Race Recap: It wasn’t too hot to trot, but it sure was crazy humid!

Have you ever made the decision to run a race literally 7 hours beforehand?

That was me last weekend. At 12:30 am Sunday we had just finished watching a movie and I was about to head home when offhandedly I asked if I could borrow $2 because my run club was hosting a 10K in a few hours. Then I had to explain how insanely cheap it is for registration to their races if you’re a member. I love you, Baltimore Road Runners.

Fast forward what felt like about 15 minutes later and my alarm was going off. Armed with my 2 bucks and an enormous cup of coffee I headed to the NCR Trail at Sparks for the Too Hot to Trot 10K. I ran this race last year with my busted up foot. Contrary to what the name might suggest, it was not too hot to trot on that particular Sunday. Actually it was downright cool and when I first walked outside the other day I thought maybe we were going to luck out again.

There was a pretty standard turnout for a BRRC event with nearly 110 runners in the field. I paid my fee and headed down to the trail to warm up. It was definitely not too hot, but it was HUMID. I was sweating after only running a half mile.

2H2T is an out and back from the Sparks trail head almost all the way down to Paper Mill if you are familiar with the area, which most of you probably aren’t. It’s rail trail so pretty flat with packed dirt and gravel. This is also the trail that I will be running my marathon on in November and I’ll jump at any chance I can get to train there. I exchanged good luck wishes with my friend as the air horn blared and we were on our way just a little past the posted start time of 7:30 am. My goal for this race was to not pay too much attention to my pace and run however I was comfortable. I finished up my first mile in 7:15.

BRRC is full of some very fast folks and people took off quickly in the beginning. Until the other runners started to reach the turnaround point, I had no idea how many were up ahead of me. Mile 2 was uneventful. I paced myself behind one guy who I would actually end up following until around mile 5. Things were going consistently. My watch beeped 7:16.

During my third mile the leaders passed me going in the opposite direction and it was the men I would have expected to see out in front. It’s usually the same guys every time. Then one very fast woman who I see out at a lot of races went cruising by. My watch signaled mile 3 (7:17) and I could see the turnaround point up ahead. There was another woman who had been way out ahead of me at the start, but I had been gaining on her and as she rounded the cone I could see that she was the only other woman in front of me which was a very pleasant surprise. I hit the turn and shortly after that passed my friend who told me to “GO GET ‘EM!” I was starting to feel a little exhausted so it gave me a great extra boost. Mile 4: 7:15. Still consistent.

That’s  where things started to fall apart a little bit, but luckily the same thing seemed to be happening to other people too. I passed the woman in 2nd place during mile 5  (7:24) and then I was too afraid to look over my shoulder to see if there was anyone else nearby. I was completely focused on holding on to second place. So focused that apparently I ran right by my friend who was out on the trail doing mile repeats and didn’t even see him.

Mile 6 (7:28) was a blur and I practically shouted for joy when I saw the time clock come into view; obviously because I was done, but also I could tell that I was going to PR! My time:

44:35

More than a minute off my previous 10K PR and I held on to second place. The woman who won was ahead of me by about 3 minutes. She’s amazing.

And I wished I had had a towel with me to dry off. I was SO sweaty and disgusting.

I absolutely love the woman who was the RD for this race. When she is in charge everything is so well organized and she always has such a great spread of refreshments set up for the runners. She even makes awards for the top finishers and I was so proud and happy to take one home!

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THANK YOU!!

I know I’ve said this over and over again on here, but BRRC races are just the best. Well organized, the field is normally small and so friendly, and the courses are always great (I LOVE running on the trail!) They have a great calendar on their website that lists all their events so if you can ever make it out for one I highly recommend it!

Especially if you were thinking about a fun fall marathon! The NCR Trail Marathon is the Baltimore Road Runners’ signature event! (And there’s a price increase on the 31st, so if you want to run with me sign up NOW!)

Have you ever made a last minute decision to run a race? Do you love the 10K distance as much as I do?

xo,

Salt

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One Delicious Race Recap {Fit Foodie 2015!}

SUCH a great weekend…where do I even start?

First of all, I had been looking forward to hanging with some of my favorite gals. I was lucky enough to have been picked for the second year in a row to be an Ambassador for the Fit Foodie 5K and I was in VERY good company: Courtney, Erika, and Amy would be re-joining me along with Mar and Kathryn, who I was excited to finally meet!

Also…man did I need a break from regular life for a weekend. I hadn’t run a 5K since January and was feeling really pumped up about racing. There’s just something about 5Ks that I love. Then I was feeling pretty pumped up about eating a bunch of yummy food.

We headed out at around 2pm Friday, got checked in to the hotel an hour and change later and went over to the upscale Mosaic District, which was the same venue for Fit Foodie as last year. The packet pickup which was easy as pie and staffed by a bunch of friendly, helpful people, was conveniently located in the most dangerous store on the planet, aka: Target. Somehow I managed to get out of there spending a grand total of NO DOLLARS. I don’t think that has ever happened to me before in my life.

After that major success, we killed some time window shopping before heading over to the VIP party, which was held at celebrity chef RJ Cooper’s restaurant, GypsySoul.

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The wine (Prosecco for me!) was flowing and the small plates were quite delicious. Especially the shrimp in some kind of salsa shown in the left hand pic. OMG.

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The tomato soup—which I ate sans bacon because I’m a weirdo who hates bacon—was also good, but the spoon they gave us to eat it with was dollhouse-sized. I ended up drinking it like a shot. Better that than vodka, I guess.

Speaking of vodka, they had some signature cocktails as well. I did not sample them because I’m not a vodka drinker, but they seemed to be popular with everyone else.

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Love these gorgeous ladies!

We wrapped up at the party fairly early because as good as the apps were, we were ready to throw down on a great big dinner back near the hotel and I wanted to rest up for my 5:45 wake up. Not before taking another delicious gift bag of Sartori cheeses with me though! There is currently enough cheese in my fridge to last me until 2016.

The 5K this year was scheduled to start at 7:30 am, which usually would be a great way to beat the summer heat, but by the time my alarm went off the air was already thick with 100% HUMIDITY. I arrived back to the Mosaic District and quickly found my fellow Ambassadors. Just like last year, the emcee was doing a great job getting everyone involved in some pre-race warmups.

I opted for a quick half mile run to get my legs ready. While I was out there, I passed the mile 3 sign…and the most rancid, gag-worthy smelling dumpster I think I’ve ever encountered in my life. I made a point to warn my friends to not breathe in the hot garbage when they saw that sign.

Last year as a last minute decision, they had opted to do a wave start. Although it seemed that just as many people were running this year, they let everyone go all at once, which as I’m sure you can imagine caused a bit of a traffic jam. I was able to maneuver through it pretty quickly though and caught up with the lead group of runners. There was only one girl up ahead of me and I kept my eye on her, trying to match her pace.Pretty soon my watch was beeping the end of mile 1, although there was no mile 1 marker in sight…

…until nearly a quarter mile later? Who the heck had marked this course?

To further complicate things, after another half mile we ran past the mile 3 marker when clearly it was NOT mile 3. Apparently we would be traveling this particular stretch of road twice, which meant DOUBLE the hot garbage smell that I mentioned earlier. Then we had to continue on past the finish line—which I hate—and we were right back to where we started and then traveling on a different street. My watch beeped mile 2, but I never did see the sign for it. We were definitely going the right way because it was clearly marked with arrows and course marshals, but overall the setup was just really, really strange.

During the third mile, leader girl started to pull away and while I was still feeling pretty good, it was like trying to breathe inside a sponge out there and I just didn’t have the energy to go after her. I hung with a few guys that were running near me and soon we were meeting back up with the runners who were about to make their first pass of the horrible dumpster. At that point I knew I was almost done so as soon as my watch beeped for mile 3 I gave it everything I had. My finish time was good for second place female and 5th overall:

20:54

And my splits:

Mile 1: 6:34
Mile 2: 6:47
Mile 3: 6:49
.1: 6:14

I. FELT. AH-MAZING.

You know what would have been even more amazing though? If someone had handed me some water when I came across the finish line rather than just looking at me. Come on, guys.

I liked the way they had things set up this year. The finished line emptied right into the Finisher’s Village where there were food and swag booths set up and of course the wine garden, sponsored by Cupcake wines (some of my FAVORITES!) I exchanged some happy words and high fives with the guys I had been running with and made a quick trip over to where my car was parked in the Target garage to grab my bag and sunglasses. Then back to the finish line to find everyone and taste some yummy eats and drink some yummy drinks. Never mind that it was only 8 am.

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Just like last year, it was a fun, party atmosphere—as you might be able to tell from the above ridiculous picture—despite the intense humidity and rain that fell briefly. Soon they would start calling people up to receive awards. I totally missed the memo on this and didn’t realize that I had been announced until they were on to the age group winners. I quickly rushed up, collected my medal and a photographer snapped my sweaty picture, which I’m sure was just lovely.

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I had already visited all the tents and collected everything I needed, so I bid farewell to my fellow Ambassadors and made my way to the same place I always have to go directly following a race.

That would be Starbucks.

Venti tiramisu latte in hand, it was back to the hotel for a shower and the remainder of the day was spent shopping and being a tourist in DC. It was exactly the vacation that I needed.

Sunday I was scheduled to attend a pure barre/yoga class aaaaaand I’m so sorry, but I managed to sleep right through my alarm and missed the whole thing. Epic fail, I know, but I haven’t been getting nearly enough sleep lately and my body needed it.

So what did I think of this event? There were definitely some interesting changes this year, some of which were better than last such as the organization of the Finisher’s Village. The sponsors and acts of kindness were top notch and many thanks to Cooking Light & Health magazines, Rove, Sartori, the American Diabetes Association, and Pure Canadian Maple Syrup for the love!

The 5K itself was okay and the course definitely had some issues that I think need to be worked out before next year, such as the odd placement of the mile markers. It was nice to see that the area where runners had to cross over each other last year had been revised so we didn’t have to go through that again, but it was a bit awkward having to meet up with a big group right as I was trying to finish out my race. Water at the end would have been really nice too.

And the dumpster. Twice. Let’s not have that again please.

Thank you, Fit Foodie, for a fun weekend!!!

If there’s a round 3 next year, count me in.

xo,

Salt

I tasted the rainbow! {The Color Run recap}

No seriously I did taste the rainbow and it was all up in my teeth afterward.

Last Saturday The Color Run returned to Baltimore and for the second time in a row Miss Betty and I were honored to be Ambassadors, along with my BRF, Sara. There were two separate events that day and we were signed up for the one at 9 am. I just  love the smell of glitter bright and early in the morning.

So yeah . This year The Color Run is presenting the Shine tour and what could be shinier or more sparkly than glitter? Or some gold bling at the end? I was pretty excited that they would be handing out medals this time! Along with the standard white logo tee and rainbow sweatbands, we were also provided with some fun glitter tattoos and at the end of the race there would be a packet of glitter handed to us along with the customary color packet for the big color throw where everyone gets super messy.

Betty and me, equipped with our jogger that still contains remnants from last year’s Color Run, arrived just as they were starting to let people in. We picked up my bib and gear, purchased a stuffed unicorn for our sweet little I Run 4 buddy and met up with Sara just in time to catch the beginnings of the Zumba-style warm up.

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Despite some audio difficulties, it was still a lot of fun. If there’s one thing that the friendly folks at The Color Run know how to do, it’s get people moving!

Right around 9 o’clock, we started making our way to the start and I noticed way too late that we should have probably gotten in line much sooner (sorry again, Sara) We were packed in like sardines. At least we had gorgeous blue skies and sunshine!

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Luckily Betty isn’t afraid of crowds. In fact, she was so NOT afraid that she ended up falling asleep in the stroller while we waited. I have no idea how considering that there was loud dance music blaring right next to us, but naps are so few and far between now that I’m not about to argue them regardless of where they occur.

Eventually it was our turn. I fired up my Garmin and we we went…

…absolutely NO WHERE.

So I know that The Color Run isn’t timed or anything. They were making a point to announce that fact at the start. But some people out there do want to run. This was made pretty near impossible during the first mile with people walking in huge packs and stopping dead in their tracks right in front of us.

I’m fairly certain that I wasn’t making any friends running with the stroller.

The course was much the same as last time with a few small changes, one of which was that the purple color station replaced with people that were dousing us in gallons of glitter. I have never seen so much glitter in my life. It was everywhere including in my sinuses. I sneezed and B snored her way through it.

In fact, she snored her way through pretty much the whole thing. Despite missing out on everything she was cheerful as we rushed toward the finish line. Start to finish it took us right around 27 minutes flat which was not bad at all considering that we spent a mile practically walking. We collected our shiny gold medal, cleaned up a bit, and headed over to the stage for the after party.

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I promise that she was much more enthused than she appears in that photo.

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See all that color? That’s what blowing my nose looked like for the rest of the weekend. We met up with Sara to the side of the stage at 10:15 because as Ambassadors we would be invited up on stage to assist in one of the color throws. This was definitely one of the highlights of my experience. I’m sure it was a highlight of Betty’s too. I got some an adorable short video of her dancing around on the stage. The ham doesn’t fall far from the tree, I guess.

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They announced our names and allowed Betty to do the countdown. Then I tried to get another photo, but I was so freaked out by the giant mushroom cloud of color coming straight for us that I temporarily forgot how to use my camera.

After the dust settled—into my sinuses, eyeballs, and all over my skin—it was time to pack up and head out. Milkshakes at Shake Shack were just what we needed to wash down all the cornstarch.

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One again The Color Run delivered with adorable photos. I think these might be some of my favorite race pics ever.

A huge thanks to them for welcoming us back to the Ambassador team! It was a blast! Apparently the next time The Color Run returns to Baltimore it will be for a night race. That might have to be a mommy’s night out event. 🙂

Have you done the Shine Tour? What did you think? Anyone else take any AWESOME race pictures lately?

Happy Thursday, all!

xo,

Salt