I’m sure my faithful readers have been on the edge of their seats to read how I fared at the Baltimore 10-Miler this past Saturday. I’m happy to report that I survived it and even made it across the finish line (unlike the Baltimore City Police Commissioner).
My only goal for the race was to run without stopping. I use the term “run” very loosely since I’m more of a jogger. But let’s be honest – saying “runner” sounds way cooler than “jogger”.
Lucky for me, it was an overcast morning. The weather guy said it would rain in the afternoon so it was perfect. It was nice and cool.
Right before the start of the race – the rain started to come down. It was a nice light rain so I wasn’t complaining and Jeremy was actually happy to have some rain.
After about ¼ mile, the rain turned into a downpour. At this point, my Nike+ stopped working (stupid technology!) but my iPod was still running. Some may think it was stupid to run with electronics in the rain but I needed the music.
I wasn’t anticipating all of the hills. In fact, a friend sent me a text message the night before to assure me that the only hill in the race was the final mile or so and only described it as a “slight uphill climb”.
Regardless – I was ecstatic to be running in this monumental race (monumental to me, at least). I even purchased a running skort so that I could look adorable in all of the race photos. I cheesed for most of my race photos too. I wasn’t going to have that look of confusion and pain on my face. No sir.
This pic was after mile 5. I still felt great. Sure my shoes and clothes were soaked but I had made it to mile 5 and was still moving.
After I crossed mile 7, I was starting to lose a little steam but then I noticed a man that was clearly over the age of 80 starting to pass me. I started to keep pace with him.
Once I crossed mile 8, I felt fantastic. I had officially crossed into the “this is the farthest I have ever run” territory. Only 2 miles left! Suddenly, my legs felt weightless. I was euphoric. The finish line was in reach.
After another ½ mile or so, I found myself at the base of a hill. I was entering the final uphill climb to the finish. I could see the course winding side to side but always uphill.
Suddenly my legs felt like they weighed 100 lbs each. I felt the pools of water in my shoes. That super cute running skort suddenly became a bad idea (because the extra fabic of the skirt had absorbed so much water that it was pulling my skirt down!). Runners around me started to slow down to a walk.
The finish line felt like it was another 20 miles away.
Sadly, I had to stop and walk. I briskly walked for about a minute and then picked up to a jog again. I managed to keep the jog until I passed mile 9 and then some but then I reached the final, and what seemed like a rather steep, uphill climb. Defeated, I walked again for about another 1-2 minutes. A stranger next to me said, “We can do this. We’re almost done” and so we both picked up to a jog and started moving ahead.
My new running partner was great. I really needed someone at that point to tell me that we could do it! We were almost there. But then he crapped out on me. I felt bad for the guy but I kept on moving.
I crossed the finish line at 1:44.29. My average pace was 10:27 min/mile. I finished 219th out of 345 in my age/gender division and 732nd out of 1327 women total. Not great but not awful.
Jeremy finished in 1:16.44. His average pace was 7:41 min/mile. He didn’t even TRAIN! He hadn’t run in over a month! He finished 30th out of 163 in his age/gender division and 136 out of 1170 men total. WTF?!
Once I crossed the finish line and found Jeremy – he looked like death. I wanted to stick around and enjoy my accomplishment. Drink some beer. Find my friends.
Jeremy’s first words were not “congratulations – you did it!“ Nope, instead his first words were were, “we need to leave now.” I had never seen him look so drained so I didn’t argue. I picked up my finisher’s jacket and left.
He hobbled around for the rest of the day and the next. I felt great. I guess that’s what training for 10 weeks will do!
I just registered for the Baltimore Half Marathon and Jeremy has too (despite saying in the car ride home after the 10-miler that he was NEVER running that far again).
Some lessons that I learned from the race:
- I need to incorporate more hill training in my runs
- If I think there is ANY chance of rain, I should not wear a running skirt or any electronic device
- The Nike+ thingamabob sucks
Some lessons Jeremy learned from the race:
- Train for long distances
- Drink Mylanta before a long run (he got really bad heartburn and indigestion)
- Purchase something that will prevent nipple chafing
Jeremy’s goal for the half marathon is to finish in the top 3 of his age division. He has looked up a training guide and plans to follow it. It seems that I will have lost my biking water boy.
(note – all pictures are courtesy of Brightroom, the “official” photographers of the race. As proud as I am for finishing, I can’t fathom paying $20 for a race picture).