On Saturday I ran my first Baltimore race of 2015, the Baltimore 10 Miler. I was so excited to run this race with my friends, although I knew it would be a hard one.
Race Day Eve: Beth, Ben and I went to the Baltimore Zoo on Friday to get our packets and pick up was super easy. We spent the evening having pasta and good times at Beth’s aunt house with some of her family and it was a great time. Heck, I even fell in love with some dogs (I am not a dog person). Beth and I may have stayed up a little late talking, but it was so worth it.
Pre-Race: 5:30 came way too early on Saturday, and we were all out the door around 6. It seemed like it was no time before we were parked and in the starting corral near Druid Lake. There were pretty long bathroom lines, but we found some short ones before we lined up. We ended up being in the second or third wave, starting about 6:30 after the first runners.
Miles 1-5: 4 of us all just ran together for the race. We ran a little slower than my normal pace, but knowing the course was to be full of hills, I was okay with it. While I don’t talk much when I run, I was so happy to be out with 2 of my favorite people, in my favorite city. The best thing was when the leaders passed us on their way back. Everyone cheered and I had never experienced cheering in a race like that. It was so Baltimore. After seeing the destruction in the news weeks earlier, it reminded me why I love this city and why the people are best. We got to Lake Montebello around mile 4. I’d never been there before and it was beautiful. And flat. Finally, some relief. After going around the lake I was ready to finish the second half strong.
Miles 5 – 10: After we headed back to the Zoo, things started getting hard. My heart and lungs felt fine, but my knees started killing me. It wasn’t even my IT Band, which I was worried about with the hills. They just plain hurt. I had originally planned to speed up around mile 8, but at that time I really started struggling. The sun had come out, I got hot, and my knees felt like they were on fire. I got to a point where I just wanted to stop. But my friends were slightly ahead of me and there was this guy behind us who was so motivating and really kept me going. In the last mile I found it to finally catch up with Ben and Ben but those last two miles were probably two of the hardest miles I’ve ever ran and I was so so glad to finally cross that finish line!
While I’ve ran 10 miles 13 minutes faster before, this was definitely the hardest 10 miles I’ve ever ran. However, it was so worth it in many ways. I got to run with my best friends, and I’ll be running much of this again a few months during the marathon. When I sometimes felt like I just wanted to run a little faster, I mentally told myself to think of the run as a training run for the marathon, as I’ll likely be running a similar pace at that time and I’ve got to somehow prepare for the Baltimore hills.
Post-race: After finishing, we had a little walk but then there was plenty of food and ice cold, wet towels. I’ve never felt any relief like that before. We got our wonderful, beautiful premiums, and some people were lucky enough to get medals if they were doing the King Crab Challenge (not me…). We hung around the race for a bit after, which I normally don’t after a race. There was a pretty good band, free beer, and of course wonderful company! The morning ended up to be beautiful, and I loved sitting around with everyone. I can’t wait to celebrate my Marathon with all of them (we are all running either the Baltimore half or full).
This race was incredible. It was challenging, but who doesn’t like a good challenge. Everything was spot on-about the race, except for maybe the water stops. There were plenty, but they were short and very congested. I wasn’t able to get water at the first two because there were simply too many people. But that could be easily solved by making them longer/changing the setup. I will without a doubt do the race again, and can’t wait to do the Baltimore Marathon, which is run by the same company. 26.2 here I come!