First, I got a PR!! YAY. *sigh* However, my goal of coming in under 3 hours was not met. I'm trying to not get so hung up on that, but its hard. But, a PR is a PR and I really need to focus on the positive.
Could I tell you what went wrong? No, I don't know that it was anything specific. My knee pain was not taper related, so I am taking lots of advil and icing it plenty to try and get it ready for Sunday (the Army Ten Miler). I started the first mile with Liz and her friend Omari and was doing ok. Not great, sucking air and just not feeling light and fast.
Liz did awesome. I'll let you read her blog to see her story, but I ended up telling her and Omari to go head after the first mile and a quarter.
But let me back it up a little. First, the Baltimore Running Festival is an AWESOME collection of races.
I got up at 6 and was able to stay in bed for about an hour and relax a little. I didn't need to leave the house until a quarter of 8 (the half started at 9:45--a real treat for me!) I decided to wear something different Friday night.
Cute right? You can’t see it well, but I have on knee high hot pink compression socks (which look like candy canes on my legs). It really made the outfit pop!
I had planned on eating my Clif Bar in the car on way to the train station, but once I got away from my house I realized I had forgotten it. I debated turning around but figured I could eat my clif shot before the race started (Liz gave me a clif bar when we met up—thanks Liz). Perhaps this was a bit ominous.
I took the train in, waited for Liz and chatted with Omari before she arrived. Her husband offered to take my bag instead of me having to check it (thanks D!) and we separated. Timbelina and I needed to use a restroom and an awesome hotel near the start was letting runners in to stretch, use the rest rooms and decompress. I forget which hotel it was, otherwise I would have given then a shout out. It was seriously nice of them (they were even holding the doors open for runners!)
We made our way to the start and it was crammed and packed full of people. I really started to get nervous at this point (I started getting nervous the night before). Before I knew it, we were off.
The wave 4 crowd
Not really the face of confidence.
Like I said, the first mile was ok. Our pace varied and we were averaging a 10:53 pace by the end of the mile, with some slight elevation changes throughout. I just felt like I had lead in my legs and couldn’t get moving.
Shortly after the first mile went by, I let Liz and Omari go without me. I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with them and I’ll be darned if I ruined the race for her too.
I tried to start intervals, but my legs still felt so heavy, but I managed to bang them out as best I could. Around mile 7, I ran into my friend Marisa as we ran around a beautiful lake. She was so excited for me and kept telling me I looked great (I know she was lying, because I felt like death, but I appreciated her trying to cheer me up). She ran a little with me with me yelling at her the whole time (she is about 12 weeks pregnant) until the water stop, where I grabbed a couple of glasses of water and a banana. Oh sweet banana, you tasted so good!
At about mile 8, my endurance was really dying. I tried to keep up with my intervals the best I could, but at this point, I realized my goal of coming in under sub 3 was disappearing fast and I started to get really disappointed.
Around mile 9.5, a group of people who lived on the course were handing out little plastic glasses of beer. I figured I needed the carbs (I kid, I kid) so I took a cup and drank the tasty beer offered up to me! About a quarter of a mile beyond that was the Gummi Bear Man! This guy bought 400 lbs of gummy bears and was passing them out on the course. It was a nice pick me up.
At mile 10.25, my cousin was there with the his wife and daughter and a sign for me. I stopped to give them a huge hug, give his daughter some extra love (she made a sign that said “Go Cousin Erin” in pink that matched my outfit) and they told me that I was doing great, looking good and after a couple of minutes I took off again (ok, I could have picked up a couple more minutes off the PR—but I wanted to give them the hugs and I might have needed it myself too!)
I was thinking "Can I just come back to your house?"
At this point, the race was largely downhill (in terms of elevation) and I just tried to go the best I could. It was a challenge, but I knew I was getting there and to just plug along.
I kept trying to do my intervals and started to feel relieved as I saw the TNT water stand and said hello to a few of the people who I knew working. I kept plugging away until I saw the stadium and just tried to finish it. It felt like the last .1 of a mile took forever. I yelled at one of the course photographers (who was wearing all his
I was frustrated. I felt prepared, I felt like I had trained enough. Liz and my husband told told me its still an improvement and to keep plugging away. Katye told me she is going to scream in my ear and get me to a 2:30 half in Richmond.
So, that is what I am doing. The Army 10 Miler is next Sunday and the MCM 10K is the following Sunday. The Richmond half marathon in 11-13. I have plenty of chances for a better race, and I will get there. Baltimore, while not what I had hoped for, was still fun and I got a nice piece of hardware from it!
I am off to use the foam roller and the stick and get some ice and get my game plan for next Sunday.