There You Go Making My Heart Beat Again

As hesitant as I was to embark on yesterday’s 22 miler on top of everything else on my plate yesterday, when my eyes popped open at 5:45am I took it as a sign that I should go.   Before I could chicken out, I downed some breakfast, grabbed my gear and headed to the rendezvous point at Patterson Park. 

The run was actually a supported training run on the Baltimore Marathon course put on by my favorite local running store — Falls Road Running Store, the official sponsor of the Baltimore Marathon.  Runners could log anywhere from 10-21 miles with options to pick up extra mileage at various points along the course.  I was going for 22, my longest distance yet.

Parking turned out to be a beast of a challenge and I logged my first half mile running from my car to the meeting point.  I got there just as instructions were being relayed over a handheld mega phone to the couple hundred runners that had gathered for the run.  The gist of it was that while there would be water/fuel stops along the course, there would be no traffic control and we would need to watch for cars, stop for red lights, etc..  Everyone signed a waiver of responsibility, left a donation if they so wished, and then we were off. 

Per usual, the first few miles were the toughest.  It took me a bit to find my stride, but my pace was pretty much where I wanted it to be – I was pleased to see that I wasn’t going out super fast.  The Baltimore Marathon is notorious for its hills, which is the whole reason I wanted to do this training run on the actual course.   I’m pleased to report that they were a complete non-issue – looks like my hill training is working out well!

The water stops were at three locations on the course and were strategically placed so that we passed each of them twice – which was a very good thing.  I’m still struggling with hydration.  I took 4 salt tablets over the course of the run and drank plenty of Gatorade, but I still felt like I took in way too much fluid.   I’ll definitely be researching this in the coming weeks, but if you have any tips I’m all ears.

We were given a list of turn-by-turn directions at the start, but the crowd was pretty thick and I didn’t need them for the first 2 hours as I could simply follow the herd.  After that we started to spread out and it got pretty sparse — at some points I could maybe see one other runner up ahead.  Luckily, I know this city pretty well, so I wasn’t concerned about getting lost, only a little nervous at the thought of logging way more miles that I had intended.  When I hit 15 miles and we were still running away from the finish I made the decision to turn around. It worked out perfectly – I hit the park at exactly 20 miles and then ran around the perimeter for the last 2 miles.   Turns out some people (like me) had picked up extra miles while running through Druid Hills, while others (like the ones I was following later in the game) had not and were looking to make up the difference at Fort McHenry.  If I had followed them all the way there I would have run a full marathon by the time I got back to my car! 

Although the last few miles were hilly, they were surprisingly easy, though granted, they were also super slow.  That’s ok though, I wasn’t out to set any records.  I finished 22 miles in about  3h58m, which should put me right on track for a 4:30 marathon finish.

Oh! and I got a chance to meet my pacer for the marathon!  He works at Falls Rd Running Store and we talked briefly about his strategy for race day.  I’m really looking forward to running with a pace group.

Also, I got a lot of questions this weekend about the iPod Nano Multi-Touch I purchased on Friday.  I took it out for its virgin run on the 22 miler and met with success.  The clip worked great and didn’t budge the entire time, the touch screen was easy to use while running and I really have no complaints.  When I first clipped it to my fuel belt I was a little discouraged as the screen was upside-down, but I soon figured out that I could rotate it in any direction – awesome!  I’m thrilled to finally have an mp3 player that I can clip on while I run and not have to worry about carrying it, wearing an arm band or accidentally sweating on it and causing a premature death.

Check out my new power song – I played this one on repeat for the last mile.  The video is a little disconcerting though, no?


13 Responses to There You Go Making My Heart Beat Again

  1. NICE JOB on doing 22 miles!! It’s so cool they had an organized run for you! I wanted to get 22 miles in this training cycle but it just wasn’t in the cards for me sadly. You’re going to rock your marathon 🙂

    I need to download some new music before the marathon. I should make a mental note of that so I don’t forget!

  2. Allie says:

    What an AWESOME run!! I’m doing my first 16 mile run this coming weekend. Your long run reports have made me excited to get my mileage up!

  3. Pam says:

    Wow, I don’t even like country music, but that’s not bad! I like the beat. I like running with songs that match my cadence. Aaaaaaand download.

  4. abbi says:

    That’s been on my playlist for a couple weeks too…love it! Excellent job on the 22, you should be feeling really good about the marathon. Kevin and I were in Baltimore Friday night (OK, maybe we were a little lost in trying to find a hotel where we were supposed to pick up some people and then head over to a wedding reception) and I kept seeing all the banners for the marathon, made me kind of want to do a big one!

  5. The Linz says:

    Wow, way to hit your 22. Sounds like you did it with ease girly. I am so proud of you! You are going to be MORE than ready for the big marathon. 🙂

  6. Laura says:

    Interesting video…what’s with the random jazzercise? I think I’ll stick with running!

  7. BostonRunner says:

    I love this song! I’ve never seen the video before though.. interesting.. haha
    Anyways, GREAT job on the 22 miler! You are all set for the marathon!

  8. jamie says:

    Love this song! Awesome job on the 22 miles! That’s a monster of a training run. You are going to rock the full!

  9. Jess says:

    I had been thinking about doing this supported run to get a taste of the course for the half, but I punked out when I thought about having to find parking in the city. I am just not good at it, so I decided to just run from my house.

    Great job on your 22 miles! You are so ready for the marathon!

  10. Cathy says:

    I’m so impressed! Good for you – you’ll do great at the marathon!

  11. sarah says:

    Twenty-two miles would be my end. That is incredible. I mean, really. I can’t imagine it. To be on your feet for four hours for training is an amazing achievement. Well done!

  12. Erin says:

    I wanted to come out for this, but had a TNT run that morning. Sounds like it was a good run though and well organized!

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