Race Recap – Sole of the City 10K

This was my first time running Sole of the City and the race did not disappoint.  Charm City Run events never do.  Sole of the City was the 2nd leg of the B3 Challenge.  The first was the Shamrock 5K last month the last will be the Charles Street 12 in September.  The premium they give out is just awesome.  This year it was an Under Armour all weather hoodie.  It’s lightweight and the color is divine – it’s a pretty shade of blue/green with the Sole of the City logo on the back and the Charm City Run logo on the front.


This race was especially fun because my cousin Michelle was running it too and it was her first race ever!  She just started running in January and is doing awesome.


A before race snapshot.

The day before, I was at the conference I had organized so I spent most of the day on my feet.  My dogs were so tired!  Plus my knee was twinging!  I was actually really nervous to run.  Friday night I took an Epsom salt bath and taped my knee as a precautionary measure.  I didn’t want to take any chances.  I feel asleep at about 8:30 Friday night.

The race day weather was predicted to be beautiful and HOT.  Not 90 degrees hot, but in the 70s.  The last time I ran in the 70s?  Probably last August…I’m not lying (or at least it felt that way).  The race was starting at 9AM so it’s a little later than your typical race so I knew it was going to be a warm one.  I had to dig around in my closet to find some sunscreen and made the realization that I don’t have any good sports face sunscreen.  (Got some on Sunday – summer running season I’m coming for you!)

We met up at around 7 to head downtown.  I’m a big fan of getting to races early.  I’d rather get some parking and have time to go to the bathroom and sit and relax a bit than be stressed about parking and having time to pee.  With downtown races, parking can be so questionable.  You just don’t know.  We got a parking space in the lot right behind the start / finish area and we even had time to do a little shopping at Charm City Run.  Our race bibs conveniently had a coupon on the back.  I bought a new Under Armour tank that I may debut at Frederick (it will be tested first though, don’t worry.)


At about 8:45 we made our way to the start line and this was the crowd behind us.  We even got a chance to meet the Green Turtle!


We stood around waiting for the official start chatting, then it was go time.  Michelle has been doing really well pacewise so I told her to just run her race and we’d meet up at the end.  I was really afraid of starting to fast so I kept it steady.  The first mile or so was flat with some downhills.  Most of the race was flat up until the last mile or so.  There were two water stops, one just after mile 2 that I couldn’t wait for.  Then the next one was right after mile 4 – which I don’t think they were prepared.  When I got there, the cups were scarce and they were pouring water out of the jugs into the coolers, but not fast enough.  People were just grabbing cups and dipping into the water (kinda gross, but it was hot!).  Michelle said that she’s pretty sure she grabbed a used cup to drink from.

I had thought about bringing my handheld bottle with me then decided against it, thinking that the water stops would be enough.  I regret that decision only because it was so hot.  It would have been nice to be able to take a sip when I needed it on such a hot day.  I’m thinking that in future 10Ks, my handheld will be going with me.

The last mile was all uphill pretty much, I ended up walking more than I wanted.  Frankly in the 5th and 6th miles I fell off the rails a bit.  So I didn’t PR, but it wasn’t my worst 10K, but I got in my own way a bit.  Which is something I’m working on.

When I crossed the finish line, I got my water and got into the food line.  Got my goodies then went to meet up with Michelle outside of World of Beer.  A beer sounded realllllly good about then so we went and sat down and enjoyed a Summer Shandy (or two) and I ordered my giant pretzel.

Charm City Run events are always a blast and so well organized.  I’m definitely keeping this race on my list for next year.


What’s your post race food of choice?  Are there any races that you repeat year after year?




Friday Five – It’s a Good Thing

So after Monday’s training post about how awesome training was going, the shoe that I had been waiting for dropped.  I think the saying is actually waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I digress.  That cold/ allergies / not sure what it was hit me like a truck on Monday.  I went to the Target clinic after work and told it was just a cold, but my ears looked infected so thankfully I was given an antibiotic.  I was coughing and hacking all through the night.   Tuesday morning I woke up with my left eye covered in goo (not Gu unfortunately.)  Pink eye. I’m 35 years old, why am I getting pink eye?   Oh yeah, I have a preschooler in the house.  Charlotte had pink eye two weeks prior and she had some eye drops left over so took those, took my other meds, and snuggled in bed all day and watched the entire season of Girls.  Sorry Target clinic, but this was more than a cold, if you hadn’t given me antibiotics, I’d probably still be dying today.

Since I feel like I’ve finally kicked this sickness in the bootay, I’m linking up for the Friday Five!  Since it’s Good Friday and all, the theme is GOOD THINGS!  I like this – especially after the week I’ve had.  Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia, couldn’t have planned a better theme.

Friday Five

Needless to say, I haven’t been working out or running all week.   The week I’m supposed to run 13 miles I’m stricken with illness.  <shakes fist in the air>.  My cough did subside enough that I felt I could get up and run a little this morning, so I did.  I was going to go to the gym, because that’s what I’ve been doing every weekday morning since December.  So imagine my surprise when I go outside and it’s 60 freakin’ 4 degrees outside at 5 AM  (Good thing #1).   I ran upstairs and grabbed my Garmin and went to town.  And it hurt.


Hello old friend…

I have been doing my long runs on the flatish trail, so my hilly neighborhood was a shock.  You know what else was a shock?  Running in warm weather.  Those out door trail runs were all in temps in the thirties or below.  I ended up taking my handheld water bottle just in case.  Despite not having run these hills in a while and the multitude of walk breaks it wasn’t a terrible run.

Good Thing #2 – Spring Break has started in area schools so that means…no traffic today!!  Woo Hoo!

Good Thing #3 – Last week JessRunsHappy posted on her blog about Lia Sophia going out of business.  I went on their site and they had so many cute things at such great prices that I couldnt resist!  I updated my jewelry wardrobe a bit and it all came in the mail on Wednesday.

flower pot

Went a little outside my comfort zone with this one, but it’s really cute and springy!

Good Thing #4 – Girls – I love that show, and the best part of this season (spoiler alert) Hannah didn’t end up with Adam at the end.

Good Thing #5 – Passover starts tonight.  Two nights of family dinners loaded with carbs, brisket, Matzo Ball Soup, and laughs.



So there it is!  Five Good Things!  After this weeks’ illness I wasn’t sure I’d have it in me to come up with something good.  Maybe that’s what this morning’s run was for, to get me back on track.  Now I just have to decide if I should take it easy this weekend and go for 13 next weekend or try and go for it and see what happens.  Decisions Decisions.

Happy Easter to all of you celebrating and Happy Passover to those of you celebrating!  Hope you have a wonderful weekend!  I think spring is here!!!!


What are weekend plans?  Would you go for the full 13 after having been sick all week?

Sara and the Blustery 5K (Kelly’s Shamrock 5K Recap)

I am so behind in my posts.  I haven’t felt like getting on the computer after work, especially since Charlotte isn’t going to bed until after 8 nowadays.  By the time she is asleep, I have little time to myself and I’m usually just beat.  I’ve got to catch up on my posts!  So you might see a few more than usual from me this week.  Not a bad thing.


So last Sunday (the 15th) I ran the first race of the Charm City Run B3 Challenge, the Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock 5K.  This was my first time running the race and it was a great time.  The forecast was predicting temperatures in the 50s,  which we got.  Along with it, we also got a lot of gusty wind.  I had no idea what to wear.  With temps in the 50s, I was going to wear my short sleeve neon green shirt.  With the wind, I just didn’t know what to expect.  I ended up wearing my Brooks fleece jacket over top, but at times I wished I had gone with a windbreaker.

I had pre-purchased parking at a garage lose to the finish line, because you just never know.  My friend Nichelle went with me.  We walked to the finish area to check her bag and use the facilities.  No lines at either.  Which of course was probably because we were there pretty early.

After we got ourselves bibbed and time chipped up, we started walking towards the starting line which was about a half mile away.  It wasn’t a bad walk, except for the blustery wind.  It was freezing!  In the sun it felt good, in the shade of the buildings it felt 30 degrees.

We got to the starting line with plenty of time to spare and stood around people watching and jogging in place.  Lots of festive runners.  I kinda felt out of place in my plain capris and red jacket.  Not enough planning on my part.


This was before we started – you can see everyone in their neon green race shirt.


Eventually the race began and it was on a very nice downhill down Charles Street.  I wish I had taken a picture, but as you go downhill as you look ahead, all you can see is a sea of neon green runners – it’s a really cool sight to behold.  I know how tricky a downhill start can be so I tried to hold back a bit.  I knew a majority of the race was flat so I figured I’d try to maintain my downhill pace for the remainder.  The first mile chirped in at 11:34.  I was worried I wouldn’t be able to maintain that.  I mean, I’m a 12 min/mile runner.  Or so I thought when I started.

Once I got started running I started to warm up, so I unzipped my jacket.  No sooner than when I would unzip, there would be a gust that would just blow right into my jacket and I’d have to zip up again.  It was quite annoying.


Did anyone else have these 45s and storybooks growing up? We had a whole bunch of them and would play them on our little Fisher Price record player.

The rest of the race looped down Light Street to Key Highway. There was a turnaround at some point on Key Highway and then a water stop.  I took a brief drink of water then picked back up.  The race continued back to Light Street then onto Pratt.  I knew the finish line was close. So I kept pushing.  My watch said I was still in the 11s which I just couldn’t believe.

I made the turn onto Market Street towards the finish line and just gave it all I got.  My official finish time was 36:55.  A one minute improvement over my last 5K and an average pace of 11:55.

After getting my time chip snipped off my shoes I was able to get a bottle of water, some pretzels, chips, a granola bar and a banana.  It was really crowded in the area where the beer line was, so we couldn’t figure out where to get in line for our free beer.  No big deal since I had left my ID in my car.  They had a band playing 90s & early 2000s covers – they were really good.  So we ate our snacks and listened to music for a bit before I had to head back home.  Overall I think the race was really well organized and fun.  Next year, if the weather is nicer, I want to convince Brian to bring Charlotte down so we can watch the parade together afterwards.

I wanted to talk about my pacing for a minute.  My Garmin actually had me at 11:40/mile at the end.  Doesn’t matter if the official time and the Garmin time don’t match, I’m just happy there was an 11 in front.  It did get me thinking though, did I push myself hard enough?  I typically do my long runs at about 12:30 and my speed training and tempo runs have been in the mid 11s down to a pace in the high 10s.  In my tempo runs I’ve been holding faster paces, so I wonder if I held myself back in the race because I don’t typically see those numbers on a regular run.  My next timed 5K is in June at the Baltimore Women’s Classic so I’m going to try and push harder.  It’s a vastly different course, with hills and such, but my goal is going to be to beat this one.


Does anyone else have trouble running shorter distances as far as pacing goes?  Do you have any fun races coming up?


Cupid’s Crush 10K Race Recap

So as you may or  may not know, I ran the Cupid’s 10K Crush this past Sunday.  It was a race put on by the Baltimore Road Runners Club and my first run with BRRC since I joined in January.


This race was originally scheduled for February 15th (hence the Cupid theme) but due to insane cold and wind they rescheduled it.  I was watching the forecast back then and decided not to do it before they canceled since the weather was going to be brutal.  So I was glad they rescheduled it and that the weather cooperated.  It was cold, but tolerable.

This race cost a little more than their usual races, but included a New Balance tech shirt.  In addition to age group awards, they also gave out awards to the skimpiest, sexiest, and wackiest costumes and some random prizes (hence my awesome red tumbler).


The race was held in Druid Hill Park in Baltimore.  The same park that Zoo Zoom was run through, so if you remember anything I wrote about that race, it would be the hills.  I arrived on Sunday morning at about 6:45, the race started at 8:00.  I found a decent parking space and waited in my car for a while to stay warm.  At about 7:15 I went up to get my bib and shirt.  I ran a warm up mile and after all was said and done, it was about 7:45.  I jumped around a bit to keep warm.  Soon though, it was time to line up and off we went.

I stayed towards the back, I hadn’t run outside in a month, so I wasn’t sure how it was going to go.  The race started at a pavilion by the lake and went about a mile and half of rolling hills to the front of the zoo where there was a turnaround. I was a bit confused to be turning around already, but went with it.  As we neared the start, we were directed down another road which led to a lovely hill, i.e. awful hill.   At the top of this hill was another turnaround and then we proceeded back in front of the zoo again.  There were a couple of runners I came across during these middle miles that I made an effort to pass.  I had been following them for quite some time, so I did a private victory dance in my head when I was able to move past them.

After the second pass in front of the zoo, I had less then 2 miles left and really only a few uphills left.  I went ahead and took advantage of the downhills and kept moving.  I knew I was making good time.  As I rounded the final corner and made my way towards the finish shoot, I saw the clock and knew I PRd.  I was on cloud 9.  My official finish time was 1:14:09.  I beat my prior 10K time by over 5 minutes!



After the race, they had water, bagels, coffee, bananas, fruit snacks, candy hearts, and hot soup!  It was a fun group of people and there were some that were anxious to win the skimpiest outfit.

Nude Woman

She was wearing a nude body suit with a thong and pasties on.


Before they gave out age group awards they did some random awards (just picking a number at random) and that’s how I won a red tumbler!  I was pretty excited about that.

Overall I thought it was well run, it was fun, and I’m excited to do more races this year with BRRC.  I would probably do this race again if the weather was the same or better.  I can’t do any colder than that.

Are you a member of a run club?  Do you enjoy their races?