Race Recap

The itch for a longer race

My first “real” race and likely the best race photos EVER!

By way of a reminder, my training started in February of 2019 because I wanted to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February of 2020. Yes, a full year later. After doing my first 5K I knew that would certainly not be my first “long” race. A friend and I started chatting about the Charles Street 12 on August 31st. A twelve mile run, the day before my soon to be six year old’s party seemed like a crazy idea. So, of course…sign me up!!!

What did I start to do differently??

A little bit of history. I ran track and cross county in middle and high school. Yes, I took a um twenty year hiatus but I still remembered that strength training was an integral part of practice and success. So, once the kids were settled into camp, I scheduled my first appointment with a trainer. Mind you, we had a membership for nearly a year and I hadn’t stepped foot into the gym and now here I was showing up and meeting with a trainer. Spoiler alert, I’m not coordinated. This is something my trainer would quickly find out and kindly adjust our workouts to meet me where I was at the time. Another fun fact- I can laugh at myself. And did I do a lot of laughing as I realized how my balance was lacking, my overall strength so so. You get the point. I was still very much out of shape and basically starting at the beginning. So I started working with the trainer twice a week for thirty minutes. My plan was to have him teach me some things so I could lift twice a week to strength train and call it a day. Well, it’s been months and I’m still going twice a week and don’t anticipate stopping any time soon.

Back to your regularly scheduled program

I followed a half marathon training program to get ready for the Charles Street 12. It was summer and it was HOT. So that meant getting up and out early if I wanted to run outside versus on the treadmill. I adhered to my training schedule strictly (because that’s how I roll). I experimented with nutrition. I learned what didn’t work…i.e. fastest run home to get to the bathroom and what nutrition gave me the boost I needed on these longer run. (Honey Stingers are my go to!)

Over the course of the training I started to experience some pain below my left knee and in my right hip. The pain in my leg wasn’t my knee, but right below and you know what…it hurt badly! So badly that I found myself sitting with ice really wondering what in the world I was doing to myself. Fortunately, the real pain came as I was preparing to taper (cut down on my miles) before the race. During the taper period I kept my runs at an easy pace and I saw the pain in my hip and leg lessen.

Race DayAugust 31, 2019

The weather the end of August/beginning of September in Maryland can be hot. I was fortunate and it wasn’t too hot but it was more than 70 at race start time and definitely humid. Hydration would be key! As expected I was a total ball of nerves. A friend dropped me off at the start and my husband and boys were going to meet me at the finish line. I worried, would they find a place to park? What would my husband do with them for so long while I waited? You know still “Momming” while preparing to run my longest race to date. My goal time was 1:57. It seemed reasonable based upon my training runs and the fact that it was my longest run…EVER!

The joke about the Charles Street 12 is that it’s down hill. Having driven the course the week before I had confirmed that it was in fact not downhill until pretty much the end. It’s still a great course. A course that took me past the Baltimore County Courthouse, where I worked for nearly a decade, through the campus of Towson University, where my brother in law and sister went to school, and as I got closer to the finish past University of Baltimore where I went to law school. So basically, it was like a run down memory lane.

How did I feel during the race?

HOT!! The answer is hot. I was overheated just about the whole time. I used water stations more to douse myself with water than to drink water. Another side note, I generally spill more water on myself than I get in my mouth. My nutrition was working for me. It gave me the boost I needed as I was running. As much as I try to run by feel, I was watching the clock a bit. My pace was faster than anticipated. But I worried whether I would have enough in the tank to get across the finish line.

Ah, I reached the downhill portion of the race. Honestly, at that point there’s less than two miles to go. My longest training run was ten miles so I was entering unchartered territory. But I also knew I was getting closer to the finish and was going to come in well below my anticipated finish time. Did I mention I was really hot?? I continued to feel very overheated throughout the race.

As I made my approach to the finish line I anxiously began looking for my husband and boys. After all, they had been waiting for me all that time I didn’t want them to miss me. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted my son and his friend and her mother (her dad was running too!). My husband was fetching something for our youngest who was in the stroller (you know because he was HOT). I was early and no one was expecting me. I called out to them and it took them a few moments to register that it was me. They cheered me across the finish line to a finish of 1:52:28. Five minutes or so below my anticipated completion time.

Competitive nature

Let’s be real for a moment: I know that I am certainly not the fastest runner. I’m not even the fastest in my age category. But you know what, I’m competitive. I want to know how I shook out against my peers in addition to pushing myself to get the best time possible. So here are the numbers:

9:22 per mile pace


221/1080 female runners

80/388 female runners 30-39

What did I learn??

  • I’m faster than I thought.
  • I can run longer distances than I thought.
  • I want to run more longer races!!
  • Get headphones that are connected. I dropped one of EarPods during the race and nearly got trampled when I innocently bent down to pick it up.
  • I had no desire to eat after I finished. I enjoyed my luke warm beer and plenty of water.
  • Having the support of my family along this journey is priceless!