October 13, 2013

I'm a marathoner! {Baltimore Running Fesival 2013 Recap}

I know I usually always post a MIMM post talking about my marvelous weekend. Today I'm going to make this post a race recap because this weekend was so marvelous because I ran 26.2 miles at the 2013 Baltimore Running Festival on Saturday!

It's all surreal to me so sorry if this post is scattered and long.  Thanks for all the social media shout-outs I received this weekend, it made me smile so much!

Expo:  
I got out of work Thursday evening and headed over to the convention center to grab my bib and shirt. Last year it was at M&T Bank stadium which was a little too expansive for the expo. The shirts were awesome, as always, because they are made for the running festival by Under Armour. UA also has a bunch of race gear only sold at the expo, which is expensive but so pretty so of course I picked up a couple of things! Other than that it, it was pretty much the standard running gear so I did a quick loop and bounced. 

baltimore-marathon-2013_1

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Pre-Race:
 I actually got a fairly solid night of sleep before the race, despite the race jitters. I had my usual breakfast of a banana and toast with almond butter along with some water and coffee. I also was wearing some AMAZING wonder woman inspired arm sleeves from Katie at Groovy Baby Action GearEveryone had been nervous because it was pouring rain on Friday but the forecast was warm, humid, and cloudy with rain starting later Saturday afternoon-SCORE!  I had some rain gear all ready to go in my bag, but ended up not using it.  I walked/jogged down to a local bar right by the starting line where the training groups could check their bags and use the bathroom. It was really great to see my coach and training group before the race started. 
Race:
They had Erika Brannock, a local woman who had been severely injured at the finish line of the Boston bombings, as the honorary starter of the running festival. It was really special moment of reflection before I attempted my first marathon.  I was starting out with the 3:45 pacers but was feeling tight in my legs from the start. By the way, there was a guy behind me at the start who had run 68 marathons. WOW. I was super nervous, and my hamstrings were really tight, which was not good for such a hilly course. 

I got to to run the first 15 miles with a couple of my training group buddies which was nice encouragement. Around mile 16 the half marathoners joined in with the marathoners which made things really crowded as we started one of the bigger climbs. Obviously there was tons of crowd support downtown, especially with the half and full marathons plus the 5K and relay races. Overall I thought the crowd support on the marathon course was pretty good, especially with all of the city residents who are cheering in areas you might not expect there to be spectators. 

Around mile 18 my hamstrings and quads were really sore, and from miles 17-21 I just remember going between feeling like death and feeling determined and ready to power through, even though my pace had slowed down about 20-30 seconds. I had been anticipating hitting the wall around mile 18 or 20 so it was strange. I never felt like it hit me all at once, I just felt like crap, haha. 

After mile 21 the course heads back down to the inner harbor, and I remember thinking it would be downhill, but it was really just rolling hills. This is where I really felt awful and my right foot started to be sore-I didn't know if I would finish near the time I wanted to. By mile 22 I had lost sight of the pacers and wasn't sure when I would finish. Somehow in the last three miles I powered through and held my 8:30 pace. At the end having people cheer for me (I put my name on my shirt) and smiling a lot helped!  

As I came down the last 0.2 mile stretch, I saw my coach and then heard one of my best friends yelling my name right before I crossed the line which was really special.  I finished in 3:45:30 which was exactly my goal and was 26th in my division and 463 out of almost 3800 marathoners. What?! When I finished all I wanted was some water, but I had walk a bit to get my medal and some water, which kind of sucked.  


baltimore-marathon-2013

Post-race:
I finally got in line for some food-I just ate a banana but they had powerbars, fruit, pretzels, and olives (weird).  Right after the race I felt like I was in a daze and just wanted to sit down, even though I was unsure if I'd be able to get up!  Randomly Caityln, who had been volunteering at the festival, found me and we chatted which was really nice!  I finally met up with my boyfriend and good friend and got lots of hugs. This was one of the most chill, post-race experiences I had. I took some photos, talked about the race with my coach over a beer, and then headed to brunch with a few people. 

Baltimore-Marathon-Finisher-2013

Big news guys, I finally tried an ice bath. I was too scared to try one during training but my hamstrings were SO sore that my boyfriend made me WOman up and do it.  We got the bath to around 55 degrees (we are nerdy and measured), and I wore a sweatshirt and read a magazine for a long fifteen minutes while my lower body went numb. It wasn't fun, but I definitely think it helps. I might do it again!
post-marathon-ice-bath

Yes, there was a post-race dinner of pizza, beer, and Vaccaro's cannolis. The rest of the weekend was spent sleeping in, watching Netflix, and treating myself to food, beer, and some ice cream. As there should be :) 

More post-marathon thoughts to come tomorrow after it continues to settle in that I'm a marathoner :)

Disclosure: Groovy Baby Action Gear provided me with arm sleeves. I received no monetary or other compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

22 comments:

  1. So proud of you! And so inspiring! I'm running my first half marathon in May of 2014 and I'm so nervous. I've a set goal time of 2 hour and 30 minutes as I'm a tortoise when I run. Haha.

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    1. Thank you for all your support! You'll rock your first half and it's great to have a goal!

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  2. You did so awesome! Amazing time! Congratulations on hitting your goal!

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    1. Thanks so much-hitting a goal feels amazing!

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  3. I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU AND WISH I COULD HAVE BEEN THERE! You did amazing and fueling after with vaccaro's- genius. Have you ever been for the all-you-can-eat deal on Monday nights? Life changing.

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    1. Thanks for all the love. ALL YOU CAN EAT DESSERT ON MONDAYS? THIS IS REAL? OMG. Dessert is my favorite. I MUST do that sometime.

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  4. Great job, congrats on your marathon and awesome finish!

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  5. AWESOME!!!! Congrats girl!!! :) Super speedy time, too!!!

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  6. Awesome awesome job!!! Congratulations :)

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  7. You are awesome! Congrats to you!! Your time was great!!

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  8. WOW, that is an incredible time, especially for your first! Training hard and smart paid off- congrats girl!

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  9. Congrats! I have my first one coming up at MCM and hope to make it there okay! (shin pain and seeing the ortho today :/)

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  10. congrats, lady! that's so exciting. all your hard work paid off!

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  11. So awesome! What a great finish time! Congrats on your first marathon!

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  12. That's so cool!! I ran the Baltimore half!! Congratulations on completing your first full!!

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  13. Congrats on a great race and nailing your goal pace! Well done.

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  14. Thanks for linking me to this post! Sounds like it was a great race. I'm dealing with slight hamstring issues right now that I'm hoping to have ironed out so I can for real consider training this year for a marathon!

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  15. Next week i will buy shoes for running and try my first marathon. Hope it will be easy, cuz i'm semi-pro crossfitter:) Thx for sharing!

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