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The long road to 26.2


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Race Report: Frederick Half Marathon

It’s hard to believe that it’s May and this is only my first race of the year! I had toyed around with the idea of an early-spring race, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Plus, running on the brick promenade downtown back in the beginning of March irritated my hamstring tendinosis from last summer and sidelined me for a while. (Remember how I’ve complained about running on brick in the past? Yeah, I think I’ve finally learned my lesson – just 6 miles did me in this time. No more running on brick for me!) I ended up taking 12 days off completed at the beginning of April before going back to PT and slowly coming back. Before this race I hadn’t run hills in over a month; I wasn’t sure what to expect at all. When I originally signed up for Frederick, I had hoped to PR, but with the hiccups in March and April I put that goal aside; simply finishing and not being injured would have to be enough for me. After all, I have a long summer of marathon training to think about!

Two of the three women I regularly train with also ran Frederick with me – it made for a fabulous girls’ weekend! (though we certainly missed Jennie!) We met up Saturday afternoon and drove out to Frederick to get our packets and check in to our hotel, which was surprisingly nice. We were going to go to Olive Garden for dinner, but at 4:30pm there was a 40 minute wait! So we scoured Yelp to find the next best, safe option (e.g. no Mexican, cheap, or unknown restaurants) and settled on the ever-enthralling Carrabba’s on the other side of town. We got a table right away and immediately preceded to disappoint the waiter by ordering water, bland-ish pasta, and no wine or dessert. Afterwards we ran a few last-minute errands and went back to the hotel to watch the Kentucky Derby (we’re all from horse country), chat, laugh, and go to bed ridiculously early.

The last time I ran Frederick was 2009 – it was my first half – and my biggest memory from that race? The insane traffic to get parking. It was so bad Aaron and I had to bail out of my dad’s car just to get to the start on time while he and my mom dealt with parking. Intent on not repeating that, and much to the chagrin of the girls, I made us get up at 4:00am to leave by 5:15am. On the bright side, though, we got to park right next to the start and finish line! We sat in the car singing and dancing to Taylor Swift songs and enjoying the heated seats on a chilly, damp (but sunny!!) morning. It was seriously the first time we had seen the sun for more than a few minutes in almost two weeks…

Around 6:00am we made our way over to the start-line area to take care of pre-race business and get warmed up. Despite the 4,000 participants and all their supporters, the start area was very efficient and not at all crowded. We were able to take our places just a few minutes before go time without a problem.

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The incomparable Sid Busch, running in honor of fallen hero SSGT Gary John Homuth USAF, started us off, along with the Athletes Serving Athletes folks, and then we all followed!

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Photo courtesy of Dave Gell, Corrigan Sports (Facebook)

The course was fair bit different than the last time I ran it, but was well laid-out; it was crowded but not packed for the first couple of miles as we wound past the minor league stadium and down towards main street. Even at 54 degrees it was so humid that by mile 2, just as I passed Sid, I had sweat pouring down my neck. I even turned to the girls and said that I was already looking forward to my post-race shower!

We went out a bit faster than intended in the first few miles, but none of us could seem to hold back. As the group’s pacer I kept trying to pull us back, but it never really stuck. I was a little concerned with this, as I prefer to be a bit conservative in the early miles, but the pace didn’t feel so rushed that I was terribly concerned.

A fair bit of the middle of the course took us through some really nice residential neighborhoods (I had no idea there were such cute houses in Frederick!). Somewhere around mile 6 Rebecca began to fall off the pace; Tracy and I kept trying to keep an eye on her, but we lost her a little while later.

By the time we worked out way into Hood College the humidity had lifted and the sun was out in full force. This, combined with the quick pace in the early miles, was beginning to take a bit of a toll on me; perceived effort was definitely creeping up with each passing mile. Admittedly, I did end up having to take a few short walk breaks in the later miles, which disappointed me, but considering that the last two months of training had been less than ideal, I tried not to beat myself up too much and just keep going. Thankfully, it was also around this time that the wind began to pick up substantially.

The absolute worst part of this course awaited us at the end. Wide open road, no shade, full sun, an out-and-back, and then a hill. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love hills, but this was just brutal. It wasn’t a big hill, just a long, relentless hill. I wanted to stop and walk more than a few times, but walking wouldn’t have made it better, so I kept going. Tracy did her best to keep me going, but after a while I just needed quiet. It took a lot of focus to keep going that last half mile or so, and even when we finally turned onto the track at the fairgrounds, the finish still seemed so far away. But walking wasn’t an option, so I just kept moving my feet forward.

It seemed to take an inordinate amount of time to get around that track, but we finally made it – in record time! I was stunned to look at my Garmin and see that I had PRed by a minute and seventeen seconds! Woohoo!!

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We made our way to the finishers’ village to get our water and food (but no space blankets! wtf!) and wait near the finish line for Rebecca. Unfortunately I missed seeing her finish because I got dizzy and decided to lay down with my legs up on the fence. 😦 She had a bit of a rough race, and was (I think) being unfairly hard on herself, but Tracy and I did our best to try to console her.

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We didn’t stick around too long – I was starting to get chilled from the wind and I think Rebecca just wanted to get back to the room – but the celebration village seemed really great. The only downside (other than the lack of space blankets)? The beer line was 45 minutes long. Now I don’t normally drink beer, but there was one that I wanted to try because it sounded like something I’d actually like (Harpoon UFO White – I went out and got some after I got home and it turns out I do actually like it).

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Thanks for the great photo, Coach Dawn!

All in all it was a really great weekend! I got a new PR and had a blast with the girls, something I think all three of us needed!

I got a massage this evening and am taking a much-needed week off (I have been training since mid-December!) and then working on some easy mileage/cross training taking me in to marathon training (and preparing for my first coaching gig!!) at the end of June!

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Race Report: Y Turkey Trot

Hello again! I’ve been very quiet lately, but I’ve been keeping up with my running a bit. Every weekend but one since the marathon I’ve been meeting up with some of my summer training partners for an easy 5 mile run, and I’m finally starting to get back into the cross training and strength.

With yesterday being Thanksgiving, that obviously meant one thing – Turkey Trot time! Again this year I ran the local YMCA’s 5k, which my father’s Rotary club sponsored. My mom was going to run it with me this year, but her running was so badass this summer that she ended up on crutches. 😣

It was a rather perfect morning for a race – sunny and chilly but still warm for the season.

Having been in long-distance mode for a while, I wasn’t sure what to expect for this race. I wanted to go for a PR, but realize I haven’t run fast in a while and I was still unsure as to how my knee would react to the quick pace. But, I had nothing to lose for trying!

I lined up pretty close to the beginning again this year, to hopefully avoid many of the walkers, and I think I did a pretty good job with it!

There was a bit of bobbing and weaving, but all in all it wasn’t too bad. I was more concerned about not tripping on the potholes than dodging other runners/walkers. The majority of the first mile is downhill. Normally downhills aren’t exactly my forte, but I had an awesome first mile – 8:33! Whoa! Well, I may have uttered another four letter word, but you know…

Nearly all of the second mile is uphill. There’s one big hill with the rest just a steady, slight uphill – just enough to remind me that it’s been a while since I last ran hills! 9:22.

I was getting a little tired and overheated by the third mile, but I reminded myself that I just ran 26.2 miles a few weeks ago – I can definitely suck it up for one more hard mile! 9:10.

The last bit of the course brought us back around the to the beginning of the course and back into the Y’s campus for an easy finish.

I had hoped for a PR, but like I mentioned earlier, wasn’t too set on it. So imagine my surprise when I looked at my Garmin and saw 28:10!! Ahhh!!!

You know what was even better? Seeing the official results printout inside the gym – and seeing 28:07 next to my name!!!! Woo!!! I truly didn’t think I had that in me. I would’ve been thrilled with 29:xx.

I finished 464 out of 2512 and 36th in my age group (out of 263). Holy moley!

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I’d say it was a good way to start off the holiday!

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you run a Turkey Trot? Or just get out for a few miles on your own? 

 


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Race Report: Oldfields School Half Marathon, Powered by Back on My Feet

Late last year I decided that I wasn’t going to run any early spring races – a wonky winter can totally throw your training off and I had bigger goals for the year. Well, that all went out the door when I heard that Back on My Feet was hosting a half marathon at the end of March. 🙂

When you think of running in the end of March, you think of warm(ish) weather, daffodils, sun, and birds chirping, right? Ha! Nice try. I woke up to snow. Snow! The meteorologist on the morning news assured her viewers it would only be intermittent and pass pretty quickly. Ha! Right.

Knowing it was going to be a cold race, I wore the same kit that I wore for the Father Time Frolic on New Year’s Day, as the temperatures were forecasted to be pretty similar.

Yeah, I don’t care what the thermostat said – it felt way colder than the New Year’s Day race. It was a damp, bone chilling 32 with snow and about a 10-15 mph wind. Even standing around the snow blew right into your eyes and the wind just cut right through whatever you were wearing.

I got there pretty early and only left my car for the portapot and the BOMF pre-race circle.

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The race started at 8:30, and I finally crawled out of my car at about 8:20 to do some quick dynamic flexibility warmups, run a quick bit to see how everything felt, and then joined my friends at the starting line. One of the women from my summer and winter training groups was there, as was an old friend of mine from high school.

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It was as cold as we all look.

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The first .63 mi of the race was downhill, from the school to the trail. In an effort to warm up and keep up with my high school friend, I (surprise, surprise) went out a bit too fast. My first mile was 9:15, and the second wasn’t too much slower. At around 1.5 miles I decided to try and pull back the pace, but I had a really hard time with pacing for some reason. I honestly don’t know if it’s from the cold or from the wonky winter training season, but I just couldn’t get it under control. It didn’t matter if I went by feel or by Garmin.

We passed by the first relay point at about 3.3 miles – and surprisingly there was a really big crowd! That was a much needed mental boost. The rest of the outbound trip was pretty quiet, as there’s really no where for spectators to stand, but I was well with the pack. The leaders started passing back on their return trip somewhere around mile 5. En route I managed to tie my 5k PR and set a new unofficial 5 mile PR (48:42). Awesome, but not good. This wasn’t a short race.

I hit the turn around point, which was a cone with ridiculously, but much welcomed, large smily face ballon in about 1:03:45 – which kinda shocked me. I’m not sure what happened at this point, but I kind of got into a dark place. My achilles was starting to hurt, my piriformis, which I admittedly have gotten lazy about, was tightening up, and my legs were just feeling heavy. And I was cold. Really cold.

As I watched my pace plummet on my Garmin, that place just got darker. I stopped to stretch two or three times, walked through the remaining water stops, and watched as the pack in front of me got thinner and thinner; and then I got passed, by more than a few people. I presume some of them were relay runners, fresher than I, gunning to get to the exchange, but the sting is still the same. The wind never ceased, the snow kept falling, and it felt like the temperatures were mimicking my pace. I high-fived the racers that were still heading out to the turn-around, but I’m not sure if I was doing that more for them or for me.

I had hoped to see a big crowd again at the relay exchange point, to get that little bolt of energy, but it was pretty quiet. Not that I can blame them – it was #$)@(ing cold. I wouldn’t want to stand around either.

The last 3.3 miles were very quiet. The snow had started to lay on the adjacent fields, and parts of the trail, which had been perfectly clear just an hour or two ago, were now covered. I tried to take a picture, but even my phone gave up – the cold sapped the battery and I was left with a shiny paperweight.

It turned out to be a good and a bad thing that I knew this part of the trail well. Good, because I knew where I was and how much further I had to go. Bad, because I knew where I was and how much further I had to go. But being this close, I couldn’t let that dark place bully me in to slowing down.

In order to distract myself I kept taking sips of water, “in preparation for the hill.” Yeah. That hill that I sped down at the beginning? It’s an out-and-back course.

As I got closer, I could see the other smily-faced balloon bobbing in the wind like some deranged bobblehead, telling me it was time to climb the hill. I swung wide and transitioned from packed stone to pavement, reminding myself that there was only .63 mi to go. Trying not to look too far ahead, I focused on the snowdrops which were blooming next to the road – the only sign that spring might actually still consider happening. As I slowed down, the cold only got more pronounced, so I tried to push harder and faster, making an extra effort to run the tangents, just to get to the finish sooner.

When I came upon the last bend in the road, I could hear the crowd at the finish line cheering people through and I kicked it into over drive. It didn’t matter how much my achilles, my piriformis, or my pride hurt, the finish line was mine. As I turned the corner and hit that slight downhill, I broke out into a sprint – and then I was done.

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I didn’t even stop when I crossed the line – I made a beeline for my car, where fresh clothes and a warm second layer awaited. Once dressed for the weather, I went back to the finish area, grabbed some food and drink and chatted for a bit before heading home with dreams of a blisteringly hot shower dancing in my head.

The less-than-stellar winter training definitely took a toll on a few of us, but we had our first half of the year in the books, a good baseline for the rest of the year.

I should be much more ecstatic than I am. I got an awesome new PR – 2:11:21, officially – but for some reason I just feel kind of deflated. That feeling from the second half of the race just took over the joy of the PR. Even today, I just can’t shake it and still don’t feel pride in the PR.


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Race Recap: YMCA Turkey Trot (and Thanksgiving)

Although I decided to sit out the Philly Half this past Sunday, this week wasn’t a total loss running-wise. Last week I was given the opportunity to run in the YMCA’s annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot on a complementary entry from a local chapter of Rotary International, one of the race’s sponsors, and I jumped as soon as I heard about it.

I haven’t run a Turkey Trot since 2008, when I ran at one of the YMCA’s other locations. Unlike that one, which began in a parking lot, this one began and ended at the Y, which has a really nice facility – meaning we got to wait around inside rather than outside. My dad is a Rotary member and was manning their table, so we got there super early, making the warm, indoor facilities all that much more appreciated!

I wasn’t terribly impressed with the last Turkey Trot I did (which is why I hadn’t come back since), but this one was so much better – nice, warm facilities, food and drink before and after the race, a great course, and just a really good atmosphere. There were about 2,500 participants, roughly 1,300 of which were in the timed race. Having been out of commission for the last 5 weeks I had no goals going into this – I just wanted to have a good time and not re-injure myself. I started uncharacteristically close to the beginning, mainly out of an attempt to avoid strollers and little kids.

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The first mile was flat-to-downhill and a number of people whizzed past me while I just ran my own race. Of course, I was passing many of them, walking or whining that they were tired (mostly kids, but surprisingly not exclusively…), by the time we hit 1/4 mile. The downhill portion was one of the steeper downhills I’ve run and was covered in wet leaves, so I focused on keeping my footing, which helped the mile fly by. I didn’t know it at the time, but I maintained a 9:43 pace for the first mile.

The second mile was a long, slow uphill. I knew I wasn’t going to be as strong on it as I would’ve been a month or two ago, but I pushed through it, knocking off more and more participants. I did have to stop and walk for less than a .1 mile at one point because my lungs were beginning to hurt (they haven’t had time to acclimate to the cold, dry air), but other than that I ran the whole race. I lost approximately 25-30 seconds by walking, finishing mile 2 in 10:35. Mile three was rolling hills to a slight downhill finish.

Just about a 1/4 mile before the end I got a sharp side stitch, but there was no way I was going to walk then. I rounded the corner and was shocked to see the finish clock: NEW PR!! Not too shabby for having been injured and not running for over a month. My official time was 31:27.6. 🙂

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After the race I got myself half a bagel with cream cheese and some water and hung around for the awards ceremony before making our way home.

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Because they had been calling for up to 4-8″ of wet, heavy snow on Wednesday afternoon/evening, my mom and I cooked the turkey (based on this recipe) and roasted potatoes on Wednesday. We didn’t want a repeat of the turkey power-outtage incident from a few years ago! (We had the bird in the oven when the power went out. When it didn’t come back on we loaded the turkey, in it’s roasting pan, into the back of my car and drove it 40 minutes to my friend’s apartment downtown, only to find out after almost 2 hours of cooking that her oven wasn’t getting hot enough to actually cook it. We then reloaded the bird back into my car and went home after getting word that our power had returned). Luckily, the forecast was off and we only got about 2″ of snow, most of which melted as it laid on the ground. We had some crab dip and brie for appetizers, then reheated the turkey and potatoes and cooked everything else.

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It was just me and my parents, so it was a very low-key, but very good, dinner.

It seems like nearly everyone ran a turkey trot yesterday – so how did yours go? How was your Thanksgiving?
I hope everyone had an enjoyable, happy Thanksgiving!! 


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Too Hot to Trot 10k – Race Report!

I was supposed to work out tonight but honestly, I just don’t feel like it. Usually it’s best just to push through and work out anyway, but I know it’s just going to lead to frustration tonight. Sometimes you just have to count your losses and move on.

However, I refuse to be totally useless tonight, so I will at least update my blog 🙂 

I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures – I’m no longer taking my phone with me on races and accompanied long runs as it’s just added weight on my wrist. 

Yesterday was the Too Hot to Trot 10k race, a low-key race held by the local Road Runners club. As it’s always held in mid-August in the mid-Atlantic, the name is usually pretty apt, but yesterday was anything but too hot to trot! It was quite chilly – 59, actually. My first goal going into this race was to not aggravate my hip or leg. Second was to PR in some capacity. Third was sub-1:07:00.

The day didn’t start out well. Even though my mom was super kind and let me sleep in their room, the quiet room in the house, I slept horribly because the neighbor’s kids had a party in which several high schoolers insisted on yelling in the street about how much beer they still had to drink, in the way that only pathetic drunks do. Classy, folks, real classy.  

Then I woke up with a stomach that refused to play nice. Eventually though I got myself out the door and my stomach settled down once I got some power bar chews in me. Registration was held the morning of the race and cost a whopping $2! If only all races could be that cheap.

I’m still not used to going to races by myself – my ex went with me to every single one until we separated – but I ran in to some people I knew, so it made me feel much more comfortable.

The race, which is an out and back, is held on the local rail trail, about a ¼ mile walk along a country road from the registration site. The walk was a nice warm up, although it didn’t really warm me up much. Shortly after I got there we lined up, had a quick schpeal from the race director, and we were off! I pity the biker coming north on the trail towards that tidal wave of runners….

I started out slow, knowing that my legs were still a bit cold, but settled into a comfortable pace about 1/4 mile out once the crowd had dispersed a bit and pretty much held with the same group of people near me most of the way. I am trying to get out of the habit of looking at my Garmin while running, but snuck and peak and was quite happy with the pace I was holding – low 10s.

Mile 1 came in just over 10:00, and feeling pretty confident, I went into cruise mode to take advantage of the slight downhill. Mile 2 came around and – whoa! – 9:49! “Uh oh, don’t get overly confident now, this is a 10k, not a 5k.” I slowly passed a 10 year old who was certainly holding his own.

Before I knew it we were at the big open bridge, which meant the turnaround was just up ahead. I snuck a look at my Garmin and pushed ahead, trying to see if I could break a 30:00 5k. I passed another woman just as the turn around came into view. Apparently the woman now in front of me had the same idea, because I could hear her yell out “argh!” just as my Garmin ticked over the 30:00 – and the turnaround was still a couple yards away. I made it to the turn around in 30:30 – a damn impressive PR for me, nonetheless!

Knowing the second half was slightly uphill, I expected my times to slow a few seconds, but allowed myself to think about my dream PR – 1:02:xx. Pushing back up towards the big open bridge I ran along side, and then slowly passed, a woman who had to be in her 70s – I hope I still move that fast when I’m her age! – and settled in behind a woman in a pink tank. Mile 4 was a bit slower, but the woman in the pink tank and I got back into a rhythm for mile 5. I almost passed her at one point, running along side her, but I think she just used that as fodder to push harder, so I fell back a few steps behind her. I hit 5 miles in 48:47, an “official” race PR by nearly 12 minutes, and 5 minutes faster than anything I have done in training this season.

The last mile was here and we both kept the tempo going, getting slightly but noticeably quicker as the finish line got closer. By 5.5 miles she had picked up the pace just a bit more than I could and stayed about 30 feet ahead of me.

At 6 miles I checked my Garmin one last time and pushed the pace into uncomfortable territory – the unheard of goal was sitting there, teasing me. 60 minutes.

I coaxed my legs into upping the cadence just a bit, but at 6.1 my hip pulled rank and I had to pull the pack back briefly. As I came around the bend though, I could hear the finish line and began pushing again – and then I saw the finish line. The clock was just coming up to 1 hour. But I was just a bit too far away. I took a deep breath and gave it all I got, telling my hip to shut up for just a few more seconds on the condition that it could yell at me all it wanted to later. As I crossed the line, I looked up to the official clock on the side of the trail and smiled.

1:00:30.

I have no idea how I did it. I would have been ecstatic with 1:06:xx. But 1 hour?!? Wow. Just wow. I still don’t think that has sunk in yet. 

It was just last week that I had my first long run miles in sub-10:00 territory, and today I managed a race pace of 9:45. Unreal.

After the race I had a quick snack and caught up with one of my half marathon training partners and met some of his friends and then caught up with an old friend of mine from high school, who was there with her toddler, still in her jammies, in the running stroller.

I saw some people on the side and thought they were smoking, which kinda peeved me a bit – but then I realized, they weren’t smoking. They were steaming! It was so cold, and they were so hot from running, that they were steaming sitting there.

We all hung around for the awards and then called it a day – it was just getting too chilly to hang around much longer. 

All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better morning.

Although the amazingly delicious Lebanese dinner my mom and I had downtown last night was an equally perfect way to end the day 😉


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Race Report: Baltimore Women’s Classic 5k 2014

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.

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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. 😉

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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.

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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.

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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 🙂

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Photo Jun 22, 9 15 54 AM

Photo Jun 22, 9 15 59 AM

(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!!

Photo Jun 22, 9 56 37 AM

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 🙂


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Weekly Wrapup

This week was another light week. Our Tuesday track session was cancelled due to thunderstorms. I feel kinda bad – earlier that day, because it was so ungodly hot and humid, I joked that it would be perfect if we got a cloudburst while we were in the middle of the workout to help cool us down. Well, we did. It came in just as we were gathering for our pre-workout powwow. It was cloudy, and then all of a sudden our coach was like “it’s down pouring right over there” – and then not ten seconds later it was down pouring right over us. Like a biblical-style downpour. So we all huddled under the bleachers until we heard thunder, and then ran back to our cars as quickly as possible (although a nice woman from our group gave my mom and I a ride back to our car so we didn’t have to sprint 3/4 of a mile huddled under our teeny, broken umbrella).

I woke up was startled awake Saturday morning by my mom, after getting maybe 4 hours of sleep (I’m looking at you, insomnia). We had agreed to walk the dogs early so she could get in her workout, which would double as my extended warm-up, and then I’d head out for my run. I eventually dragged my exhausted self out the door and we got in a nice 2.53 mile walk , which pretty well exhausted the westies but just energized the Beast, who spent the rest of the day zooming around the house. After the horribly humid and rainy week we had, a storm rolled in Friday night and cleared the air – we really couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather for a walk/run. I seriously hope the next two weekends are this nice for my upcoming races.

Once my mom headed back home with all of the doggies, I went off for my run – in my new shoes (and new KT Tape)!! Woohooo! They’re just as marshmallowy as I remember my first pair of PureCadences feeling.

Photo Jun 14, 9 54 49 AM

Because of the new shoes, the addition of the KT tape, and the extended time off, I decided to keep my run shorter than I had planned, but to also try out something new-ish. When I was in PT, my therapist had me run on the Alter G with a metronome to keep my cadence quick and steady throughout the run – so I whipped out the metronome app on my phone, dialed it up to 170, and set off on my way. I tried to focus only on my pace, breathing, and mechanics, avoiding my Garmin whenever possible; however, I couldn’t help but notice that my pace was a fair bit quicker than normal. I was astonished when I hit the end of my 3.1 mile run – 31:51! I have NEVER run that fast!!

I am definitely going to be using this method again next week in my 5k race. I’m a bit concerned about the nuisance the metronome might be for other runners, but the way I figure, it just might help them reach a new PR too 😉 (“ahh! run away from that annoying woman!”) Eh, whatev. Plenty of people do far more irritating things during races. And it’s only a 5k – it’s not like someone else will have to listen to that for hours on end.

Later Saturday evening I went out to visit an old friend of mine who was in town for the weekend. Lauren and I have known each other since we were in 2nd grade and it was great to catch up. She lives in NYC, which while it’s close, is just far enough away that we really don’t see much of each other. It was a nice chill evening – she popped a bottle of wine, I brought over cannolis to celebrate my awesome run and her kicking ass in the Baltimore 10 Miler that morning – and we just drank and chatted all night. It’s funny how much things change over the years, but how much they really do stay the same.

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And of course, lest I forget – Happy Father’s Day to my daddy!! He detests cards, so this counts as the official non-card acknowledgement of fathers day 😉

Photo Mar 16, 9 03 44 PM