Baltimore 10 Miler Recap

This was a great race.  Corrigan Sports, in my opinion, always does an excellent job with their events.  The course is great.  It’s a lake to lake tour of nothern Baltimore, starting by Druid Park Lake and going over to Lake Montebello and back.  Not the most scenic course, but definitely a good tour of the city.  All that being said, this was not a great race for me for a couple of different reasons, which I’ll get into later.

Race day weather was good.  Temperatures were in the sixties, but there was some humidity in the air.  It was also overcast for first half of the race, which always helps.  They started the race at 7:30 and had 4 waves.  I hung out in the 3rd wave behind the 2 hour pace group knowing that I wanted to be within 10 minutes of them.

Getting ready to cross the starting line.

I had previewed the course and had run part of it during the Baltimore Half in the fall, so I knew where the hills were going to be.  Right away, we started on a flat that led to a long downhill run, nearly a mile.  The first few miles wound through Druid Hill Park, over to Johns Hopkins University, and then eastbound on 28th street.  Back in 2003, I actually worked at an Enterprise Rent A Car down the street, so I was very familiar with these streets.  The 2nd & 3rd miles went from 28th Street, to north on Greenmount, then east on 33rd.  There were rolling hills and by the 3 mile mark, it was pretty much a downhill until Lake Montebello where it flattens out for the 4th & 5th miles.  What comes down must go back up though.

I pushed through the sixth mile, which was primarily back uphill and I think it took a lot out of me because the 7th mile was my worst mile in a long time.  Mentally I was torn between “I can’t run anymore” and “Damnit Sara you can do this!”  The sun had made its way out from behind the clouds at this point, so it was a little warmer and my legs were tired.  By the 8th mile I had redeemed myself a bit but then we reached the dreaded hill at mile 9.  What was a delightful downhill in the beginning was a monster at the end.  I thought that final hill at the Frederick Half was a dream crusher…that was until I met this one.  Mile 9 of the Baltimore 10 Miler is officially my worst mile EVER!

I miraculously made it to the top – I didn’t bother running any of it.  I wanted to save my energy for the 10th and final mile.  The last mile actually approaches the finish, but you have to loop around another part of the park to finish the mile.  It’s such a tease to see the finish line and have to see it from afar.  I did make it though – high fived Blue the Crab as I crossed, and enjoyed the fact that I did finish.

On the other side of the finish line, there was a cold wet towel waiting for me (whoever thought of providing this deserves sainthood.)  There was also water, chips, orange wedges, bananas, and watermelon.

I couldn’t wait.

After cooling off and eating my snacks I got in line for my medal and premium.  Not everyone got a medal though.  As a King Crab Challenger, there was a medal offered only to King Crab Challenge participants (to go on the awesome medal display that I will pick up at the Baltimore Half in October.)  The Baltimore 10 was the second leg of the King Crab Challenge, just one more race to go!  The premium is really nice too – a red heathered pullover, with thumbholes AND zippered pockets!  Oh the things that get us runners excited.

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I also ran into this lovely lady.  Amber from PB & PRs!  If any of you other bloggers out there are signed up for Charles Street 12 – we need to have a blogger after party!

Overall this is a great race.  I want to do it again.  I love running in Baltimore.  Even though it is not my hometown, I’ve basically lived here since I started college in 1998 and it’s my hometown now.  Corrigan Sports Enterprises also organizes the Frederick Half and the Baltimore Running Festival and I’ve had nothing but great experiences at all their races.  This race is no exception, from the communication before the race, the packet pick up, to the Race Village & post race festival.  I’ll be back for you Baltimore 10 Miler!!!

After the race, I raced back home because is was show week at Charlotte’s Little Gym class.  She got to show off her favorite skills and they showed us what skills they were working on.  She just switched from the Mommy & Me class a few months ago and it has made a world of difference.  She’s doing so much more on the balance beam and her donkey kicks are insane.  I’m so proud of her.  She even got a medal too.

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Now to cover something a little less exciting, my flaws in running this race.  Hills.  You cannot run in Baltimore if you do not train on hills.  My neighborhood loop is hilly, but I never run more than 5-6 miles in my neighborhood.  My long runs are typically done on the the flat NCR Trail which is minutes from my house.  It’s just more convenient.  The hilly area to run is not nearly as convenient, so unless I’m meeting a group there, I never go there.  This summer I signed up for the half marathon training group at Charm City Run again so I will be running more hills in preparation for the Baltimore Half.

 

I also know that I am not as mentally strong as I would like to be.  This race really highlighted that for me.  Maybe it was the hills, maybe it was the heat during the second half of the race, maybe it was the “just barely enough” training I had done in my own mind.  Either way, I definitely got in my own head and allowed myself to walk too much during this race.  This is something I want to work on this summer.  I have my little mantras that I chant to myself, but I need a little more mental training.  So I’m going to work on that.  Conveniently enough, the new issue of Runners World has an article on this topic to get me started.

 

What are your pitfalls and how do you work through them?  Did you run or race this weekend?  What is your favorite finish line goody?

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

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Friday Five – How to Celebrate National Running Day Without Actually Running

Happy Friday and Happy Race Day eve for me!  I’ve got the Baltimore 10 Miler tomorrow and I’m excited!  It won’t be an easy race, but because it’s not a half marathon it doesn’t seem so daunting.

This week I’m linking up with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia, again for the Friday Five Link Up.  This week’s theme is National Running Day!

Friday Five

Due to logistical issues, I didn’t get a chance to actually run on National Running Day.  So I’m going to give you 5 ways to celebrate National Running Day without actually going for a run.  Ready?  Here we go!

1.  Write a blog post about National Running Day.  I did that here.

2. Watch your kid run all over the place.  If I can’t run, at least I can watch her run up and down the sidewalk.  She’s a crazy kid.

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3. Pick up your race bib.  I conveniently enough was able to pick up my race bib on Wednesday.  If that isn’t second best to actually running, I don’t know what is.

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4. Win a National Running Day Facebook Contest.  CareFirst and I are soul mates.  I won a Rock n Roll DC race entry in February (that I ended up not using) and on National Running Day I won an iPod shuffle.  I’ve been thinking about getting one (since they clip on) for a little while now so to win one is pretty cool.

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5.  Buy more running gear.  Since bib pick up was in a Sports Authority and they gave me a 20% off coupon, I couldn’t resist buying a couple more running tanks for the summer.

 

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So you CAN celebrate a day of running by not actually running – let others do the running for you while you do other running related things.  I really did want to run though, I got mine in yesterday when Brian was home to watch Charlotte.

Did you do anything to celebrate Nat’l Running Day other than running?  Have any runs or races planned for the weekend? 

 

Happy National Running Day!!!

So as you may or may not know (my title kinda gives it away) but today is National Running Day!  “What is National Running Day?” you might ask.  According to RunningDay.org, National Running Day has been held on the first Wenesday of every month since 2009. It is a day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running.  You can spread your passion by organizing a group run, signing up for a race, or just sharing your love of running with family and friends. (source)

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I’m loving it here!

Today I’m linking up with Jonesin’ For a Run and some other Sweat Pink Ambassadors for a National Running Day Interview.

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1. Why do you run?

I started to run to lose weight.  Surprisingly enough, I grew to like it!  For the first time in my life I was feeling like an athlete and doing something I never thought was possible.  I like running races, I like the challenge of a new distance or trying to go faster, and I like all the people that I’ve met along the way.  Now it’s just a habit.  I feel “off” if I don’t run for a few days.  I also run to set a good example for Charlotte.  I started running when she was 2, so she doesn’t remember me not running.  I hope that by watching me train and run and make time for myself, she’ll know she can do it too (or do whatever she wants to do.)

2. How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day?

This year is going to be tricky.  Brian went out of town yesterday and is not coming home until late tonight.  I have two options.  If I can swing it, I’m going to leave work early to get a run in before picking Charlotte up.  My other option is to just take Charlotte to a park in the afternoon and run around with her.  It won’t be a “run” per say, but it will be a run with my most favorite person in the world.  If all that falls through, I’m picking up my race packet today, that counts!

3. How many miles have you run so far this year?

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4. What big events do you have on the race calendar so far this year?

The races I have left for 2015 include the Baltimore 10 Miler this Saturday, the Charles Street 12 in September and the Baltimore Half in October.

5. Before I leave for a run I must have:

My Garmin, phone, a handheld water bottle lately, and my headphones.

6. Do you have one favorite app to track your runs?

I log my runs on Map My Run.  I’ve been meaning to try Strava though.  I’ve heard good things.

7. Who is your favorite running partner?

Me, myself, and I.  I run solo.  I’m not against a running partner, I just don’t have one to meet up with during the week.  I do like meeting up with a group though.  I like getting together with my MRTT group and in the summer I’m doing a half marathon training group again.  It’s nice to meet new people, learn from each other, and cheer each other on.

8. What races have you ran so far this year?

So far this year, I’ve run the Cupids Crush 10K, the White Hall 15K, the Kelly’s Shamrock 5K, Sole of the City 10K, the Frederick Half Marathon, and the Color Run.

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Finish line photo at Cupids Crush

9. If you had to give someone one piece of advice about running what would it be?

If you are just starting, start slow and give it time.  It will be hard at first and you will want to quit.  I promise, though, you will reach the day when your plan has you run 30 minutes straight with no walk breaks and you will do it!  And you will freak out and feel awesome.  Then you will want to go longer and do more.  Just be patient.

10.  Describe your relationship with running in one word?

Surprising.

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Why do you run?  How are you planning to celebrate National Running Day?

Be sure to visit the other blogs in the link up and share your love for running!

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?

Wish List Wednesday – Races Edition

There are so many fun races out there.  When I started to really get into this, I kept finding races I wanted to do.  Usually the initial attraction was awesome bling, but for the most part, these just look like fun races.  What’s keeping me from signing up for these races?  Well for starters – most are half marathons, I’m not there yet.  Then we have geography, cost, and not enough weekends in the year, etc.

So without further ado, my race wish list.

Nike Women’s Half Marathon – this is held in DC and San Francisco every year and they give out a Tiffany necklace at the end, what’s not to love?

Disney Princess Half Marathon (well any runDisney event really) – I have a vision of me running this particular one in a Sophia the First costume in honor of my daughter Charlotte (she loves her some Sophia).  I have a feeling though, that by the time we actually get down to Disney World to do this, I’ll be ready to do the Glass Slipper Challenge (the Enchanted 10K and the Princess Half) AND Charlotte will be over Sophia.

Beat the Blerch 10K/half/full – 2014 is the inaugural year of this race created by the creator of The Oatmeal out in Washington state. (If you haven’t read any of the Blerch, do it now, you won’t regret it) They have birthday cake and nutella at the aid stations!  There are requests for a virtual option – so if there is any chance of me getting a medal in the shape of the Blerch, I’m in.

Dreaded Druid Hills 10K – this is a race local to me, but as you can see from it’s name, it’s scary.  Why would this appeal to me at all?  For the challenge – definitely something I’ll consider for next year after I get more hilly miles under my belt.

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler – this is held in DC during Cherry Blossom time.  I just think it would be a beautiful race

Hot Chocolate 15K/5K – running and chocolate?  Not sure if this is a winning combo or not, but I’ll give it a go.  The closest one that have to me is in Philly.

A Christmas Story Run 5K/10K – this race is held in Cleveland in December near the Christmas Story house.  I actually travel to Cleveland for work frequently and I considered extending a trip to run this race.  Then I think December + Cleveland = Not Such a Great Idea.  They do have a virtual option and the bling is pretty cool – so maybe I can arrange this one at home with a group of friends.

Frederick Half Marathon – I grew up in Frederick, so being able to run a half in my hometown is kinda cool.  Frederick has a really cute downtown and it was a great place to grow up, even if I didn’t think so at the time.  They were my first 5K this year and next year I definitely plan to do the half.  I’m thinking that I might also sign up for the 5K the night before and earn the Nut Job medal.

Baltimore Half Marathon – um this isn’t so much a wish anymore as I signed up for this race this fall!  I start training next week with the Charm City Run training group and I’m super stoked!  What could be on my wish list for 2015 though is running both the Frederick Half & the Baltimore Half to get the Maryland Double medal.

 

What races are on your wish list?  Are they on the wish list because they are a goal race or just a fun race that isn’t easy to get to?  If you could run anywhere in the world, where would it be?