Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Race Recap: Baltimore Women's Classic 5K 2015

And for my last official "race" of this pregnancy, the Baltimore Women's Classic 5K! I did this race last year, and really enjoyed it, so signed up again for 2015. It's one of the oldest and biggest all-women's races on the East coast, and is really well organized.

Bib pick up
You can pick up your bib at the charm City Run stores in the week leading up to the race, or the morning before, which keeps race prep pretty low stress. Since I've been at Fort Campbell, KY, for the past 7 weeks, and flew back home for this race and a wedding the night before, I was glad I could just walk over to the race start at 7am and pick up my bib then. The finish/start area still had a ton of tents and vendors set up, though, so there was still a little bit of an expo atmosphere.

Course 
The course starts and ends right around Rash Field on the Inner Harbor in downtown Baltimore. From there, it follows Key Highway for a little bit, goes up a hill, and winds through Federal Hill fr about a mile and a half before dipping back down to Key Highway and along the harbor to the finish line. There are probably two noticeable hills, one right before the first half mile point and one right before two miles, and the rest was pretty rolling and standard Baltimore terrain. There were two water stops, which was great, even though it wasn't as hot and humid as last year (or I wasn't as hungover as I was last year...). The last 1/3 of a mile goes right along the harbor walk, on the water, with a light breeze, and lots of twists and turns, so you don't see the finish line until after you pass the Rusty Scupper.

My race
Being over 30 weeks pregnant, I wasn't gunning for a PR like I hoped for last year.
Feeling like a whale....but maybe it's not all that bad
I was mostly happy to be able to run at all.....though I use that term liberally. I started out feeling ok, despite only walking for PT for the past week or two, but by the first mile, my shins were on fire, and I slowed to a walk. After trying my old run-walk, and still being in pain, I switched my stride to more of a toe strike, which helped relieve all the strain on my shins but used a little more of my calves than I like. Oh well, no pressure on the pregnant running lady! A little before the 2 mile mark I spotted one of my friends (who was running her first 5K since I made her sign up for it in March), and I stuck with her for the last mile. Since she didn't have her inhaler, and my legs hurt, we made quite a pair running/walking down Key Highway. Despite the gorgeous weather, grabbing a cold water and iced towel at the finish line felt great! We finished in just under 45 minutes of clock time.

Swag
As usual, one of the main reasons I run is for the swag, and the BWC never disappoints. At bib pickup you get a t shirt (this year it was an awesome cotton blend, not a technical t, which I actually love just as much as a tech t) and a reusable bag, which is big enough to go in my trunk for when I forget my grocery bags. At the finish line, I also got an ice towel, which I thought was a little odd, but I threw my towel from last year in my gym bag and actually use it quite a bit to wipe down my face after working out, or bring it to the pool with me. It's also one of the few 5Ks that hands out medals, which is just adorable! All finishers also get a rose, which makes the finish line look a little bit like a well-trodden wedding aisle near the end.

After the race, my friends and I met up again and found K, who was an awesome sherpa and carried around our four bags, jackets, extra water bottles, t shirts, and inhalers while also taking insta-worthy photos. He held on to our stuff a little bit longer while we dived into the expo area to grab bagels, Chewy bars, pretzels, more water bottles, and bananas (and watermelon!). I am a HUGE fan of both chewy bars and watermelon at the finish line, so this race always gets an A+ for food! I wasn't able to find a whole box of bars to snag, but I did fit several (dozen) in my bra.

After a few more photos, we all started walking home (being law students without cars, we all live downtown and were able to just walk to the start area), and stopped at Tesfa Cafe right around the block from home for coffee and a croissant.
5K medal, FTW!
I think I'm going to make a little medal hanger for all the medals I've gotten while pregnant, and put it up in the nursery!

Meanwhile, I'm thisclose to being done in Fort Campbell, and I'm so ready to head home! 

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