The Connection Runners + [training]

Philly Weekend/Baltimore Half Marathon Recap Part 2

When I left you I was standing at the starting line for the Baltimore Half Marathon. There were a ton of runners (somewhere around 11,000), but I was lucky to get in the first wave of them all. It was really neat to see and hear all of the elite runners stretching and chatting, a club I doubt I'll ever enter but is inspiring to be around!

After the national anthem we were off at exactly 9:45 AM. I heard a couple of guys chatting about their goal of running under 1:45 so I decided to keep near them if possible. The first few miles were great, I ran with the crowd and maintained a 7:30-7:40 pace until around the 10K mark. This was the first time I've run a race with a watch on, so I know that I crossed the 10K mark at 46:00. The race mostly ran through city neighborhoods in Baltimore, nothing special. There were a lot of people cheering on the side of the road near each mile marker, I definitely gave out a lot of high fives :).

The second half of the race started off with a pretty graded, long hill, around a mile long. I actually felt like I took the hill pretty well, must be Pittsburgh training! Every route I run has at least one big hill in it. My favorite part of the race by far came at the perfect time. I started feeling a little wiped after the long hill, and then we hit the lake. Lake Montebello is a beautiful lake that covered miles 7-8.5, and since the day was literally perfect running weather it was gorgeous.

I found time to play with my iPhone to distract myself from the fatigue.

Toward the end of the lake loop there was a station with gels and mini lara bars. I grabbed a Powerbar gel without looking, ripped it open, took a slurp and almost spit it out. I have an issue with certain textures (and fake chocolate flavor) and this one did not agree with me. Luckily a Gatorade station was nearby so I washed it away and threw the powergel in the trash. Some cute kids were handing out gummy bears in small cups so I grabbed some of those around mile 9. Saved my life, really.
Mile 10 was near my old stomping grounds, Johns Hopkins.

I still felt pretty good, no injuries or aches really glaring, just general race fatigue. Then mile 11 hit. I started to feel myself slow down. Mind you, I had gatorade at every drink station (there was one every 2 miles or so), but aside from the gummy bears there weren't any more gels that I saw. I was running out of energy but I willed myself to just keep going. I made it to mile 12 and really started hurting, I noticed my last few miles had slowed down to just under 8.

For a few minutes I felt like I wasn't going to be able to make my goal of under 1:45.

Then I saw my family- my mom, my dad, and my husband, around 1/4 mile from the finish line. When I saw them I started kicking it because I knew I was almost done.

That last 0.1 mile was absolute torture. Some expletives may have been uttered under my breath, but when I saw the finish line with the timer ticking up near 1:43, I pushed as hard as I could. I crossed the finish line in just under 1:43, beating my Pittsburgh half time by 37 seconds.

I'll take it.

Final stats:
Chip time: 1:42:54
Overall: 479th
Female: 112th
Age Group: 34th

Notes:
- I drank a yellow Gatorade at every water station (Every 2 miles) and a few waters here and there

-My outfit was actually perfect, the weather in the morning was slightly chilly so I had on my long sleeve pittsburgh half dri fit underneath a short sleeve target dri-fit. I rolled up the sleeves halfway through the race (and the yellow gatorade dribbling down the front blended in perfectly!).

-I'm from Baltimore, but I had no idea where I was running for most of the race. Oh well.

-This race was a lot louder than Pittsburgh. People were everywhere, even in the shadier neighborhoods people were yelling for the runners.

-My favorite sign read: "Who needs toenails anyway?" Truth.

-There were zombies around mile 9. Yes, threatening to "eat the slower runners."

-There were people dressed in tiger costumes dancing on top of a car near Hopkins and singing "Eye of the Tiger."

-I heard "Eye of the Tiger" at least 5 times during the race.

-I did not run with an iPod/music but I did carry my phone in my iphone arm sleeve to take pictures.

-My final pace was around 7:51/mile, but I was really proud of the first 6 miles as I kept a decently steady pace.

-I have a new half marathon PR!

The finish line "Celebration Village" near Ravens Stadium

After the race we hung out at the "Celebration Village" for a little bit after I regained my composure (and didn't pass out!). I kept walking around in circles trying not to stop moving, stretching all the while. My family found me pretty quickly, apparently they sprinted to the finish but didn't quite catch me ;). I headed over the the food tables and picked up a banana, protein drink, and half a bagel. I wasn't hungry at all so I only ate a few bites of the bagel and put the banana in my bag, but I did drink the protein/recovery drink.

It was chocolate Re-Gen, which was one of the race sponsors. It was actually really good as protein drinks go.
And then I saw exactly what I needed.

Mini pumpkin spice lattes. Heck yes.

So tired I could barely open my eyes

Love that medal.

Success.

To be continued... .