Sunday, October 17, 2010

Baltimore Half Marathon

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.  Baltimore is a beautiful city and we were treated to a great (hilly) course on a beautiful (but windy) day with plenty of crowd support.

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.
Liz Prerace
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 Iowa gear) and tried to sprint, but my stupid legs just wouldn’t go.  I finally crossed the finish line and checked my watch.  PR achieved.

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.

Also, huge shout outs to TMB, Wendy, The Dawn, and Olivia.  They all raced this weekend and killed their races.  Give them a look and say hello!

Happy running!!!


bookwormruns said...

Congrats on the new PR!!! Keep up the awesome work!!

the dawn said...

hey...a PR is a PR!!!!!! celebrate your achievement and glory in your improvement. don't let a day go by that you don't recognize how much growth you've experienced. GOOOO ERIN!

mindysmarathon said...

Congrats on the PR! You can be proud of your performance, nice job!!

jamie@sweatyhugs said...

Awesome job on the PR Erin! I had no idea you had all those upcoming races! LOL That is awesome! Just keep at it (I will too) and the sub 2:30 half will be yours.

Canadian runner said...

Congrats on the PR... be proud and enjoy!!

Crystal said...

I ran my first half yesterday and also missed my under 3 hour goal. I was disappointed too but a PR is a PR! There's always next time!

blissfulrunner said...

First of all, congratulations on your new PR! We all have days when our legs aren't on the same page as our brains, but you know what? You had fun, you did your best AND you set a new record. Sounds like a win to me! said...

all mental! we all have off and on days and unfortunately races don't always land on those good days. treat these next few races as "push urself training runs". Don't kill yourself but push and find your abilities that you haven't let your body tap into yet! I wouldn't tell you I think you can do something unless I honestly believe it! I'm proud of you regardless

Steel Springs said...

Congratulations on the PR!

Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS said...

I'm so happy for you, Erin!
Yes - a PR is a PR - but it's always nice to come out of a race feeling good. Hope the ice and stuff helps with your knee.
Sometimes a little distance gives you a different perspective on a run/race. (I was disappointed in my Saturday run, but the next day, I felt actually pretty good about it when I realized all the positive stuff.)
I hope that happens for you!

Mari said...

Great job on the finish (and a PR)!!!

Have you watched the biggest loser? I had no idea how many people struggle to run a mile... my point... sometimes we forget to pat ourselves on the back. Enjoy the moment!

Good luck with your recovery.

run4may said...

Great job! Keep up the good work.

Zaneta said...

CONGRATS ON THE PR!!! :D Seriously.. great job! :)


Congrats Erin! I love that we both rocked the orange skirts to our PRs!

Charm City Kim said...

Congrats on your PR! I totally understand the disappointment but you should feel proud of yourself (especially since Baltimore is so HILLY!!).

oual said...

The cool thing about running is there is always room for improvement. Or maybe that's the part that makes us go crazy? Regardless. Congrats on your PR!

I'm glad you like your Zensahs :)

kilax said...

Congrats! A PR is still a PR. And you will get to sub 3:00 as you keep working on it!

That is great that your family was there! And I love your outfit and the medal!

Wendy Boka said...

Great job Erin! Congrats on the PR! I was thinking of you Sunday morning before my race, wondering how it would go. I love your medal. I should post mine when I blog about the race. And thanks for the shout-out. :)

Tricia said...

congrats! love the skirt!