I would hear my name three times from behind as different people found me along the Baltimore 10 Miler course. One was someone I’ve seen at different races, another was a fellow BibRave Pro who had traveled to Maryland for the race, and one was a middle school teacher who I reconnected with on Facebook.
It was fun to see different people along the course as I ran on Saturday, June 1. I’d also traveled to the race with my friends Veronica and Connie, and I got to see a friend who moved to Georgia, Valerie, beforehand as well.
Race weekend started out Friday, when I took a half-day at work and Veronica and I drove to Baltimore. We picked up our bib numbers at a table set up at the zoo. There wasn’t anything else there for an expo, and we would receive our shirts and beach towel after finishing the race.
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor, and because of traffic, we’d moved our dinner reservation back, so I had time to run two miles at the Inner Harbor and finish the BibRave Run Streak (I also walked some days). Dinner was at La Scala Ristorante in Little Italy, and it was great! When we got back from dinner, we met up with Connie at a bar in the hotel for a drink.
On race morning, we got up early and drove to the race. Information provided by the race said to expect traffic, and once we got to the Maryland Zoo area, there was certainly traffic. We waited in traffic for a while before finally finding a parking spot, which was still a decent walk away from the start (I tracked our walk back on my watch, which I think was a slightly different path, but that was three-quarters of a mile).
Veronica was an ambassador for this race, so she met up with her fellow ambassadors for a photo and I walked around with Connie and used one of the porta-potties.
I used this as my goal race for my Endure Strong training — which I will discuss in depth in my next post. I put my goal as 1:32, which I didn’t really think would happen because of the heat and hills, but I figured it would make my training paces pretty accurate. I wanted to pick a time faster than what I ran at the Tim Kennard River Run in March — 1:34:12.
I am not used to running hills at all here in Salisbury, and I didn’t do any specific hill training. I figured I would see if I could keep the pace close to 9:30, which would still be a stretch.
My first mile was 9:30, and my last mile was 9:23, but other than that, I wasn’t really close to that pace. However, I was pleased with my consistency. Five of the miles were between 10:05 and 10:19, and my slowest mile was 10:43, so my average pace didn’t change drastically from mile to mile.
The race starts near the zoo and takes runners through the city to and around Lake Montebello and back. The course included parts of 28th Street, 33rd Street and the Johns Hopkins University campus.
There are certainly uphills, but since much of the course is out-and-back, there are are also downhills, which I really tried to take advantage of. I know you can run too fast on the downhills, too, but for this type of distance, I was not too worried about it, particularly as I got closer to the end. (Here’s the course map and elevation.)
I ran the first mile in 9:31, and there was a big downhill in this mile, which I’m sure helped. My next mile was my second-slowest of the day, at 10:40. I believe I stopped for water during this mile.
Once I got to the lake, I tried to pick up the pace, since I knew this would be the only flat area. There were people playing music by the entrance/exit to the lake. When I came in, the song was “All Star” by Smash Mouth. When I left, the song was “I Feel Good” by James Brown, which reminded me of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, or Amanda and Alyssa, running through the woods in the movie “It Takes Two,” which I’ve seen about a million times.
I think it was on my way to the lake that I found a penny that I was able to pick up and take with me. Later, I thought I saw another coin, but I saw it too late to check.
I stopped at each water stop until I was in the last two miles and knew I could make it to the end. It was hot, but I never felt miserable or like the heat was really impeding me. Some water stops didn’t seem to have enough volunteers, as they were working to fill cups as people took them.
Mile 8 or so was when I ran into the teacher I mentioned above, and we ran together for a little bit up a hill. That gave me a push, and I kept going. There were times I walked up the hills, which I do think is helpful, but as I got closer to the end, I tried to give it what I had.
Even despite a big hill during Mile 9 (the one that I’d gone down in the beginning), my last two miles were some of the fastest of the day, at 9:57 and 9:23. The last mile included a looped area in the park, so it wasn’t a complete out-and-back. I appreciated that part because then it didn’t end with the hill. Unfortunately, during this part of the course, there were emergency personnel helping one of the runners off to the side. There was also an emergency vehicle that went through on the course and caused some runners to stop, but I was running up to it and by the time I got to the road, I didn’t have to stop because it had already gone past.
After finishing the race, I got a bottle of water and some post-race food — an apple, a half-banana, a granola bar and a bag of chips (which I actually still need to eat). Then, there were lines to get the premiums — the shirt and beach towel. After we waited in one of the lines, we learned that there were actually lines per size, so then there wasn’t a line at all. I never know what size to order, so I’ve mostly just been choosing women’s large rather than medium, but for this race, the shirts ran on the larger side. Either way, I’ll still wear it. I love the beach towel, too!
There were beer and other drinks for the runners, and we could get two cans. They weren’t open, so I actually still have one of those as well. Unfortunately, the beer was warm, but I still drank it. I also got a chance to relax on my new towel. There was a band playing and a nice atmosphere.
Although my time was slower than my goal and also slower than the other year I ran the Baltimore 10 Miler, I was pleased with how I did. I felt great during the run, and I think the six weeks of Endure Strong training that I did definitely helped. I became part of the team through BibRave. Read more about Endure Strong in my next blog post.
Mile 1: 9:31
Mile 2: 10:40
Mile 3: 10:19
Mile 4: 10:16
Mile 5: 10:05
Mile 6: 10:43
Mile 7: 10:05
Mile 8: 10:19
Mile 9: 9:57
Mile 10: 9:23
Little extra on watch (.02): 10 seconds (7:13 pace)
Time: 1:41:31 (10:09 pace)