May 22, 2011
Last post, I told you all about the circumstances leading to creating a Dalek costume and running my fifth half marathon, the ODDyssey Half, without a time goal. Here's the actual race recap.
The race started at 7am in Philly, which meant that I woke up frightfully early, at 4:30am. Like all half and full marathon mornings, this began with a peanut butter sandwich, lots of water, and caffeine (a latte, today). My confused kitty groggily requested, received, and rejected breakfast, opting to curl up and go back to sleep.
Around 5am, Audrey jogged up to my doorstep! She has a marathon in June, and her schedule called for 20 miles. She got three of them done before meeting me.
We picked up Amanda and headed into Philly. The starting line location was the most convenient ever; it was in Fairmount Park, with huge FREE parking lots. Audrey left immediately to run four miles before the race started.
I was so excited!!
Amanda was, too--she hoped to set a new PR!
Of course I had to take some goofy shots as a Dalek:
Amanda and I walked the half a mile or so to the race area, right next to the Please Touch Museum. (As opposed to "don't touch", I believe?) We had about twenty-five minutes to spare and got in the interminable porta-potty line. We spotted plenty of other costumed-folk: a ladybug, a couple of flowers, a horde of Wonder Women, many manly men in dresses, some pirates. It was finally our turn. From inside, I heard the starting gun. Oops. At least it was a chip-timed race! Our chip times are about three minutes behind clock time.
Amanda ran with me for about a mile to warm-up, and then off she ran in search of her PR! I settled into a good groove and enjoyed carrying my whisk and plunger during the first four miles that circled around and back to the starting/finishing line. Several people called out, "I LOVE YOUR COSTUME," but no one acknowledged if they knew what I was. ;)
I'm on the left:
After the first four or five miles, we headed down to the Schuylkill River for the first of two long out-and-backs. I'm not a fan of retracing my steps, preferring instead to run loop courses, but at least this gave us plenty of chances to see all of the costumes!
There's the award-winning plug and socket duo:
Royal wedding guest:
Captain Jack Sparrow:
The dish who ran away with the spoon:
And girls I ran near for quite a ways, the cop and robber:
We ran up the river until we saw the famous Philadelphia Art Museum, and then we turned around and ran back. We passed the road leading back up to the finish and started the second out-and-back for a couple of miles along the river in the opposite direction.
While the river and trees are quite pretty, it would've gotten rather boring without the entertainment. There was an obstacle course: a huge bouncy castle with slides and ladders off to the side. I didn't run over it, but Audrey did. She said it was fantastic. Two teens were playing an over-sized game of Jenga and allowing participants from the race. There were a few stations with DJ-ed or live music. The best part, on this muggy hot day, were the Water Balloon Men. Sadly, they missed me with both balloons they chucked at me. Guess I was running too fast? ;)
The weirdest thing is that this "out" part of the out-and-back felt downhill the whole way, leading me to really worry about running uphill for the last few miles. When I turned around, though...a bunch of the "back" was downhill or flat... Good? Perhaps the heat muddled my brain.
I enjoyed seeing Audrey and Amanda twice!
They looked strong and happy!
I kept pace with what looked like a father-daughter pair for the last two miles. She started fading, so he kept up a steady stream of encouragement. I decided to eavesdrop and claim the encouragement for myself, and it really helped! :) Especially going up the legitimately steep hill that was the last half mile or so. While they ran the whole way, I ended up walking a bit of it...but I still beat them to the top. ;) Sometimes, walking is just faster.
Nearing the finish line, I dug deep and sprinted to the finish! Amanda caught me, barely, despite this dude's head:
I finished around 2:27, my slowest half marathon time. :) It was, however, one of the most enjoyable!
Amanda got her PR, with a time around 2:15! Audrey indeed finished a total of 20 miles that day, still running the race part at a very respectable ~1:45!
We received our medals and finishers' pint glasses, and broke them in with a free post-race beer. Here we are, enjoying a pint at 9:30am:
Please note the banana in my holster and the granola bar in Amanda's shirt--the post-race food was excellent, in that we got a lot of it and had to get creative to carry it!
"Rocky's lesser-known little sister" came up to ask what I was, so I introduced yet another person to the wonders of Doctor Who. Maybe she'll go watch it. ;)
On the walk back, a coconut water van suddenly pulled over and started handing everyone free drinks! Woohoo!
I'm still not overly fond of coconut water...but I like it enough to drink it for free.
We stopped for Starbucks in downtown Philly, and were home by noon. :D
The medals really are awesome. It's the first I've gotten that's actually useful--it's a bottle opener!
In conclusion, while it was super fun to run in costume, enjoying the scenery without a time goal, I'm not going to register for another race until I'm back on track with my training, health, and pace. I'm doing a modified spring training program (running only 3-4 days a week, with longer long runs, and biking/strength training/resting on others) until I start marathon training in August. I might do another half in August or September, and possibly some 5-10ks, but running the marathon in under 4:30:00 is my goal of the year. :D