Okay I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing about the Charles Street 12 miler by now. But all the oversharing is worth it because the race itself was (almost) just as good as the first time I ran, and I did better as well! Here’s my last talk of it for a while.
Friday: On Friday afternoon I went to the local Charm City Run store to get my packet. It was quick and easy. My favorite shorts (the only shorts I wear) were on sale, and I needed new inserts and more GU. I left much poorer but with some “running necessities”. This includes the Marshmellow and Smore’s flavored GU that I’d been searching for, for forever!
I got to Jake’s before he got home, so I hit up happy hour for a couple of brews to relax a bit. We had a nice dinner in of pasta with homemade sauce and meatballs, and watched some movies. By 11:30 I was ready for the morning and out like a light!
Pre-race: It was raining as I woke up, which was expected. I got ready, and while I waited for Beth to pick me up I cracked open a red bull. They’re so bad for you but SO GOOD. The busses/finish line was just a mile from Jake’s, but it was nice not to walk in the rain. I also had a Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookie, and on the bus I had my UCan. Before we knew it, our bus had arrived in Towson!
Porta-john lines were short, thankfully! The rain was still coming down and we waited the rest of the pre-race time inside. When we came out to line up the rain had stopped!!! Beth and I lined up around the 2:10 pacers. I didn’t stretch well, and I’m not sure why. Realistically, the hardest decision was what to do with our rain coats! I put mine around my waist, because I expected it to rain again.
Miles 1-6: Beth and I ran together with 90:30 intervals, keeping it easier through the hills. Making sure she stayed with me was great to keep me from going out too fast. Unlike in 2014, the big hills in the first 4 miles passed with little issues. As it always is with run/walk intervals, it was so hard getting passed by seemingly everyone during these miles. But, I knew if I stuck to my plan, I’d pass them later. While our effort was even, our splits weren’t, due to the elevation changes and intervals (when you hit a mile on a walk break = THE WORST). Splits: 11:02, 1o:26, 11:12, 10:33, 10:22, 11:05.
Miles 7-9: After mile 6 I upped the intervals to 120:30, as planned. I was feeling great. I wasn’t struggling with the extra running time on the rolling hills and my run pace started to speed up. I also have to mention the amazing Toasted Marshmellow GU I had – it seriously was the best. I did eventually lose Beth around mile 8.5, as I apologized for getting in the zone and not really being able to slow back down! Splits: 9:51, :38, :52
Miles 10-12: At mile 10 I finally caught the 2:10 pacer, and yelled “gotta catch the 2:05!” It kept me going. It felt so good to be running strong, and passing the people who passed me during my walk intervals earlier. For the last mile and a half, the course flattens. After a lot of downhills in miles 7-10, it honestly felt like I was climbing a mountain to keep my speed up. While I never started to hurt, I was definitely starting to have to push a little extra. At mile 11.5 I passed the 2:05 group, and while I knew I wouldn’t catch the 2:00 group (I was at like, 1:54) I set my sights on it to keep going strong. I tried to nix the walk breaks in the last mile, but kept them to keep my run speed up. Before I knew it, I was chasing the finish with a great kick (.06 with 7:59 pace) and I was done! Splits: 9:28, :51, :39, 0:29 (.06 nubbin)
Final time: 2:03:32 (10:14 avg)
Post race: This is where I had the only issues with this race, and also where there were the most changes since I ran in 2014. The race ended at the Under Armour World Headquarters, which was awesome. I loved that we got a meal from the food truck as a refreshment, however, that’s all there was for food. And the lines were ridiculous. Ridiculous as in I waited in line half an hour for a small funnel cake and a piece of bacon, because that was the shortest line. There were no bananas/oranges/pretzels/simple foods for finishers right after the race. I’m thankful it was a cool day, because if it was hot and I had to wait that long for food, I would have been at risk of passing out without any nutrition. The beer line was long, but it went quickly, and the selection was local and fantastic. So really the worst part was the food, but that needs to be fixed!
Rain-wise, it thankfully held off for ALL of the race! It downpoured as I got my food and we sprinted back to the car. It poured for a while then cleared up in time for me to go to the Towson football tailgate (and game).
Takeaways: I’m so proud of myself for getting the revenge on this race that I
wanted needed. I had a great summer of training and put a lot of work into my speed, and it paid off. (I also think the unintentional taper helped) My one regret was starting out so slowly. My interval plan was great, but I could have started picking up my run pace sooner. I still had a lot left in the tank at the end, and felt like I could have kept going at the pace I was running for at least two more miles.
Will I run this race again? Definitely. I don’t love that it’s on Labor Day weekend, but it makes for potentially more mild weather than when it was in Early August. The course is moderately challenging and runs through beautiful areas of Baltimore (and my alma matter!). This year I ran the race as part of the B3 challenge. I won’t be doing the challenge again next year, as the 5K is on a Sunday (work) and the premium isn’t very unique, compared to this year’s amazing sweater. I am planning on this race for next year though!