This past weekend was absolutely GORGEOUS in Baltimore. It was the most perfect weekend for so much copious amounts of outdoor time, which I had tons of! This was a crazy busy weekend – it was Johns Hopkins’ Alumni Weekend/Homecoming and the Sole of the City 10k – but it was tons of fun.
On Friday, husband and I started out Alumni Weekend with lunch in one of the dining halls, followed by several panel discussions/lectures, on topics from bioethics to the state of American cities, to American foreign policy on Iran. We did, however, skip one lecture on individualized healthcare… we were both interested in it, but we stepped outside just before it and it was just too damn perfect to be sitting inside, so we played hookie and wandered around campus for two hours instead 🙂
If you’ve never been to the main Hopkins campus, also known as Homewood, you absolutely must visit – it’s such a perfectly classic east coast campus, made even more beautiful by the fact that everything was just starting to bloom. Unfortunately I only attended classes on this campus once, as a visiting undergrad, but I always found reasons to come here as a JHU grad student. After our last lecture, we had the Bull and Oyster Roast, where I broke my first and second cardinal rules of pre-race meals – I ate a TON (including two servings of dessert…) and had wine. I knew what I was doing, and chose to accept the risk, because it was alumni weekend and totally worth it.
Saturday morning was the 3rd annual Sole of the City 10k. The race was run this year to benefit the Erika Brannock Fund. For those who don’t know, Erika is a local teacher who lost both of her legs in last year’s Boston Marathon bombing. She’s been a mainstay of Baltimore races over this last year. Last time I saw her, she was in a wheelchair at the Baltimore Marathon – this weekend, she was standing on her own.
Last year I had a great showing at this race, totally surprising myself. I had had plenty of time to run outside, including a long run of 8 miles, and ran tons of hills. This year, well, not so much. I hadn’t run more than 3 miles outside since August, despite doing 11 miles inside, and haven’t run hills at all. I had limited expectations going into the race – I really just wanted to have a good time and not get injured. I accomplished both of those goals, so I can’t be too unhappy.
I ended up going out a bit too quick in the first mile, and then the heat (yes, heat) kicked me. Who knew 65 could feel so damn hot?? I stopped more frequently than I would have liked because I kept getting dizzy and felt like I was starting to overheat. Mile 1 and 2 were pretty good though, while mile and 3 and 4 were okay. Whenever shade hit the course I’d pop over there, but I kept walking more and more often as the miles wore on. Mile 5 was hard, and by mile 6+, I really just wanted to get done. I ended up finishing in 1:16:16, 5 1/2 minutes behind last year’s pace. It’s in line with my 6 mile training runs, so I can’t complain too too much, but I was kinda bummed with my time. The course was different this year, so the comparison isn’t exact, but it gives you a rough idea of my breakdown from year to year.
I wasn’t too far off from my times last year until I hit mile 5 and 6. I still got 5 miles in in under an hour, which is a big goal of mine for this year’s Celtic Solstice 5 Miler, so I am pretty pleased with that.
After the race we raced home to shower and change so we could get back to Hopkins for the Homecoming lacrosse game! 9th-ranked JHU was hosting the 4th-ranked University of Maryland for the 111th time. It was a great game in front of a sell-out crowd. JHU scored early and often, beating UMD 11-6! JHU is now 70-40-1 all-time against UMD. The game (and alumni weekend) was even attended by notable JHU alumnus Michael Bloomberg and Hopkins fan Bill Belichick.
All in all it was a great weekend! 😀 Can’t wait until my next Alumni Weekend in June… 😎