I haven't written about any of my foolish exploits in which I think I belong in an endurance sports situation recently, and I thought I'd rectify that today! So here I go.
Saturday I ran the Baltimore 10-Miler. The race is, as the name implies (c'mon, Warren, keep up!!!) ten miles in length. The course starts at Druid Hill Park, to the south of the Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus to like 28th St., over to Greenmount Avenue, up to 33rd, around Lake Montebello, back down 33rd, to Greenmount, then 29th St., Art Museum Drive, and back through Druid Hill to the finish.
So a little about my running speed. I walk part of the way. I think I walked about 20% of this race. As we were asked to line up based on our pace of how many minutes it takes for us to run a mile, a couldn't decide if I should be with the 12s or 13s. I picked the 13s. So I am not fast. To add to things, I had run only once a week since I did the Clyde's 10k in April. So not much road work for good ol' MM.
All that said-- I had a freaking blast and a half! My ultimate running goal is to do a six-hour marathon-- I have yet to compete in a full marathon so I have no frame of reference for this. But I can do a 3-hour half marathon (so far my low is 3:07) and to do that, I need to run at least 13:40 miles. So I figured I'd try for an average of 13:30 miles and see how that worked.
(Right now I sense Tom Coale is looking at his screen, laughing to himself. He is someone who should actually be running, not my big butt. Have a care, young man! But I digress.)
So for the first 7 miles, I did this-- I averaged 13:40. And by my watch, pretty consistently. Then, lack of training caught up to me and the wheels fell off.
First off, I started to have stomach cramps. As in "I am going to puke if I run one more step" cramps. So I started walking. And to take my mind off the cramps, I started talking with other runners. Except they were also walking. So I walked more.
Second, there were two kinda steep hills within the last 2 miles which totally kicked my ass. (oh-oh.) One was on Art Museum Drive, south of (double duh) the Baltimore Museum of Art. The second, and much more monstrous, led into the entrance to Druid Hill Park. It was steep, twisting and 1/2 mile long-- a hill I've done about 10 times, before, but never from mile 8.5 to 9.0 of a ten-mile race. So I walked that too, and even that sucked. So I just cursed my lot.
Obviously I wound up missing my time-- finished in 2:25, somewhere within the slowest 2% of all runners-- but I finished. And I had a lot of fun. And I finished ahead of millions of area residents who didn't even both competing, so there!
I will do this race again, and despite my slowness, I do feel this is a race for runners of all ability and experience levels.