After last year’s debacle with the course being .2 short, I honestly hadn’t planned on running BWC this year. I enjoy the race, but the organization last year left a bit to be desired. But, when my mom expressed interest in doing the BWC training group this year, I decided to give them another go.
The race has been taken over by Charm City Run this year and they usually put on awesome races. After 8 weeks of training, yesterday was race day. We really could not have asked for a more perfect day. It was in the low 70s, overcast during the race, and the humidity was low. The only snag in the day was that the highway into the city was closed for construction, so we took the “scenic” tour into the city. To allow for potential delays, we left super early, which meant we ended up with lots of time to kill in the race village.
The village seemed a bit smaller this year than normal, but then we walked across the grass and think we figured out why – it was a giant mud pit (impromptu mud run!). As always, the portapots were plentiful and smelled like roses. Okay, not really. But for portapots they were damn nice and there was basically no wait.
Before the race began they had the usual ceremonial stuff, including the National Anthem (great singer this year) and the group jazzercise warm-up (thanks but no thanks – the music was great though). I got in a quick warm-up, running up and down Key Highway, then made sure my mom was situated for her first 5k, took my place, and we were off. It really did all happen that quickly. Odd, but nice to not have to stand around forevvvvvvvvver waiting to start.
Like last week, I decided to run with the metronome set to 170 bpm. It was a bit hard to hear, especially with all the noise and commotion of the beginning, so I ended up running with the phone in the water bottle up to my ear a bit. I’m sure I looked bizarre, but I’m okay with that.
The first half to three quarters of a mile runs along a road with raised medians and curbs made out of cobblestone (hello, twisted ankle) – because it was so crowded I ended up running on the sidewalk a bit until I could safely get back into the pack. About 3/4 of a mile in, though, there’s a hill that lasts about 2 blocks – guaranteed to thin the pack out every time. I take no guilt in enjoying that because when I ran BWC two years ago, I was one of the flies dropping early on that hill; last year and this year, however, I powered on up it past everyone else. At this point it became a lot easier to hear the metronome and I settled into a pretty good rhythm for the rest of the race.
The course support was fantastic, and before I knew it, I had passed mile 1 and then mile 2. The last mile-ish repeats the starting line area and then veers off onto the Promenade, a (mostly) brick-paved walking path that encircles the entire Inner Harbor. I love running along the Promenade, but my legs hate how hard brick is. Just as I was about to turn off of Key Highway to enter the Promenade, I saw a woman who had tripped on the curb – a few other women and I stopped to help her up, and when she got back to her feet she looked really wobbly and seemed to have trouble getting her balance and moving again, so a few of us tried to get up upright and stable before moving on with our race. I didn’t see her in the race village afterwards, so hopefully she’s okay.
Before I knew it, I had reached the Rusty Scupper and was at the finish line! My primary goal for every race this year is to not get injured. Check! My secondary goal for this race was to PR. Check! My tertiary goal was the come in under 34:00. Check! My the-stars-are-all-aligned goal was under 32:00. Well, technically I didn’t hit this one, but that was only because I stopped to help a woman in need. If I possessed the ability to be a heartless bitch, I would have. I finished in 32:02, which is damn close enough for me! No matter how you look at it, I PRed by 2 minutes and 31 seconds – just three months after my last PR – and am very proud of myself for this. Now I just have to find a good, flat fall 5k to sign up for to officially beat the 32:00 barrier. 😉
In the finisher’s chute, all runners get water, a cold, wet towel, a medal, and a rose. Waiting for us just beyond that is the food trough – whole bagels from Panera (yum!), Nurti-grain bars, bags of pretzels, bananas, and cold watermelon. I got my share of these items (plus a bagel for my mom, in case the food was picked clean by the time she finished – I’ve been a back-of-the-packer, I know how it can be…) and then visited my training group’s tent, where they had MORE food for us! I got a smidgeon of a cinnamon crunch bagel from Panera and some OJ – an odd combo, but really satisfying. Most of our coaches were there as well and all were eager to hear about how the race went for us.
I scarfed down my bagel smidgeon, my OJ, and some water, and then my dad and I walked over to wait for my mom to cross the finish line. Her primary goal was to finish in under an hour, which she easily did! She finished in 52:28! The first time I “ran” a 5k (at age 23, mind you) it took me over 45 minutes, so I think she had a great first showing.
After the awards ceremony they had all of the mother-daughter teams come up on stage for a group shot, something I’ve always secretly wanted to be able to do. Somehow we ended up smack-dab in the middle of the group 🙂
(my dad’s attempt at a selfie)
After the race I got on social media to brag about my accomplishment to the world (cuz you know if you don’t, it never happened. duh.) and I noticed I suddenly had a lot of notifications on twitter – so I investigated and OMG BART YASSO MENTIONED ME IN A TWEET!!
Sorry, amazing PR, you’re now the second most awesome thing to happen to me yesterday.
This week is going to be another easy week – I’m going to let my legs recover and get my achy hip under control so I can be good and ready for the Dreaded Druid Hills on Saturday!! I fully admit I am undertrained for this one, but I’m going to go have an awesome time any way. I just found out my good friend Lauren is going to be running it with me, as well as other woman I know, so it’s going to be a blast regardless. I’m fully anticipating an ice bath in my future, but that’s okay. All the in the name of fun 🙂