Jeff’s Daily Post – Baltimore 10 Miler Recap
I was dealing with some stomach issues yesterday and I still don’t feel 100% this morning so no run for me today but don’t worry I will be hitting it hard tomorrow! I thought I would take the time to give a recap of the Baltimore 10 Miler Tamara and I ran on Saturday.
As I mentioned in an earlier post we decided we would make a weekend of it and just stay in Baltimore so we drove up Friday night. When we checked into the hotel I was asked if our stay was business or pleasure. It was obviously pleasure but when I’m running a race it’s a business trip, I’ve got a job to do! The race had a 7:30am start and the organizers suggested that you arrive by 6:30am. Our hotel was about 20 minutes away so I decided I would get up around 4:00am. I like plenty of time to get ready and like to keep my eating schedule somewhat consistent. The morning arrives and I’m excited and a bit nervous about this race. Not nervous about the distance but I was wondering how my foot would feel and I had a very light running week so I wasn’t sure how my legs would respond. I was also worried about Tamara and her shin injury. She kept telling me she was feeling better but I wasn’t 100% certain she was telling me the truth.
We leave the hotel around 5:45am and what a great morning. There was actually a little rain the night before but nothing that would impact the race and the temperature was good. As we were heading out of the city we caught a glimpse of the sunrise it was beautiful (a sign of things to come maybe?). After one missed exit (I’m not sure it existed) we make it to the race location (The Baltimore Zoo). I was a little worried about the traffic but all was good. As we go down the entry drive I notice a parking spot in the grass and tell Tamara I’m going for that. I pull up and start to back in (cars are lined up behind me so I have to make this quick). I’m almost in my spot and I hear the bottom of the van hit something. Yep, the minivan was like a teeter-totter on this small curb – bottomed out. I put the car in drive and the wheels start to spin, then to reverse and they start to spin. All I could think about was the recent video of one of the limos on President Obama’s motorcade getting stuck. Still in a bit of a panic I put the car in low gear and I’m able to finally get it out. I quickly speed to a lower parking lot. I mention this “parking incident” because it actually helped divert my race nervousness and gave Tamara and I something to laugh about. We arrived pretty early so we still had plenty of time before the race start. Tamara wanted to sit in the car a bit longer but I persuaded her to walk with me to the race area. I like to check things out before hand. Tamara immediately makes a comment about the porta-potties (geez that doesn’t seem like enough – a sign of things to come maybe?)
We head to the start line and find our wave. This race had a wave start and we were in wave 1. I love the time right before race start. I was still a bit nervous and worried about my foot but the excitement before the gun goes off makes all of that go away. The national anthem plays and then we are off. I immediately feel a little pain in my foot but think to myself I can deal with this (I was just hoping it wouldn’t get worse). This is a hilly course and I knew it was an up and back so as we start heading down hills I think to myself – “I’m going to be running up these hills on the way back”. I really like running beside Tamara and especially want to do it on these types of races. Not knowing how her shin would respond we had an agreement that I would just go ahead if I was feeling ok but there was no going ahead – Tamara was flying. I asked her about ½ mile in if she was feeling ok and she said yes and I could tell by our pace. I looked down at my Garmin after mile 1 and we ran a 7:33. I look down at mile two and we ran a 7:25. The first 3 miles seemed to fly for me. I loved all the people and loved the fact that Tamara and I were both feeling good. At mile 4 my legs started feeling a little heavy but I was still happy with the pace, still happy to be running beside Tamara. Before we enter the loop around Lake Montebello and the 5 mile mark we see the lead runner coming back. Always amazes me how fast these guys run and this guy was moving. As we were circling the lake Tamara mentioned that she thought she was going to slow down and encouraged me to keep going at my pace. I really wasn’t running at a much faster pace but decided I would try to stay at the pace knowing that Tamara would catch me if she wanted. I like running beside someone and its always hard when we break away. I keep running through mile 6 and 7 still feeling strong. I knew the last two miles of this course we would be going back up those same hills I was dreading earlier. I’m still good through mile 8 but won’t lie, I’m ready for this to come to an end! At mile 9 the hills start and I’m tired but I keep plugging along. I like to shorten my stride and put my head down when going up hills – it helps both mentally and physically. I look at my Garmin and I see that I might be able to break a 1:20. That was my goal for this race and I get a little spring in my step. With about a ¼ mile left I really begin to push. The crowds are starting to grow as you near the finish (love all the people cheering) and I see the finish line and the clock. I won’t be able to break the 1:20 but if I keep pushing I will make 1:20. I feel so strong at this point flying towards the finish hitting my 1:20 goal!!! Yeah!!!! I grab a water and then try to walk up towards the finish line (they will only let you go so far) I wanted to walk up to cheer Tamara. I have no idea where Tamara is at time wise – she even mentioned she might hit a porta- potty so I thought she might be 10 or 15 minutes behind me. As I’m drinking my water I look up and see Tamara she is done with a time of 1:23 – holy smokes. I had no idea she was that close behind me but I was soooo soooo happy and proud. After a week of nerves we both were thrilled with our finishes. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday and can’t wait until we run our next 10 miler!