While it hasn’t been of huge importance around here until this week – the Baltimore Running Festival is this weekend! This will be my third year participating. It was a hard decision, with many other races happening in the area this weekend. However, the closer I get to race day, the more thankful I am that I signed up.
In 2015 I originally planned to run the full marathon, but got injured three months out. I ran the half marathon undertrained. I didn’t eat well the morning of and went out too fast, leading to a long ride on the struggle bus. I finished the half marathon as my 6th race at that distance with a time of 2:25:48. (I also ran for charity for the first time!)
In 2016, I ran the half marathon just 2 weeks out from my first marathon (Marine Corps). It was my 10th half marathon, or so I believe. I ran with the goal to keep it easy and just “get in the miles” for the weekend. I ran harder than I should have, with the goal of getting a course PR. I finished in 2:25:11, a whole 37 seconds faster than the year before. The difference was a much more evenly split, and “better run” race.
So what’s the deal for 2017??
Well, it’s not a goal race for me, for a few reasons. 1: This race is HARD. The hills are unrelenting for the first half of the race. They aren’t so steep, but long and gradual. It flattens out around mile 7, but I never feel like I’m going down until about mile 9.5. 2: I’m in the middle of Goofy training and I’m not going to hurt myself going hard on a difficult course.
So, I’m running the course mainly for fun, with a C goal of getting in my 16 miles for the day and a B goal of setting a course PR. I’d be real happy if I could run a 2:20 (A goal) but I’m not counting on it.
I’m excited to be taking on the Balti-Moron-a-Thon challenge (5K + 13.1), which is in its second year. I was sad to say “no” to it last year, so it was meant to be this year. I’ll run the 5K nice and easy with one of my best friends. It’ll be our 4th 5K together and we have another next weekend!
Then after about an hour and a half of a break, I’ll take on the Half Marathon. (Sidenote: I’m thankful my boyfriend lives 5 minutes from the start/finish area so I can change in-between races!) My plan is to run 90:30 run/walk intervals until mile 7-8, then bump up to 120:30. It worked for me for the Charles Street 12, right? The thing is…I’m not tapered for this race and I’m running 6 miles the day before.
My plan is loose, and I’m going in with the mindset that I’ll lower my intervals if need be. I’d love to hit my goals, but it’s not worth a negative experience, or worse…the I word.
This year I feel more prepared than ever, which may be helping with my confidence and excitement. As I shared last week, I ran the course almost two weeks ago during my 15 miler. I took the hills in stride and didn’t die (by the hills, nor the “bad” areas of the city). I ran slow and easy with 60:30 intervals, during which I normally run about 30-45 seconds slower than my 90:30 on a given day
I can’t wait to experience the city in the way that only happens each October. I love how the Baltimore Running Festival brings out the best of the city, in all of the diverse neighborhoods it runs through (which aren’t many of the “best” ones). No matter how fast or slow I run, Saturday will be a day to remember!
Are you running in the Baltimore Running Festival? What’s your favorite race?