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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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.

Zipper

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?

Frederick Half Marathon Training – Week 6

Did you see that?  Week 6?  I’m halfway done my training.  I can’t believe I’m halfway there…or another way of looking at it is only 4 long runs left until taper. EEEEK!

So I have a confession – I got a DNS for Rock n Roll DC.  It was a rainy mess, it was only a 5K, and I didn’t pay for the entry.  It wasn’t worth the hour and a half commute to run 3.1 miles in the rain.  I was really excited to experience a Rock n Roll race, but this just wasn’t the year to do it I guess.  Registration for the 2016 half is only $50 right now, but after this winter, I’m not sure I’d want to sign up for a race any earlier than April or May.

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Sunday I did run the Kelly’s Shamrock 5K in Baltimore and it was a blast!  Such a fun race, I’ll definitely do that one again. I got another PR too!  I’ll do a proper recap later this week.  I guess that’s to be expected now that I’ve got a full year of running under my belt.  It’s exciting to see how far I’ve come though.  Anyways…

Frederick Factoid #4

This isn’t so much of a Factoid as it is an ad for a fun event in Frederick.  Every year, on a September Saturday, Frederick’s main street, Market Street, is shut down to traffic for the In the Streets Festival.  As kid the idea of this was fun because hey, I was walking in the middle of the street!  Each block is themed, there are local artisans, local restaurants, and live bands all out in the street.  You can go into all the local shops and boutiques and enjoy a nice day out.  What kind of sell would this be if I didn’t mention the Market Street Mile Road Race that is held in the morning?  They have a men’s heat, a women’s heat, a youth heat, and a Family Fun Walk.  Depending on my training schedule this fall, I’m gonna try and do this with Charlotte – all kids get a finisher’s medal.  All in all, this is a great event for everyone and if you ever want to explore Frederick and have a good time…check out the In the Streets Festival.

Now, on to last week’s workouts.  All in all, it was a good week.  The 10K really did a number on my legs and it took a while for them to feel normal again.  Not running outside for over a month will do that to you I guess.

Sunday – 7.2 Miles – Cupids 10K Crush, plus 1 warm up mile

Monday – Body Pump – I made it back!  It had been so long I couldn’t remember what weights I had been using.

Tuesday – Speed Work – Daylight savings caught up to me and I couldn’t wake up.  One missed run isn’t going to kill my schedule.

Wednesday – Yoga – I did a 40 minute video I found online.  It was called Yoga Flow for Runners by a yoga instructor named Cara Gilman.  It was challenging and good.  I’ll probably go back to it whenever I’m out of town and stuck in my hotel room.

Thursday – Tempo Run – I planned to do this as a 4 mile progressive run, and it was awful.  The gym in the hotel was so humid and my legs just didn’t want to run.  Even though I was progressing in speed, I kept stopping and starting.  It was probably the worst run ever.  The only redeeming part of the run is that I did force myself to finish out the last mile with no stopping.  So I had a strong finish…I guess that can kinda make up for the first three miles of ridiculousness.

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 8 Miles – Since I skipped out on the DC 5K, I was able to go back to my scheduled run of 8 miles.  I was on the treadmill of course due to the rain, but it was a great 8 miles.  It went much better than the prior 8 mile treadmill run.  The second half wasn’t as smooth as the first, but I had no trouble getting started back up and had another strong finish.

Total Miles – 12 – (I counted Sunday’s 10K in last weeks miles)

Even though I had a race scheduled for Sunday, I felt I deserved to enjoy a couple of these as I caught up on Downton Abbey.

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Supertramp from Flying Dog Brewery. Very good!

I don’t have any planned travel for at least 3 weeks!!!  The past two months have just felt crazy.  Time to get some actual work done (and time to get caught up on my blogs!)

How is your training going?  What is the worst run you’ve ever had?

 

Frederick Half Marathon Training – Week 3

I think I can speak for nearly everyone in the country when I say this week was so freakin’ cold.

imageSorry to be so crude, but there is no other way to describe the temperatures this past week.  I’m not even sure where this description for tempature ever came from, because it doesn’t make sense in the winter.  Don’t they shrink up in the cold?

Saturday we got snow all day and I got some extra cross training in through a bit of shoveling and playing.

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Well lets move on to something else fun, like a Frederick Factoid!

Frederick Factoid #2

If you are a fan of Top Chef, you may remember Bryan Voltaggio from Top Chef Season 6.  Bryan Voltaggio is from Frederick, MD and still lives there.  He was the first Chef to be on both Top Chef and Top Chef Masters (season 5).  He opened his first restaurant, Volt, in Frederick in 2008.  Since then he’s opened a few more restaurants in the Frederick, DC, and Baltimore area.  So if you are a Top Chef fan and in MD, you aren’t too far away from a fantastic meal!

This week was a week in being flexible with my training schedule.  I had a busy week with some work projects combined with some weather that took me off schedule, but I was still able to squeeze in my workouts.

Sunday – PT, core work, & some yoga.  If you follow me on Instagram or have liked my Facebook page, maybe you caught this gem:

imageYes – that is me in crow!  I’m able to actually hold it now, not just bounce into it.  I can’t hold it long, I mean I was able to hold it long enough to get this pic, and that’s about it.  But I’m holding it!

Monday – Body Pump Sleep – I didn’t set my alarm and I overslept.  Worse things have happened.

Tuesday – Intervals Jillian Michael’s Yoga Meltdown – Snow that we got overnight kept me from getting to the gym that morning, so I threw in a video.  Since I knew I’d miss yoga on Wednesday I went with the Meltdown.

Wednesday – Yoga Intervals – I was down in VA for work, so I did my 800s this morning on the hotel treadmill.  For some reason, these were extra hard this morning.  Maybe I didn’t warm up enough, I don’t know, but they just felt difficult.  I was happy to get them over with and happy I finished out the workout.

Thursday – Tempo Easy Run – I didn’t have time to get in my scheduled tempo and since I had just done my intervals the day before, I gave myself a pass and just did 2.5 easy miles.

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Long Run 8 Miles – This was on the treadmill and I was lucky enough to get it done early in the morning so the snow didn’t get in my way.  This was TOUGH!  This was my longest treadmill run ever and I was dreading it.  My plan was to take a break at 4 miles to use the bathroom, take in a Gu, and just get off it for a few minutes.  The first 4 were fine, the second 4 not so much.  I took a few walk breaks, but my mind was totally fighting it.  I ended up running the second half about 20 second faster than the first, but I didn’t like it one bit.  Where are you spring?

Total Miles – 14.5

Thankfully this is a step back week for my long run, so if I’m stuck on the ‘mill next weekend I’ve only got to do 6.  I’ve also got another busy week – I’m traveling to Cleveland so I’ve got to make some adjustments.  I’ve already signed up to drop in for a yoga class at a local studio, so at least I’ve got something interesting to look forward to.

How was your weekend? How were your workouts?  Did you get any snow?

 

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Frederick Half Marathon Training – Week 2

Another week down and another week closer to my next half.  There was some exciting news on the race front this week too.  The Frederick Half is part of the King Crab Challenge that I signed up for last fall.  It includes the Frederick Half in May, the Baltimore 10-Miler in June, and the Baltimore Half in October.  It was a great discount to sign up for all three last fall and for completing the 3 races, I get an extra premium – last year it was a backpack.  They just announced this years prize:

King Crab Medal Rack

This picture isn’t the greatest, but it’s a medal rack for all 4 medals I’ll earn from completing the King Crab!  The hooks are crab claws!  My mind wants it to be October already so I can hang this up NOW.  The other awesome thing about this?  Typically, you don’t get a medal for completing the Bmore 10-Miler – but this year, if you signed up for the King Crab Challenge – you do!  So that’s a medal for Frederick, the 10-Miler, Baltimore, and the Maryland Double medal for doing both Frederick & Baltimore halves.  I hate to admit it, but I love bling – and this is just all kinds of blingy.

Okay okay, back to Frederick.  I grew up in Frederick, so doing the half marathon there was a no-brainer.  It’s a smallish town, and back when I lived there, even smaller – they didn’t even have a Target until I was away at college. Can you imagine???  I was so deprived!  I didn’t have a bad time growing up there but I couldn’t wait to get out when I started college.

Each week, I’d like to share a little factoid or tidbit about Frederick, so you can learn a little bit about the city I call my hometown.

 

Frederick Factoid #1

Francis Scott Key, who wrote the Star Spangled Banner, is buried in Frederick in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.  Frederick’s main shopping mall is named after him, as is the minor league baseball team, the Frederick Keys.  Nothing says “American Hero” like having a mall named after you and a baseball mascot called the Keyote (like coyote).

Keyote

Aaaawoooo!

Now, on to my workouts:

Monday – Body Pump – legs were still sore from Sunday, but class went okay.

Tuesday – Speed Work – There was freezing rain overnight so when I went outside and saw the sidewalks I was a little cautious, then when I saw the thick layer of ice on my windshield I said forget it.  My legs were STILL sore from Sunday’s run and I decided I would go after work.  When I got on the treadmill that afternoon, my legs felt like lead.  Speed work wasn’t going to happen.  So I decided to stay on for an easy 30 minutes, which then became finish out the 2.5.  So I did.  It was hard, but I’m glad I got in something.

Wednesday – Yoga – I held crow again!  Still only for a few seconds, I spoke to the teacher after class and got a few pointers.  So I’m hoping I’ll nail it soon.

Thursday – Tempo Run – This was a tough one to get started, but felt okay once I did.  I started with the 5 minute easy warm up like last week, did 30 minutes at tempo pace, then a 5 minute cooldown.

Friday – REST!

Saturday – 6 Miles – Treadmill – The first three miles were good. I stopped for a potty break and it was hard to get restarted. I finished the end of it strong though.  I started the Serial podcast and that helped pass the time.

Total Miles – 11.86

So I’m looking forward to Week 3.  I have some work things going on this week along with crazy weather, I’m hoping to be able to get all my runs in.  Next weekend, I’m scheduled for 8.  I’m hoping and praying for decent weather so I can do it outside.  Six on the treadmill was a mental struggle – I don’t want to have to experience 8.

I know others have done more, but how do you get through the longer runs on the treadmill?  When you are at the gym, do you take in fuel while running your long runs?  If you aren’t currently living in your hometown, have you ever gone back to run it?