End of the Road Half Marathon Race Recap

18 Nov

On Sunday October 29, I ran the End of the Road Half Marathon in central Pennsylvania.

The morning of, I woke up to it pouring rain outside. A quick look at my weather app showed it wasn’t planning on letting up anytime soon. end-of-the-road-half-1.pngAs my dad and I drove to the race location I mentioned that I felt like with the hot weather in Baltimore the weekend before, and the predicted rain for this race, I felt likeย  I was paying for the IDEAL weather I had at Wineglass. haha.

We also discussed the possibility that we may not finish the race because it was cold, and really really wet. We made a plan in case either of us decided to turn back early.

When we got to the school where the race started we easily picked up our bibs and sweatshirts. I love that we got a sweatshirt – it really fit the overall “cold, fall” theme of the race. ๐Ÿ™‚

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As we hung out in the school to stay warm and dry until starting time we were amazed at how many runners had actually showed up to run 13.1 AND 26.2 in the rain.ย  We all hung out inside and tried to get psyched up for a long run in the rain!

I wore capris, a short-sleeved shirt, arm sleeves, a rain jacket, hat, old running shoes (so I wouldn’t destroy my brand new ones) and a headlamp.ย  The headlamp was required, but more on that later.

End of the Road Half (2).jpgI pinned my bib onto the side of my SpiBelt so that if I got overheated in the rain jacket I could easily remove it and tie it around my waist without messing with my bib.

At 8:30 the marathoners headed out and a little bit before 8:45 we were sent outside into the rain to wait to start. Once everyone was out there, there was a quick countdown and we were off. I appreciated that they didn’t make us stand out there for a long time before starting to run. Every minute we stood idle and just got rained on felt like an eternity.ย  Despite the rain, I was pretty pumped up and excited for this race, so I reminded myself of how lucky I was to get to run 13.1 despite the weather conditions.ย  With the number of other runners there, it really felt like we were all in it together – and a bit crazy – so I knew I would have to do the whole thing.

The first 3 miles were on rolling country roads. From there we turned onto an old segment of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It was so cool to run on the old road, though you did have to watch where you stepped because parts of it were uneven.ย  After about a mile on the road we got to run THROUGH the mountain and into an old turnpike tunnel.

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(Photo from the End of the Road Half facebook page.)

This was the portion of the race that required a headlamp because it was pretty much totally dark in there. It was really awesome and fun to run through it, and there was even a water stop part of the way through. The miles through the tunnel were some of my fastest because it was just so cool!!! It was mostly quiet and you could see the headlamps of runners behind you and in front of you. That experience alone made it worth it. After about a mile and a half in the tunnel, we exited, ran about another half mile, and then turned around for the run back.

I wish i had more photos but since it was raining so hard I opted not to carry my phone. All the more reason to do the race again. ๐Ÿ™‚

The second time through the tunnel was just as fun, and then we were back out on the country roads. My legs were feeling a bit tired now, mostly since I had run Baltimore the week before.ย  So my pace slowed a bit, especially on the uphills, but I enjoyed myself and appreciated the scenery and ran through puddles when I could because I wasn’t going to get any dryer anyhow!

When I was within a mile I knew that I could finish right around 2:30 so I decided to use all I had left and see what I could do.

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My watch time was 2:29:51, official time was 2:30:05.ย  Good enough for 7/17 in my age group.

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(Thanks for the free race photos guys! Proof is obviously needed if you ran a half marathon in the pouring rain!!)

I was so grateful for the heat sheets that the race provided, and grabbed a quick selfie while waiting for my dad.

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After warming up I dried off as best I could (forgot a towel-doh!) and changed into some dry, warm clothes for the drive home.ย  I was so grateful I had the foresight to pack a change of clothes!!

My dad finished and when they announced the awards we realized he placed 2nd in his age group! He was pretty psyched.

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Despite the crummy weather conditions I am so glad I got to do this race. It was such a cool, unique experience to run on the old turnpike!!ย  I hope to go back and do it again. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Weekly Workout Recap 11/7-11/12

13 Nov


Happy Monday friends! It’s a new week and I hope yours is off to a good start!

Last week I continued on the Burpee challenge and we are now up to 17, which is feeling pretty tough!! I’m trying to stay motivated though. Make sure to check out my instagram stories!

I struggled (again) to wake up to run in the mornings, since it was so cold and dark. But I found that waking up to go to the gym is no biggie. So, I’m going to try to run after the gym most mornings, to get in the mileage (#goals) while giving myself a little bit of a break from the super early darkness.

Monday – RPM (Spinning) in the AM, 3 lunchtime miles, GRIT Plyo in the PM. 9 burpees!


Tuesday – BodyPump + walk in the AM. And voting! 11 burpees.


Wednesday – 3.5 lunchtime miles. GRIT Plyo + CXWORX in the PM. 13 burpees.

Thursday – BodyPump + walk in the AM. 13 burpees.

Friday – BodyAttack + 3 miles in the AM. 30 minute BodyPump + CXWORX in the PM. Burpee rest day!

Saturday – Rest. But 15 burpees.

Sunday – 5 miles in the morning. 17 burpees, oof.


Weekly Workout Recap 10/30-11/6

7 Nov


Happy Monday Tuesday friends! I hope your week is off to a good start.ย  It’s been rainy and cold here… I feel like it’s been raining for at least a week and honestly it’s put a bit of a damper (ha) on my running.

Luckily, since last week was my first full week post-fall race season, I was able to take a full week off a running and focus on cross-training — especially strength training.ย  It was a nice breather (especially since the weather was cruddy), and I’m feeling a little bit more motivated to run through the winter now.

Monday – GRIT Strength in the PM

Tuesday – Halloween BodyPump in the AM!!! It was so much fun to dress like a bumble bee to lift some weights. ๐Ÿ™‚


Wednesday – Lunchtime yoga (it felt SO GOOD), GRIT Strength + CXWORX in the PM

On Wednesday (Nov 1) I also started this 31 day Burpee Challenge! 5 Burpees!


Thursday – BodyPump + a walk in the AM. 5 Burpees.

Also an awesome mail day when I received my age group award for the Standing Stone 5k!


Friday – BodyAttack in the AM, 30 minute BodyPump + CXWORX in the PM. Burpee Rest Day.

Saturday – 5 miles! Back to running!! 5 Burpees.


Sunday – 1 hour BodyFlow. 7 Burpees.

Baltimore Half Marathon Race Recap (Baltimore Running Festival Part 2)

3 Nov

When we last left offย ย I had just finished the 5k, and was hanging out between that finish and starting the half marathon. (I recommend you check out the previous post for all the context about the Baltimoron-athon!)

My dad and I had plenty of time between the races to grab our checked bag, stash our 5k medal, refuel for the half marathon, and cheer on the marathon runners!

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The marathon had started at 8am (30 minutes after the 5K), so we were able to see a bunch of the marathon runners as they ran back through the Inner Harbor, which was really fun!!!

Around 9:30 we went to our corral – 3 – and waited to start.ย  The first wave went off right at 9:45, and it took about 10 minutes for us to cross the start.

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They had a countdown and confetti for each wave which was really cool.ย  It was 63 degrees and sunny as we started, so I knew we were in for a warm run.

Luckily, the city of Baltimore brought it! There was so much crowd support and the energy was awesome!! The course was definitely more hilly than I expected though, and early on I started to walk up the hills to pace myself smartly for the weather.

Around mile 7 we looped around a lake, and it was a really cool site to see runners the whole way around it – in front of me, and behind me.Baltimore Half Marathon (2)

The heat continued to rise, and I noticed a few runners stopped on the side of the road (fingers crossed everyone was okay).ย  As the heat increased, my pace slowed down. I focused on hydrating, fueling, and enjoying myself.ย  The spectators brought so much energy, and the course gave a great tour of the city.

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I finished inย 2:38:41 – no complaints!!ย  Right after I crossed the finish timing mat, I saw Blue, the mascott of the running festival, and had to grab a selfie. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Then I got my 13.1 crab medal, and my special Baltimoron medal!!! Plus lots of water, gatorade and snacks to eat once my appetite came back.ย  And another official photo.ย  I tried to refuel with electrolytes immediately because I knew I had sweated a ton, and looking at these photos I can really tell that it looks like I lost some water weight over the course of the race.

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Since I knew I had a bit to wait for my dad, I grabbed a vodka based drink in the beer garden to celebrate 16.2 hot miles, and the awesome energy and scenery at the finish. YOLO.

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Between the gatorade and the mixed drink I felt great, and rehydrated, so once my dad and I met up I grabbed one more photo by the Harbor with all three medals.

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We walked back to our hotel and showered before walking to the parking garage where our hotel had parked the car. The traffic was crazy leaving the city (since the marathon was still going on — those runners were troopers!!), but since we used the Waze app, we got out in no time. Always use Waze! ๐Ÿ™‚

Overall, the Baltimore Running Festival was a great experience, and the shirts, medals, and perks are top notch. I loved starting and ending at the Inner Harbor – it really allowed folks to spread out so it didn’t feel totally jam packed – and it provided some gorgeous scenery.ย  I hope to be back to run it again soon — hopefully in cooler weather. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Baltimore 5k Race Recap (Baltimore Running Festival Part 1)

2 Nov

On Saturday October 21st I ran the Baltimore 5k and Half Marathon (The Baltimoron-athon challenge).ย  But first, lets back up a bit.

I have always wanted to run a race in the Baltimore Running Festival but the timing (or pricing) never seemed to quite work out. This year my dad and I planned way ahead and were able to register for the half marathon at the lowest price that was offered. A few months later the BRF facebook page advertisted their “Baltimoron-athon” opportunity, which meant signing up for the 5k, in addition to the half marathon, and running them on the same day, for a total of 16.2 miles. I am never one to back down from a challenge and had never run two races in the same day, so I convinced my dad and we signed up. ๐Ÿ™‚

We drove to Baltimore on Friday the 20th and walked from the hotel directly to the expo, getting there around 5pm.ย  The expo was honestly a bit smaller than I expected, but there were booths selling all of the typical amenities. Picking up our Baltimoron-athon bibs was a breeze (no lines at all).Baltimore Packet Pickup (4).JPG

We received one bib for both races, and then the race shirt for each race.ย  The shirts are AWESOME, nice quality Under Armor shirts — short-sleeved for the 5k, and long sleeved (with thumb holes!) for the half marathon.

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After exploring the expo we decided to head right to Little Italy to get an early dinner, in order to beat any of the dinner rush.ย  But not without a stop at the Inner Harbor for a bib photo!

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For dinner, we ate at Amiccis of Little Italy which was fantastic. I had a Caesar salad, lots of fresh, warm bread, and gnocci with a creamy pesto sauce.

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We got back to the hotel, I set out my running clothes, and fell asleep before 9. It.was.glorious.

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The next morning we woke up around 5:30, got ready and grabbed breakfast in the hotel before walking to the race village area at the Inner Harbor.ย  The sun was coming up over the water and it was gorgeous.

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However, it was already a “comfortable” temperature for wearing a tank top. I knew this meant it would just keep getting warmer as the day went on.

My dad and I decided to check bags so that we would have a place to drop things and store things for both races.ย  The bag check was well organized and every time we dropped off our bags or picked them up we didn’t have to wait long at all, which was great!

After a port-a-potty stop (there were plenty, and short lines!), we got in the starting corral for the 5k.ย  The 5k started off with announcements by the Mayor of Baltimore, and the National Anthem.ย  It started right on time at 7:30.

My plan was to have fun during the races and look for the photographers (since I knew the photos were free!!) and just enjoy myself.

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Mission accomplished! ๐Ÿ™‚

The 5k couse was flat and a simple out and back. It was really scenic and a nice way to start the day. It was in the high 40s, so I knew it was some of the most perfect running weather we were going to have all day, and just enjoyed myself.

My only real complaint was the crazy amount of crowding during the first mile. It was the worst I have ever experienced. Despite announcements to line up according to pace and only span two across if you were running with a group, there were times when we were forced to walk (after crossing the start line) because people did not line up appropriately, and honestly it was pretty frustrating.

Despite a rough first mile, I really enjoyed miles 2 and 3 and felt really good.

My splits were 9:56, 9:22, 9:56, 1:06 (9:05 pace). Official Time: 30:44, which I have zero complaints about. I had a good time, and to almost break 30 minutes on an “easy” run is pretty awesome.

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I grabbed my crab shaped medal (from a Baltimore police officer handing them out!), some snacks to refuel with later, and waited in line for an official photo!

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After the photo, I headed to the bag check to meet my dad and to drop off my medal and snacks, and grab my chews to start fueling up for the half marathon.ย  But, since this recap has gotten so long already, I’ll end part 1 here, and the half marathon will be up tomorrow in part two!