Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Baltimore 10 Miler

Earlier this month on June 3rd, Mr. Marathon and I headed north to Baltimore, Maryland for the first time ever! We had signed up for the Baltimore 10 Miler after I found it just browsing races one day. And I got sucked in by the fact that I had never officially done a 10 mile race before, and the promise of some awesome swag. We made the drive on the Friday before the Saturday race, and boy was it full of traffic! We aren't used to traffic in our sleepy little small town, so driving through both Richmond, VA and Washington DC/Northern VA was a very stressful situation. But we made it after quite a few hours, and fortunately we were approved for race day bib pickup so we didn't have to rush on the night before.

Swag-tastic jacket!!!!!
Race day was upon us and we were instructed to be at the zoo where the race started and finished by 6:30 at the latest so that meant we had to leave from where we were staying by like 5:45. That made for a very early morning! We made it in time, and got ready to go. It was a beautiful morning, a little cloudy and cool. Both of us went into this race with some time goals. I wanted to keep my overall pace below 10:00 min/mile which would put me at finishing under 1:40. Mr. Marathon wanted to finish between 1:05-1:10.

This race was advertised as a challenging but fair course, and that it was indeed. I managed to take off  right at target pace. My first 5 miles were all under 9:40 min/mile pace, and I was right on track for my goal. The first half did have a lot of rolling hills, but was noticeably more downhill. So, I unfortunately knew that the second half would be more uphill. I finished the first half in 46:50. I plodded through the next half with most of my miles hovering between 10:00-10:37 min/mile. There were 2 major hills that really slowed my pace but overall I managed to keep my pace under my goal and I finished in 1:38:50 with an average pace of 9:53 min/mile!

My race photos are always like this...
*eye roll*
Mr. Marathon has been focusing more on short distance and speed, so this 10 miler wasn't really about hitting a certain pace, but as I mentioned before, he thought he was capable of getting 1:05-1:10. He pushed very consistently throughout.  He did mention that the course was challenging, and agreed that the first half was ok, but the second half was tough and noticeably more uphill. When he took off, he didn't quite feel like he was pushing just yet, but after a mile he realized that he was going all downhill, meaning he was going to have to finish up this same hill. That was slightly terrifying. But it didn't finish up that hill. Even better, we hit the hill coming back at mile 8, and then the course continued around a looping area of parking lot and driveways... which were all uphill. So essentially the last 2 miles were uphill. And yet he still ended up finishing in 1:05:47, which he was absolutely thrilled about!

After the race, we got to spend time with my dear friend walking around Annapolis, Maryland exploring the city! And now- PIX!

Pre-race cheesin

Crossing the finish line with my boo --
he came back for me after he finished! *swoon*
Ignore that rando photoboming us lol

That moment when you open your camera
and it's set on front facing and you don't expect it


Sightseeing in Annapolis

The little harbor in Annapolis

Posing at the harbor with Mr. Marathon and my dear friend!
The capital building in Annapolis

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Run for Kids 5K

This past Memorial Day, we traveled south to Georgia to spend time with my family that lives there, and to celebrate my grandparents 67th (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) wedding anniversary! While we were in that neck of the woods, we found a 5K to try out!

Because both of us have decided that we want to focus on shorter distances, we wanted to use this race as kind of a "baseline" race to know where our fitness level is. We arrived in Georgia kind of late on that Friday, so Saturday morning came really quickly and we were running (lol) on not a whole lot of sleep. We woke up early that morning and hit the road for the 30 minute drive to Monroe, GA for the Run for Kids 5K, which benefited the local Boys and Girls Club. It boasted being "flat and fast" so we thought How bad could it be?

It was a beautiful morning, sunny and 68 degrees. We lined up and took off at 8:00 AM sharp. We noticed pretty immediately that it wasn't as flat and fast as we had thought. The course was pretty simple though. It was just an out and back one way then an out and back the other way, and it finished in the park the same way it started. Along the way it had some, ahem, "rolling" hills. It wasn't drastic elevation change, but enough that it shouldn't be considered flat. Either way, it wasn't too bad. I overcame poor eating choices from the previous day and being overly tired from not enough sleep, and I met my goal! I know I said we wanted this to be a baseline race, but I felt trained up to get close to my current record. I managed to hover around my goal pace for all 3 miles, and then I crossed the finish line with a shiny new PR of 27:30, which means I cut off 22 seconds from my previous record that coincidentally I ran at the last 5K we did in Georgia!

Finish line shot! My time was actually 27:30 though FYI
Mr. Marathon got a good feel for how much he is able to push at this point. He was tired from lack of sleep the previous night as well, and he was tired from some tough workouts during the week before the race. He was tired and sore, but he still pushed and went all out on race morning. He was hoping for a sub 20 minute finish time, and he managed to hit his goal! He finished in 19:05, which he was very happy with. We both met our goals, but to top it all off, there was tons of pizza at the finish! Oh, and we both placed 1st in our age groups! And last, but definitely not least, we got to spend a great Memorial Day weekend with my family!

This past weekend, we traveled to Baltimore, Maryland for a 10 mile race, but we will get around to a recap for that one soon enough. For now, enjoy some more pictures from our 5K!

Last turn to the finish!

"I'mma just hang out like this while
my wife takes a pic for my Instagram"

That was a lotta pizza for such a small crowd!

1st place 25-29 F age group!

1st place 25-29 M age group!

Showing off trophies

Trophies with the event shirt