Tuesday, October 30, 2012

2012 Baltimore Running Festival

Overall the 2012 Baltimore Running Festival was pretty amazing! Huge success in my book! They've put this event on for several years and have worked out most of the kinks. I will take you through our experience:

Expo! The expo was held at the Raven's Stadium and was very well organized. We got there around lunchtime and there was a smooth flow of traffic. There were tons of freebies and vendors and we hardly had to wait in line to get our shirts. The race shirts were purple this year for the half-marathon. They are tech material Underarmour t-shirts and super lightweight. They had a women's cut (thank you AU!) that is pretty flattering with a wider neckline. I have since run in it a couple of times and it's overall pretty swanky.

outside the expo (near the finish line)

we got skills
Joel and I took it easy the rest of the day and found an Italian place in walking distance to carb load the night before the race. I had spinach gnocchi. So good!

Saturday! Race day!! I woke up ready to run! I get a tad excited on race day..esp if I have friends running with me! I woke Joel up with excitement (he wasn't quite as excited as I was) and we got ready to race! It was CHILLY out but there were no clouds. Thank goodness for drop-bags. We bundled up for the walk down, dropped our bags, and headed to the start line. I have to give them credit, the line for the drop bags was pretty efficient. The line was really long by the time we were done but I hear it moved quickly. And there were tons of porta potties. You can tell 2012 wasn't their first rodeo.

We got to the start of the half (it had it's own location due to the # of runners) and this is where my only complaint comes in to play. Coming from the drop-bag area (near finish line), we had to cross over the full marathoner's course. Our start was their halfway point, but we were separated for 3 miles and then converged until the finish. The marathoners started at 8am and we started at 9:45am. So many of the runners were coming through while we weaved through them to get to our start line. Thousands of half runners had to cut off the full runners. I would not have been pleased as a full runner. At any rate, that is my only complaint. 

We started in the 2nd wave and did lots of weaving in the beginning. After 3ish miles, the weaving was at a minimum but there were still plenty of people. The roads were wide with plenty of room to get around. The support on the race was serious! Water stops pretty much every mile after the first 2 or 3. They were well prepared! I somehow missed the powerbar station but had taken GU anyways...tends to treat me better.

The route was surprisingly hilly - long and gradual hills, but the community support was awesome! There were rarely times when people weren't on the sidelines cheering us on! Hands down, my favorite section of the race was through the hood. People were banging pots and pans together cheering us on! They showed some runner love in any way they could! 

I hit a bit of a wall around mile 7, slammed my GU and was back at it around mile 9. Joel was amazing and stayed with me the whole time. We ran his first half together...awwww. I was going to suggest holding hands when we crossed the finish line, but I was far too focused on my PR. Was not going to waste 10 seconds trying to get our hands together.

We pushed hard the last 1.5 miles and smashed my old time! Poor Joel had knee problems (which is why he slummed it to run with me) and suffered through the last few miles. But he hung in there and finished!! 

PR baby! Those are Joel's legs behind me

The after party was pretty well organized other than the food line. We somehow ended up waiting almost an hour to get food. I'm not really sure how that happened. We got 2 beer tickets and food and space blankets. There were food vendors and a band playing for entertainment afterwards. The metals were pretty great too! They were purple with Maryland crabs!


We found Lisa not long after we finished and partied it up with her for a while. This was her first half marathon and she rocked it!! All in all, I had an awesome experience and would gladly do this run again.

Joel, me, and Lisa! 
On a side note, my heart goes out to the NYC runners and coordinators for this weekend! Good luck to all!

My stats:
DistanceHALF MAR
Clock Time2:01:45
Chip Time1:54:36
Overall Place2124 / 10230
Gender Place744 / 5937
Division Place204 / 1434
Age Grade57.4%
5 8M0:51:35
6 9M1:01:25

Recap: week 13 of marathon training

Monday: "rest" day. I put this in quotes because all in one day, Ari ran into the woods at 6am....Joel had to call him back because the turd won't listen to me. I took him to the condo because I had plans to stay on that side of town for the night. I went home over lunch to let him out and found the following items destroyed: 1 granola bar, 5 puzzles, 2 dvd cases, 1 roll toilet paper, and 1 book (that I know of).

"asshole", as I affectionately referred to him for the rest of the day, put himself in his crate

Then, he got pink eye. Who knew dogs could get pink eye?? So I took him to the vet over lunch. He spent the rest of the day on a leash.
Tuesday: was sickly so I bailed on my 4 mile run. Took Ari to the park so he could run out the energy he was harnessing to destroy my house. He ran for 2 hours straight. Ah victory.

dog park at sunset

Wednesday: ran 5 with Ari at Melton Hill. Got bitched at by a walker that was scared of dogs because I had Ari off leash near the water. He was doing no harm so I kept running as if I heard nothing :)
Thursday: Ran 9 with JB. Good hilly run. Glad to have a buddy.
Friday: Pumpkin carving with Joel, Kara, and Bryan!

Joel's ghoul (for lack of a better term), Bryan and Kara's pumpkin ghost, and my Jack.

Saturday: ran 18 at Melton Hill. Ran through a mountain bike race (that Joel competed in so I stopped to say hello at mile 17) and some sort of crew competition. Wish I would have had my camera. There were people everywhere! Most of them were rude :(

tired puppies

Sunday: Volunteered at a 10 mile race...worked registration. Thank goodness we had a tent..those crazies ran in the cold rain! Then it was pack pack pack pack time.

found this gem while packing..it's a birthday card from my dear friend Lisa.
for the record, I'm in no way preggers

 And just for fun, I would like to give a preview of my hopefully marathon outfit. I haven't run in it yet so I'm not sure how it will do, hence hopefully, but I'm hoping for the best. Also..I clearly want my friends to be able to see me in the masses. The shirt is even brighter in person.

thanks Nike clearance 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Recap: week 12 of marathon training

This week was hard! I don't know if it is because I just finished a race or if was just a damn hard week for no reason.

Monday: flew back from Baltimore
Tuesday: 2 mile trail run in minimalist shoes - destroyed calves
Wednesday: 6ish mile run with JB - could hardly walk afterwards
Thursday: took day off because I had to hobble around
Friday: rest day again
Saturday: ran 16 miles!!! whew...it was rough. The weather was pretty perfect but I was hurting by 3 miles in. Thank goodness the audio book kept me occupied most of the way.

at least I had pretty scenery to look at

After the run, I got to hang out with old highschool/college friends who were back in town for the UT football game! So great to catch up! And not a single picture was taken. I blame that on the run.

Sunday: started packing for my big move! That's right..I'm moving. Same city, different house.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Recap: week 11 of marathon training

This week's recap is a little bit better told by picture. I was in taper mode because I ran the Baltimore Half Marathon with some friends over the weekend! So the actual running recap portion really only involves Sautrday. 

Ari "helping" me pack
I took my GRE on Thursday! Thank goodness that is over! Hopefully it's good enough to get me into the program I am interested in.

Friday we (Joel and I) flew into Baltimore for the race and to see my old college friend, Lisa. We were roommates once upon a time so we are real close. She took us straight to the expo to pick up our packets. This expo was impressive and well organized (more on this to come).

Lisa, Joel, and I hit the expo on Friday.
Baltimore ain't got nuthin' on our Runnin' Man

Saturday was race day!!! I'm pretty sure I drove Joel crazy. I'm a bit of a morning person - especially on race day. I get so excited when I know people running with me! It was Joel and Lisa's first half, so I was giddy for them! Long story short (I'll give the long in a full race recap), Joel had a bum knee and decided to hang back and run with me. My goal was to get under 2 hours. PR!! I would have been happy with anything 1:59:59 and under! So pumped!!


finishers with our crab medals!

The rest of the weekend was spent exploring Baltimore, riding water taxis, hanging out with Lisa and her man, and we got to see Joel's sister, her partner, and the baby!!

water taxi with the babay
Federal Hill Park
Washington Monument sunrise from the hotel window
I want to steal this baby
no more pictures, please
A full race/expo recap coming soon...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Recap: week 10 of marathon training

Week 10!!! We are in double digits baby!

Monday: Rest day
Tuesday: 4 mile trail run with JB at Haw Ridge
Wednesday: supposed to be an 8 mile run but only got in 6.5 before it got dark - was feeling really strong this day!
Thursday: 4 mile greenway run plus date night!

art on Third Creek Greenway 
Friday: Ari's third birthday!!! Took him to the park to celebrate in the perfect weather!


sweet boy is so happy on his b-day

birthday wouldn't be complete without some water
Saturday: 15 miles!!! Ran 15 miles in Maryville on the greenway. Felt really good most of the way. Averaged 10.05 per mile (this includes a walking break to slam a Gu and refilling my waterbottle at a fountain)! Happy with this! I also tried something new on this long run - listening to an audiobook. It was amazing!! I highly recommend it!

post-run: trying to capture the mist in my hair
ran last 6 miles in the rain

made it 15 miles alive

Sunday: Does studying for the GRE count as cross-training? Oh yeah, did I mention I'm attempting to go back to school??

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Recap: week 9 of marathon training

Not much to recap from week 9. The week got crazy and I had to cut one run short and missed another run. There was a 7 miler somewhere in the middle and 14 MILE RUN on the weekend!

Saturday I ran 14 miles. I did it nice and slow but felt pretty darn good the whole time. Had beautiful weather and nice scenery. That is the farthest I've ever run (I will probably say the same words for every weekend run from now until the marathon is over) and I'm pretty proud of myself.

When I got back to the car, I had a few texts waiting on me from my lovely boyfriend. He knows I'm kind of obsessed with dogshaming and Ari is trying his hardest to get on the blog. I came back from my run to this:

Ari hates Ann Taylor #dogshaming

The shame sign says "This is my payback when mom goes running and leaves me home". The turd broke into an Ann Taylor bag and ate the paper surrounding the clothes. Luckily, no clothes were harmed.