My Baltimore 10-Miler Weekend

June 18, 2012

This past Saturday I ran the Baltimore 10 -Miler, along with a TON of other people.

Going into the race, it was early, I was tired and sore and felt truly unprepared for the whole thing.  I went as far as to suggest to Brandon that we just stay home, that I wasn’t ready and it wasn’t safe for me to run.  All of which, in the end were just excuses for my not wanting to do it.  With a guilt trip from the husband (“you paid for this, you know, and I’m up”) and some kind words of encouragement from some friends, I got dressed, sipped some water and nibbled on my prerun snack to calm my nerves.

In actuality it was a gorgeous morning for a run and we’re lucky they started the race at 7:30, because it was already pretty warm out when we started.

Like I said, this place was super crowded, which is a testament to how popular the race is around here.  Despite a little confusion and a dead phone,  I found a spot right around the 10 minute mile pace, where I had promised to try and meet up with a friend for the race ( I didn’t find her, sad face!).  The course itself was fairly hilly and a hot 10 miles.  I don’t have a gps or pace watch, nor did I have my sports watch on when I was running (I told you, pretty unprepared), but I knew my pace was pretty fast, but still comfortable for me, when I snuck up on and subsequently passed the 9:40/mile pacers.

One of my favorite things about races (and I’ve said this about bike trails as well) is the atmosphere.   I had chosen to not run with any music for this race, something I’ve been doing lately.  I find I run better when I’m not listening to music, as strange as it sounds, I feel LESS distracted, in a good way.  What I thought was really interesting, was without music blasting in my ears, I was able to hear the race.  I’m not sure if anyone who hasn’t raced before, can understand the atmosphere of a race until the experience it first hand.  There are people on both sides of you cheering you on, big signs, giving you water, high fives and encouragement.  There are little kids screaming how proud they are of their moms and telling runners they like how they’re running.  If you’ve never heard a toddler scream “go runners!”, then you don’t know what it means to have your heart melt.  I got to see and hear runners make it a point to be on the outside lanes to thank police officers for their service.  It wasn’t long before I got into the spirit and was thanking them along the way when I could also.  The neat thing was hearing them thank you back, or say you’re welcome and just hearing the gratitude and pride in their voices for being recognized.

I think though, the best memory of the race for me was in the last 1.5 miles or so, there’s a pretty wicked hill.  One guy had slowed to a walk, clearly mentally defeated.  His head was down and his shoulders were drooped.  And this runner jogged up from behind him, passed him, then slowed up a bit to be beside him again. Gave him a solid pat on the shoulder and said something to the effect of “you can do this” and was off again.  Not 5 seconds later that guy was jogging his way up that hill.  Things like that, I feel so lucky to have witnessed and heard and make me happy I listened and got out to the starting line.

Oh yeah.  And the free beer afterwards didn’t hurt either 🙂

I learned a lot during my first Baltimore 10-miler.  I learned that I’m more confident in my abilities to run double digits, I’ve learned to pace myself in the beginning to save energy for the end and I’ve learned that I really want to be more consistent with strength training and endurance runs.  But mostly, it was the reminder that I’m part of a community now, one that supports each other, even when they don’t know each other.  With experiences like that, how can you not be motivated to get back out there for another run?


One Response to “My Baltimore 10-Miler Weekend”

  1. […] disappoint! An early beer was the perfect way to celebrate another great run and I was reminded how amazing a racing community can […]

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