Frederick Running Festival Recap

WARNING!  LONG POST AHEAD!

So half marathon number two is in the books and it was great!  I didn’t meet my time goal, but I did PR by 19 minutes!  This race touts itself as a “Big Time Race With Small Town Charm” and that sums it up perfectly.

I guess I’ll start with packet pick up.  They offered packet pick up at various Sports Authority locations in the DC & Baltimore metro areas all week long.  I wasn’t able to get my packet until the Saturday before at the Expo.  The expo was held at the Frederick Fairgrounds, the same location as the start and finish of the race.  I arrived at the expo at about 2 PM and there were no lines.  Packet pick up was in one building and then you went over to the expo building to pick up your premium.  The premium is a really nice long sleeve tshirt with thumbholes.  This years shirt is a nice Orioles orange.  Totally forgot to take a picture of my shirt and medal.  I’ll post it later.

I walked around the expo for a bit, bought a few Gus and another tshirt or two (Falls Road Running was there with some Baltimore specific shirts – I couldn’t help myself).  I got back to my Mom’s house at about 3 and just relaxed for a bit until it was time to head back over for the Kids Fun Run.  Charlotte was running again this year and she was so excited to win.  We lined up at the start with the other kids and when it was time to go we took off.  She held my hand for a bit then let go.  She had the biggest smile on her face.  Unfortunately, I think the only kids that end up with official pictures are the ones in the front.

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Pre Race Snuggling

 

After her race, we got her medal and her snack and headed out to meet my mom and go to dinner.  We went Italian and I enjoyed a salad and penne with meatsauce.

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Flat Sara

 

I ended up spending more time on my feet than I wanted which had me concerned.  My legs and feet were tired.  I spent some time before bed stretching my feet and legs.  I went to bed at about 9:30 and my 4:30 wake up came way too soon.  I had read other’s race recaps and knew that traffic would be an issue getting in so my plan was to leave my mom’s at 5AM to get there and relax in the car.  I got up, dressed, made my coffee and peanut butter bagel and headed over to the fairgrounds.  Parking and traffic were no issue at that time.  I was able to use a fairly fresh porta pottie too at that hour.  One strange thing I did see was a guy in the car next to me pumping himself up with Motown Christmas music (think girl group “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”)  I mean he was rocking out like he was listening to Metallica.  I wanted to take a video but wasn’t sure if I could do it without being obvious.

So at about 6:30 I met up with some friends that were running and we just chatted for a bit before making our way to the start line.  The starting temperature was perfect, in the mid 40s.  We were so far back that I couldn’t hear any announcements and finally noticed the crowd moving to the start line.  I readied my Garmin and soon we were off.  I was starting out too fast and really trying to slow down, but it was hard.  The first hill didn’t really come until just before the Mile 2 marker as we approached the downhill into Market Street – Frederick’s “Main Street”.

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Heading down Market Street

The first several miles take you through downtown Frederick and there is a good amount of crowd support.  There were even priests outside blessing runners as we ran past a church.  The course went around Baker Park, Hood College, and Frederick Memorial Hospital.   I ended up running the first 5 miles much faster than I wanted and paid the price from there on out.  The sun was out and it got warm quickly.  I tried to run in the shade as much as I could and took in water and/or Gatorade at every aid station.  This race had 9 aid stations with porta potties at every one.  I didn’t come across an “official” porta pottie in the Baltimore Half until just past mile 6.

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Sid Busch running in honor of Lance Corporal Joshua Klinger who died while stationed in the Middle East in 2005. Sid is a Navy Veteran who runs races all over the country in honor of fallen soldiers. Carrying the American flag no less. A true hero!

 

Right before mile 9, I ran past my old high school.  I thought about the girl that used to go there and how insecure and unsure of herself she was.  Thankfully I’m not that girl anymore.

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The rest of the race was a hot sweaty blur.  It was hot, sunny, and slower than I wanted.  The area wasn’t as pretty as the first half and there wasn’t a ton of shade to find relief in.  The neighborhood was nice, there was a guy handing out full bottles of water and a little boy had set up a water station with his mom.  There were actually a ton of “pop up” water stations.  This is why Frederick was a great place to grow up.

Once I passed the 12 mile marker I knew I was so close.  I had given up my time goal a few miles prior, but I knew I might possibly come in under 2:50.  So I pushed and pushed.  As I approached the hill leading into the fairgrounds, a girl walking next to me groaned looking at it.  I had read another blog that called the hill a dream crusher.  And at this point in the race, it’s not a hill you want to see.  She stated outloud that she would run up it and walk again at the top.  I planned to run to the start of the gaurdrail in the middle of the hill and walk to the top.  At this point I didn’t want to waste what energy I had left on the hill.  We both took off and I wished her good luck and she went on to charge up the hill.

Getting onto that track never felt so good.  I took a few more walk breaks and then when I hit the Mile 13 marker I started running again and didn’t stop until I crossed the finish.  I didn’t know it at the time, but my Mom had brought Charlotte to the grandstand and they got to see me finish.

Race

Thankfully I had the VIP passes and went straight there.  The VIP area was set up on the stage overlooking the finish line.  It was catered by Mo’s Southwest, so they had burritos, chips, and salsa to eat.  Along with apples & bananas.  They also had unlimited free beer.  It was actually really nice to be able to go up there and watch the finish.  I watched Sid Busch cross as well as two active duty soldiers who walked the entire half wearing their 45 pound packs on their backs.  I cheered and clapped for everyone and it was a nice way to finish out my day.

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I can’t believe I’ve done this twice!!!  I was a tiny bit disappointed about not meeting my time goal, but I still came under 2:50 with an official time of 2:49:54.  What could I have done differently?  Could I have braved the cold and run outside more this winter?  Sure.  Could I have made the drive to the hillier area to do my long runs?  Sure.  Could I have controlled the sun?  Nope.  Besides going out to fast on race day, there was really nothing more I could have done and I’m still thrilled with the results.

The Frederick Half is a really beautiful race.  I don’t know for sure if I’ll do this one again next year, but I will definitely be doing it again.  I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to run a relatively flat race in a beautiful residential course.

Next up is the Baltimore 10 Miler on June 6th.  Not a lot of time to rest, but that will be the second race of the King Crab Challenge and will be the last race that I feel the need to be “trained” for until I start up Baltimore Half training sometime in July.

Whew that was long.  What is your favorite post race snack?  Is there anything you do during spring training in the cold to prepare you for the warmer race day temperatures?

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Friday Five – RACE DAY!!!

Happy May!!  Finally!!!  It’s about to be spring time up in here!

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I wonder how many other blog posts will be featuring Mr. Timberlake today.

Because of my work trip, I haven’t done much running this week.  Our nights were too long and days too early.  Plus the sun didn’t rise until close to 7AM down there and that beautiful jogging path was pitch black at 6 AM when I needed to get my workout in.  I did yoga and PT in my room instead.  Yes I could have used the treadmill, but the motivation to leave the room for anything other than running outside wasn’t there.  This girl is treadmilled out.

This morning I ran my first run since Sunday.  I did a short loop in my neighborhood and left my Garmin at home. I just wanted to try this whole “running by feel” thing I keep hearing about.  I had Map My Run all set up so I could at least record the run accurately, but alas, I paused it as I was putting my phone back in my Spi belt.  All I know for sure is that it was somewhere between 2 & 2.5 miles and less than 30 minutes.  I may do this more often for short easy runs.

The timing of this week’s Friday Five is totally on point for me this week.  RACE DAY!  Guess who has a race day this weekend?    This girl!!!
I also found out this week that I won two tickets into the King Crab VIP tent after the race on Sunday!!  It’s catered by Outback Steakhouse.  I plan to eat AAALLL the Bloomin’ Onions when I’m done.

So with Race Day in mind, here are five things I’ve made sure to have ready for Sunday.

Sunscreen – Especially now.  This time of year can be really deceptive.  It’s sunny, yet chilly.  So you somehow end up with a sunburn because it didn’t even cross your mind to put it on since it’s only 50 degrees out.  If you are active, you also need to find one that is sweat resistant and won’t run into your eyes.  Because who likes stinging and burning eyes when you are in mile 10 of your half marathon.  If you have skin issues, you also want something good for your skin.  I’ve always been a fan of Neutrogena sunscreen for my face, so I was pleased to find a “sport” version that won’t wreck my skin.


Body Glide – I haven’t experienced any chafage during this training cycle, but I did last summer, so I’m taking no chances on race day.

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Fuel – No matter what your preference, you must have your fuel plan for race day figured out.  I use gels and don’t really have a flavor preference.  Here’s what I have on hand for Sunday.  The fuel plan should also include your breakfast.  More than likely I’ll have half a bagel with peanut butter and a banana and coffee to get my system moving along.

Hydration Belt – Not everyone uses one.  Some people rely on the aid stations, but I like to have my fluids handy, plus it has a nice little pouch to hold my gels, ID, car key, money, etc.  I usually like to fill mine with Nuun and if I want water I’ll hit the water stops.  When looking for a hydration belt I went with a Nathan because I have a few of their other products that I like, plus I like the color.  Priorities right?  I’ve contemplated a vest – maybe this summer.

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In addition to these “things” I also need to relax.  I’ve done all the hard work.  I need to trust in my training.  I’m actually feeling pretty good this time around.  I, thankfully, had no major setbacks.  A few less than stellar runs, sure, but overall I couldn’t have asked for a better training cycle.  I’m going to take it easy today and tomorrow so that Sunday will just be plain awesome.

Thanks again to the DC Trifecta for another awesome link up!

Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia

Friday Five

 What’s your Race Day essential?  How do you calm your nerves in the days leading up to a big race?  Anything on tap for you this weekend?

Frederick Half Marathon – Week 12

Happy Monday!  Lets get down to business shall we?

Here is what my workouts looked like last week:

Monday – PT & core work

Tuesday – 3.13 neighborhood miles

Wednesday – Yogalosophy video – it was more of a toning workout than yoga.  I did the short version at 35 minutes.  I’ll be returning that to the library.

Thursday – unintended rest day. I wanted to run outside in the morning but it was in the 30s again. I couldn’t bare the thought.

Friday – it was still in the 30s so by the time I decided to rush over to the gym, I only had 30 minutes. I made them count with a progressive tempo run – my last “hard” run.

Saturday / Sunday – Saturday morning was cold so I put my last long run off until Sunday. It was mid forties and lovely. I had wanted to do 5, but ended up with 4 due to time constraints again. I spent the afternoon walking around the zoo again, so I got my miles in.

Total Miles – 9.44

On tap for this week is a work trip to Tampa. The hotel has a nice jogging path and I’m hoping I get a chance to use it. I’m also planning some in room yoga, PT, and stretching.  I even brought my stick roller!

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I’ll probably do an easy neighborhood run on Friday and then take it easy until Sunday. While it’s been cold this training season and that kept me inside a lot more than I would have liked, I think I’m as prepared for Sunday as I can be. The horrible 13 mile run still is giving me some doubts, and there is still a part of me that wishes I had done another 10 instead of 8 two weeks ago.  The smarter part of me knows that I’ve logged the miles and put in the work. It can’t go any worse than Baltimore where I lost 6 weeks of training, right?

All that being said, my time goal for this race is …. 2:45.  The Frederick Half has a 2:40 pace group and a 2:50 pace group.  So my plan is to start near the 2:50 group and keep them behind me at all costs.

All that I need to do now is work on my playlist.  Since I’ll be running in the land of my formative years, I’m taking a 90s twist on this playlist…Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Green Day, Pearl Jam, with a few current motivating songs thrown in for good measure.

I pick up my bib on Saturday and run the kids race with Charlotte.  She’s got the cutest little running outfit and she’s so excited to wear it.

How was your weekend?  Anything else I should do (or not do) in the week leading up to my next race?  When’s your next race? 

 

 

Frederick Half Marathon – Week 11

Happy Monday!  It’s been a few weeks since I’ve gotten my weekly recap up on a Monday.  I hope you all were able to enjoy some spring weather this weekend – it was GORGEOUS here in Baltimore.  Aside from running a HOT Sole of the City 10K on Saturday, I spent Sunday morning at Target watching the crazies stockpile Lilly Pulitzer and later took Charlotte to the zoo.

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Really quick on the Lilly Pulitzer thing, because I’ve seen articles about how crazy it was across the country.  I had my eye on one dress for me and maybe something for Charlotte.  No big loss if I didn’t get it, so I strolled over to my local Target at about 7:45 and the line was wrapped around the store.  By the time I got in, the section was decimated.  I was a bit bitter there were women with carts full of clothes; trying them on behind another dress rack and there was a crowd gathered by the dressing room waiting for cast offs.  It was really crazy – I’ve really never seen such a thing.  After I passed the women’s section I headed to the toddler section and while it wasn’t wiped out, it had a crowd, so I just started grabbing.  I ended up getting Charlotte two super cute summer dresses.  I didn’t need any of it for me, but I was surprised that people would just snatch up an entire rack of clothes without any regard for those who weren’t first in line.  The worst? On eBay right now, there are over 20,000 items from the Lilly for Target line.  A shift dress that would have been $40 at Target is listed at $100.  All I can do is shake my head and hope that if someone out there wants a Lilly dress that bad, they’ll put their $100 towards a real one.

Now on to something of more substance.  I can’t believe I’m in week 11 of training – the race is in two weeks!  Last week was a fun week of runs and workouts.

Monday – PT Exercises

Tuesday – 3 Progressive Miles on the Treadmill

Wednesday – Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Level 2 in AM, 2.75 miles with my MMRT Group.  Salt posted an awesome pic here.

Thursday – Rest Day

Friday – Rest Day (although it was anything but)

Saturday – Sole of the City 10K – didn’t PR, but hadn’t run in heat like that since last summer.  Will post a recap later this week.  (My Garmin actually read that I ran 6.37 miles)

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Yes that pretzel is bigger than my face and I ate the whole thing. #notashamed

 

Total Miles – 12.12

 

So on tap for the week, some easy cross training, some easy runs, and my last “long” run of 5 miles on Saturday.  I can’t believe I’m about to do it again.  I’ve got to start working on my playlist!

And good luck to all of you running Boston today!  There are several bloggers I read out there running – I’m not sure how I’m going to follow along since I’ll be at work, but I’ll be thinking of you!

How was your weekend?  Did you brave Target for Lilly Pulitzer?  Is there anything you would wait in line for (besides a starting line)?

 

 

Frederick Half Marathon Training – Week 10

Last week flew by, and so it this week too.  It’s Wednesday and I’m just now getting around to posting Week 10’s workouts.

Work and personal life has been super busy and blogging hasn’t really been on the top of my priorities.  I know I’ve fallen behind in reading some of my faves and my posts aren’t anything of much substance.  Guess I’m feeling a little insecure about my lack of blogging activity.  Right now I just want to get through the half marathon and the next few work weeks and see what’s what.  I’ve got all sorts of posts in my head, but nary a minute to formulate them into something worth reading.  I won’t let you down though!  You’ve stuck with me this long just reading posts about my workouts…I want to give you a little bit more…just like all of you give to me.

Okay – enough with the Frederick Factoids.  I’ve depleted all my interesting facts!  It’s a great little town with a cool downtown.  It wasn’t much to grow up in back when I lived there, but it’s come a long way since 1998.  So go pay it a visit for a day trip if you are in the area.

Here is how my workouts went last week:

Monday – Rest.  My legs were super sore from Sunday’s miserable 13 miles.  I rested as much as I could, since I was traveling.

Tuesday – 2miles & 80 Minutes of Yoga.  When I travel to the Cleveland area I stay in Westlake and last summer I discovered a really great yoga studio called Krysia Energy Yoga.  A couple nights a week they offer Candlelight Basics.  It is just basic poses, with a few extra things thrown in.  I really just wanted to get all the stretching since I was still sore and tight.

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – I finally felt back to normal.  I did 5x800s on the hotel treadmill.  Four at the 5.5 speed and the last at 5.6.  I’ve never started at that speed with the intervals before, so to finish it put me over the moon.

However, after that my knees started bugging me.  Nothing persistent or even painful, but just a little something that wasn’t there before.  So I was mindful of it the rest of the weekend.

Friday – Rest

Saturday / Sunday – I wanted to do 8 miles Saturday, but I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I was so tired in the morning that I put it off til Sunday.   I ended up doing my PT exercises and a little yoga.  I did a 1 minute 40 second plank.  I might have been able to hold it longer, but Charlotte started patting my butt.

It was a great run on Sunday morning.  The weather was awesome, I felt good the entire time and felt I could have kept going.  And my knees didn’t bother me afterwards like they did after my Thursday run.  I’m still staying on top of it, but I’m hopeful the reduction in mileage over the next few weeks will help keep it calm.

Earlier in the week, I actually debated how far to go.  I felt like I needed at least another 10-11 mile run to feel solidly prepared.  I checked my training plan from the fall and the taper did go from a long run of 11-13 down to a long run of 7-9.  For the past 6 weeks, I’d been on a steady mileage increase so I figured I would follow the taper plan.  My 10 & 11 mile runs went well previously, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine physically – right now it’s all mental I guess.  Is this what they call the taper crazies?  Not feeling prepared?

Total Miles – 13.65

So this week I’ve got a work event on Friday, a 10K on Saturday, and who knows what on Sunday.  Hope you all are having a marvelous week!

Would you have crammed in another 10 miles or is that the taper crazies talking?  Did you get out and enjoy the weather this weekend?

Frederick Half Marathon Training Week 9

This is going to be a short post.  As I mentioned Friday, I had been sick all week.  So not much in the way of running or any other physical activity had taken place.

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This weekend was busy too.  Besides the holiday festivities almost all weekend, I had to pack for another work trip.  I left this morning (Monday) at 7:30, which meant getting to the airport at 5:30, which meant waking up by 4 in order to get ready and on the road.  I didn’t think it would be so bad, but I’m not taking that early of a flight again.

So needless to say, I’m a wee bit tired as I type this.  Thankfully it’s a short post.

Last week’s workouts:

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – Sick

Wednesday – Sick

Thursday – Sick

Friday – 3 Miles!!!  I wrote about this in detail last Friday, but it sure did feel good.

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – 13 Miles – This was not a pretty run.  The first three miles were a struggle.  It didn’t help that I had to pee about a quarter mile in.  I ran back to the porta potty and someone had pooped all over the seat.  Like all over.

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C’mon!  Not fair!  I had to go, so I held my breath and squatted.  The next 7 miles weren’t too bad.  I kept telling myself I could stop at 10 or 11 if I wasn’t feeling it.  I was getting ready to pass my car at mile 9.5 and took a short break.  It was at this point that I should have refilled my water bottle before moving on, but I didn’t and that made those last 3.5 miles total crap.  Or at least that’s what I blame it on.  I tried to keep the walking even with the running…I’m not sure I was successful.  BUT – I finished 13 miles!!!!  I saved the extra .1 for race day.

Total Miles – 16

While the week did not go as planned and neither did the run, I did finish 13 and now it’s time to taper.  I made it!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I leave you with this:

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Did you get outside and enjoy the weather this past weekend?  How did you celebrate your holidays?

 

Frederick Half Marathon Training – Week 8

Happy Monday!  The temperatures this week are looking much better than what we had this weekend.  Saturday we had snow and yesterday I ran my coldest run ever, 21 with a “feels like” of 12.  In the last weekend. Of March.  I wore my base layer pants for the first time under my fleece pants, wore a short sleeve over a long sleeve and my fleece jacket.  Unbelievable.

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Frederick Factoid

This week’s factoid isn’t a fact, like the last one, it’s more of an ad for one of my favorite things to do growing up in Frederick…and that’s going to the Great Frederick Fair.   Every September when the Great Frederick Fair rolled into town we could not wait to go.  The Frederick County school system even gave all the schools a Friday off to go to the fair.   The fair really isn’t anything special, just your typical county fair, but I always try to go back.  The same gyro stand is still always in the same spot, the piglets are still always in the same pen, and the midway still has the Zipper.  There’s popcorn, cotton candy, and all the new fangled deep fried treats.   It takes me back in time a little.  They always usually had some really great concerts.  I never went to any of the shows there, but they usually get some big name country acts.  Last year they even got STYX.  I’ve been to the Maryland State Fair and it’s much bigger, so I do prefer the smaller Frederick Fair.  The Frederick Half Marathon actually begins outside of the fairgrounds and ends on the track inside.  If you are ever looking for some small town fun in September, I highly recommend the Great Frederick Fair.

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You couldn’t pay me to get on this thing now!

This weeks workouts were uneventful.  They were all leading up to a weekend long run which I had been hoping the weather would warm up a bit for, but it didn’t.

Monday –  My legs were still hummin’ from Sunday’s 15K, so I decided to do some yoga that I had found on TV and DVRd.  It wasn’t bad, but it did have commercial breaks which was annoying.  I also did some foam rolling and stretching

Tuesday – 3.41 miles on the treadmill.

Wednesday – Yoga for Athletes – Finally made it back to my Wednesday AM yoga and it did not disappoint.

Thursday – 3 miles progressive on the treadmill & Real Yoga with Jeff in the evening.  I was starting to come down with something, but felt better after running and felt fine the rest of the day.

Friday – Rest – My usual rest day, but was hoping the rest would help whatever was plaguing me, allergies, a cold, whatever it was move along.

Saturday – Rest – Still dealing with the cold or whatever and had already planned to move my long run to Sunday.

Sunday – 11 Miles – My cousin ran the first half if this with me, she ran her first 6 miles today!  Her first race will be the Sole of the City 10K in April and I’m so happy for her!  I have to admit, the start of the run was a bit of a struggle.  I had to stop a couple of times.  Partly because of the cold, partly because of the allergy/cold/I don’t know what I’ve been dealing with since about Wednesday.  The second half went much better and it got done.  I took the Nimbuses out for their first official long run and they did not disappoint.

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Total Miles – 17.41

This Saturday I have my longest run scheduled before backing off – 13 miles.  I’m really excited to have not been plagued with any injuries this time around (I’m knocking on wood as I type).  I’ve been so nervous waiting for a shoe to drop.  Maybe it’s the experience, maybe it’s the cross training, maybe it a little of both, but I’m really excited that my training is working to prepare me for this race.  Four more long runs to go!

 

Did you run/race this weekend?  How cold was it?