Our day at the Baltimore Marathon

IMG 1904 300x224 Our day at the Baltimore Marathon

Our traditional shot pre-race in front of the Johnny Unitas statue at Ravens stadium.

Eventually all great streaks must come to an end, right? This year it was time for the Run4Chocolate ladies to see our top three streak end at the Baltimore Marathon relay. We still pulled out fourth and fifth out of the hundreds of all-female teams, but it was a bummer not to be podium finishers for the first time. It wasn’t without a good effort on all of our parts, however.

As planned, my friend Becky and I turned the relay into a 20-mile run. The way it went down was pretty entertaining, actually. She was leg one on my team and I was leg two. The plan was for me to run up the course easy to the exchange point, run my leg hard, then wait for her at exchange three to finish out our miles. So I left the start line at about 7:40, 20 minutes ahead of the 8 a.m. start.

I had the entire course to myself for those 5.7 miles. It was rather embarrassing, really. I had police stopping traffic at intersections, people cheering me on, photographers taking pictures–I really could have used a sandwich board saying I was a relay runner! As I got closer to the exchange point, I started calculating how much longer before the elites caught me. I didn’t want to be in their way, that was for sure. The wheelchair athletes did come flying by and I pulled off to the side for them, but I made it to the exchange point just before the elites (whew!).

Now I have to say–I am fairly good about keeping my pace in check at the beginning of races, but in all my years of doing relays, I find this is really hard to do.  (anyone else?) You’ve got the adrenaline of the hand-off and you want to do well for your team. Plus this year, I had a bit of a head start on our other team and I knew the machine that is my friend Dorothy would eventually catch me during my leg, so I took off.

I actually wore my Garmin for the race (I know–don’t say it) and was able to see that I was going too fast, so I pulled myself in before I crashed and burned. Dorothy caught and passed me about half-way into our 7.1-mile leg. She is on an amazing roll this year, running incredibly strong. And here’s the part I love–she just turned 53! Gotta love it.

I finished off my leg pretty satisfied with my splits overall, and then waited for Becky to catch up so that we could continue our long run. We ran up to the 16-mile point, turned around and made our way back to the start, getting in all 20 miles.

I can’t imagine not being a part of the Baltimore Marathon in some capacity every year. It’s so much fun to be involved in a big local event where you bump into someone you know at every turn. We had a perfect weather day for it this year and I heard lots of tales of PRs. I’m sure the chocolate ladies will be back next year and hopefully, we’ll get ourselves back into the top three!

Who else raced this weekend? 



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  1. Sounds like a fabulous tradition, and a fantastic day! Congrats on your relay :)
    GreenGirlRunning recently posted..Fabulous Fall & Fatigue in CIM Training week 10My Profile

  2. Such a fun fun tradition you all have and I have no doubt that you all will be back in the top three next year!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..The Two of YouMy Profile

  3. I love me some baltimore and admire me some you.
    Miz recently posted..We’ve turned the word TREAT on its head…My Profile

  4. No racing for me this past weekend. I am still resting from my marathon. Congrats on the relay! I’m sorry you did not place as high as you wanted but 4th in hundreds of teams is amazing! Sounds like such a fun time too.
    Kris @ http://www.kris-lawrence.com recently posted..Twin Cities Recap- PR Streak is still Alive!My Profile

  5. Never done a relay- I think now I am goingto have to try one. Sounds like lots of fun and you all did so well!
    Jennifer recently posted..Running AgainMy Profile

  6. Nice job out there. I love doing relays and 4th is a great place to be!
    Robin recently posted..It’s Cold OutsideMy Profile

  7. Still sounds like a great day out there! That would be a bit embarrassing to be on the course alone like that!
    abbi recently posted..Freedom’s Run Marathon 2012My Profile

  8. Very cool way to get a 20 miler in!
    Kovas – Midwest Multisport Life recently posted..1000 Mile Goals: 12 Weeks LeftMy Profile

  9. Way to go! 4th out of all those teams is still impressive. And nice job getting your 20 in, too. That run up ahead of the elites sounds hilarious… photographers and police stopping traffic… yes, a sign would have been helpful! :)
    Laura recently posted..Space City Ten Miler- Race recapMy Profile

  10. Nice job, Miss Z! This year I split time between the Freestyle meet and the soccer field, but last year, I ran leg 4 of the Balt relay.
    Mara @Big Happy Family recently posted..Magic KingdomMy Profile

  11. Still sounds like a fun day for you. Congrats! Sounds very interesting having the whole course to yourself. Kind of celebrity like!
    Robin recently posted..Fall is in the Air!My Profile

  12. No racing this weekend…just ran on Saturday!!

    You ladies did an amazing job!! Was 3rd place way out of your reach? Sometimes I find that it’s easier to lose by A LOT rather than just a few seconds…it kills me when it’s that close!
    I love that everyone was cheering for you while ran out before the marathon started! Guess that’s what it feels like to be an elite =)
    Michele @ Nycrunningmama recently posted..Mizuno Shoe Giveaway!My Profile

  13. Great job! You guys ran a good relay and I bet had tons of fun. :)
    Joanne recently posted..Take Time Off and Smoked Salmon PizzaMy Profile

  14. Well done! Relays are always exciting and I think the bulk of the runners, including me, start out way too fast. You just missed that podium…next year I’m sure. I had a hard but very good 15km mountain race. Will post a report tonight or tomorrow. Have a great week!
    Johann recently posted..Harrismith 15km Mountain Race PreviewMy Profile

  15. HOw fun to be the ‘frontrunner’ Haha! Sounds like a super fun race weekend!
    Marcia recently posted..RunfessionMy Profile

  16. Great job to you and your friends! Love the visual of you out on the course by yourself getting all the attention. Super cool. :)
    Erin Henderson recently posted..Ragnar Swagnar Giveaway!!!My Profile

  17. Sounds like it was a blast!
    LisaM@RunWiki recently posted..Agoura RAD 10 miler race recap; a PR by 4 secondsMy Profile

  18. You gave your best, that’s the best and most one can do, so congratulations.

    My only hope for having police stop traffic for me in a race is if I’m so far behind everyone else they’ve actually closed the course and are simply trying to keep me from getting killed.

    I raced myself yesterday. I retraced a route I ran in a race last Saturday, stretched it out a mile longer, and felt better until the last little bit.
    Jonathan Aluzas recently posted..Fitness Confidential: Recollections of a Rock ‘n RunMy Profile

  19. Love the idea of running a relay like this! And what a great tradition for your group!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Kona Kase ReviewMy Profile

  20. That’s too funny about the beginning if your run. I’ve had that happen when I inadvertently ran part of a 5k route. Everyone thought I was the first runner! Opps! :)
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Yoga For RunnersMy Profile

  21. Awesome! What a great and fun tradition!
    Kierston recently posted..Being Proud…My Profile

  22. That cracks me up that people were cheering for you as you ran ahead of the elites. Congrats on 4th! Even though it wasn’t a podium finish, it’s still awesome! This sounds like such a fun annual tradition. You always make me wish I had a group of female running friends!
    Kate @ Run with Kate recently posted..Date Night: The Perks of Being a WallflowerMy Profile

  23. One of the girls’ I train in Omaha, is from Baltimore and ran the half since it’s fall break at Creighton Univ.. Said there are a ton of costumes on the course–did you see many? I can COMPLETELY relate to inspired relay running! Something about being on a team that lights a fire for me! See you soon!
    Jess @ Blonde Ponytail recently posted..Total Body Tabata Home WorkoutMy Profile

  24. Followed this guy through the Central Park during Grete’s Gallop as a follow up to Chicago. 3 weeks to NYC!


  25. Since I am huge garmin lover I won’t say anything :-)
    Glad that you still had great finishes. It sounds like your teams are a lot of fun and full of impressive runners.
    That is kind of funny that people were cheering and taking your photos–I would have been emabarrassed. Haha.

    PS- My guest post is up today :-)
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..My guest postMy Profile

  26. Great job!!!! This sounds like so much fun!!!
    Toni Church recently posted..Monday Motivation-A Truly Inspirational StoryMy Profile

  27. That sounded like so much fun. Especially at the start when people thought you were winning the race out front all by yourself! I’m sure your teams will be back on the podium next year, you all are just too good not to be! Now to the important stuff…how was the chocolate dinner after?
    Beth @ Miles and Trials recently posted..Another 4am Wake Up CallMy Profile

  28. Marathon relays are fun! And really I think your team did great (even if no podium this year). It certainly was a more interesting way to get your 20 in, that’s for sure.
    Terzah recently posted..Pre-Half-Marathon Training & Nutrition UpdateMy Profile

  29. Congrats on a good race. Bummer about missing the podium, but you’re right that 4th and 5th are none too shabby! :-)
    Beth (i run like a girl) recently posted..Morning motivationMy Profile

  30. It’s kind of like you were the (relay) rabbit. :) Sorry your group didn’t make it onto the podium, but it still sounds like you had a fantastic performance.
    Raquelita recently posted..Race Report: Anchorage Running Club Zombie Half MarathonMy Profile

  31. Even though you guys didn’t podium finish, it sounds like you had a pretty great race.
    I love when races include options like relays. Although I’ve never done one, it’s fun for people to mix it up!
    And impressive to run 20 miles with a race in there!
    Abby @ Change of Pace recently posted..Change the Pace – CyclocrossMy Profile

  32. I love that you have such a close-knit group! I spent a lot of time on my own during my last race too…but, uh, not because I was in first place :)
    TriGirl recently posted..Masters of the Swim UniverseMy Profile

  33. You may not have placed in the top three, but fourth is still amazing, and it sounds like you had a blast! :)
    Rachel recently posted..I Guess It’s Technically a PR? (Race Recap: Spartan Grand Classic)My Profile

  34. Hum….I may have to make this a bucket list marathon! I just wish airfare to the East wasn’t so expensive…there are so many races I’d love to do in your neck of the woods, but it’s a fraction of the price to fly to California or Arizona, etc. Glad you had a blast and congrats on a great placement! :)
    Jill recently posted..ChicagoMy Profile

  35. 4th and 5th is really goood!!! I like it started in front of the Ravens Stadium! :) Go Ravens :)
    Christine recently posted..Three (Recovery) Things TuesdayMy Profile

  36. I bet it was kind of fun to have them parting the seas for you on the streets! I have never been so far in the lead that I have the cops and everyone there with me! I have been in the back where the cops are hurrying me along though! It sounds like fun! Sorry you didn’t place but you still did really well!
    Travel Spot recently posted..Swann Dives InMy Profile

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