Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Baltimore 10 Miler Race Report

It was an excessively long and hot day for me but I am pleased with my results.

The Lead Up

Friday evening started with an ~2 hour drive to Artemas, PA for Wicker Man a burgeoning Burning Man Regional Burn and ended around 2am when I went to the tent to try and get a couple hours of sleep. C- came to bed about an hour later and my alarm was set for 3:55.

Around 4:10 I climbed out of the tent, made my way to the coffee dragon for a shot of joe, talked to a couple of guys who were sitting around and got in the car for the 2+ hour drive to Druid Hill Park in Baltimore. I needed to get there early for packet pickup and allow time for parking and warming up.

On the way to the race I talked to Karina and she confirmed that she would be able to pick up my race packet which was fortunate as I needed to make an emergency stop at a McDonald's to use the restroom, with that out of the way I was just about ready to race.

ProTip: Sheetz MTO with jalapenos (late lunch), high fat summer sausage, cheese, pickles and beer (late dinner) are all very tasty but they might leave you with a bit of gas and the fear that you will need to change your shorts.

Upon arrival at the park I called Karina again and just so happened to find a prime parking space right next to the group and fairly near the start, score! I strapped on the Nathan Triangle I had purchased for C- on Friday hoped it wouldn't be a problem on the run and headed down the hill to the start. At the start with ~35 minutes to go I realized I didn't have my Hat, HRM strap and I hadn't put on body glide. Went up the hill back to the car fixed my problems and headed back (Woo, Warmup!).

The Plan

I had various thoughts about the race. I know the course from last year and you could call at best 1.3 miles in the middle flat, knowing that I had debated going out for a PR thinking about trying to hit 1:30:00 knowing that I probably shouldn't put in that kind of effort. With the sleep the night before and heat I really wasn't feeling it and decided that a relatively easy run was the plan and I would revisit on the course.

Karina indicated that she did something around 10:15/mi at Survivor Harbor 7 the previous weekend and that she may try to do something similar here.

The Race

Karina and I started off just behind the 10 minute pace marker but on the first hill I found myself closer to 9:45 and feeling easy. Karina indicated that she was OK for now and led the pace a bit faster until almost mile 2 when she decided to back off on the hills and told me to go on.

Shortly after mile 2 the course was slightly different going around the south side of Wyman Park instead of Up Art Museum Dr. although my watch (and many around me beeping every mile) seemed to indicate that the early miles were about .1 mile off everything seemed to line up in the end. This year also removed the lollipop near mile 9 which was much appreciated!

Between miles 2 and 5 I found some nice people to chat with (and sweat on, I had sweat dripping off my elbows, sorry), I was trying to maintain a nice HR in the mid 140s to low 150s this worked early on but the hills and heat had me in the mid to high 150s instead.

I was feeling good at mile 5 and decided to pick up the effort a little and then maybe again at 7 miles with the plan of not walking any of the hills but feeling perfectly fine with slowing down on 33rd and East Dr. and making time on the downhills. On the return I also did my best to continue sticking to the shaded parts of the course so long as that didn't have me weaving about.

I picked up again at mile 7. The push kicked my average HR to 171 and shaved ~10s/mi on the back half of the course and the no walking plan resulted in passing a large number of people in the last two miles on the hills.

The final kick to the end over the last downhill .25 and in particular the last 10th of a mile to the finish pegged my HR at an anaerobic 182bpm with a spike after crossing the line to 185. Presumably this is why I was wondering if I might vomit, fortunately I recovered quickly.

My Finish: 1:34:41 is a new PR, Last year on this course was a 1:44:24 taking almost a minute a mile off my pace

After Care

The finish corral was well manned and stocked as I have come to expect from this race. The ReGen sports recovery drink was cold and a good rich chocolate, the watermelon was cool and refreshing, the iced towels were wonderful and the mist blowing fan was both misty and fan like.

Outside the corral the beer selection improved this year to include Yuengling a welcome addition to the standard light beer selection from last year. For the more calorie conscious I also noticed MGD 64.

Among the vendors was Plow Gum (with a picture of a bull). This energy gum starts off tasting bad and gets worse, it was impressively horrid tasting to the point that I wondered if the bull in the logo contributed to the formulation. Maybe it just shouldn't follow beer but I don't think I will give it another shot.

Post Race

Before I got back on the road for PA Karina, John and I went to the City Cafe for brunch where I had a wonderful blackened catfish with andouille sausage and crawfish gravy and cheesy corn meal grits. The food and out waiter were both excellent.

In the end do to poor planning, scheduling changes and inattention I missed the Potomac River Running Twilight 4 Miler. I did however wear the shirt which was noticed before, during and after the race with questions and comment like. Wait, isn't that today? Are you running that race tonight? and I'll see you there!

A Personal Note

This weekend I also did not attend the funeral of Peter Theune, a good friend and father figure. We had not talked in quite a while, I am very bad at keeping in touch, but I have many fond memories of my younger adult hood hanging out at his house with him, his son Travis and our friends talking and shooting the shit into the wee hours of the morning. He was on my mind all weekend and I would like to believe that he would have appreciated my decision to spend quality time with my family doing things that I enjoy but I do feel some regrets for choosing not to attend the funeral.

Bib FName LName City State Div Age Sex ChipTime ClockTime Overall SexPl DivPl AgeGrade
1157 KARINA FERRY BALTIMORE MD F3034 32 F 1:49:24 1:51:03 2150 1052 244 45.5%
1158 SHAWN FERRY LEESBURG VA M3034 34 M 1:34:41 1:36:21 1123 695 134 47.2%

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