For the second year in a row, I ran the Baltimore Half Marathon as part two of the Maryland Double challenge.
I was alternately looking forward to this race and dreading it. I was looking forward to it because so many awesome people were coming into town for the race and I knew that it would be an amazing weekend. I was dreading it because I was going in undertrained.
Spoiler alert: It went better than expected.
Even with all of the rain and the government shutdown, the weekend was a blast. We ended up spending Sunday at a cidery and meadery (these are awesome words, I tell you), places we wouldn’t have ventured had we been able to spend time in DC (shutdown), Annapolis (boat show) or Baltimore (Ravens game). Mead is delicious.
But the race. This race is incredibly well organized. The security was tighter this year, but wasn’t terrible. The crowds were kept away from the last bit of the finish line, but that didn’t bother me whatsoever. They were amazing leading up to the finish.
In general, this race is amazing purely for the crowd support if nothing else. The neighborhoods come out to cheer and it’s absolutely incredible. I always talk up the spectators and they always come out in droves, even in the drizzling rain.
I started out the race with a group of friends planning a 14-15 minute/mile pace, running a 30:30 run/walk pattern. It was slower than I had been training, and I’ve never run 30:30s, but I figured I would give it a shot. It would be fun to have the company. And it was fun, but about four miles in, I knew I had to pick up the pace. I could tell that I was going to get grumpy if I was out on the course too long. So I waved goodbye and headed off.
I ran a 1:1 pattern and it felt pretty good. I could tell that I was pushing, and by mile 10, my legs started to feel a bit fatigued, likely due to my training, but I kept moving at a pretty good pace. Though I might have felt sluggish, my pace stayed pretty even. Even ran into a friend on the course, which was a surprise. (Hi Deb!)
My final time was 3:07 and change. Not my fastest, but not my slowest, and surprisingly, faster than last year, when I was slightly better trained. This course is hilly, and it’s advertised as such, but I enjoy the challenge of the hills. I was definitely stiff later in the day and a bit on Sunday, but nothing too bad. It was a real confidence booster to get through the race so strong. I feel like maybe I have caught up with my training and I hope that things continue strong through marathon training.
Anyone want to come to Baltimore next year and get a cute crabby medal? It’s a great time. Highly recommended.