Baltimore Running Festival 2008

This weekend I made my return to the race location that started it all for me – the Baltimore Running Festival. My first visit to this race site was for my first 5K, my second for my first half-marathon, and my third for the 5K once again. I decided to create a pattern and do the half-marathon this year.

The race weekend came to a shakey start on Thursday with a bad cold. As the morning progressed I felt worse and worse. I ended up escaping work and seeking refuge in my egyptian cotton sheets. I have a few hours before I needed to head to the airport to pick up Andi and I didn’t want to be sick. I set my alarm and snuggle up into my sheets with my dog hoping for the best.

I woke up to Stash on 98 Rock. It only took a minute or two to determine that my situation was MUCH improved. I brushed my hair and my teeth and hopped into Dad’s car for the trip to the airport. I checked Andi’s flight status and it was running a little late. We ended up getting there really early. Fate then joined our side and her plain ended up landing earlier than expected. From there the weekend kept going really well.

From the airport we headed to the club level of M&T Bank Stadium for the race expo. The expo was set up the same way as it has been the past several years, which had made for tight quarters. However, this year they opened the expo early and it seemed to make a world of difference for us. We headed to the left to pick up our race packets then hit the race merchandise. I picked up a pin for my shadow box before we headed to pick up our race numbers. This year Baltimore used the D-tag system, which I had never had experience with before. After a quick lesson from the kids handing out the bibs I headed over to the Geico pacing team station to catch back up with Andi.

We then headed to the other end of the expo to get our Under Armour Shirts. From there we did a little shopping and even spent some time telling others about After a quick stop for some pizza hut we headed home to relax around the house.

The next morning I made us some whole wheat pancakes before taking Andi to the Holarbird Sports warehouse. Andi had ordered from them in the past, but this was her first trip to the warehouse. I up a shirt, sports bra, water bottle and a new pair of shoes. Then we headed to Target where I managed to find my favorite tank tops for only $2.48 a piece. I stocked up!

We met Dad later for Carrabas as our carb up meal. After our meal we headed back to the house to prep our clothes and supplies for the next morning. We showered and went to bed early because we knew the next day was going to be a long one.

The alarm went off at 5:00, but I am pretty sure Andi was already up. It seemed like time flew as we both dressed in our running skirts, sprayed on our sunblock, and ate our peanut butter, bananas and whole wheat bread. We both grabbed a few mini cluf bars and bottles of water before hopping in the car and heading over Dad’s. There we met up with several of his friends that were running the 5K with him before heading downtown.

We climbed into the Element and were on our way. The traffic was heavier than we expected, but it didn’t interfere with our ability to get downtown. We went parked at Dad’s building near the stadium and were able to use the facilities before heading over to the start line.

After a brisk walk we were approaching the start line in the shadows of the new Hilton hotel. There was still much going on set-up wise but the crowds were growing. Our small DisneyRunning family quickly grew. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a way across to the place we had planned on meeting so it took a moment or two for us to collect Colleen. Luckily we had exchanged phone numbers so a few phone calls allowed me to wave her down and find a way to get her over to our group. The hour flew by and before we knew it Andi and Phyllis were heading to find their pace time for the full. We lined up and cheered Andi on as she ran past, but she was in deep conversation with another member of her pace team.

About 30 minutes after seeing Andi off it was Dad’s turn. He went to line up and I headed back to the side lines where I thought he would line up pace wise to cheer him on. I never saw him go by. Defeated I headed over to the rest of the DisneyRunning team so we could find our way to baggage check and on to our start line. Luckily baggage check was right next to the finish line. After a breif potty break in some really nasty porta potties I triedd to catch Dad going in for his finish. Just before giving up and rejoining the group for the trip to the start line I spotted Dad running by and got everyone to cheer him on to a strong finish.

It was about a 1/2 mile walk over to the Inner Harbor for the half-marathon start. I was able to grab some water on the way. We stood for a few minutes watching the crowd before crossing over the full marathon course to get into our waves. We headed back to the tail end of the second wave where I was able to catch up with the other 2/3 of Blue Crab Running: Tawanda and Jeff. Once the group was all collected we left the few members of DisneyRunning that were in wave 2 and headed back to a decent position in Wave 3.

We watched the full marathon runners go past our start line as we waited for our wave to be started. I thought I saw the 5:15 pace group go by and I didn’t see Andi, so I started fearing that she had lost her pace group. Our wave was released to walk to the start line and before we made it the confetti started flying signifying our start. We waited to arriving at the line before starting our shuffle and eventually full stride. I quickly spotted Dad and his friends and waved to them as we started off down the street. I started out with Tawanda, Jeff and Erica by my side and slowly lost each one of them. First it was Tawanda, who I knew had speedy goals outside my reach. I lost Jeff on I think the second of many hills. Erica and I stuck together until she needed a potty break. She said she would catch up later.

I found myself running down the hills and up as much as I could before needing to start walk breaks. I finished a walk break and started running again when I heard someone cheering from behind. I turned to see Erica in her bright orange DisneyRunning shirt coming up behind me. It wasn’t long before she passed me too. Tight hips were taking over and as I progressed on the race course I found myself walking more and running less.

Most of the race route I had run before, except this year the construction was complete at Lake Montebello and we were able to run around it. I think it was my favorite part of the course. There was a live band and lots of cheering fands as we circled the body of water. At this point I had been passed by the 4:30, 4:45 and 5:00 pace groups so I was sure Andi’s group would catch up with me before I finished.

Soon following the Lake was Guilford Rd with all of the cheering fans and famous gummy bear stop. They all provided great energy for us to keep moving along the course. Before I knew it we were making our way towards the stadium and the finish line. I had called Dad and he told me that I was making my way towards the finish and he told me where to look out for him. About 1/4 mile from the entrance to Camden Yards I could see him standing on the side cheering people on. I waved as I approached and with my new shot of adrenaline made my way through the stadium and on towards the finish line. There were tons of photographers here so I was showing my pearly whites and throwing thumbs up at every turn. I kept glancing behind me hoping to catch a glimpse of Andi coming up behind me.

As I approached the finish line I saw a girl laying on the other side of the finish line with paramedics trying to lift her into a wheel chair. I tried to steer to her one side and stay out of their way but all the while I was hoping they would get a good shot of me crossing the finish. I started my walk through the runner’s village. There was one last photographer who I threw a teethy grim and thumbs up before searching for my medal and grabbing another mylar for my basement wall-of-motivation.

I grabbed a water, half a bagel and a banana before heading out into the village. My phone rang and my father said Andi crossed the finish not even a minute behind me and should be right behind me. I turned around and she was walking right up to me. I almost screamed and gave her a big hug. We hopped in line for our finisher’s photos and I caught a glimpse of an orange hat on someone I didn’t see that morning. It was Angie and she was running late that morning and couldn’t meet the rest of the crew.

I spotted Dad making his way towards us and he had found Tawanda. We got to run over so that Andi and Tawanda could meet before we headed made our way towards the car to head home. I had Dad take us right to the house so we could shower and rest before dinner. We were taking Andi out for some real Maryland Style Crab cakes. After the crab cakes we headed to my brother’s art show.

The art show was fun and provided us a nice stretch as wandered around looking at the paintings. On the way home from the art show we stopped for some ice cream, which was a nice ending to an exciting day. Neither of us had trouble sleeping that night.

Sunday turned into a lazy day. I think both of our legs needed the rest. We spent the morning relaxing and watching some TV before walking over to Dad’s to watch the Ravens. The game became hard to watch so I flipped us over to the Scrabble Championship on ESPN while we ate lunch and then played Dad in a couple rounds of Dominos before heading back to my house where we watched a movie and relaxed.

I headed to bed at 10 assuming I would wake up when Andi did to see her off. Her flight was at 7 AM so she needed to leave the house by 5:00. I heard her wake up and layed with my eyes closed thinking I would get up and say goodbye right before she left, but quickly fell back to sleep. The next thing I knew I heard the door close and Tillie was crying. I looked out and they had already pulled away. There is nothing to fret though…I will see Andi again in less than two weeks for the Tower of Terror 13K.

In the end I had the slowest time yet for a 1/2 marathon 3:15:17. I can’t complain though because my cold was still in full effect. On the other hand everyone else did great! Congratulations to Andi, Phyllis, Erica, Mustapha, Jenn, Sean, Jeff and Tawanda and great races!

6 Responses to “Baltimore Running Festival 2008”

  1. Marcy Says:

    What?!? I’ve gotta check out Target now. They do killer clearances when the seasons switch over.

    You did great! Especially given the circumstances 🙂

  2. Jeff Says:

    Katie — was great to see you on Saturday for the run. Sorry you weren’t feeling well. Not sure I’d have made it through the run feeling crappy.

    Way to go to get to the finish!

  3. ArizonaPat Says:

    sounds like you had a great day. congrats on you race and thanks for writing a great race report.

  4. ArizonaPat Says:

    Oh, I forgot to ask. Was the Geico pace leaders cavemen? That would have been funny.

  5. RoadBunner Says:

    Congratulations on a finish when you weren’t feeling well. I’ve been pulling a lot of “slowest ever” times lately, too. Sounds like you had a great time.

  6. K80K Says:

    Pat: There was a pirate themed pace group, the 5:15 one that Andi ran with. They should have had a caveman themed one and a gecco themed one. 🙂

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