2009 Baltimore Half Marathon

Last Friday night, Kevin and I headed over to packet pick-up at the Raven's Stadium.  When we arrived, I couldnt believe the crowds of people.  I was thinking we would spend some time checking out the different vendors, but the amount of people made me want to get out of there as quickly as possible.  Not before I grabbed 4 2 smart balance peanut butter/chocolate cookies.  ;)

The bag was filled with some of the standard stuff and some new items.  After seeing the mini larabars all over the blog world at different races - I was SO excited to see they finally made an appearance at one of the races in my area!

Race morning, I attempted to eat my normal pre-race breakfast of wheat toast w/ PB/honey and half of a banana.  But, I only managed to eat half of the toast and the banana - I was feeling the nerves.

We headed over to the start and I brought some GU Chomps for the road in case I got hungry.  The marathon started at 8am, but the half marathon didnt begin until 9:45am.  It was weird starting a race that late. 

Kevin and I were able to cheer for the marathoners and reminisce about last year before lining up in our Wave.  It felt like time flew and before I knew it - we were off!

Miles 1-3:  There were SO many people in our Wave that we ended up walking for 6 mins until we crossed the starting line.  I usually feel like crap the first 3 miles of any race and this was no different.  There was alot of weaving in and out of people to try and find a spot where I wasnt "tailgating" someone.  That process stresses me out for some reason.  I did enjoy running into Canton because everyone had a lot of energy and the folks from my coffee shop (High Grounds) were out cheering everyone on.  It is always great to see a friendly face.

Miles 4-7: As you can see from the elevation chart above - this section was pretty much a continuous UPHILL, all through a rough area of town.  Believe it or not, I started to feel more comfortable and get into a good pace that I felt like I could maintain.  I was running under 10 min miles, so at this point I was on track to break 2:10!  (*warning - weird face below)

Miles 8-10:  The worst of the climb was over, but I knew that I had to do the loop around Lake Montebello.  The good part about this race is that I knew what was coming, but that was also the bad part.  Running around the lake is tough because as you enter - you pass everyone that is just finishing the loop.  Kevin and I had split up at mile 3 because he was having a rough day.  I was realizing now that he was still holding my Sport Beans in his pocket.  I really could have used them here.  They did have Vanilla GU packets at a water stop around the lake, so while I usually hate them, I decided to take a quick swig.  Yuck - it tasted like slimy vanilla sugary grossness.  I rinsed my mouth out with water and pressed on.

Miles 11-12: This is my favorite part of the race for lots of reasons.  Running through Charles Village is awesome because this one guy dresses up in a tiger suit dancing to Eye of the Tiger.  And right past the tiger guy - they give out GUMMY BEARS!  But the best part that is you start heading DOWNhill towards the finish!!  I knew I needed to pick up my pace during this section because I had slowed down during the last few miles of hills.

Miles 13 - Finish:  I kept glancing at my watch and knew that I was close.  My legs were feeling heavy from all the hills and my back was even starting to ache.  The woman who I had been talking with earlier ran by and patted me on the back, telling me to make her chase me!  Then, she whizzed by me like I was standing still!  I tried to catch up, but ended up finishing right behind her.  Final time on my watch, 2:11:22.

I still had hope that my chip time would be a little less, but for the first time ever, my watch matched my chip time EXACTLY.  2:11:22 - Final Chip Time.

I was definitely a tad disappointed that I wasnt under 2:10, but I feel happy I was close and know it was a great training race for the Philly Marathon in less than 2 months!  Plus, I have a cool crab medal and lots of mini larabars to show for it.

Afterwards, all I could think about was EATING.  I was starving.  In the midst of showering and getting ready to go, I forgot my camera, but, I did snap this Iphone pic of my post-race meal of choice.

Pan Seared Scallops served over creamed spinach and a potato pancake.  The BEST thing on the menu at Mama's on the Half Shell in Canton.

Check out the size of those scallops and the perfect brown crust!!  I loved it and ate every single bite.


Anonymous October 13, 2009 at 10:07 PM  

You got great pics! My official ones are kinda crappy! Congrats on a great run...those hills were killer!

Anonymous October 13, 2009 at 10:07 PM  

You got great pics! My official ones are kinda crappy! Congrats on a great run...those hills were killer!

Carron October 13, 2009 at 10:54 PM  

Congrats Lauren! Potato pancakez rawk.

Charm City Kim October 14, 2009 at 6:10 AM  

2:11 is a great time! I totally understand the anticipation of hoping the chip time is faster than your watch time though.

Anonymous October 14, 2009 at 7:54 AM  

Well done! Having your chip time and eatch match exactly is crazy. This was a great race before the marathon. Hopefully, it helped with the nerves as well.

lauren October 14, 2009 at 8:28 AM  

onelittletrigirl\ well I only posted the good ones. There was an "awesome" one of me itching my face.

carron\thanks and yes - they are the best!

Matt October 14, 2009 at 8:47 AM  

Congrats on the race! That is a great time!

Erica October 14, 2009 at 10:32 AM  

Very nice! I think you did just AMAZING! Love free race goods. Your race pictures turned out well...I look like a monster in my last race pics haha. Great meal afterwards- those are some HUGE scallops

Runeatrepeat October 14, 2009 at 10:41 AM  

Great Job!!! You are amazing :) Keep it up.

Nakiya @ Taste of Baltimore October 14, 2009 at 10:59 AM  

Congratulations!!!! Seriously that is an amazing time!

Also - WOW that meal looks great!

Anonymous October 14, 2009 at 11:51 AM  

Congrats! I can't wait till I can start running again - reading about your race recaps really motivate me to get out there!

I love the minilarabars I have seen all over the blogworld - seems like so much better of a size for them.

love your post-race meal too - I love scallops, but can never seem to prepare them really well at home.

congrats again!

Anonymous October 15, 2009 at 8:22 AM  

Nice job on the race.

HangryPants October 17, 2009 at 3:54 PM  

Congratulations! I have never seen larabars at a race I've been in and I've also never gotten a medal (except for at Girls on the Run).

Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) October 19, 2009 at 8:43 AM  

Congrats! Awesome time!

I Run for Fun October 19, 2009 at 10:25 PM  

Congratulations! That's a great pace, I heard those hills were insane. Love all the pics.

Jillian (back to the nest) November 7, 2009 at 4:16 PM  

Just discovered your blog...and I love it! I ran the Baltimore Half too (my first half marathon ever). The swag really was awesome!

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