Race Recap: Baltimore Half Marathon 2016

When planning out my Fall race schedule with the Marine Corps Marathon in mind, I knew the Baltimore Running Festival was a must again this year. Despite a race that didn’t go as planned last year, I loved the course and I knew I had to be back. This is how it went down this year.

Expo: I ran to and from the expo from my boyfriends place, making it a quick and easy experience. Within 15 minutes I had my bib, shirt, and another shirt I purchased. With only a quick glance at the expo it seemed to be alright. I was sad that Sweaty Bands wasn’t back, but my goal was to save my $$ for the MCM expo anyways.

Friday night: I missed being with my best friend and her aunt like last year (and many other races), however I had a nice night in with Jake. Pasta with meatballs and some wine were consumed, movies were watched, “Flat Sam” was prepared, and I was in bed around 11:30.


Goals: I kept it to myself, but aside from having fun, deep down I really wanted to beat my time from last year (2:24:47).

Pre-race: The race started at 9:45, just four blocks from Jake’s house (SO CONVENIENT). I planned to sleep until 8, however was up at 7 with super pre-race anxiety. I had my UCan and made my way to the race area around 8:45. I was happy to spend some time with my friend/coach before the November Project bounce. Seriously – a bounce was just what I needed to calm my nerves and get my pumped to run in my favorite city. I met up with another friend, Erin. I’m so glad I found her because being alone at such a big race made me anxious. We started together but split early on so I could do my run/walk intervals.

Miles 1-7: I started out doing 2:00/:30 intervals, which I did the entire race. I did a lot of weaving, and got stuck behind groups of people running together and at water stations, but nonetheless I felt great. The hills were long, but they didn’t kill me like they did last year. My paces averaged between 10:42 and 11:21, about what I typically run during the middle of my long runs. I reached Lake Montebello, which is a bit past half way and felt tired, but good.


Miles 8-13.XX – Things started to go awry once I left the Lake around mile 8.5. Really, if you look at my splits I didn’t slow down all that much, but everything felt hard. The hills, while not horrible, never ended. The sun was super warm and I could tell I wasn’t hydrating enough. Getting to the November Project cheer station at mile 9.5 kept me going. BOY did I need it when I got there and it fueled me for a good mile. I really struggled in the last mile and a half – going over a bridge and coming back into  downtown. I walked much more than I would have liked in the last mile, including stopping and keeling over for 20 seconds in Camden Yards. I felt like I just couldn’t move any more. If it wasn’t for seeing/hearing Lauren when I started running again, I would have cried from defeat the rest of the way to the finish.

Thanks to Kevin G from NP for a couple of pictures!!
Thanks to Kevin G from NP for a couple of pictures!!


Finish time: 2:25:11 (13.21 miles, 11:00 pace – time matches the BRF website exactly).

Last year: 2:24:47 (13.07 mi, 11:05 pace).

Running/finishing alone = no photographer.

Did I meet my goal? No. Again. Not technically. But I sincerely gave it my best. There was a point around mile 11.5 when I just kept saying out loud “You CAN do it”. And while on the clock it doesn’t show it, I really did do better than last year. My avg. pace was better (I weaved so much during the first four miles) and I didn’t crash and die. Last year my first mile was 10:18 and my slowest was 12:11. This year my miles ranged from 10:42 to 11:44. I was much more consistent, and with a marathon in my reach, that’s super important to me.

This medal, though. It opens to show the Baltimore Inner Harbor!

Will I do this race again?  Yes. Always. Every year until I can’t. I love this race. The spirit of the city reminds me why I love it here so much. I 100% intend to sign up for next year’s King Crab Challenge, which is the Frederick Running Festival 13.1, Baltimore 10 Miler, then Baltimore Running Festival 13.1 or 26.2.

Marine Corps Marathon Training: 10/1 – 10/16/16

I can’t believe that Marathon day is now less than two weeks away! After the Baltimore Half Marathon this weekend, I’m seriously in “taper town” now and am trying to make it through the next two weeks without doing any harm to myself.

As I mentioned in my last post, my training got derailed when I started my job. It threw my training off to the point where I eventually had the goal of simply being on my feet 4-5 days a week, and that’s how it’s been through the first half of this month.

October 2nd (Sunday): 15 miles at home in New Hampshire. It was supposed to be 18, but forgetting to bring UCan, a change in elevation and temps, and poor eating the day(s) before threw me off.


October 3rd – 9th: 4 runs – 2 at easy effort, 1 at super easy effort, 1 long run for 35.11 miles. My long run was my second 20 miler and it went great. 3:54:07 for an average pace of 11:42 and 9:18 faster than my first 20 miler! I felt great after and was ready to start tapering.

October 10th – 16th: 3 runs – 1 at easy effort, 1 NP double workout (run + strength), 1 at race effort for 20.13 miles. I finished the week with the Baltimore Half Marathon, which I ran much harder than I should have, but with no regrets. I ended up taking Sunday off with some foot soreness that’s flared up over the past few days and being a little over-conscious.

Jake and I also ran .05K race – a whopping 164 feet!

These next two weeks I’m looking forward to many easy runs, a “race” with friends (that I truly will take it easy during), and of course PR Day at November Project. No PR will be happening for me, but it will give me a mental boost going into race day!

How has your October running been faring? Are you gearing up, or tapering down for any races?

Marine Corps Marathon Training: July – September

While I’m officially now in my “taper” I want to make sure to look back, and share how my marathon training has gone since I disappeared from the blogosphere. It started out very strong, and faded as I became busier with work and my relationship, but I can honestly say I feel like I’m in a great place being just 20 days away from the big day!

How I trained/am training:  I have been working with a coach who made a training plan for me, and a lot has been based on my heart rate zones. This has been huge – I was working at the actual levels of effort that you’re “supposed to” run at. Additionally, to lower injury risk, I’ve been doing Galloway-style run-walk intervals, because my main goal is to make it to the start line injury free. I typically do 60:30 intervals, but now that the weather’s changing I’m playing around with them a bit.

July: In July I felt like the perfect little runner. I ran most of my prescribed runs and tried to stay within my heart rate zone, which I quickly learned would become a craft. In the last week I missed two runs after getting sick. Aside from that, I ran 5 days a week and had long runs of 9, 10, 12, 14, and 10 miles. I finished with 122.7 miles for the month – my first 100+ mile month!

November Project remained in the plan, of course!

August: The month started off with becoming dehydrated after doing a long run after we had an Olympics viewing party at my place <– not a smart idea. It took me a good week to recover from that, I was so dehydrated I was truly sick. I went home to NH where I was supposed to do a race, but dropped out due to my uncle/relay partner being hit by a car while on his bike. Then I got sick again, and started my job. Running was all over the place, and I struggled with the heat and had some bad long runs. I had long runs of 11.5, 13, and 16  miles (and skipped one). I finished with 108.38 miles for the month – lower than July, which hurt my confidence, but I knew I would be fine.

September: September was more of August – struggling to get runs in between work, social outings, and time with Jake. My motivation wavered and mornings in bed won. Mentally, it became harder to run in the morning because I hated getting up with it was still dark out. Long runs were consistent and felt good again, and the only bad one was on a last minute trip back to NH. Long runs were of 18, 13.1 (race), 20, and 12 miles and I ended the month with 110 miles added to the bank – passing last year’s total!

Parks Half Marathon – recap coming soon!

It’s crazy to think of how many miles I’ve logged since July compared to the rest of the year. For once, with the right training and paces, I’ve run injury-free *knock on wood* since May, which is absolutely amazing. I’ve already changed so much through this process, and get emotional about Marathon day all the time, especially during long runs.

How do you gauge success of training cycles? How you feel when running? How your race goes?



I’m Back! + 3.5 weeks out

Surprise, I’m back! Actually, it was a surprise I left the blog (and insta. and twitter. and basically facebook too). It wasn’t quite purposeful, but in some ways it was needed. Let’s run through a few things, Thinking out Loud style (thanks, Amanda!).

Running truly healthy for the first time since I started 2.5 years ago helped me build a greater relationship with running, and with myself. I was happy to keep my running to myself and my close friends.

I began growing a relationship with an amazing guy which took/takes up a lot of my “free time” and certainly makes it hard to get out of bed to run on a weekend morning. He now forces me out of bed on the weekends, but he always wins over technology.


Over the summer I worked at a running store. 35-40 hours a week of “running”, on top of actual running. More running at home and on my phone? No thanks.

Goodbye weekends at the store, hello weekends of long runs, races, and FUN.

I started a job that I worked so hard to get. I love it but it’s demanding and I work a lot outside of school. The last thing I wanted to do after planning and paperwork was to open my other computer to write more.

Meeting day –> running with a friend –> trivia. So worth it.

I’ve been wanting to write again for a couple of weeks now. I’m ready to share my love of running again. I’ve missed being in contact with other runners who endless inspire me and educate me about running. The writers block faded, the desire to put my emotions into words struck again.

I can’t believe that the Marine Corps Marathon is just 24 days away! Some days I am nervous about whether or not my body will stay together until then, but mostly I just feel excited.


I started having never run more than a half marathon, and this weekend I’ll run my second 20-miler.

I began training totally afraid of running 5 days a week, and did so strongly until my job (and social life) made that slightly more difficult.

I used to think that walking meant that I was weak, and not a real runner. I ran every run at the same effort. I’ve learned that strategic walking will help me run further and stay healthier – at least at this point in my life.

I never would have imagined how this marathon journey would change me – and I haven’t even run the race yet. While I wish that I would have shared it as it happened, I’m happy I still have this space to share some highs and lows!

Since when do I smile this big during/after long runs? Oh that’s right, when I’m NOT hurt.

What is new with you in the past 3.5 months? Tell me one thing you’re looking forward to!

Marine Corps Marathon Training: 7/18-7/24/16

Another Monday means the beginning of another training week and it’s time to process the week that just ended. I’d say “this week was a big week for me”, but I have a feeling most weeks between now and October 30th are going to be big weeks.


Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 6.2 miles, easy effort on the hills around my house.

Wednesday: AM: November Project – 1.9 miles run (workout and run to my car), but mostly strength work

So happy! Today was a partner day and I ran with a friend that I made through NP and work!

PM: 2.9 miles “run date” at a monthly running group for a local animal shelter. We ran around Federal Hill and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor before ending at a happy hour. Let’s just say that there was another date after this, so it must have gone well😉

Thursday: 2.75 miles at super easy effort on the treadmill. It was way too hot to go outside after work!

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 4.75 miles super easy effort. Lower temps in the morning helped this be my fastest “super easy effort” pace in the past month. I felt great and like I could go forever! I also ran in my new Hoka One One Clifton 3’s which I surprisingly loved! (#workperks)


Sunday: 14 miles!!! The first 4 miles were rough (I was coming down with a cold, no fun), but after that I felt much better. Around mile 10 the heat started to set in so that was challenging, but I was happy to bust it out feeling I could have gone at least 2 more miles.

Earned the last medal of the One HRC Marathon for the Hogwarts Running Club. 21K = 13.1 miles

Weekly total: 32.5 miles

MCM Training so far: 172.7 miles

In all honesty, this week really was a big week for me and I’m not afraid to shout it from the rooftops. It was my second 30+ mile week, I ran my longest run ever, and hit 100+ miles for the month <– this goal has been haunting me for a year. I ran a few less miles than planned thanks to the #rundate, but it was so worth it.

The week wasn’t all sunshine and daisies though – there were moments of struggling to get out of bed, failing to take care of my body, and sheer exhaustion. There were also feelings of progress and improvement, self-love, and even some connection to the greater world.

What were a high and low of your week?

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4 on the 4th (MD) Race Recap

The date + weather: July 4, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. 68 degrees with 98% humidity.

The night before: I spent the night before at a party with some (sorority) friends from college. While they were all drinking, I was super responsible and drank a whole six-pack…of LaCroix and had a hamburger with some pasta salad. I was bored (being the only sober one) so I headed home early to set out my clothes and hit the hay.


The gear: Skirt Sports Lionness skirt, Balega Hidden Contour socks, New Balance Vazee Pace shoes, Danskin tank, Garmin Forerunner 235, Momentum Jewelry bracelet, sweaty band (switched out for my lobster one), Nathan hand held bottle …(don’t mind the socks)

Pre-race: I got up at about 6:30 the morning of –> don’t you just love close races? After getting dressed and stalling I grabbed a banana and headed out the door. It was about 10 minutes from my house to the parking garage to the start, where packet pickup was a breeze. My best friend and I waited around for about 45 minutes and then were ready to run!


Miles 1-2: The gun went off a couple of minutes early and we were off. Unlike what’s recommended, I flew off for the first mile, knowing it was the only flat/downhill mile in the race. I was running 2:00/30 intervals (I’ve been training using Galloway style intervals) and kept that up the whole race – it worked well for me. For the first mile and a half I was running my intervals between a 7:30-8:30 pace. A long good downhill brought us to the end of the first mile (8:43). Miles 2 and 3 were on my college campus so I knew to just hold on as long as possible in the hills that awaited me. Mile 2 was largely a gradual uphill, gradual downhills, and a very steep uphill. (9:43)

Miles 3-4: Mile three was the second half of running through campus (more hills, if you couldn’t guess). While I started to struggle and lag speed-wise, I just kept telling myself to go as hard as possible during my run intervals. After mile 2, no one passed me, which was a big confidence booster. I came out of campus at the end of mile 3 (10:23) and knew I had a big climb waiting for me.

At the end of the second to last hill – so dead!

After I passed Ben with about a half a mile to go, I knew the people who had almost caught me on the hill weren’t going to prevail. After I turned the corner to do a lap “around the block” I was ready to just go. Despite one short walk break I ran in the high 8’s/low 9’s to the finish and passed a couple of people right ahead of me. Despite a slow last mile (10:47) I was truly happy with how I finished with all I had left in the tank.


Results: 39:51 (1:00 off of PR), 9/25 in AG, 43/152 femaleFor most of the race, a PR felt attainable and I truly gave all I had, even when I knew it was out of reach. On a course with hills, I know it would have been possible.


In its inaugural year, this race was pretty good. They offered two colors of shirts (cool touch, even if they were cotton T’s), had free Chick-Fil-A and ice cold towels at the finish, and had nice quality medals. The course is a good challenge, winding through the Towson University campus. Anyone who is familiar with the area should have known to expect the hills. While it’s not a PR course, I would definitely do it again next year!

Most importantly….these post race donuts from the Fractured Prune. They were better than they look, I swear!


Are you a lover or hater of hilly races?

Favorite post-race treat?

Marine Corps Marathon Training: 7/11 – 7/17/16

Week 2 of my MCM training plan is complete! As with the first week, this week brought new mileage territory for me. It was slightly less intimidating, but I still spent a fair amount of time wondering how I would make it through. The theme of this week was definitely hot and humid.


Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 6.15 miles at an easy effort on a hilly route around my house.



Wednesday: AM – 2.5 miles at November Project, 1.5 of those miles being stairs. I loved it and I was the sweatiest I’ve been in my entire life.

PM – 3 miles super easy effort on the treadmill. I didn’t miss the treadmill at all, but it is nice to have free access to one when it’s disgustingly hot out.


Thursday: 5 miles easy effort with 30ish second bursts. The run was alright until the last mile, when the heat rose. It felt like a death march back to my car!

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 4.5 miles super easy effort. This was horribly boring, as most of my super easy runs are. I ended up playing games based on my heart rate to keep me from just walking back to my car.

Sunday: 12 mile long run. This run was just what I needed. Started out slow and it was a perfect progression run. It was nice and cool when I started (the ice in my hydration pack helped) but by the time I finished it was 20 degrees hotter.



Weekly mileage: 32.9

MCM Training total (including “base” weeks): 140.2 miles!!

Reaching 30+ miles in a week has been a seemingly unreachable goal of mine for a very long time, so I’m happy that I made it through and am still excited about running after it! There have been days where I’ve struggled getting up and out the door, but I attribute it to being so busy in my social life that I’m just exhausted. This week brings another big goal of mine – hitting 100 miles for the month. So many big things are happening!

When’s the last time you reached a long-awaited running goal? The PRs don’t happen often for me, to these mileage goals are great lately.

Connect with me! Find me on facebook, instagram, twitter, garmin connect & strava!