Under Armour Baltimore Marathon - RunMarathon

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Baltimore, Maryland
United States
Baltimore Runing Festival
65F / 18C
Total Time = 3h 10m 41s
Overall Rank = 109/3107
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 18/264
Pre-race routine:

THIS IS LONG!! As usual... :)

Haley and I woke up at 0500. We started out sluggishly. We were tired from the previous night. It had been a long day for me, traveling into Baltimore, packet pickup, dinner, etc.

I took the usual supplements and had a double protein shake. We headed out the door around 0530 to start our trip to Baltimore.
Event warmup:

None really. We got to the stadium, put on our respective lubricants (I will use Aquaphor from now on, the chafing gel didn't work past Mile 13 it turned out), and relaxed. I needed to hit the mens room so I went and did that, but when I got there, I noticed my chip had fallen off of my shoe! I silently freaked out and went to go look for it. Luckily, I found it on the sidewalk about halfway back to the car. Whew!! I would have freaked!! After finding it, I took care of business and headed back to the car. We finished our pre-race preps (gels, belts, etc.) and started to walk towards the start line. There were lots of people. I was surprised at how excited I was though, when the previous week I was dreading being around that many people for the Komen 10K so much that I decided not to race. We made our way to the start area and I found the 3:10 pace group. Hugged Haley, wished her good luck, and got into the crowd. There I waited for the gun.
  • 3h 10m 41s
  • 26.35 miles
  • 07m 14s  min/mile

Right before the gun went off, the crowd compressed up towards the start line. I checked everything...gels, chip, iPod, hat, sunglasses. I was ready.

The gun went off, the crowd moved. I was about 18 seconds behind the clock by the time I started running. I had to weave in and out of people for the first quarter mile but after that, it was smooth sailing. I stayed up in the top 100 and just followed some small packs that seemed to be running my pace. I kept up about a 6:30-6:40 pace for the first 3 miles. I wanted to have as much time in the bank as possible for the back half, which I knew would destroy me. I passed a guy in a Maniacs jersey and did the Go Maniacs cheer for him as I went by. He returned it.

After climbing all the hills in the first 3 miles at sub 7 pace, I felt good and decided to dial back the effort a bit so I wouldn't use up all my energy. So for the next few miles I slowed it down to about 6:55-7 flat. At Mile 4 I took a gel and chased it with water. I had been starting to feel a bit hungry. Didnt' want that. We ran up to the highest point in the city, it was a short steep hill but it was really cool to be running up it. I love the history involved with the city. Soon after, we were running downhill towards the harbor area. I hit the 10K mark at 42:12. Pretty good pace. This was nice and flat and I was able to pick up the pace again a bit at around Mile 7. I kept myself from going TOO fast though, I didn't want to blow up. I noticed this was an out and back portion so I was hoping maybe I'd get to see Haley on my way back. It was cool to see NO ONE on the "back" portion yet, it's cool being up front! :)

Around Mile 8 or 9 we hit Fort McHenry...this was my favorite part of the run...the path went right along the shore of the harbor, past some old canons and a bunker with a big flag flying. The wind was strong here, but at my back. The sun was shining and there was a sailing ship moving across the water. It totally reminded me of running MCM over in Potomac Park at Mile 19 or so. That's my fave part of my fave marathon. I wish I was doing it this year. Anyway, I digress...

As we looped around Fort McHenry, the wind was in my face! It was pretty strong but I still managed to keep up about a 6:55 pace. We exited the park and headed back toward the city. I saw a couple of Marathon Maniacs passing Mile 8 and we cheered for each other. Then a couple more. It was cool seeing the Maniacs out there...there were many in this one! Right as I passed the Mile 12 marker I heard screaming. I looked up and it was Haley!! She was jumping and waving and screaming!!! I screamed a WHOOP WHOOOOOP as I ran by and I waved. It gave me a HUGE rush to see her and I suddenly felt like a million bucks.

Right after that, we hit the halfway mark. I crossed the 13.1 mile mark at 1:30:27, pretty good since that's my standalone half marathon PR. Of course I knew my second half would NOT be that fast. I had some mega hills to conquer yet. Still though, all the people were cheering, I was the only one in the area that was running thru so they were all cheering for me and that was a big pick-me-up. So I kept running fast. I took my third gel and downed my anti-fatigue supplements. I was able to keep up that pace until Mile 16. That's where the big hills started and my sub-7 pace went bye-bye.

The climbs on the back half were not very steep, but they were LOOOOOOOOOONG!!! There was one hill around Mile 19 that just lasted forever. I felt like I wasn't even moving. I looked at my Garmin and I was still doing an 8:30 or so, but still, it felt like I couldn't climb. Finally I made it up. Then a nice big downhill and a nice flat loop around a lake. I took my last gel here. The wind was still strong, but I was able to pick up some time that I lost, I still had about 9 minutes in the bank for my 3:15 goal and 4 minutes for my 3:10 uber-goal. At Mile 20, I had 6.2 miles to go and my time was 2:10:35 so I figured I'd have about an hour and 5 minutes to do a 10K. I figured, I could manage that. Just stay focused through the pain.

After the flat lake loop though, the hills resumed. Three more miles of them. Finally, it was downhill. I still had about 2 minutes left for my 3:10 goal and 7 for 3:15. I figured I'd need every bit of it. My pace was getting very slow. Probably no faster than 8:15's at this point. Just then...Pulsedriver came on my iPod. BIG ENERGY. "Slammin'" is one of those tracks that just makes me go nuts. Suddenly I was runing 6:35's again...passing people. I even repeated it once it was over. I must have gained 10 spots there. But...that was it...my legs were done. At Mile 24 there was a bridge. To me it was like a mountain. A bunch of fast half-marathoners passed me, and it was really demoralizing, even though I knew they weren't in my race. I kept trying to pick up the pace, but I couldn't manage anything more than 8's or 8:10's.

At Mile 25 all I wanted to do was be done, so I tried my hardest to run faster. I was chafed, sore, sweating, and tired. I was starting to slow almost to 9 minute pace. My body was torched. I managed an 8:50 pace as we were heading down the hill toward the stadium but I had nothing else left in me. We entered the gates and I looked at my Garmin. It said 3:08:50 and I had just passed the 26 mile mark. I knew I wouldn't go an extra .2 in under 2 minutes at that point. I knew I'd gotten my 3:15 so I didn't push it. I knew I could probably finish in under the 3:10:59 I'd need if I were trying to BQ for 2009 (which of course I had already) if I just pushed it a bit, so I just tried to get to the finish in under 3:11:00. I gave it all I had and crossed in 3:10:53 on the clock, with a 3:10:41 chip time.

I was VERY happy that I not only beat the time I needed to qualify for 2010, but the time I would have needed if I didn't already BQ for 09. It felt good, since I wasn't feeling my best for the days leading up to the race. Wound up finishing 5 minutes and 18 seconds ahead of my needed split. I was satified and happy!
What would you do differently?:

Perhaps equalize my pace on the first half a bit so I could power thru the back half with less struggle.
Post race
Warm down:

Once I was done, I immediately cramped up. My anterior deltoids were fried...I hadn't been stretching as I ran. Also, my hamstrings froze up. I sat down and tried to stretch a bit. My shoulders were in MAJOR pain, and I couldn't even lift a drink to my lips. As I sat I thought of Christine, and I thought of Terri. I started to cry a bit...I was emotional just from the finish, so it didn't take much. Suddenly I heard my name. It was Hilton (Chippy's buddy/coworker who ran Sunmart with me last year)! He had finished in around 3:16 and was collapsing too. I brought him some water (although I couldn't lift it to him) and then I promptly dragged myself into massage where they worked on me for about 20 minutes.

Then after feeling better and drinking lots of water and Gatorade, I headed back to the car to take care of my chafing, put clean dry clothes on, and wait for Haley. I had some crab soup, pretzels, water, Gatorade, Diet Mountain Dew, and even some Coke. Then I did some texting, calling, etc. and laid down among other racers and took a little 30 minute nap.

When Haley finished we headed towards home and had lots of good food on the way! Crab cakes and steak! YUM!!!

Final results:
Official race time - 3:10:54
Chip time - 3:10:41
Age group - 18/264
Gender - 97/1981
Overall - 109/3107

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Wind! HILLS!!

Event comments:

This was a great venue and a very well-put-on race. I probably won't return to it, but only because my marathoning challenges have to move on from this point. There are much better races (Marine Corps for instance) that I'd rather do at this time of year. But I defintely recommend this race for a good hilly challenge if you're doing Boston in the next year. It's a great primer as the profile is similar.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-09-02 12:00 AM
03:10:41 | 26.35 miles | 07m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 20/264
Overall: 119/3107
Performance: Good
Actual distance recorded by my Garmin 205 was 26.35 miles.
Course: All up hill for the first 3.5 miles. Then down and flat from there til Mile 7. From there, flat, along the harbor at Fort McHenry and back thru the city. Back half was flat until Mile 16 and then all climbing until Mile 20 or so...then a flat 2 miles around a lake, and then MORE climbing til Mile 23. After that, it was mostly flat or downhill, but there was a bridge at Mile 24. OUCH. Miles 25 and 26 were all downhill towards the stadium.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4