Run Report: Baltimore 10-Miler

I was nervous going into the Baltimore 10-Miler. Even though I was coming off a great 10K race the week before, I knew my training wasn’t right for a 10 miler, nor such a hilly course. But I tried to go into it with the best attitude possible.

Pre-Race
The night before, I had laid my outfit out, pinned my bib to my shirt, had gone through my training logs to get myself pumped, and settled in for an early night. Too bad the room next door hadn’t gotten the memo. They were having a party cramming too many people and too much alcohol in a single room.

I considered asking to change rooms, but I didn’t want to have to go through my pre-race, pre-sleep ritual all over. I sucked it up and threw a pillow over my head. A girl left the room shouting, “I’ll be back bitches!” and I knew I was in for a long night.

My alarm went off at 5:30am, and I contemplated staying in bed. I was still sore from my double dose of P90X two days previous. Alas, I got up, scarfed down half a bagel with peanut butter and sipped on two cups of coffee — probably one too many.

I hopped the bus to Druid Hill Park. I chatted some with an off-duty police woman. Her and the bus driver wished me luck. Thankfully, I rode the route the day before and knew exactly where to get off, that helped calm my nerves.

The lake was beautiful as the sun was rising and the dew glistening. I grabbed a bench overlooking the lake and meditated in the sunshine, absorbing and reflecting the energy and nerves of the 6,000 other runners around me.

It was getting close to time, so I made my way through all the scantily clad people towards my corral. They played the Star Spangle Banner and I don’t think I’ve ever heard a crowd be so quiet — maybe because Baltimore is still heavily Catholic, maybe because Francis Scott Key wrote the anthem only a few miles away from where we were standing, who knows, but it was the calm before the storm.

The Race
The race started and I immediately had stomach pains. Oh shit, I thought. My big worry was that because I hadn’t trained properly, I wasn’t ready for anything longer than 60 minutes, nutrition and drinking-wise. My plan was just to wing it, and that clearly wasn’t a good idea.

I stuck with the 1:35 finish pace group, but was having a hard time pulling it together. After 2 miles, I decided to run my own race and moved away from them. By mile 3, I was utterly surprised to be ahead of them. But I figure if this pace is what feels natural and good, I’ll just keep doing that. The race is fairly boring until about mile 4-6, when you go around Lake Montebello. I love running by the water. I also love the moment of being half-way done.

Nothing too exciting, I followed behind a young Rasta man (presumably from his shirt and dreads) and an older woman for awhile. I passed a man who was juggling the race, that seems to be a thing now. An older short gentleman who was carrying the U.S. flag with him as he ran. Overall, just a lot of single people trying to keep their heads up as they charged into the hills.

The hills weren’t so bad actually. The start of the race is all downhill, which can mentally defeat you knowing that the last two miles are basically all hill and no relief. Around mile 8, the pace group caught up and passed me. I was bummed, but was determined to finish no matter the time. At this point my stomach was a roller coaster, and I couldn’t decide if I should stop and grab a bathroom or try drinking something. Thanks to my lack of practice, I didn’t have a solution, so I did nothing.

It was getting hot and my legs were starting to falter. I started to notice that with each pounding foot, my knees were getting a jolt of hard pavement. Every now and then a breeze would come through and I’d end up covered in goosebumps (a bad sign of dehydration). Once we got back into the park the size of the crowd started to pick up, so I was grateful for that.

I only had a mile left and I wasn’t sure I was going to make it! But running through the park brought back a lot of positive memories – playing tennis and riding my bike – so I found that ‘thing’ deep inside and chugged on. Sadly, there was no strong, triumphant finish. Only me shuffling my feet across the finish line as the emcee announced my crossing (that was actually pretty exciting and lifted my spirits.)

Post-Race
Across the finish line there were snacks (chips and peanuts), but more important ice cold towels and watermelon! These two things are the best things ever, and every race should end with them. I stood around and stretched and then got my race premium, which is this badass white Under Armor track jacket. It is well worth the price of the race and the hilly course.

I had to book it after the race was over, since I wanted to get back to my hotel with enough time to shower before checkout. Unfortunately, the bus was taking too long to show up, so I opted to just run the 2 miles back to the hotel. It wasn’t too bad actually, given that it was all downhill!

My official time: 1:36:29.86, 9:39 per mile.
Kind of funny, my pace for the first half? 9:26, not bad. My pace for the last half? 9:52. Yikes!

Before and after photos. That thing around my neck is the ice towel.

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Run Report: Baltimore 10-Miler

All I Do is Eat

Shit. Today during my run I was dragging ass. I sort of blamed it on the 80 degree weather and humidity. But I had a feeling it might be something else. So, I went home and logged into Fit Day, which I haven’t logged into since back in February when I saw the nutritionist (Daily Delight #56). I plugged in my day’s stats and sure enough – even though I would SWEAR that I am eating right – I am no where near my calorie/carb/protein intake. No where close.

Goal calories: ~ 2,100
Current calories today (at 6 pm): ~ 1,110

Goal carbs for a light day: ~ 400g
Current carbs: 147g

Goal protein for a light day: ~ 67g
Current protein: 38g

Shit. Need to pay better attention to this. I feel like I am always eating, cannot imagine eating more. Ack.
Good thing my dad doesn’t use the internet and won’t see these numbers. He’d have a fit.

All I Do is Eat

Niche

I think what I’m missing in life is really a niche group of friends who are interested in the same things I am. I’m visiting B in Chicago and as a result we end up hanging with a lot of improv people. And it’s similar to when I hung out with A and his friends. They’d all get together and talk about jazz. For the majority of the time I stood awkwardly around, wondering what the hell I was doing there and feeling terribly insecure because no one would talk to me. (Not because I’m not awesome, but because I just can’t talk jazz and they can’t not talk jazz.) It’s a little better with B’s improv friends because they talk about jokes and funny shit, which isn’t exclusive in itself, they end up taking a lot about their experiences and it’s relatable, so hanging with them was much easier. Jazz musicians get real exclusive, and no matter how much you think you’re a part of the club, you’re just plain not unless you’re a jazz musician (sorry girlfriends.)

Every now and then I would ask A if he cared that I didn’t play music, if there was something about him that I would just never get. He would reassure me that it’s not like that. Come to find out, that’s exactly what’s it’s like considering him and Shannon shared something so deep in just three weeks — it’s about the muuusssiiicccc. When he got back from Banff and told me about her, and I brought this up to him, he said no she’s not better, it’s just different. (Different enough for him to ditch three and a half years for.) He compared it to his music friends and his old friends from high school. And yeah, he definitely treats them differently – in my opinion I’d say his non-music friends get the short end of the stick. He calls them when he wants to, when it’s convenient to him. But yeah, I guess that’s just how he treats people outside of his exclusive circle. That’s how he treated me. (And don’t think that just because you’re in his exclusive music circle that you make the grade. Because trust me some of you don’t according to him.)

I wonder how clutch it is that your significant other is in the same field? I would have thought that that wouldn’t matter at all. But I’m actually thinking that it’s essential in a relationship. Now that we have so many options in life, it’s probably one of the easiest ways to narrow down the dating pool.

Niche