Monday, October 14, 2013

Race Report: Baltimore Half Marathon

A little spontaneity is good for the heart.

At least that's what I was thinking in the early miles of this race as I was smiling ear to ear and loving every step. Given that I had arrived at the starting line skipping and dancing around, it was a good day! But getting there was a bit of a different story.

There seems to never be a dull moment in our household. Since the hubby's 100-mile goal race was cancelled (thank you government shutdown!), he has been eagerly on the hunt for a rebound race. Last Tuesday he declared that he'd be running the New River Trail 50k and that I should also do it. The race had previously be on my schedule but I decided to nix it a few weeks ago. I wasn't changing my mind and made that clear. He's perfected his pouty face, but I wasn't giving in and he didn't want to do it without me.

The next morning I received a phone call from him declaring that he wanted to run the Baltimore Marathon instead (say what?!). I was more than fine with him racing, but I personally wasn't too keen on the long car trip and wanted to stay home. It was his turn to put his foot down and like it or not he was determined to drag me along for the ride. Friday evening we made it to the expo and he registered... by this point the long drive was over and I was coming around. The buzz of excitement around me made left me a bit jealous, as did the super cool t-shirts. As we were about leave, I stopped dead in my tracks sheepishly declaring "Umm, I want to run too... can I register?" (I'm a punk some days, I know it!)

What I had not previously realized is that there was a half marathon option... and I was oh so conveniently scheduled for a roughly 12-13 mile run anyway. Ok, signing up would be the more costly option of getting it done, but a long run with crowd support? Sounds good to me! So I registered and picked up my shirt with a smile and we made our way to our destination for the evening.

Pre-race we hung around the starting line, sitting against a random wall at Camden Yards enjoying the music and crowds. With no expectations regarding performance, it was SO nice to feel that relaxed pre-race. The marathon went off at 8am and I had almost 2 hours to kill before my start. My brother and sister-in-law and I made our way to the halfway point (also my starting line) to cheer on the hubby. I really enjoyed the spirit of cheering on the other racers though I did not enjoy standing in line for the port-o-potty (who does!). The hubby flew by on pace for a great race and a few minutes later I started. The timing of it all worked out perfectly!

Mile 9 of the Marathon
My long run was suppose to be a negative split so I started the race conservative, carefree and relaxed.... a lot of people were passing me in the early miles but I was determined to not get carried away by it all. Taking it easy gave me the opportunity to look around and enjoy the sights and scenes around me! A lot of people where dressed up in costumes and the crowd support was stellar. Of course there were a lot of fun signs and my two favorite were "Smile if you peed yourself a little" (lol) and "Keep running. You're working harder than all of Congress!" (ha!)

Around halfway I picked up the pace with the goal of finishing with a negative split. Most of the later miles were great, some were rough, but regardless I passed a lot of people which is always fun! In the last mile a guy that must've been close to 7 feet tall pulled up next to me and said "stay with me through the finish!" I tried, but I was also taking about three steps to match his one (poor excuse I know). I finished strong, but with some energy left in the bank, collected A LOT of post-race goodies (I paid a lot of money for those!) and then made my way to find my better half. He rocked his marathon, finishing with a new PR and 13th overall! This was more about him than me and I'm glad he was able to find some justification for months of hard work after his goal race was cancelled.

Life is good in the kids zone!
I do think racing "just for the fun of it" is good to do from time to time, even if it's not an all out effort or for workout purposes. Days like these remind me of the joy running brings into my life and how that shared joy unites so many people in the form of running communities and long lasting friendships (or marriages!) :D

Seize the day!

Have you ever jumped spontaneously into a race last minute? How did it turn out?


  1. Cool! Congrats to the hubs on a great PR. That's a tough course, but fun. Friend of mine finished the 50k 3rd overall.

    1. Very Cool! One day I'll do that 50k... it's so close to home and all!

  2. What fun! I did a lot of "training races" last year, but they were all planned out. I don't know if I'm spontaneous enough to jump into a race, but it would sure help if my hubby was hell bent on registering! :)

  3. What a great story and more evidence for the wisdom of a conservative start!! You are a very good sport to go all the way to MD at the last minute but so glad it paid off! Very cool!!

    1. Yup, holding back definitely paid off in the end, as did the trip! Learning (slowly) to be a bit more flexible

  4. Yep, I know that I'm way behind on reading this recap! Congrats on another fun race for you and your husband. Congrats to him on his great finish!

    My hubby and I ran the Baltimore Marathon the first five years it was held. I really like that race a lot!


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