Tag Archive | philly

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!

ODDyssey, Return to Ithaca, uhm, I mean Philly

ODDysey, Half Marathon, Philly, this Saturday, it’s happening, costumes, beer garden, fun, and… I have no idea if I should even do it.

There’s still some other plans and obstacles on the course, but I’d have to be packing now if I end up hopping on the two-hour Megabus to Philly tomorrow. I am doing a minimalist clinic tonight in Soho, coaching 1x1s tomorrow before work, and work from 9 to 1. And I’d need to get on a 2 pm bus to get to the expo to pick my bib. Luckily, I am working from home today so I could pack and prep 6 to 6:30. Hmmm, fingers crossed that this happens. Oh, and that it stops raining one day soon. Seems like the end of the world in NYC right now. Want a picture of my hair?

What’s everyone doing this weekend? Anyone at ODDyssey? Would it be too much to want any redemption from last week’s Brooklyn Half?

ODDyssey, Return to Ithaca, uhm, I mean Philly

RNR Philly Half RR: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

A surprise as usual. Why no race EVER comes out the way I plan it????

I headed out to Philly Saturday noon.  I love Philly. I miss Philly!!!
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I was staying at my best friend Maricela and her DH’s house, in Old city, a gorgeous part of Philly. I was already attacking the Nutella jar in the bus, with a bag of pretzels I managed to finish in 20 minutes. Maricela was on call this weekend and she got called in, I kept her company, as I used to work at Jefferson when I lived in Philly some years back, but that meant we had dinner late (at an amazing new place called Barbuzzo) and didn’t go to bed until midnight. Ooops. Up at 6, my contacts were not having it. My eyes were itching really bad and that meant I didn’t sleep enough. I never sleep enough, but when the contacts itch, it is BAD!!


By 7 am I met up with Mr. Bacon by the start blog post photo

we went by the elite runner’s tent, and we saw Ryan Hall as he headed out to the start line. 
I had checked my camera by then but I’ll give you just his posters in Center City from the day before.
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Mr. Bacon was super nice and wished him luck, I was “yeah!”, hehehe! Ryan is SO thin!!! It made me feel fat for a split second (by the second half of that second I remember Shake Shack and all was fine again!).

This was my friends’ third race and first pikermi, I was so excited for them!blog post photo

The race was sold out but really well organized. I had never done a RNR race and I was very impressed.

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Corral time, we were off. My PR was 1:44:09 (7:57 average pace), from May’s Brooklyn Half. I was hoping I could get closer to 1:41, I was so confident I could do it, mostly in this flat course… I would be proven wrong. AS USUAL.

Mile 1 through 5 had us running through Center City and these miles flew by. Around the Mile 1 marker I spotted Royal Dryness ahead of me. I shouted, nothing. I catch up to him and wish him luck. I could tell his pace and mine were not matching, and let him go. The mile markers adn my Garmin were not matching, sometimes by a quarter of a mile, which made pacing complicated. But, I was going with heart rate and I thought I was doing fine. The sun had come up and it was right in our faces for a couple of miles, it was hard to see, and it was getting hot. I kept a conservative pace and decided to save it all for later. When we got to Kelly Drive, thing got easier: shade!!

Funny aside:
runner dude: momomomomomomommmm
me: [pausing my mp3 player]: sorry, whaaaaat?
runner dude: you need to control your breathing!!!
me: oh, no, that’s just the way I breathe, I just have this crappy heart and I am fine, but I just breathe a little loud, I can’t help it, but am ok, don’t worry, I am sorry it is so annoying, that is why I run with the loud music, it annoys me too, but…
runner dude: I see you are fine if you can talk that much while racing.
me: OK!!! sorry!!!!
I just wanted to apologize to EVERYONE, in GENERAL, and FOREVER! It IS really annoying, I get it… but what can I do??? Not race? Uh… NO!

I was feeling good, miles kept going very fast and I realized I loved this course. I really liked it. It got a little harder on the M Luther King road as it was VERY slanted, for a couple of miles. We were also in the sun, and it had gotten hot. The last .20 was a total struggle, I was dead and I felt like I was running in place. Finish time: 1:43:08 (average pace of 7:52). A 1 minute and 1 second PR! Not bad, but also not what I thought I could do… I really should have been able to go faster. This was just a 64.5% grading (compared to last week’s 69%!). I am blaiming it on not sleeping enough, as I really can’t find anything else! But I have raced before with little sleep and done ok, so…


I saw Mr. Bacon right by the finish line, he had finished just a bit before. Packed a ton of food and sat down… Most of the Loopsters were a bit disappointed and without a real reason for it. Royal Dryness and Seanh kicked serious @ss though! Loopsters trickled in and out, but here’s the pictures I managed to get!

From Left: Royal Dryness, who looks exactly like his avatar, all the time and everywhere apparently. You really can’t miss him! Mr. Bacon, Shawn Li, bigbrownpit behind me, edruns72 in turquoise, Goal Junkie and John J-rw.


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Seanh and Watch_LN_Run were there too but not in my pics!! Ah, here’s Philly Run-atic and me, later
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Congrats to all of you!! I loved the medal. I loved the race. And I kept telling myself I was an idiot for being disappointed with my finish time. I was literally slapping myself mentally every time I had one of those thoughts.

A little while later I caught up with Maricela and her DH and we decided to get a picture before we headed back. So proud of you guys!!!
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and then I realized the person I had asked to take the picture was in a little group with Laura Yasso! I introduced myself, as we have friends in common, and we chatted for a bit. She’s so delightful and energetic, I could have been there all day talking to her!!!!blog post photo

We started walking home and snapped a few more pics, as you can see my disappointment was vanishing by the second.


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I had had a great race, met a lot of great people and put down my best effort.


That is all that matters.


And that I am not injured, that’s the other thing that really matters. 

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Ever seen Logan Square like this?

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Later, we went to refuel to one of my favorite places in Philly: Monk’s. I had amazing fries, a burger, mussels, and dessert. And a beer. My first beer in 4 years, which was the last time I was there.


Yeah, I’d say this was a great great great weekend.

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