Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Baltimore Women's Classic Recap

On Sunday I ran my 3rd Baltimore Women's Classic 5K.  I find myself looking forward to this race every year.  It's an all-female race, and proceeds from the entry fees benefit women's cancer initiatives.  The atmosphere is fun and friendly and filled with camaraderie.  Women of all ages participate and there are many mother-daughter teams that run together.  There are also really nice perks like a finisher's medal, long stemmed rose, and cold towel at the end; things you usually only get at the half-marathon level.  There are many women for which this is their first race ever, and the BWC aims to celebrate the accomplishments of them, and all runners who complete the course.  And although I didn't coach this year, I still saw a few familiar faces throughout the course, including one of my favorite fellow coaches from last summer.

Going into this race, I knew I had PR'ed here last year, so of course I would have loved to better my time this go-round, but truth be told, I've done ZERO speed work at all this year (my one and only attempt at speed work occurred last Thursday when I decided to just go out and run a really fast 5K.  I logged my fastest mile ever at a 7:15 split and I nearly peed my pants when the Map My Run computer lady shouted that out!), plus I've only been running a couple times a week lately.  With boot camp taking up a large portion of my workout schedule, plus the shoe drama I've been going through for weeks, my runs lately had been fewer and shorter. 

If you recall, I tried out a new cushioned shoe (Brooks Glycerin) and some Newtons (read about my experiences here).  Well, I finally settled back on my tried and true Vomeros, but this time with Spenco Total Support insoles.  (The purpose of them is to bridge the space in my super-high arches in hopes that will alleviate the strain on shins.)  After trying 2 pairs of shoes, I really didn't want the running store to have to continue to send back shoes on my behalf!  Honestly, if I could get a job testing running shoes somewhere I would be in heaven and perhaps after trying out hundreds of shoes, I'd be able to find the perfect fit, but right now I'm hoping the new Vomero + insole combo works some magic!

So far, I've run in them 5-6 times and [KNOCK ON WOOD, times a million] I haven't had any shin issues.  *Keeping fingers crossed*
So other than not be prepared to run this race fast, how else did I feel about it?  Well, I worked Saturday night until 11:15pm, which ended up giving me about 5 hours of sleep so it was a no go on the 'well rested' part of the preparation as well!  And lastly, I forgot to buy bagels which is what I always eat before races so I had to improvise.  Lo and behold, a Kaiser roll with jelly.  Pre-race fuel of champions?!  I mean who wouldn't want a toasted hamburger bun for breakfast.  I know what YOU all are having tomorrow morning.  You can thank me later for that "recipe" ;)
I don't run 5K's very often so I always forget that you're supposed to warm up beforehand.  In longer distance races, the first mile or two serves as the warm up, but when the race is only 3 miles long, you need to be running like a bat out of hell from the get go!  So, once again, didn't warm up and for some reason I got a cramp after mile 1?!! Ahhhhhhhhhh, that rarely happens to me.  I'm pretty sure I was under-hydrated and just really sleepy from working so much Fri and Sat night.  And not warmed up for the pace at which I was running.  Ahh well.  So, I ran the remaining 2 miles with a cramp and feeling like I was running REALLY slowly.  I only heard them yell out my first mile split which was around 8:05 and didn't glance at my Garmin the rest of the race.  So I felt like I was going to come in at like 26 or 27 mins. 
Well imagine my surprise when I crossed the finish line in 25 something.  Whaaaat?!  I finished in 25:37 which was only 20 seconds slower than last year's 25:17.  Not too shabby for being pretty unprepared.  I know lots of you out there are probably waaaaaaay faster than me (uh, Lauren from Breathe Deeply and Smile finished a full FOUR minutes faster than me in 21:36!!! Incredible!) but 8:15 min/miles are fast for me!  Now if I can just find a nice flat 5K course somewhere, perhaps I'll break 25 mins one day!!  Oh and for reference the first place finisher came in at 18:03?! Is that even human?! 
Hope you all had a great first weekend of summer!  The Summer Solstice makes me infinitely happy :)

Run any races this weekend?
Do you enjoy the 3 miles of pain known at the 5K?!?!



  1. 1) I'm so so so happy you seem to have found an answer that works for you for now. I'm crossing my fingers they continue to work and double crossing my fingers that I move back to Baltimore and go back to Charm City so we can have you test out a thousand and one pairs of shoes. It's kind of fun.
    2) congrats on the race!!! I'm really jealous of all of you that ran it. It seemed like it was going to be a ton of fun. 20 seconds off your PR isn't bad at all and I know you're going to break 25 minutes soon.
    3) 18 minutes for a 5k? Yea, in my dreams. Ha.

    1. Hahaha! Yes I'm praying this shoe/insert combo is the answer to my prayers! But trying on a thousand pairs of shoes also sounds like a dream come true.
      Yes, I hope you are back in Baltimore sometime soon and can run all the races your heart desires here :)

  2. Yay! I totally echo EVERYTHING Sarah says, so I will just say that rather than be redundant. Pretty much word for word :D
    New things: Kaiser rolls are delicious. Tell me otherwise, and I will whomp you. And not a bad choice, honestly--easy to digest, easy to eat, and you know they are good toasted!
    Still no races run for me, I am trying to bank my race miles for the marathon.
    The last official 5k I did was maybe the hilliest course ever (in Charlottesville) but it was the Chocolate Chase and we did get chocolate for it. Sadly, not enough. :_(

    1. Hahaha well I'm glad at least one person approves of my Kaiser roll/jelly breakfast combo! hahahahaha Stop by any time and I'll make one up for you :)

    2. Hahaha well I'm glad at least one person approves of my Kaiser roll/jelly breakfast combo! hahahahaha Stop by any time and I'll make one up for you :)

  3. Looks like a great race. Thanks for the recap!

  4. Thanks for the recap - I hear ya about 3 miles of pain! I have not run the BWC - always on my radar, but has not worked scheduling wise. Perhaps next year! This past weekend I ran the B.A.A 10K.

    1. Hahaha yes so fast & furious. Hope you had a good race as well :)