Race Recap: Annapolis Running Classic 10K 2016

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of being chosen to be an ambassador for the Annapolis Running Classic in Annapolis, Maryland. This had been on my radar as my first race post-Marine Corps, and I was so excited to run the 10K as part of their “A-Team”.

Friday night: I headed straight to Annapolis right after work, and with traffic it took me about 1:15. The Navy-Marine Corps Stadium was easy to get to. I got in and out of the “expo” with my bib quickly and painlessly. There wasn’t too much for the expo, just a few vendors and some race merch. I spent the night with friends who live a mile away. It was a much needed night of friend time, chicken parm and wine, and games. My boyfriend even made an unexpected appearance! I got to bed around midnight – later than I had hoped but not the end of the world.

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Brooks top (Dash 1/4 zip, I think), Balega Enduro socks, Janji capris, Brooks Pure Cadence 5. Not pictured: Garmin 235, Nathan handheld bottle, sweaty band, momentum jewelry sparklets

Pre-race: I was up and out of my friend’s house by 5:45 and parked at the stadium just 10 minutes later. In hindsight, I probably didn’t have to leave so early. But I’d rather be early than sit in traffic. I took a short nap and had my UCan before heading out. I first tried a porta jon that was FULL. I mean, FULL. It must have been from the last Navy football game. After meeting some ambassadors at the Blue Angels plane (it was great to meet you, Jenny!), I was happy to find the race’s porta jons. I waited for just a few minutes, but they were fresh and still had *TP*.

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Some of the A-Team ambassadors. Thanks for the photo, Jenny!

Corral thoughts: The corrals were self-seeded and I seriously had no idea what to do. I was completely winging this race. The furthest I had run since the marathon was 5 miles, and my intention was to just have fun and finish with a smile. I ended up lining up just behind the 2:15 half marathon pacer (approx 10:15 mile) to see if I could stay with them for a bit.

Miles 1-2: I caught right up with the pace group after the start, and aimed to stay with them for as long as I could without needing to start the intervals I used for marathon training. The first mile was fast (9:40) but I trusted the pacers. (The back half of the half is hilly, so they needed to bank some time). At first I felt like I couldn’t keep up, but about midway through mile 2 I realized that my body wanted to run. I left the group right around the 2 mile mark (10:10).

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Free race photos? Sure, I’ll cheese it up.

Miles 3-6.33: I didn’t even think when I first left the group, I just went. This portion of the race brought us down a slight downhill, around the state Capitol and into Downtown. It was so beautiful, and the downhill was welcomed. This is where I started to struggle during  the Zooma 10K, but here I kept feeling like I could go faster. I hit mile 3 (9:38) and knew I would be close to a PR if I could hold that pace. Miles 4-5 were a series of out and backs though town. I didn’t mind it, as it allowed me to see the people in front of me. Mile 4 was a bit of a mental struggle due to a slight uphill. Mentally, I wanted to walk so badly, but all of the stairs at November Project made my legs feel untouched going up that hill (9:40). I had a GU that I nibbled on not because I needed the sugar, but because I was hungry in general.

Mile 5 is when I started to get competitive with myself. I knew a PR was in reach, and I was feeling good. Like, real good. I had a fire that I don’t normally feel during races. I started focusing on people ahead of me and kept passing them, left and right. It felt so good. I hit mile 5 in 8:58. This is when I knew a sub-1:00 was in reach, and I was going for it. The last mile was tough. There were slight uphills the whole way, with a short, steeper one as you entered the stadium parking lot. I kept checking my watch, and when my mile 6 chimed in at 9:14, I knew I would be so close.

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Apparently I run with my eyes closed.

Unfortunately, the course was a tad long (6.33 mi), and that cost me my sub-1:00. My watch was right on with the markers until the parking lot. I saw 6.2 come up with a time of 59:17, but I was just breaking away from the cars and nearing the chute. I seriously could have cried! Nonetheless, I finished with a time of 1:00:20, a 2:19 PR.

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SINCE WHEN DO I FINISH IN THE TOP 25% (25.4% to be exact…)

 

 

Finisher’s party: The Annapolis Running Classic is known for their great afterparty. The dozen oysters is super unique, although not to my liking. I did LOVE the unlimited beer. However, one beer at 8 AM after a hard run left me with a headache, and I had to drive home anyways. The band that was playing was fantastic and if I didn’t have somewhere to be I would have stayed all day to listen to them. On another note, I liked that the premiums were picked up AFTER the race – so that you had to finish to get your shirt (#sorrynotsorry). The 13.1 runners received a sweatshirt while the 10K runners got a t-shirt.

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Post-race thoughts: I was so high on emotions after this race. I earned a PR for the first time since April 2015. This wasn’t a PR by being my first race of a certain distance, I worked hard for it. I felt so much redemption after running a 1:02:39 at the Wildman Biathlon and coming in dead last in the 10K leg of the race.

Most importantly I felt like all of my hard work was finally worth it. I often put so much pressure on myself at races, and when I flop I hate myself and consider giving up. I went into this race with zero plans or expectations. Actually, the night before, I told my friend “The night before races I always get lost in dreaming that I’ll wake up and be fast.” While I may not be “fast”, this was the fast I have been waiting for and knew that I was capable of. And it felt awesome. 

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Verdict: This race had some flaws, but all in all, I really liked it and will be back. It’s a great fall race to either finish off a racing season with, or to do just for fun. A review of the race itself (not just my experience) will be up on BibRave.com soon.

Disclaimer: As a Annapolis Running Classic A-Team member, I received a complimentary entry into this race. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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Marine Corps Marathon Training: 6/27 – 7/3/16

My first “official” week of MCM training is complete! I should have a training plan in my hands soon, but for now I’m winging it. I’ve learned over the last month what’s been working well for me. This is the first month in a very long time I haven’t had any skipped/missed runs due to pain/injury and I seriously couldn’t be happier.

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Monday: Rest. Had way too much fun at the wedding the night before to run!

Tuesday: 5 miles around the hills of the neighborhood. It was ridiculously muggy and I don’t think I’ve ever returned from a run so soaked before! It was slow, but my heart rate was controlled (my goal for many runs lately).

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Wednesday:  2.5 miles at November Project PR day! I PR’d by .7 points, which in reality is almost a whole lap of running/stairs. I met the goal I set for myself last month and almost hit my “out there” goal. I went from 5.0 to 5.7 and hope to hit 6.1 next month!

I was the "social lap leader" until everyone passed me LOL
I was the “social lap leader” until everyone passed me LOL (thanks to my new friend in orange for sticking with me!)

Thursday: 6 miles easy on the trail. I finished with a fast mile, where I was in my max HR zone almost the whole time and basically felt like I was dying. I’m “racing” again on Monday so I just wanted to get my legs turning over a bit. I ran into my favorite undergrad professor and it totally made my day!

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 9 miles on the trail, again. This run was all over the place, thanks to some tummy troubles and realizing I left my car unlocked, leading me to turn around and lock it. The last three miles were the fastest of the morning, which is a challenge I’m enjoying lately.

Working on my Hogwarts Running Club marathon. More info on the HRC coming this week!
Working on my Hogwarts Running Club marathon. More info on the HRC coming this week!

 

Sunday: Rest and 4th of July festivities. I have a 4 mile race tomorrow!

Total weekly mileage: 22.5 miles

Have a great weekend! Do you have any fun 4th of July plans? Any Races?

Marine Corps Marathon Base Building: 6/13-6/19/16

How is it Monday already?! Last week/weekend completely flew by. This is the week I really got into the “marathon training” mindset. While I’m still not following a set training plan, my level of focus, intensity, and commitment feels as though I am. I decided to work with a coach (!!! – someone from work, which is perfect for me), on a realistic list of races to run between now and October 30th, and some goals for the next few months. While diet (food and drink) wise this week wasn’t good for me, I made a comeback over the weekend and feel great going into this week.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4.25 miles at work. It was nice running with a new group of people and the route was great – rolling hills with many nice sights.

Wednesday: 2.7 miles at November Project. I ran hard this day, and my average run pace was about 8:30, and my “stairs lap” pace was around 9:10.I felt absolutely awesome during and after. HELL YEAH. I was even off of work and was able to enjoy breakfast with some members of the “tribe” after, which totally made my day and made me feel like I’m really getting to know some members of the group.

I was clearly enjoying myself!
I was clearly enjoying myself! (NO BURPEES ON WEDNESDAY – YAYYY)

Thursday: Rest. I was planning to run but the weather called for storms. Plot twist: It didn’t actually rain until 9 PM.

Friday: 3.5 miles with my roommate. It was awesome bringing her running with me, even if I wasn’t feeling so hot after we had a little too much wine the night before 😉

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 10 miles slow and easy with a 3 mile fast finish. This run was seriously perfect – I’ve been trying so hard to get my HR down into the “aerobic zone” on my easy days and finally did it on Sunday. Holding back made the last three miles feel great and easy.

If you didn't snap your run did it really happen?
If you didn’t snap your run did it really happen? (screencap  FAIL)

Weekly miles: 20.45

Training cycle miles: 41.55

Once again, this week was truly great. I had moments when I ran fast, but most were spent running easy. I’m enjoying using the heart rate monitor on my new Garmin Forerunner 235 to really learn about how hard I’m running. I’m actually learning what an “easy” pace truly is for my body and it is making a huge difference in how I feel and in my energy levels. I have races the next two weekends, so I’m excited to see how I can perform now that I feel healthy and in one piece for the first time in forever!

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Today I’m linking up with Tricia at Miss Sippy Piddlinand Holly at HoHo Runs for the Weekly Wrap, and Megan at Run Megan Run for the Weekly Workout Recap. Head over to their pages to check out some other great posts! Thanks for hosting, Ladies!

WeeklyWrap

Did you race this weekend? Tell me about it! 

What was your best run/workout of the past week? 

A Week of (Workout) Firsts

It’s hard to believe I’ve already been back in Maryland for two weeks! I’m feeling more and more settled each day and I’m also starting to explore and leave my comfort zone more. As much as I loved college here, I don’t want to limit myself to things I did in college. I’m trying things to meet new people and find new things I love to do, and working out is how I did it last week.

Monday: 3 miles on the NCR trail. I’d heard so much about this trail and finally checked it out. It is so beautiful and completely flat, which is nice since I live in a hilly neighborhood. Ran 2 miles easy, then pushed on the last mile to run my fastest mile post-injury (fastest all year, really).

Tuesday: OrangeTheory Fitness class with the one and only Salt. This class was incredibly challenging but also fun. I ran about 1.75 miles of intervals on the treadmill, as well as rowing, weights, TRX things and bosu ball exercises. I was dead after. Dead.

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Wednesday: I finally went to my first November Project workout. The workout was tough and I swear I’ve never done so many stairs or burpees in my entire life. I also knew absolutely no one there but still found people to talk to. So it was both a workout and social success. (2.63 run/stair miles)

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I swear I’m in there somewhere. Not looking at the camera #typical.

Thurs-Sat: Nothing. Thursday I could hardly move my arms. I went to bed at 2am on Friday so there went a morning run, and Saturday was a planned day off. Oh well.

Sunday: 8 miles with a group of women from work. We did 1 min : 30 sec  run/walk intervals and while it was great for my first long run post-injury, I found the company more enjoyable than the running. With where I am now the intervals helped me go longer without pain, but they just seemed so short and kept the pace really slow. I may join the group again on occasion, but it won’t be a weekly thing.

Weekly miles: 15.38 (Highest in almost 2 months! Take that, leg!)

Weekly fun: LOTS. I loved November Project and it will surely be a weekly occurence for me, at least until I start my school job (commuting. Blech). I loved OTF as well and would like to join, but I need to make sure I can fit it in my schedule and still have 3 other dedicated run days during the week. It’ll take some planning before I take the plunge and join!

What was your best workout last week?

How you you feel about run/walk intervals?