Friday, January 11, 2013

Baltimore Running Festival: Marathon Race Report

No run today, but I did sign up for the Brrrrooklyn 10K so I'm kind of committed to running it.  I thought I'd share my race report from Baltimore.

Marathon Day

October 13, 2012

woke up at 5:00 and ate my delicious Kaiser roll. I used the bathroom :) and waited around for an hour and a half before leaving the hotel at 6:35am.  I walked 1.4 miles to the start in the dark. It was kind of creepy, especially in the harbor where no one was around. The last half mile I met a guy from NJ who was running his first. He ran a 1:45 half and was hoping to finish around 4, but never ran further than 13 miles. Um, okay.

I got to Camden Yards at 7.  A couple of the race photographers were taking photos and I happily obliged. It is freezing. I sat next to a guy from Kentucky. This was his 7th marathon. He used to run 3:30s, but these days he's in the 4s. He signed up for the 4 hour pace group, but he thought that may be too much and instead will go out with the 4:15.  Of course, this gets me second guessing my decision to go out with the 4s.

Fifteen minutes until the start and it's getting really crowded. I look for the 4:00 Geico pace leader. I see the 3:50, a young kid who doesn't look too friendly. I see the 4:15 sign in the distance. I don't find the 4:00 group  for what seems like wAy too long. Finally, I see them. There are three leaders, an older Brit, another older guy who admitted to being the rapper in the BRF online video, and a perky woman. They're giving last minute directions, none of which I can hear except that the guy holding the sign will run off course and not to follow him. I'm glad I heard this.  The gun goes off and we hit the start mat about 50 seconds later.

 The pace leaders are very chatty. This is good because it's distracting and easy to keep track of them. Suddenly, Brit, right in front of me, casually warns, "Mind the rat."  I look down just in time to avoid a huge road kill rat.   Ew!!!!  The pacers are definitely not running even splits. At 3 miles I decide to run in front of them to get some space. I had my iPod on my head, but shut off so I can still hear them talking.

The first 5 miles are hilly, mile 3 is the steepest of the race. We go through the zoo. I discard my sweater. At mile 6 I am ready to pick up the pace.   I'm in a really good groove.  Two young guys next to me are talking about what time they'll hit the harbor. I ask them our pace and they say 8:30. I'm a little concerned this is too fast too soon. Back in the downtown area I hit a wall of people. I try to get around them. I realize that this is the 3:50 Geico pace group. I pass them. I still feel comfortable at my pace.   Mile 9 I see Pete and the kids. Mile 10 I hit around 1:25. We go around the Under Armor factory.  This is an out and back.  Mile 13 I see the kids again. They're holding a big sign that they made. I gave Sav and Santos a big hug. I notice this takes them by surprise. I see I hit the half marathon mark at 1:51 and change.

The half marathon start is next to us. There are over 15,000 runners and they are rarin' to go. I find their enthusiasm refreshing, instead of annoying.

I hit mile 16.  This is where our drive through from the day before started. This is also where it gets hilly again for ten miles. I chug along. My bones have been achy since mile 13 and I tell myself the hills are good because they're working different muscles.

We finally hit Lake Montebello and Mile 20!  I'm feeling tired, but not spent. I pick up the pace slightly.  This whole time I've been running to finish under 3:45, my goal.  I cannot bonk out this late in the game. Mile 22 I'm starting to visualize my 4 mile route at home. Mile 23 - only a 5k left, that's cake. Mile 24 the hills end and we start our descent. Mile 25 in the city and the crowds line the street. This gives me more adrenaline. I enter Camden Yards. There's a kid lying on the side of the road being tended to. I see the  finish line clock at 3:41 and can't believe it!  I am on Cloud 9.   Whoo hoo!  Boston, here I come!

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