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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Baltimore Half Marathon 2008

Basic summary: Today was not the day.

We met with Todd's work friends first, around 7:00am downtown. After photos and such, we headed over to the warehouse and met Kristy. She works in the warehouse and we were able to go in and warm up and use the restroom. Which was nice.

Todd and his co-workers
From Baltimore Marathon 2008

Once we started getting close to marathon time, we headed down to the marathon starting line. Todd met up with Paul and Leslie (and we also ran into Jan) and headed out at 8:00am for his 26.2 mile journey. After assisting a slightly freaked-out Jen, Kristy and I headed back up to her office for a bit and then headed down to meet up with the marathon course at Light Street, which is mile 7.

Us, at the marathon starting line
From Baltimore Marathon 2008

Jan and Todd at the start
From Baltimore Marathon 2008

We saw lots of people running the marathon, including Todd, and then lined up for the starting line. Kristy and Rachel had to use the bathroom and I went to meet the rest of the group. The lines were long and Kristy and Rachel didn't make it back as far as we went before the race, so I didn't see them again until the finish line.

From Baltimore Marathon 2008

The race started at 9:45am and I was in the third wave, starting to run with Caryn and Sandra (not strongchemistry, different Sandra). I admit, the hills were tougher than I had anticipated. My pace started at 12:45, even though 12-12:30 was my desired pace. As a result, I lost C & S by the time the marathon and half marathons merged (around mile marker 3).

My group and me at the start: Misty, Kathy, Sandra, Kim, Caryn
From Baltimore Marathon 2008

I continued on alone, and by mile 5 I'd moved to about a 13-minute pace, so there was no point in sticking with the 1:30 and 1s. I switched to 1:1s, hoping to either increase my pace somewhat or at least let myself recover. I did ok with that, and the 1:1s definitely felt better. At mile 7, I passed the Fleet feet people and the course was such that we passed them twice. The first time, I only spoke to Karen and Bobby. I said I was slow, they asked about Todd, I said he was behind me still.

Right then, Jess caught me and asked if she could run with me. She was doing the full and was having a rough race. I said sure, explained my own slowness, but she had lost her watch and was grateful to use mine for 1:1s. She stuck with me around Lake Montebello unti the hills in mile 9. I think it helped her out to slow down with me and she seemed like she felt better when she headed on her way. And it was nice for me to have some company for a while. She did push me a bit around the lake, where in hindsight I probably should have relaxed and recovered, but that's ok. I didn't know the course well enough.

Meanwhile, Karen and Bobby talked to me when I passed again and said they'd seen Todd. So, that meant right then he was a mile or less behind me. I also saw other Fleet Feet folks - Chrissy, Davida, ErikaM, and others (the world was a blur at that moment).

I tackled miles 9-13.1 by myself and felt pretty horrible. Miles 9/10 had some good sized hills that really wore me out. The heat was getting to me and I had really been pushing my pace. Even the downhill that I looked forward to in 12/13 was not enough to really make me feel better. Still, I finished and I think it was a decent race.

Of course, it could have been better and the following things contributed to my slower time than in Frederick:
  • I underestimated the hills. I can say I didn't know the course well enough, but I didn't know Frederick's at all. However, I took Frederick's hills very seriously. This gave me over confidence in Baltimore, when Baltimore's hills were more significant.
  • I did not take heat into enough account when guaging my starting pace. I should have started somewhat slower.
  • The chinese food I had Thursday night didn't do me any favors.
  • My eye has been acting funny lately, and constantly tearing up. My constant wiping of my eye made it sensitive and when sweat got near it, it started burning. This didn't affect my running but affected my mood and made me even more uncomfortable.
  • I did not hydrate enough. I was dehydrated going into the race, and as a result I was so thirsty that I over drank at one point, which made me nauseous.
  • The standing around from 7:00am when we arrived in Baltimore until almost 10:00am when I started the race threw me off and made my legs tired. I didn't sit at all that whole 3 hours.
So, not a bad race, but one in which lessons can be learned. Final time was 2:57, which I think is very respectible given the race and other mistakes that I made.

Oh, Todd did not catch me, but I'll let him talk about his own race. I also have some complaints about how the race was run, especially the finish area. But, I'll post that later.

1 comment:

Sandra said...


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