I’m baaaaaaaaaack. Did you miss me?
Sometime in the middle of last week I realized that I REALLY needed a vacation. Like not an actual go-someplace vacation, but just a break from the stress of my job vacation. So I took off work and for the past 4 days my fingertips have touched nary a keyboard and it has been glorious. I was still hanging around on Insta and Facebook though because obviously fun doesn’t REALLY happen unless you document it someplace for everyone to see. I had a LOT of fun over the weekend. Maybe you saw. I RAN IN A RACE.
The Charles Street 12 was the final event in Charm City Run’s B3 series and I was going to finish this thing if I had to drag my bad foot behind me all the way to the end.
Charles Street is a historic road that starts up near where I live in the county and travels down to the Harbor and probably beyond that too, but I don’t feel like traipsing through those neighborhoods to find out where it stops. The course is advertised as being DOWNHILL!! Like here’s the elevation chart from the website:
Looks easy, right? It’s kind of deceiving. This downhill consists of a lot of rolling hills, some of which are pretty rough especially right at the beginning. I considered running it last year when my longest run had only been 7 miles and now I’m kind of glad I didn’t.
All deceiving downhill aside, the course is an absolute blast to run on. Being from Baltimore and traveling this route thousands of times in my life, it was so much fun to run along where I would normally be in a car though maybe not so fun for all the people that were stuck in their cars waiting for us all to run by. People were pissed. It’s like they had no idea this would be going on, which I find strange considering that there were a couple thousand participants and it’s not the first time this has ever happened.
Being that it is a point-to-point, Charm City Run kindly organized a bus service for all the runners. We could leave our cars at one of the many parking garages right near the finish, take a free bus to the start where there would be a bag check, and then our bags would be shipped down to the finish for us to pick up when we were done. It was very well organized, there was no wait for a bus at all (at least not when I was down there) and I easily collected my stuff at the end. The only thing that could have made this more awesome is if I didn’t live like a 5 minute drive from the starting line. Waking up at 4am to drive downtown, drop my car, then taking a bus basically back to my house only to run downtown again to pick it up was a little weird. But at least I got to ride the bus with AMBER!
If you have never read Amber’s blog, I suggest you visit her immediately. I suspected she would be one of the nicest people ever and was not disappointed.
The race started at 7:30. I had received an email from Charm City Run to meet at their tent at 7am for a photo with a bunch of other runners from my area. That’s how I randomly ended up in the same picture as Stacey and we somehow didn’t know who each other were. My excuse is that I was still half asleep.
Right at 7:30 they began the usual pre-race announcements and singing of the National Anthem. As tired as I was, there was so much great energy out there and the weather was absolute perfection; sunny and 68 degrees. I had been walking around on my tip toes for about 20 minutes before the start in the hopes of loosening up my foot. I figured I would take the first mile nice and slow because I was expecting it to give me problems. And it did. But also just as I expected that mile was really all I needed to get it warmed up. I bid farewell to my friend Trish who I had been running with and picked up my pace a little bit.
With no time goal in mind I was so relaxed and having such a good time. During mile 3 I ran into my friend Mikey who lives in Virginia and I haven’t seen him in like a decade! Awesome!! So I ran with him for most of that mile and we chatted it up. I had never actually run in a race with friends before and now I see why people enjoy it.
After I left Mikey, I was solo for the rest of the time and still I was having a blast singing along to my music, smiling at all the familiar places I was passing and at handfuls of people cheering along the way. I was actually kind of surprised at the lack of crowd support on the course. There was some, but I guess I was expecting more people out there since Charles Street is a major road. The ones that were out there were definitely enthusiastic though as were the volunteers at the many well-stocked water stations. Carrying water would not have been necessary. (Good thing because I didn’t have any.)
Everything was going great. My foot felt good. My splits were good. Then I hit 9 miles and I could feel that my eyes were kind of glazing over. I had FINALLY picked up a pair of running sunglasses on Friday and I was so happy that I had them on because I’m sure I looked like I was in pain. My longest distance since May was 10 miles and I was hoping that I would be able to hold it together for just 2 miles past that, but as it turned out…not so much. I totally bricked on the last part of the course, which was mostly flat but felt extra challenging after dealing with all the hills. I walked a little and at first I was really disappointed in myself, but then I remembered what I had set out to do that day anyway and that was just to make it through. I wasn’t walking because my foot hurt; I was walking because I was just mentally not all there and that was 100x better than being in pain.
The last mile passed through Harborplace which is one of my favorite places on the planet to run. I noticed all these people in crazy costumes and at first I thought I might be hallucinating, but then I remembered that the Otakon anime convention was in town. At this point there were lots of spectators and I’ll be damned if I’m going to finish a race walking, so I dug down deep for whatever I might have had left. My finish time:
I’ll take it! It’s way better than I thought I’d do going in. And you know what else I’ll take?
Bling bling thank you very much! The Charles Street 12 medals are amazing (and sparkly!) and that’s my B3 medal for completing the series.
In addition to the medals, this race and series had great premiums:
An awesome UA logo HeatGear jacket and that sweet backpack that is now my gym bag. Thank goodness because my other bag was getting gross.
It was time to party! I love Charm City Run’s post-race parties. As is my tradition, I grabbed a beer and then proceeded to only have a sip of it because I hate beer. Then I met up with Amber, Trish, and Lisa! Lisa rocks and if you don’t already know her blog, you should! Trish doesn’t have a blog yet. I’ll have to work on that.
My lovely sister-in-law was watching Betty for the morning so I had a little bit of time to hang out with friends – and drink some wine – before heading home. It was really the perfect day. Fun course, the best weather ever (it seriously feels more like early October than August which scares me a little for what is to come this winter), awesome people, and great post-race festivities that included boxed lunches and live entertainment. The only thing I might have changed is having volunteers right at the finish handing out water because the moment I crossed that finish line, all I wanted was water and I had to walk for a bit before I found anyone that had it.
Will I run this again next year? YOU BETCHA! I’ll be signing up for the B3 series again too because between all the races and swag you get, it’s totally worth the price. If you live anywhere near Baltimore, you should run it too!
Here are my recaps of the other two races in the series:
Did you run or race this weekend? I want to hear about it! I have so many blogs to catch up on…I’ve missed you guys!
Oh and PS…Sweaty Bands giveaways ends TONIGHT! Click here if you haven’t entered yet!