Last year when I ran the Oddyssey Half marathon in Philly I went to run it as a long run but in the back of mind I thought I could turn in good time. Then I hurt my knee at mile 3, and then became dehydrated, and then I barely finished the race and spent the entire 3 hour ride home berating myself for my “performance”.
So would this year be “Bad Nues” or would it be happily ever after ?
I returned to the Oddyssey Half Marathon this year, and although my goals weren’t overly ambitious, I figured I could at least improve on my time from last year. (the race report part of this blog is after the Pig video if that is all you care about).
So on Saturday the Pig and I packed up the car (OK, I packed, the Pig mostly drank coffee and supervised)
So off we went. I already had my bib sent to me, so I didn’t have to go to the expo (side note, they hold the expo the weekend before the race for the people in Philly and the smaller one the day before the race for out of towers like myself). Last year when I went to Philly I did the Art Museum, ran the Rocky steps, and generally stuck to that side of town. This year I decided to go to the area around the Liberty Bell. Living in the DC area, I come to loathe tourist (or tourons as I like to call them) so it was a bit embarrassing to be taking pictures of this
Sigh, I am a touron. Picture of Independence Hall.
I wasn’t going to stand in the long line for the Liberty Bell, but I was willing to elbow some foreign tourist out of the way to snap this pic.
Yes, it is a crappy picture of the Liberty Bell but standing outside on a hot day the day before a half marathon wasn’t my idea of genius. For the record I did see the Liberty Bell as a kid if you are worried I missed out on the experience. OK, no one was worried.
Next I went to the National Constitution Center where they have a copy of the Bill of Rights that I was the only person viewing because everyone else was taking selfies with the statues of members of the Constitutional convention.
After looking at the exhibits I went to the Jefferson Science and Exploration Museum. It was interesting to look at some of his contributions to science and his attempts to convince his “old world” friends that the Americans was not a wasteland for plants and animals (before my Canadian readers start snickering he was defending you as well).
T-Jeff in the house
So after being a tourist I went to the Franklin Fountain to get some ice cream. OK, the Pig was the instigator.
Maple Walnut ice cream is what we had if you are curious
Then in the name of carb loading I had some cheap pizza.
The Pig did share (a little)
I will spare you the rest of the evening other that after dinner, back at the hotel the Pig was head banging to tunes to pump me up for the race.
So I got up at 4:30 AM on Sunday, took a quick shower, brushed my teeth, foam rolled, packed the car and it was off to the Please Touch Museum for the start of the race.
I got there, parked, walked about a half mile to the start, warmed up and was ready to start when they announced that there would be at least a 30 minute delay to the 7:00 AM race start because of a “traffic issue”. So it was off to the porta potty line, more warm up, and a generally cursing the later start time. I knew the race was going to be warm and humid (it was) but a delayed start was not going to help matters.
Delayed flight time.
Then the race organizers announced they were going to start the blue wave (faster people) and then would start the other waves after that. It was about 25 minutes late.
My game plan for the race was to run something akin to marathon pace and see if I could hold it in the heat (I wilt in the heat like lettuce at the bottom of a container of Chinese food (@midpackbiped I told you I would steal that one, but I will tell people you have a new blog, so consider us even)). The first three miles went a little faster than I wanted (try to contain your shock) and I was averaging around 9:20 per mile.
Elevation profile. Kick in the pants after mile 5 and that hill at the end feels worse than it looks
The fourth mile was fine but my heart rate started to climb so I backed off during mile 5 and then had to be careful on the hill not to overcook myself and repeat the mistakes of last year.
After mile 6 I picked up the pace a bit, but then hit a sunny patch and dropped right back down in pace to keep my heart rate down. The course itself is mostly tree line and much of the race is along the Schuylkill River. It is a pretty course and I was able to appreciate it more than when I was limping along the course last year. They also have games you can stop and play along the course (I preferred the “Don’t Die Marsden game” and kept going).
I won’t bore you with the rest of the race other than to say the hill just after mile 12 was more fun this year since I wasn’t about to drop from heat exhaustion unlike last year. Of course there is a fun limit on a hill right before the end of a half marathon.
I finished in 2:05:57. 737 out of 2433. I was the top finisher with my last name, so I will declare victory.
1. I was able to run something resembling a marathon pace despite not being a very good warm weather runner.
2. I managed to stay hydrated using a water bottle and stopping at EVERY water stop.
3. The misters at the water stops were very nice to have.
4. I did set a course PR for myself by over 10 minutes.
5. The medal for the race doubles as a bottle opener.
1. My time was 10 minutes slower than my PR.
2. My heart rate got higher in the last few miles than I would have liked (which is nice way of saying I couldn’t have held the pace for a marathon in those conditions which makes me wonder if it is really a realistic pace goal).
3. My cadence was lower than I would like. That has been a problem for my last couple of races and I need to work on that for my fall races.
So after the finish, it was off to the beer tent (free beer glass!), drink a beer, grab my race shirt, and then drive back to DC.
The Pig and the race medal. I have a better pic of me and the pig, but it didn’t show the race medal.
So all in all I accomplished what I was looking for out of the race and now it’s on Endless Summer at the end of July.