well.

We went through Fairmount park, which was gorgeous, then two outs and backs on the West Drive of the Schuylkill River. By the second out and back I noticed it had thinned out a LOT. Where is everyone? By Mile 8, I was picking people up until we were all about separated by 20 to 30 yards. The heat/humidity was catching up with people and I was, somehow (well, cause I slowed down earlier on), passing them all up.

There’s just so much you can do so late in the race, but at least my pace was a lot more consistent throuought. I would focus on whoever had the brighter shirt up ahead and hunt them down until I would find a new prey. At least M stayed with me the whole race and kept me going when I just wanted to home; and we had some fun looking at costumes, and the scenery, and stuff. Then, with less than a mile to go, I see it. There’s a turnaround and then a hill. Oh crap. It’s gonna eat me alive. We charge. We turn and the stoooopid hill continues. It sucked. thirtysevenmillionmiles later, the hill ended, I sprinted for a quarter mile and I was done. 
The Finish:
I crossed the finish line, happy to be done. I ended up with a 1:47
Finish time: 1:47:38. Average Pace: 8:12
Previous PR: 1:42:XX. From: September 2009.
Age Grading: 62.2%
Overall Place: 158 of 1634
Gender Place: 39 of 987
Age Place: 14 of 340

As soon as we finished, I got a medal, a beer glass, and lots of goodies. Seriously lots: this osom BodyArmor drink, kind bars, oranges, pretzels, etc. And we headed to the beer garden to fill stuff up. It was in the grass so we sat for a bit, I ate, he stretched, we then napped in the sun in the grass. We were SO tired. I was pretty destroyed.
We eventually got back to my friend’s house, shower, nap a bit more, get to Monks’ for some beer and all that Philly Phun stuff, but 
this race was pretty amazing. It wasn’t crowded, the course is nice, it’s PR friendly and the post race food/fun was great. I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

Stuff you do in Philly after a race: get my favorite beer ever, and the only one I’ll drink!

Walk around Old City, scheme a way into City Tavern.

You have to go to the Love Park,

and make the puppies happy in cold water!

On way to the Museum, you stop by the Rodin Museum,

and, of course, you jump:

ODDYSSEY Half in Philly… BOOM!

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