The Dream Star's Corner

Dare to Dream...and DO!
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Baltimore Half Marathon Race Review

I ran in the Baltimore Half Marathon on Saturday (October 13, 2012) and had an awesome time!

Packet pick-up was moved to M&T Bank Stadium but last year it was at the Convention Center. Another group beat the organizers to booking it, so the packet pick up had to be moved. Getting in and out was easy and for once, I actually bought some stuff! I wanted to buy a few things to commemorate my last time running in the Baltimore Running Festival (for now) so I picked up the RUN BMORE Under Armour tank top and the Run Baltimore tech tee at the expo. The  race tee was purple this year (looks blue in the photo).

That night I had to decide on what to wear so I laid out my latest tech shirts and went to twitter to get some help. I settled on the blue TEAM FIGHT shirt. Speaking of TEAM FIGHT, if you haven't made a tax-deductible donation yet, please head over to my site and do it now, pleeeeease!

The morning of the race, I slept in until abou 7:30ish and took my time at home. One thing that I LOVE about this race is the late start time. The half marathon starts at 9:45 a.m. while the full marathon starts at 8:00 a.m. Unheard of, right? Gotta love the nice cool autumn temps. I left home around 8:45 to get to the BWI Airport light rail. I was the only runner on the platform and couldn't figure out why. It was around 9:00 a.m. but I thought I still had plenty of time to drop off my things at bag check before getting to the start line. I started to SWEAT at 9:10 a.m. as I then realized that the light rail must have been running on some sort of delayed weekend schedule. :(

After many silent prayers, the light rail FINALLY arrived. I boarded and the bout of panic soon left me. I prepped my music, fueling, etc and packed away my things in my running bag so when we arrived at the Hamburg Street stop, I just sat there... looking over at Runner's Village...first noticing the various colors of balloons... then thinking "I think the Runner's Handbook said something about different color balloons... something about baggage check having a green bal--- OMG! I GOTTA GET OFF THE TRAIN!" lol

I jetted off of the light rail before the doors closed. Last year, I got off on the Camden Yards stop and went to bag check from there. I don't know if bag check moved or what, but it was RIGHT...THERE! Right in front of the Ravens Stadium - I don't remember it being that close last year. Anyways... So, there I was, racing over to bag check with one other lady behind me who then told me that she was following me. We laughed at how we're half crazy for doing all of this so close to the start time. Bag check was easy... then I jogged behind some other "purple bib" people to the start line.

I made a point to stop at one of the hotels to use the facilities. I had the entire bathroom to myself because at this point, it was around 9:50 a.m. - yep the race already started! But I was in the third wave so I still had a little time. I sprinted to the start line and made it just in time to hear "Wave 3, please approach the start line. You will be starting the race in a few minutes." Wooo! I made it!

I ran a smart race. I KNOW how hilly Baltimore is. I ran in this half marathon last year and I ran the organized 20-mile run which includes part of the BRF marathon course.  This was a taper run for me so I had nothing to prove. I hung back and tried to keep an easy pace around the 10:30 min/mi mark while trudging up hills doing an 11 - 11:30 min/mi pace.

Baltimore's Hills!!!
I knew that the course didn't cut you any slack until AFTER the 11.5 mi mark - a lesson I learned the hard way last year. It's at this point where most people start to walk, stretch, massage out cramps, etc. I chose to walk for a few minutes around mile 6 (on St. Lo Drive) and around my favorite spot on the course, around mile 10.5 when I stopped to take a photo of the singing "tigers"!

These wonderful folks dress up in tiger costumes and cheer on runners while playing Eye of the Tiger in the background. Their dedication to cheering us on while wearing those awesome costumes is so amazing.

I let 'er rip around mile 12 and ran the last mile at an 8:55 min/mi pace! IMPRESSIVE! A lot of people ran out of steam at this point and honestly, I think I could've given a little more for the other miles. I had a lot left in the tank by the end, but I was pleased to beat my time from last year by 3 minutes.

I earned the Baltimore Half Marathon medal that reads "What Hills Don't Kill You Make You Stronger" and no truer words have been spoken. :) I also earned the Maryland Double medal for running in both the Frederick Half Marathon back in May and the Baltimore Half Marathon.

I wanted to pick up one last momento to commemorate my semi-retirement from the BRF. I look forward to enjoying some hot coffee and hot chocolate all winter long out of this nice mug. :) 

I had a great day and actually talked to a few folks who asked me about the MD DOUBLE medal.  Several of them said they will consider the challenge next year! I will be out there... cheering them on with all three of my medals hanging around my neck while holding a sign that reads "I got mine, now go get yours!!!" 

Next up, Marine Corps Marathon!!!  

...but whose counting?

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