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Sunday, April 13, 2014

2014 Sole of the City 10K

This was my first race of the year and my second race since starting running again after baby!

I have to admit, I was skeptical of this race. Back in January, I decided to buy an entry after it showed up as a Livingsocial deal. At the time, I hadn't been running much because I was just coming off of weeks of illness and holidays and cold weather. It looked like it might be a nice course, so I went ahead and bought the deal and registered for the race. The crappy part of the deal was that I had to register in person, but the good part of that was that it got me a really good coupon to Charm City Run ($20 off a $50 purchase!) and so I got a new bra for cheap out of the deal also.

I started training when I bought the deal in January, and I was faced with 20 degree and below temperatures daily, and snow, ice, sleet, snow, ice, and more snow. I wasn't able to run outside for basically all of my training runs. The only runs for this race that I completed outside were the last 2 long runs and the last few weekly runs. Incidentally, right as the weather warmed up, work commenced on our basement again, blocking off our treadmill, so now I have the opposite problem - I have to run outside.

I wasn't sure how my training was going, but two weeks ago I had a pretty nice 6.5 mile run out on the NCR trail (in the rain), so I was feeling slightly optimistic about this race, I guess.

Race day yesterday was beautiful. 50-ish degrees at the start, sunny and warm and beautiful. Probably a little warm for me, but I didn't really feel too hot for most of the race. The start of the race was off of Fort Avenue in Locust Point. I was running with my friend Kristen, who was planning to walk the race. When I showed her walk/run, though, she was impressed. I was doing 1:1s and that was perfect for her. She ended up sticking with me until mile 5.

The course took us from Locust Point around Key Highway and down Pratt Street - way down into what I think was the Canton area (Honestly, I get confused about what part of the city I'm in), and then took us back on the waterfront. We passed marinas and fancy restaurants. Right around mile 4, which is where my conversation tends to turn to food, we were passing RA Sushi, Talara, Pabu, Lebanese Taverna... Yum yum yum.

Then, we headed past Pier 6 and across bridges between the piers - past more restaurants (Chipotle, Hard Rock Cafe) and the aquarium, right through the inner harbor. We went under the World Trade Center and in front of the Pratt Street and Light Street Pavilions, past the USS Constellation, and around to the Maryland Science Center. The course photographers were in front of the Light Street Pavilion, so race photos will have the backdrop of the inner harbor. We then went back on the street to head up Federal Hill (the only hills on the course) to end back where we started at McHenry Row.

It was THE BEST course I've ever run in the city. Hands down.

I really liked this race. I wasn't super fast, even by current standards. I could have gone faster, but I took it easy since 6.2 miles is actually a daunting distance for me right now. I finished strong and felt great at the finish.

There was beer at the end, if that interests you, but I wasn't all that interested in drinking and I was in a rush to get back to my little boy, who was home with daddy.

The swag was pretty great for this race - a half zip long sleeve Under Armour top that was embroidered with the Sole of the City logo. It was a great race all around, and I had a great time. I am glad I did it!!

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