Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Baltimore Women's Classic 5k 2012 Race Review

This past Sunday marked the beginning of my fourth year of running.  I ran my very first 5k at the Baltimore Women's Classic 5k in 2009.  Sunday, I ran the streets of Baltimore at the 2012 Baltimore Women's Classic 5k to celebrate my running accomplishments.

For some reason, each year the temperatures are hot.  I know it's June, but it is seriously one of the hottest mornings (in my opinion).  Amy at Pumpkin to Princess also ran and says it was 87 degrees Sunday morning.  I didn't check the weather, but it was hot!

But, I got up at 6:30 a.m. and got ready.  At 7:10 a.m., hubby and I left the Radisson and started the walk over to Rash Field.  We stay overnight because the drive down is brutal!  We live about an hour and twenty minutes from Baltimore and we had actually driven down the morning before so hubby could run in the Dreaded Druid Hills 10k - he was up at 4:00 a.m. and I was up at 4:30 a.m.  Plus, staying over is a nice little vacation.

My silly hubby took this photo of me walking to the race.  Goof ball!

I'm in the obnoxious orange shirt

And true to BWC history, we got a photo of me pre-race.  The pre-race photo is always so nice.  I'm not dripping sweat.  I don't feel like I'm going to die.

Not a bad background for your pre-race photo

Got there early enough to check out the expo.  It's not a bad one for such a small local race.  There was a warm-up with the owner of a local fitness chain.  I believe they help train people to run the race through Charm City Run.  I never participate in this because A. it's hot and I don't want to make myself hotter than I already am; B. I don't necessarily agree with the whole warm-up before a run mentality; and C. I don't want to tire myself out before running, i.e. I'm lazy.  

Shortly after the warm-up session we were all told to start making our way over to the start line on Key Highway.  Almost all races in Baltimore involve Key Highway in some way.  The past two years this race started at Key Highway between Rash Field and Federal Hill. I made my way to the 13+ minute mile runners (because of the heat I knew I would be slower than I've been running.  I'm ok with that.  I also didn't want to impede others who would be running faster by being too far up.).  We had one false start, then we were off!  

I'm waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy in the back

We ran up Key Highway and made a right.  I have no idea what street it was but the street is steep.  Really steep.  Last year we ran up this street and I wasn't prepared.  I walked it.  LOL!  This same street was in the Sole of the City 10k in April, at the very end of the course.  I ran half the hill, then walked the second half making sure I had enough left in me to run to the finish line.  Sunday, I ran the whole hill.  :-)  Improvement!

And then we kept running.  I usually run half a mile, walk a minute, repeat.  Sunday, I ran through to the first water stop.  I walked there because I honestly can't drink and walk at the same time without a straw.  Then I started running again.  I had a good mile time (12:05) and a good two mile time (24:48).  Then I did the math.  I wasn't going to PR the race.  I didn't think I would, but you never know.  And when that thought crept into my mind, I stopped pushing.  It was hot.  I was hot.  So I let up.

Brian caught me after the second water stop as I came back down Key Highway towards the finish line.

Eh.  I look like crap.  I usually don't wear such tight pants, but it was hot and they were shorter than anything else I owned.  Bah!

Went past Federal Hill/Rash Field on Key Highway to the turn around point.  From there, you come back towards Federal Hill/Rash Field, but you turn into a condo development and run along the water.  It's very scenic.  Kinda warm.  Very sunny.  I got around the corner and needed a break.  I walked for about three posts and started running again.  It's a bit chaotic at the end because there are lots of volunteers and spectators, but it's not too bad.  There's a volunteer who tells you to mind your step as there is a step down once you leave the boardwalk area and head into Rash Field.  :-)
I saw Brian as I came up to the finish line.

I'm in the orange and black up near the actual Finish line, just in front of a girl in teal

I crossed the finish line and let go a sigh of relief.  I like this race and all, but man it's hot!  As I headed through the shoot, a nice volunteer took off my timing chip.  Then another volunteer handed me a freezing cold wash cloth.  Love that!  Next a volunteer handed me a cold bottle of water.  Yea!  And finally, a third volunteer handed me a rose.  Yes, a rose.  Love that!

Just as I started to look around for hubby, he called out behind me and there he was.  Walking through the shoot.  LOL!  We headed towards the food (because at this point I was hungry!) and I got a slice of watermelon (thanks Falls Running Store!) and half an orange.

We  hung out a little bit after the race.  Sat under a tree and just people watched.  Then it was time to head back to the hotel to shower.  Yea.  Shower.  Ahhhhh...  But not without first getting a post-race photo!

Told ya I got a rose! 

Again, another successful BWC race!  I didn't set a PR overall, but I did set a race PR with a finish time of 39:05, so starting with those 13+ minute mile people was about right in the end.  Last year, I ran the BWC in 42:02, so a nice 3:03 minute improvement!

I plan on running this race again next year, for the fifth time.  If you're interested, it really is a great race and with it being a women's only race, it's just got a different vibe than any other race.  Maybe I'll see you there next year!

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