Race 13.1 Baltimore (1:30.58)

Race 13.1 Baltimore (1:30.58)

I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts about the Race 13.1 in Baltimore. I made the decision to race only a few days before. It’s not the first time I’ve decided to race a half right before and I figured it would be a good workout.

We drove down the night before and got to Baltimore around 9 pm. I couldn’t fall asleep and since the race started at an early 7 am, the alarm clock at 4:45 wasn’t welcomed. There have only been a few times an alarm clock has jolted me awake, and of course race day was one of them. On race morning, it was one of a few things that went wrong.

I got ready and on our way our for coffee, the hotel door lock mechanism wasn’t working, so we got locked out of our room. I had things I could race with so instead of wasting time with that situation, we just went over.

Then race packet pickup took over 30 minutes.  That wasn’t too big of a deal, because I had no plans to warm up anyway.

Because of the packet pickup, the race was delayed, and I stood at the start freezing. When the race finally started, I was stiff, tired, and running 13.1 miles was the last thing I wanted to do. I reminded myself the race was a workout to get towards fitness. I’m far away from running another 1:22, but every PR starts somewhere.

As we were off, I settled in with a few high school kids. The race went out past a bagel shop, and helicopter pad did a 180 turn around .75 in. I hit the first mile in 6:37 which was relatively shocking.  That is faster than one of my miles last 5k.

As we rounded another turn, we saw the 5k/10k off, and I saw my husband. I started to settle into a groove and hit the second mile in 6:47.  That was better, but I struggled to get into a groove.

We went around the Harbor on a very narrow path. I could have easily fallen into the Harbor, and the number of turns on the waterfront made it impossible to get any momentum.  I surprised myself and consistently ran around 6:40.

Then we merged with the 5k and 10kers who were mostly walking. It was an extremely unpleasant and dangerous situation for everyone. The half marathoners were forced to weave around 5k/10kers who were walking or walking 2+ across. I watched as two people collided (both were fine).

None of the half marathoners were able to get water or Gatorade at the stop, because of crowding. Sure, I could have stopped and waited for water, but I didn’t.

Around the water stop, there was a direction for 10k/13.1 to go one way, and 5k to go another. It seemed like they needed a few more volunteers there because many people went the wrong way. Following the crowd didn’t “cut it” because the crowd was so large.

me running race 13.1 baltimore

After that, the race spread out because it was just the 10k and half.  We ran straight through Baltimore and then around the Harbor.  On the roads, I was maintaining between 6:40-6:45 mile and on the harbor pier, I was maintaining about 6:50. I was pleased because my body didn’t feel that great.

I needed to pass a few 10kers on the Harbor Pier. The path was narrow, and as I tried to pass, I slipped on the slick Harbor Pier. While I was able to catch myself and not fall, I became worried I had strained something (I strained my quad a long time ago, running on a slick surface).  Luckily, it was nothing.

I passed the halfway point in 44:20.  I was surprised but happy. I thought, wow I could break 1:30 again today.  Clearly, that didn’t happen.

The second half of the race got much rougher for me. Mentally, I wasn’t into it.  Mile 7 felt as though it took forever.  I saw the leaders coming back towards me. I saw the first guy and decided to see how far ahead he was. I watched my clock, and he was almost 3 minutes ahead of all racers.

Around mile 8, we did a 180 around the Under Armour Headquarters to head back. I’ve always wanted to see the Under Armour building and it was massive. The next few miles, I just focused on trucking forward.  My miles were slowly creeping into the 6:50s.

Around mile 9, two people who weren’t racing began jogging by. The race volunteer almost missed me to tell me the turn (which I cluelessly would have missed too). I yelled, do we turn here and said: Are you running?

At mile 10, I told myself “just a 5k” to go. I remembered the New York Marathon when I said the same thing.  Mile 10 was lonely, and I ran a 6:55.

The final two miles went along the pier. It was almost as if right at mile 11, my lefts seized up and got heavy. I never felt great during the race, but I went from eh, to not feeling good at all. I ended up talking with a guy for a few seconds which broke up the monotony.

The final two miles felt like the final miles of a marathon.  We met back up with more 10kes, and I weaved around people on the narrow pier.

Finally, we rounded the last turn, and I could see the finish. I just wanted to be there.  I ran the last two miles in 7:22 and crossed the finish line in 1:30.58.  The 10k/13.1 finished together and I only wish I had noticed what was happening around me at the time.  I make a finishing cameo around 1:02.32

I am pleased with my effort. From the number of runners on the narrow course to the amount of turns, I didn’t find it to be an easy course. I know I didn’t run the tangents well, and I believe my GPS said 13.3.  I don’t put much stock in GPS data, but I didn’t take the shortest possible route.

The weather, however, was beautiful. I am glad I chose to run the race, untapered and to see where I was at. I don’t regret running and I had a fun time in Baltimore.  I am glad all of the small issues came up during one race: lack of sleep, hotel issues, and race course woes.

I’ll continue racing as much as the weather cooperates in hopes to build back fitness.

Questions for you:

What is the most dangerous race you’ve run?

Are you good at running tangents? 

Base Building Week 2 and a Half Marathon

Base Building Week 2 and a Half Marathon

Last week was about putting one foot in front of the other, being smart about it, and getting miles in.  My husband and I ended up going to Baltimore and racing (I ran the 13.1, he did the 5k).  I didn’t have expectations for the race, which ended up being a good thing due to a messy morning.

Training though, last week was good.

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 45 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes
Thursday: Off
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: Race 13.1 (1:30.58)/1 mile cool down
Sunday: Easy 45 minutes

Thoughts:

It was a lot of easy and boring running. Most people know, but I don’t use a GPS watch for most of my runs. I normally just run 45 minutes and guestimate I run about 9-10 min miles for my pace. Over the last few years, I’ve found that it works for me.  I’ve never been to one really push an easy run, but by not using a GPS watch I’m not married to any pace and just going by effort.

On Wednesday, I planned to do a workout. Around that time, my husband and I had also contemplated going down to Baltimore to run the races.  When thinking about it, I realized while I could probably do a speed workout, it wasn’t smart to go from no speed to a speed workout and a long race. It would be the time I would get injured. So I ran easy.

Race 13.1 (1:30.58)

The race 13.1 race was a good speed workout in Baltimore. I’m thankful, it was just that and nothing. From start to finish, it was one of the most disorganized races I’ve ever done (and I don’t use that lightly). Would I choose this race for a goal race? No.

During the race, the half marathoners crossed paths with the 5 and 10kers early into the race. This meant, people such as myself were running and weaving around walkers.  It was impossible to run any tangents, and I found myself weaving, trying not to hit anyone, and missing water stops because there were so many people.  Another danger, factor was the race also runs around the harbor.  Due to race the night before, the boards were slick. Plus running around that many turns on a crowded course,  it was very easy to just fall into the harbor and you never got any rhythm or momentum. I watched someone slip and fall (they were ok), as well as 2 runners collide when the 10k/half were together. The race was dangerous.  Anyway, I don’t regret doing it and my husband and I had an enjoyable time in Baltimore.

Regarding my effort, I ran the first 11 miles well below 7 min miles (around 6:50).  Then, my body seemed to lock up around mile 11, and I ran the last 2 miles in 7:22 (over 30 seconds slower than every other mile).  I’m happy with my overall effort for where I am running wise. I seem to be hovering at a 1:28-1:31 half marathon block right now and I hope the next one will be faster.

Posts from the Week:

Why Use Compression?

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (20:24)

Questions for you:

What is the most dangerous race you’ve done?

Are you training for anything? 

Broadway Diner (Baltimore)

Broadway Diner (Baltimore)

Recently I was driving through Baltimore.  It was around lunchtime, I was hungry, so I wanted to stop.  While I’ve been to the Papermoon a few times, I wanted to try something new.  A quick search found the Broadway Diner which also appeared on the Food Network 

Atmosphere: A

The exterior is everything you hope for in a diner.  It’s metallic, shiny, and retro.  It looks like you stepped into a time machine.  

The inside is just as glitzy and matches the stereotypical diner: shiny, multiple booths and tables, plus a full-length bar and a massive dessert case near the front.  

It’s everything you want and needs in a stereotypical diner. 

Coffee: B

The coffee was good, but there was nothing or unique about it.  I could have used a few more refills.  

Broadway Diner Baltimore coffee

Service: B

The waitress was friendly, but we definitely could have used more beverage refills.  I understand why restaurants use small water glasses, but I needed many more refills.  While the Broadway Diner wasn’t terribly busy, our waitress didn’t come over as much as we needed.

Food: A

Like the stereotypical shiny exterior, the menu had everything a stereotypical diner typically has.  Pancakes, sandwiches and wraps and of course pages of dinner options too.

Since we were in Baltimore, the home of (good) crabs, I decided to order the Crab Cake sandwich.  Growing up on the Chesapeake, I am a bit sensitive to “good” crab cakes, and I can say this was one of the biggest and best crab cakes I’ve ever had.  It was broiled.  It was actually difficult to figure out how to eat with the bun. 

Broadway Diner Baltimore

The French fries tasted as if they were cooked with some sort of jalapeño pepper or the oil was reused.  I’m not entirely sure.  I’m fine with jalapeños, but if I wasn’t, I could see it causing problems.  

Cost: $$

For my coffee and sandwich, the cost was $18.  It’s definitely more pricey than the average diner, but the food was worth it.  

Overall Thoughts/Summary:

I liked the Broadway Diner, and I would go back.  The crab cake sandwich was one of the best I’ve ever had.  I will say it was odd that the french fries tasted like jalapenos but other than that the food was great. 

Summary:

Atmosphere: A

Coffee: B

Service: B

Food: A

Cost: $$

Overall: B

Closeby Diners I’ve been: Papermoon

Questions for you:

Do you like crab cakes?

What is a food local to you? 

Papermoon Diner (Baltimore, Md)

Papermoon Diner (Baltimore, Md)

Recently I finally made it to the Papermoon Diner in Baltimore, Md.  Personal friend Sarah (and once blogger), recommended it to me and I’ve been dying to go since.

I knew they had good red velvet cake, so I was already excited about that.

Atmosphere: A
The Papermoon Diner is one of the quirkiest and unique diners I’ve ever been too.  It looks like something right out of a movie.

Papermoon diner baltimore

The outside is filled with unique items ranging from a bike in a tree or garden gnomes.  It’s not a traditional big metal diner, but it definitely stands out.

The inside looks like it’s right out of the movies.  There are random mannequins, army men and dozens of odds and ends dangling from the wall.

The atmosphere is definitely one of the best and most unique of any diner I’ve been too.

Service: A
The waitress was extremely friendly and refilled everything as needed.  I couldn’t ask for a better experience.  Our food was brought out quickly and overall it was a positive experience.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed fresh, and the whipped cream was homemade.  It’s hard to top that except they used personalized coffee mugs.  It can’t get any better than that.  It was definitely one of the best diner coffees I have had in a while. Papermoon diner baltimore

Food: A
I was hungry when I arrived, so I ordered the hummus appetizer.  I’ve been enjoying hummus lately. It came with the largest portion of hummus I’ve received as well.  Also included were onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and a unique olive dip.  Everything tasted great and I would order it again. Papermoon diner baltimore

For my entree, I decided to order off the specials.  I had never heard of a lamb hash at a diner, so I decided to order that.  The lamb hash came with two eggs over easy, lamb and hash browns.  The meal itself was delicious! I could have used some bread, but other then that I have no complaints.Papermoon diner baltimore

Dessert: A
I knew the dessert at Papermoon was delicious so I planned to order red velvet cake.  I am so glad I did!  When I say this was in the top 5 cakes I’ve had, it was.  There was a lot of frosting, the cake itself was dense, and there was plenty of ice cream.  It’s definitely one of the best diner cakes I’ve had except Mastoris and the Jefferson Diner.Papermoon diner baltimore

Cost: $$
For my appetizer, entree, coffee, and dessert that cost was $33.  Definitely more pricey but the quality of food was high and I have no complaints.

Overall/Would I come back?
The Papermoon Diner is one of my favorite diners to date.  I don’t have any complaints, and every part was perfect.  It’s such a quirky and unique diner that I would recommend it to anyone!  In fact, I’m looking at races in the Baltimore area just so I can go back.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Service: A
Food: A
Dessert: A
Cost: $15-25
Overall: A

Questions for you:
What’s the best cake you’ve had?
Do you like lamb?

%d bloggers like this: