Charles St 12 miler training: 8/21 – 8/27/17

And just like that I’m done my last “long run” and tapering for the week for the Charles St 12 Miler! The last four weeks of running have been really solid, and I feel like I’m in a great place for the race on Saturday!

Charles Street 12 Miler

Monday: Rest day – Like every other Monday, I had the intention to ride my bike…but it didn’t happen.

Tuesday: 4.25 miles. Plan called for 7-8, but I was feeling dehydrated from the week/weekend before and it was still super hot/humid. Really, it was kinda sucky

Wednesday: 2.5 miles at November Project. The dehydration felt even worse today and my legs felt disconnected from my body. I left after the first workout to sleep, hydrate, and have some extra rest. I think my body was begging for it.

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Thursday: Rest day – switched with Friday to listen to my body!

Friday: 5 miles slow and easy. The heat and humidity broke and it was a perfect running morning! At night I biked about 10 miles at Baltimore Bike Party!

Saturday: 5.5 miles, slow and easy again. I was still feeling beers from the night before (oops), but I felt the best running than I had in a week and a half. I walked another 3.5ish miles that day!

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Sunday: 10 miles, the first 5 easy (60:30 intervals) and second 5 with 90:30 intervals. The weather was perfect and my heart rate stayed so low even as my speed and intervals increased! I was feeling so strong and like those hot running days paid off. I walked another 6 or so miles throughout the day.  My legs and hips are now begging for a rest day!

Weekly total: 27.5 mi. Considering how I was feeling for the first half of the week, I’m very satisfied with this!

This week will consist of an easy run on Tuesday, a double at November Project on Wednesday, and a shakeout on Friday before the race! What comes next is quite the adjustment…as my work schedule changes and I have to move my running days around. Thankfully it aligns perfectly to when I start following my Goofy Challenge training plan.

This week I’m linking up with Tricia at misssippipiddlin, Holly from HoHoRuns and Teresa from Finding Fabulous at Fifty  for the weekly  Wrap Up. Check out their page to see other bloggers’ weekly wrap ups!

Race Recap: Race 13.1 Baltimore

On December 3rd, I finished my last race as a member of the 20-24 age group. Okay, so I’m not “competitive” in my age group but it is still a fun way to remember the race. In actuality, I almost didn’t even run this race. I wasn’t feeling confident due to a lack of a consistent running schedule and was dreading being up at 5 am to run in the cold! Like the Annapolis Running Classic, I hoped to do well in the back of my mind, but I really ran to have FUN.

The night before: I had a wonderful night out with my boyfriend (as well as my roommate and her BF) doing everything you probably shouldn’t do before a “race”. We enjoyed some Christmas lights, went square dancing and ordered gourmet french fries at 11 pm. I wasn’t in bed until 1 AM, and I was afraid I’d regret it in the morning. (I didn’t even do a Flat Sam!)

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Meet Jake!

Pre race: I was up at 4:50 to get dressed and head out the door. The race organizers offered race-morning bib pick up, which was great.  You were even allowed to change your race distance, which I almost did. I was slightly turned off by the fact that it was advertised to close at 6, which meant I had another 45 minutes to sit in my car and have my UCan before lining up. I met another runner to chat with, which was fun and took my mind off of the race. There were plenty of clean porta jons, and the start of the race was very organized.

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No flat Sam = car selfie

Miles 1-3: I started slightly behind the 2:15 pacer, figuring that if it was a really good day, maybe I could handle that. I’d try to run without walking, but if I had to add some in, I would. I felt sluggish and very slow during these miles, and was so nervous about covering the whole distance. I was pretty socked in for the first two miles, but the course opened up after that. I lost the pacer after about a mile, and never found her again. Splits: 1o:30, 10:09, 10:24 (no intervals).

Miles 4-7: After mile 3 we were on the Promenade, where I now run quite often. Even with the lack of confidence in myself, it was nice to know where I was and where the course would take me. I started feeling a little better and knew I could push a little harder so I sped up while also adding in a :30 walk break every .5 miles. It was just enough to compose myself and catch my breath a little. During this part we ran through the Under Armor World Headquarters – something I’ve been trying to do for a while but I could never figure out how to get there! Around mile 6 I knew a PR was in reach – I was feeling good and I was gaining speed. At the turn around at mile 7, I kicked my butt into gear. Splits: 10:19, 9:55, 9:34 (with a 20 second stop to refill my bottle), 9:34.

Miles 8-13: Things continued to go smoothly after the turnaround – the course was the same on the way back aside from the last mile (on the promenade instead of the road). I kept myself going by setting my sights on someone and passing them. I kept knocking them off and it felt freaking fantastic.  I didn’t gain any speed, but I stayed very steady. Around mile 10, I realized that not only a PR was in my reach, but so was a sub-2:10 if I could just hold on. I’d never felt so good in a half before, and I felt so energized with this possibility. The miles ticked by and I only checked my watch because it was a reminder that I WAS doing it. In the last mile I knew I would be so close to a 2:10. While in some races I get really emotional at the end, this time I was just so intensely focused. Splits: 9:35, 9:38, 9:38, 9:41, 9:43, 9:43.

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I couldn’t NOT buy this race photo. 

Mile 13 – 13.1 nubbin: :42. 7:47 pace, y’all. I had a kick! I didn’t get passed at the end! (Actually, I remember only one person passing me, and staying in front of me, in the last 3 miles.) At the end I wanted to jump. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry happy tears. And really, I didn’t do anything. I was in complete shock at what I just did. Not only did I PR, I PR-ed by 6:30 and finished with my first sub-2:10 (also my best time of the year by 10 minutes).

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After getting my medal, stretching, and grabbing a bagel (from Panera) I headed to my car to leave, as I had commitments in the afternoon. Long story short – this part was horrific. I waited over an hour to get out of the lot, and paid $50 to park instead of $15. Not fun and so not cool.

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Aside from the parking situation (great getting in, horrible leaving), this race was wonderful. The start/finish area was well organized, the aid stations were full with friendly volunteers and entertainment, and the course is FLAT (which is rare for Baltimore). Knowing that this was Race 13.1’s first year, I look forward to see how they can grow in the future!

Check out my Bib Rave review of the race itself here!

Disclaimer: I won an entry to this race through a #Bibchat raffle on Twitter. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Have you ever run a race for fun and ended up with a PR? Do you count the people you pass/who pass you at the end of a race?

Baltimore Women’s Classic 2016: Race Recap

On Sunday, June 26th, I ran the Baltimore Women’s Classic 5K, which is one of the largest women’s-only 5K’s on the east coast. It was the first 5K I ran in 2016 (and potentially the only one).

Packet Pickup: I went with my friend Beth to pick up our bibs the Wednesday before the race at a running store in the greater Baltimore area. Charm City Run has multiple locations, and bib pickup rotated throughout them during the week before the race. It was quick and easy – we had been emailed our numbers beforehand and we didn’t experience any lines!

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Pre-Race: I was so exhausted the night before the race I didn’t even put out my typical “Flat-Sam”. Normally Beth is the one struggling to get going race morning, but that morning I was the one not wanting to get out of bed! I eventually got up, forced down 75% of a Pro Bar Base bar before Beth, her aunt + friend, and I were out the door! We got to Rash Field in plenty of time to use the porta johns (plenty, and very clean!) take selfies, and stretch!

20160626_073704Miles 0-1.5: I felt so strong the first half of the race. I went out rearing and ready to go, hitting the first mile in 9:04, despite the steep hill around the .7 mark. While the temperature wasn’t truly that high, the heat and lack of shade very quickly got to me.

"Ohmygod I am running so fast wheee!"
“Ohmygod I am running so fast wheee!”

Mile 1.5-3.1: I struggled in the second half of the race, taking frequent but short (15 second) walk breaks. One of the ladies running with us caught up to me and I basically said to myself that no one in my “group” was passing me and I kicked it back into gear. While I kept the short walk breaks, I got a huge side stitch from mile 2.25 to 2.75. Coming around a turnaround I saw the people in my group close behind me and I found it in myself to get over the cramp and just go. For the first time in forever, the competitive edge came out in me!

Feeling good once the side stitch was over!
Feeling good once the side stitch was over!

Finishing: Despite a strong first two miles (9:04, 9:20), I finished in 29:3o (9:30 avg). This was good for 21 of 109 in my age group and 293 of 2876 overall. I was hoping for, and working for a faster time. With how slow I’ve been training lately I was happy to have two strong miles and to stay as strong as possible until the end.

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At the finish line we received water (from my horrible ex-roommate’s boyfriend, awkward) and ice cold towels. Considering how hot I felt, this was incredible! I grabbed a piece of watermelon and a bag of chips before heading to our group’s meeting spot. We hung around for just a little bit before heading back to make breakfast and mimosas. Lots of mimosas!

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The Baltimore Women’s Classic was a really fun race experience. It is definitely crowded, as it is a large race of almost 3,000 people and for many of these people, it is their first 5K. Also, being in June, it is bound to be hot. I paid $40 for my registration and would do so again. Participants received a quality New Balance tech shirt, a beautiful medal, and a carnation!

What’s your trick for working through a cramp during a race?

Charm City Wine Run: Race Recap

This weekend I had the best time running a race for fun with one of my best friends. When I saw this race, I knew it would be a perfect way to celebrate my graduation without actually going to it! What’s better than running, with my best friend, with a food and wine festival after!?

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#FlatSam with a new Plattsburgh State shirt.

We got to the race about 45 minutes early and had time to relax and catch up at Rash Field in the Federal Hill portion of Baltimore. There was plenty of good peoplewatching and many pictures were taken, with and without my cute little graduation cap headband (courtesy of my momma!)

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The race started on time and was pretty straightforward, 1.5 miles out and back with a little extra at the end. I ran with K, and it was only her second 5K! We ran the whole first mile, then took some walk breaks for miles 2-3. Our running was at a comfortable pace for where I am, coming back from my injury. The course was beautiful and ran around the Inner Harbor, which was a great “welcome back” to Baltimore. There were two aspects of the race I didn’t like. The water stations were not prepared and we waited at least a minute for water each time we stopped (I’m still adjusting to the heat here), and there were multiple pedestrian bridges on the course. After the faster runners had hit the turnaround, these were very congested and really unsafe when the race leaders were pushing others to the side.

The best part was sharing this run with K, who I never thought I would see running a 5K, let alone with me! When she wanted to give up I was able to push her along, and she got a 1:xx PR!

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The race finished into the Baltimore Wine and Food Festival with a great band at the finish line. K needed some time to recoop. As she may have said “I’m gonna puke/die/pass out”. So I took the good friend route and went and got her food and such, returning with those and BEER for me. Yes, BEER at a wine festival. I like wine, but I love beer.

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Beer in a wine glass. (Unpictured: K riding the struggle bus, you’re welcome K.)

After a while, K finally felt better and we were able to roam around! There were many great drink options, she sampled from most wineries and I sampled about half of the breweries available. They even had some distilleries! Shopping was great as well, and there were about half a dozen food trucks. We got some pasta and called it a morning before the rain hit.

All these before noon! Love it! (I forgot to tag one, Angry Orchard Gumption, which is always good)
All these and more before noon! Love it! (I forgot to tag one, Angry Orchard Gumption, which is always good)

The race and festival were put on by The Trigger Agency, who also puts on some other festivals in Baltimore and DC metropolitan areas including the Beer & Burbon Festival and Crab & Beer Festival. While these runs are definitely more of a “fun run” I would gladly do one again because I had a great time!

I’m linking up with  PattyErika, and Marcia today for Tuesdays on the Run! Check out the other posts to see how other runners are getting a hold of their favorite running gear!

Race Recap: Fiesta 5k

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On Saturday morning, I headed to downtown Baltimore to participate in the Fiesta 5k. It was a large race of about 1,500 runners/walkers to benefit the Robert Packard ALS Center at Johns Hopkins University. I originally signed up intending to run it with the NSSLHA group from school, but I ended up being the only person to sign up. I have a friend whose Dad passed away from ALS last year who had hoped to run as well, so I ran much of the race thinking of her Dad. I never met him, but from what I’ve heard, he seemed like an amazing person who was taken much too soon by ALS.

The race itself was really great, and I went in super excited to (hopefully) meet my April goal of finishing in under 30:00. It was a flat course that ran from Powerplant (a popular bar area in the Inner Harbor), through Harbor East, Fells Point and back. While there was next to zero spectator support and someone definitely had gotten sick on the course the night before (EW!) it was super enjoyable. I got my first mile split at 9:05 and thought “holy crap, I can do this!”. I struggled to keep my pace up and pushed the whole way. I was shocked when I finally crossed the finish line!

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The clock said 27:39 – WHAT?! That was only 12 seconds slower than the PR I set 5.5 years ago! I patiently sat around, eating, while waiting for the official results to be posted…my chip time was 27:28! Just 1 second off of my PR! I was (and still am) in disbelief that I blew my goal of 30 minutes out of the water. However, I can’t help but be a little bummed that I couldn’t shave off just two more seconds to earn a new PR! I’m sure going to try to get it next weekend – but I expect the race course to be hilly so I don’t see that happening.

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Next up for me is the Active Minds’ Outrunning Stigma 5k next Saturday! I’m going out the night before, so I can’t expect to run amazingly…I’m also trying to decide what half I’m going to run in the fall! I need to decide and then plan other races, and trips to Maryland around it.

Final stats:

Gun time: 27:40

Chip time: 27:28

Place: 310 overall, 44 in age group