I forgot to tell you all that I registered to race in the Run to Remember 5k yesterday — September 11th. Put on by Charm City Run, the race supports the Baltimore Police Foundation and Baltimore Fire Department. I got a flyer in the mail at work and thought it sounded like a great way to remember those lost and honor our nation’s heroes on the 9th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
I was a little worried considering the stomach pains that had sidelined me the day before were still in full force when I woke up. I got ready anyway and hoped for the best. I was a little late getting to the race as extracting myself from the loo was, shall we say a challenge in light of my situation, but I finally managed to get out the door. I parked in Little Italy (I always park there when going downtown because the parking is free and I’m cheap) and jogged the 3/4 of a mile to the start. My marathon training had me down for 7 miles yesterday so I has some extra mileage to cover before and after the race.
I met up with Uncle Paul — my official race buddy for the 2010 racing season! — and we jogged around the area to loosen up a bit. The race started in front of police headquarters on Fayette Street downtown (coincidentally across from the War Memorial). A huge flag had been suspended from two fire truck ladders to mark the start line. They had some very touching opening ceremonies, including words from the mayor, the police commissioner and the police chaplain. I saw a lot of people getting choked up and several openly in tears.
About ten minutes before the start I realized that I had stupidly torn off the detachable portion of my bib used to record our times. In my defence, it’s been almost two years since I’ve run a race that wasn’t chip timed and so I’m not used to needing to keep it. Still, a really dumb mistake that, in the end, cost me my bib. I asked at registration if they had extras and was told no — they would just take down my bib number at the finish line. (For the record “take down my bib number” apparently translates to forcibly tearing if off my shirt. I felt like I’d been molested. So much for a keepsake…oh, well).
Since I knew the only official time I might have available to me after the race was my gun time, I tried to make it as accurate as possible and started up near the front of the pack. I was passed by a few hundred people in the first mile, but I was carrying an 8:33 pace pretty solidly — or so I hoped. Turns out, when I locked my bezel I also managed to stop the timer (yes, this is the second race in a row my Garmin has failed due to user error). When I hit the second mile marker I reset the workout so that I could at least monitor my pace even if I didn’t have an overall time. Failed again. I reset the workout, but didn’t reset the timer! I finally got it right for the last mile, which is amazing because that’s when the hills became a factor. Did I mention that the course ended in Federal Hill, and that the neighborhood is quite indicative of its namesake?
My 5k PR is 26:30 and I crossed the finish line the gun time read 26:42 (though my official time was posted at 26:50??). I really pushed myself, totally putting out of my mind the fact that I wasn’t feeling my best. Because of the fact that I gave a great effort, I’m pleased with the race in spite of the fact that I came so close to beating my PR time and missed it by just a few seconds. My split times were pretty even (as far as I could tell), and I was passing people like crazy in the final mile so I know I paced myself well. A free pair of Mizuno running shoes was awarded to every 100th finisher — I was #298 (out of 1,205)! So close…
The finish line corrals went pretty smoothly (aside from the previously mentioned assailment) and opened up into the park at the top of Federal Hill. Uncle Paul — who did AMAZING with a finish time of 28:03 — had never been up there so we took in the views of the city below as we enjoyed our complimentary treats (bananas and coconut water!).
I wish I had mentioned that I would be at the race earlier because there were a bunch of local bloggers in the mix and it would have been fun to have a little meet up. Erin from The Making of a Runner spotted me in line for the pot-o-pots! She was with her friend Katye from Long Legs on the Loose who works for Charm City Run and wrote a great recap of the race. It was so cool to meet other bloggers (and to be recognized!!), but we didn’t have a camera on us or anything…boo.
After the race, I walked with Uncle Paul back to his car and then logged another 3 miles as I took the scenic route back to my car. Today I have another 16 miles on the agenda, but when I woke up it was pouring rain. Usually I’m all for running in the rain, but not for 16 miles. Call me crazy, but I’m not a fan of running with bricks strapped to my feet. The rain should be letting up soon, but I’m sure the trail I’d planned to run is a muddy mess. I’m not sure where I’ll go now… but you know I’ll keep you posted!