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My Second Half Marathon - The Baltimore Running Festival...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Saturday I ran my second Half Marathon in Baltimore, Maryland.

I will first take you back to Thursday. My husband and I drove down to Baltimore which is about 45 minutes from our house. I wanted to pick up my bib early, because there was a total of 27,000 runners participating. Some were in the relay, some were half marathoners and others were marathoners.
The Baltimore Marathon is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, so there were very serious runners participating.

I bought some cute running shirts. The Chesapeake Bay is famous for it's blue crabs - I catch them right off of my dock and can tell you they are pretty awesome! The running mascot is the blue crab and the crab is all over the running shirts!

Underarmour's headquarters is in Baltimore and they were the official sponsor of this race. Here is a picture of me with my bib in front of their huge truck...

Here is a close-up...actually the one I put on my facebook status the night before the race...

I love the "I WILL" sign behind me - what a vision statement!!

Anyway, we ate at a really great Irish place for dinner then headed home. The next day - Friday - after work we headed back to Baltimore. We stayed in a really nice hotel on the Harbor. All of the roads around the Harbor were going to be closed the next day, so it worked out perfectly. We went to Little Italy for dinner. My husband said he had the best dinner of his life. It was baked gnocchi. The gnocchi was a lot wider than normal. I tried a bite and it was delicious. I had rigatoni, chicken and broccoli. We were asleep by 8:30!

Now, the half marathon didn't start until 9:45 AM. The marathon started at 8 AM. So, this time I wasn't worried about oversleeping. I was a lot calmer than my last Half Marathon at Disney. That is, until we turned on the television at 7:45 am! This Half Marathon was on, and it was showing all the runners. There were tons - 27,000 (did I already mention that?). It was like watching the Wide World of Sports (remember that?). I thought, oh crap, what did I get myself into?

We went outside and there was helicopters flying all around. There were tons and tons of runners.

We found my corral. It was REALLY cold that morning - 50 degrees...(Becky, you know how I feel about the cold!) Anyway, I wore a big jacket and throw away t-shirt underneath. I planned on giving my husband the jacket - as it turned out, he got to stay with me until the race started. Here I am cold, waiting to start...

A lot of people ran in jackets and long sleeve shirts or layers, I wore a tank. I knew I would get warm once I started...(I am in the pink tank top, sunglasses)

And then we started...

As many of you know, I didn't hear that this race was hilly until about two weeks before. I train on hills, but, being that it was my second HM, I was pretty nervous. As it turned out, it was very hilly. The only time it was flat was around a lake for 1.3 miles. But, I ran up and down every hill. I was stunned everytime my runkeeper piped in that I was running 9.07 - 9.20 per mile. I didn't stop or walk at all. I do have to admit, at mile 11, my brain almost succeeded in talking me into walking for a bit - but I did not. I told myself I would kick myself later if I did, and I kept going.

I saw one of the most beautiful sights as I ran that morning. I was running down a hill and looked ahead at least three miles straight ahead. All I saw was constant hills and runners in every color shirt running them. They completely filled the street. I wished at that moment that I could stop and take a picture - it was perfect. But, I didn't want to stop.

They gave out water and gatorade every couple miles. They also handed out gu and gummy bears. I had my cherry gummy bears in my back pocket and ate two every two miles. There were news vans everywhere. People lined the streets to cheer us on. They were holding funny posters, wearing costumes, there were bands, it was amazing.

I saw my husband near the finish line - he video taped me running by - we are still trying to figure out how to publish it!! He was screaming for me!

The only bummer was at the very end. As soon as I crossed the finish line, I had to stop dead cold. All the marathoners, half marathoners and relay runners were all bunched together. It was awful stopping so suddenly without being able to walk! I mushed my way through - one of the advantages of being short!I grabbed my medal and water and went to the food line - saw how long it was - and it wasn't moving, said "forget it" and went to look for my husband. I just couldn't imagine standing without moving, waiting for a banana! My legs would have cramped up. This is where Disney really shines! Disney has everyone spaced out, places the medal on them, and takes their finish picture. No one was crammed together and made to stand there. That hurts after running with your all for 13 or 26 miles! (I am going to be writing the Baltimore planners about this!)

So, I do not have a "finish picture" after this HM. I have this one my husband took two days before...

Here is my bib and medal...

Here is a close up of the medal, which I think is pretty awesome...

If you can't read it, the little print under the crab says "What hills don't kill you make you stronger"!!

The best moment was when my husband lifted me in the air and told me how proud he was of me :)

Oh, and my time...I finished this Half Marathon in 2 hours, 6 minutes! This is my new PR! I beat my first Half Marathon time by 4 minutes!

So, what is next, you ask... The Disney World Half Marathon in January, 2013! And, it is a flat course. I will be running it with my brother, who plans on having me run it under 2 hours - YIKES!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NVRDWN88 10/16/2012 10:13PM

    Awesome great time and cool medal

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RIVADERCHI 10/16/2012 5:01PM

    Hi R. Mom! Super fantastic! Congrats on your 2nd Half Marathon and P.R! As usual, you are so awesome and I loved your blog! I felt like I was there (shiver!). Keep up the good work! We're all so proud of you too! Great-looking medal, too! Way to go! emoticon emoticon

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KIMPY225 10/16/2012 3:32PM

    Wow thank you for all of the info & pictures! I love them all. Great job with the new PR! You are amazing!

Disney?! Awesome!!

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INFLATED 10/16/2012 3:16PM

    What an experience! I can't imagine that many people running. I am so glad that you didn't cramp up at the end.

Your crab medal is really nice! We went for a walk along the lake on Saturday morning and it was cold in Garrett County. I hope you do stretching to warm up before you start on your runs.

I am so happy about your new personal best, and it was on hills! I would have liked to have seen a picture of your husband lifting you in the air.

Your blog is awesome and congratulations on your accomplishment!!!!!
I wanted to take a picture of a road on the mountain I used to sled ride on, but it was gone. After 28 years, nothing looked the same.

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LKEITHO 10/16/2012 9:35AM

    Great job on your half marathon! I love the medal. Maybe I'll see you in Orlando in January - I'm planning on doing that one, too!

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BUDRFLY31 10/16/2012 9:23AM

    Woo-hoo! I can't imagine running in a big race like this. I have not had the guts to run in a huge race. I stick to the ones close by in Vermont. I envy that you can run in Disney! Finances keep me from it. SOMEDAY!!!

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OFFANDAWAY 10/16/2012 9:15AM

    A great race report - congrats on the PR!

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BOILHAM 10/16/2012 9:10AM

    Excellent blog and a great PR time, too! Not to worry, You can still get your finisih line pictures. There are lots of programs, such as Windows Movie Maker, than can take a picture from a video. Use the video your husband took of you near the finish line. Good luck!

Comment edited on: 10/16/2012 9:11:52 AM

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ONMYMEDS 10/16/2012 8:57AM

    Holy smokes!! NICE job. Love the bling.

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MIRAGE727 10/16/2012 8:56AM

    Sweet race report! Congrats on your outstanding Half. Thanks for sharing!

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NEWNAC304 10/16/2012 5:54AM

    Awesome! You did great! Thanks for sharing your success with us.

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STRIVER57 10/16/2012 2:07AM

    wow! you rock!! congratulations!!!

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BLUE42DOWN 10/16/2012 1:04AM

    2 hours sounds totally doable without all the energy expended on hills!


Oh, and loved the motto on the medal - so fitting!

Comment edited on: 10/16/2012 1:17:11 AM

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BEWELL48 10/15/2012 11:31PM

    So exciting and such an accomplishment!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
You certainly should be proud of yourself!!L
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JAXMOMMY 10/15/2012 11:19PM

    Awesome! I felt your excitement and it was a vicarious rush! Thanks! I'm very proud of you and wish you continued success!

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MAGGIENCALI 10/15/2012 10:31PM

    That is so exciting!!!! Congratulations! I may have to put this one on my list of races I would like to run someday. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/15/2012 10:32:32 PM

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LYNNIERN 10/15/2012 9:41PM

    I got chills when I read the part about the sea of colors and all the runners you saw up ahead, that is always such an awesome sight to see! Congratulation on an AWESOME race!! Love the medal they give you, it's almost as great as the one you'll get a Disney!

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SABLENESS 10/15/2012 9:27PM

    How exciting! Thanks for sharing it with us. Love the pics. Go for Disney!

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2 1/2 Days Until The Baltimore Half Marathon...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's starting to get exciting! I am getting daily emails about the Half Marathon. I printed out my e-ticket for registration. My husband and I are going to drive down to Baltimore tomorrow afternoon to get my bib and shop at the Health Expo. We have to work Friday and I don't want to be stressed about not getting there in time to pick it up. I booked a nice hotel for us on the Harbor and made reservations at an italian restaurant in Little Italy.

Today I "jogged" my 3.1 hilly running route. I ended up changing back to my "old" sneakers. I have been wearing the new ones for six weeks and have never felt real comfortable in them. When I wore them Sunday for my 13 mile run, I ended up getting a blister under my foot in the arch! I am hoping it is pretty much healed by Saturday.

Tonight I packed my running gear. I also remembered to get gummy bears. They worked great last time. I am going to check out new earbuds at the expo.

More tomorrow...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENGRAMMER 10/11/2012 8:15PM

    Sounds exhilerating. Wish I could run like that.

I'm originally from Baltimore county but now live in Charlotte, NC. Been to inner Harbor many times.

Have a great race. emoticon emoticon

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KAREN_NY 10/11/2012 7:54PM

    ditto on the vaseline.

do what works!! you're gonna be great!!

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STRIVER57 10/11/2012 4:33PM

    have a wonderful race!

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KIMPY225 10/11/2012 2:16PM

    Yikes, sorry about the new shoes!
Best of luck to you on the race!

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PUPPYWHISPERS 10/11/2012 1:25PM


I'm so excited for you!

Regarding the blister, I've had good results by covering with a blister bandage, then covering the bandage with a "heavy duty" (larger size) bandaid to keep it dry.

I can't wait to hear all about it! Have fun!

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52WEEKSLAURA 10/11/2012 11:35AM

    Baltimore is beautiful this time of year!! Enjoy EVERYTHING!! I hope you and your husband have a wonderful time emoticon

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INFLATED 10/11/2012 11:03AM

    You will do fine.

My sister called me last night to see if we had any plans while staying with them. She is going to have her son or daughter drive us around.

My husband said he wanted to take the Ford Ranger so in case of snow, he could use 4-wheel drive. We laughed at this. You would think we were going to the Rocky Mountains. The weather is not to be that cold. We did have a snow here last October that had several inches of accumulation.

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MARATHONDAD 10/11/2012 8:36AM

    wear Vaseline on your feet or body glide. for your blister get a product called nuskin works miracles

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FITFOODIE806 10/11/2012 7:44AM

    So exciting!! If the blister isn't all the way healed, try a blister band aid. I got the Target brand and was amazed by how well they worked. Covered it perfectly and I didn't feel a thing.
Have fun!!!!

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SABLENESS 10/10/2012 10:02PM

    Shoes can be a challenge. Ones that should be just right sometimes aren't. Sounds like you're ready to go! Cheers!

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Four and a Half More Days Until the Baltimore Half Marathon, My iFit Module, & Running Trail...

Monday, October 08, 2012

Yes, Saturday is the BIG day! It looks like it is going to be in the low 60's, no rain... Yayyy!

Last Saturday, we went to Baltimore to the Fells Point Festival. My husband was going to drive me along the running route so I could see where I would be running since I am hearing lots of talk about hills. We didn't finish at the festival until dark, so I planned on driving back down to Baltimore (about 45 mins from my house Sunday). Then I remembered my iFit module!

I pulled iFit up on my computer and put the entire running map in. Bingo! I ran it on my treadmill while I watched the computer screen which showed the streets I will be running on. Here is what it looked like:

I have never run 13 miles on my treadmill. I had my iPod blaring, two fans running, lots of water and Baltimore streets on the screen! It was pouring rain and cold, so I was in the right place for my last long run. Here is the final graph of my run -- there was 3, 5, and 7.5 incline points. It is going to be a hilly race!

I ran the whole thing without stopping. The only problem I had - which got on my nerves fairly quickly - was that I forgot to change the max speed on my map, so every time I hit an incline it dropped my speed down between 2.4 to 4.2 . I had to keep changing the speed back up. I guess I will be ready if a runner stops in front of me :)

I also wanted to show you where I have been doing most of my training. It is in the development right by my house. I think these hills have helped me the most with all of my races, and I think they have prepared me for this HM.

Here is the first hill - it is the steepest and is the first thing I run up as I get out of my house...

This is the rest of it...

As soon as I get to the top, I turn right onto a much smaller hill. After I run up it, there is an equal distance down hill, then I turn around in the cul de sac, run up and then down and return to the main street.

Then I hit this hill, it goes to the top then I turn around in a cul de sac and come right back down...

This is the the longest, highest hill. I always imagine everyone watching out their windows so I don't stop!

I ran these hills for the first seven miles of training last week. I ran each one four times with the main road in between.

So, now I am taking it easy. I am not sore at all today but know to take a break. Tomorrow afternoon I will go to my chiropractor for my final adjustment. All of this running on asphalt throws my hips out of line. I will run three miles on Wednesday and two miles on Thursday at a nice easy pace.

I will end with a "quote of the day"...

"Many people shy away from hills. They make it easy on themselves, but that limits their improvement. The more you repeat something, the stronger you get."
- Joe Catalano


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

INFLATED 10/9/2012 11:57AM

    I believe you will do fine. I always ran on a gravel road, on grass or on the berm of any paved roads.

You haven't slacked for hills and so your body is prepared when you call on it for extra "umph." That is what I think is the secret. In many countries such as New Guinea and Kenya, runners run up and down mountains that we wouldn't attempt. Their bodies are called on for proper breathing and endurance.

You will do fine and even though I will be up at Deep Creek Lake, I will be thinking of you. I hope to see one hill that I used to walk up and how everything has changed with development. I used to sled ride down many hills and let my German Shepherd pull the sled up the hill for me. She loved it.

Hubby bought a Sony camera, so maybe we can at least get some pictures. Uploading them to the computer may be another thing for us, we don't know how to or what we will need to do so. I just pray we have good weather while we are there on Saturday.

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JAXMOMMY 10/9/2012 11:41AM

    OK, I'm blind so have no idea what all technology can do these days! That ap is so very impressive! What a wonderful way to train on a rainy day! You are also impressive! Can't wait to read about your experience! I live vicariously thru you Spark runners! OH, I do other stuff, but don't run and never thought I would want to, but..... Go get 'em! We'll all be here cheering for you!

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SCAREWALDORF 10/9/2012 11:39AM

    You're so good doing your hill training! I am lazy and tend to shy away from it, I must take a leaf from your book.

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KIMPY225 10/9/2012 10:30AM

    Great job! Keep up the awesome work!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEWNAC304 10/9/2012 5:54AM

    You are doing great!

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KRISZTA11 10/9/2012 3:21AM

    That iFit application is awesome!
You simulated the race very creatively with the treadmill and the computer screen!
The streets around your home are very nice, a great place to run.
Good luck to the race!

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    You are awesome! I love that you thought to put the race map into your iFit module. What a great training run! Though, yeah, the 2.4 - 4.2 thing would've been incredibly annoying! I could never figure out how to get the fancy treadmills at the gym to do anything other than a 30-minute countdown, at which point it would stop and I'd have to start over again. Mine at home counts up, which makes a lot more sense to me.


I hope you have a FANTASTIC race!!

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FITFOODIE806 10/8/2012 8:17PM

    What a cool thing to use with a treadmill. And what an impressive time for a training run indoors! you are gonna rock this race!!! And that hill out of your neighborhood is ginormous!! You are more than ready. Have fun!!

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JEM0622 10/8/2012 7:45PM

    My husband is doing this one too! Have a great race! emoticon

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ONMYMEDS 10/8/2012 7:28PM

    Gosh, I hope they get those cars out of your way by race day. emoticon

Good luck!! You'll show Baltimore who's boss.

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ZIGGY122 10/8/2012 7:06PM


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Main Street Mile-A Family Event...

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Yesterday morning my husband, and two sons (24 and 21 years) and I ran together in the Main Street Mile (held in Newark, Delaware).

This race was monumental not only because the whole family ran, but, that it marks one year that my husband has been cancer free! Last year, my husband walked this mile which wasn't long after his surgery.

It also was the first time my 24 year old has been in a race - he started running two weeks ago. He is the shortest one of my three guys in the picture below. He loves his new running shoes and ran it in 8 mins.

My other son has run several races. He ran this mile race in 7 mins, 15 secs. Two hours later we found out he had strep!

We also had several friends who came out to race too. Most impressive was a friend who is starting to exercise and working on her weight. She has to lose about 100 pounds. She always comes out to cheer us on, but, yesterday walked the Main Street Mile. She came out and did it!

I was so excited by all of the above, I didn't realize until today that I completed another goal! Last year I ran this race in 9 mins 15 secs. Yesterday I ran it in 8 mins, 38 secs.

We all had a lot of fun!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEMPERANCE88 10/8/2012 9:33AM

    Awesome! It's so cool that the whole family got that in together!

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MARATHONDAD 10/8/2012 9:11AM

    thats a so wonderful the whole family running!@!!!!

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SOON2BSMALL1313 10/8/2012 9:09AM

    Thats GReat! You guys look like you're having a great time :)

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    How fun that you were all able to do that together! Maybe my family can be like yours someday!
I hope your son feels better soon! I can't imagine running that fast ever, but especially not with strep!

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INFLATED 10/7/2012 4:20PM

    It's wonderful when the whole family joins in. Congratulations to your friend.

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KAREN_NY 10/7/2012 1:02PM

    Excellence runs in the family, I see!!! Woohoo!!

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ONMYMEDS 10/7/2012 12:16PM

    Outstanding. Congrats to the entire family!! emoticon

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LADYPIXEL 10/7/2012 12:12PM

    I look forward to the day when I can do a mile in that kind of speed. Good for you! :)

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9 Days Until The Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon...

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

So, as I reported earlier, I found out that my upcoming HM has some hills. Yesterday, when I mentioned my upcoming HM to my gym's owner, he looked at me like I was nuts. I thought "oh, crap!".

So I ran a bunch of long hills yesterday. I came up to one long, very steep hill in a development. I got half way up and had to walk fast the rest of the way up. My goal this weekend is to make it all the way up.

Today it rained. I ran 3.5 miles at a 3. Incline for about half of it - on the gym treadmill. I then did some quad work - squats, leg extensions and leg ups.

Tonight I talked to one of my marathon ruining friends. She said she hasn't run this marathon but said she heard it is the hilliest EVER!

So, I am going from the flattest HM to the hilliest! I am going to take my time, get a nice pace going and go for it!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWNAC304 10/3/2012 5:06AM

    You go girl! I think it's awesome that your doing this!

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MARATHONDAD 10/2/2012 9:41PM

    take shorter strides up the hill and make sure to pick up speed before u start to go up the hill

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LYNNIERN 10/2/2012 9:27PM

    emoticon We'll be rooting you on!!

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