This weekend of running with my family was awesome.
Standing left to right: Marybeth, Nate, Kenny, my dad, my mom. Squatting in front left to right: Nikki, Laura, me
Everyone kicked butt at their respective races, and we all had a blast!
Saturday started bright and early for me. Actually it wasn’t bright, just early. I had to run 22 miles this weekend as my last long run for MCM training. So my plan was to run nine miles before the start of the half.
I crawled out of the hotel bed at 5 a.m. and headed out for a pre-dawn tour of Charm City. Thanks to my friend Jimmy, who lives in Baltimore, I had a route planned out that wouldn’t take me through too many sketchy parts of town. But just to be safe I carried my pepper spray and ran without music.
My nine mile loop took me through Federal Hill out to Fort McHenry, and then down through Inner Harbor to Fells Point and back. Along the way, I passed lots of people setting up for the marathon start.
When I got back to the hotel I did a quick change into my racing attire and hurried over to the 5K start line to meet up with my parents, my aunt and my cousins.
Repping my Terps on game day/race day
After the 5K start my mom and I headed to the finish line to find a prime spectating spot. Not long after the leaders came flying past, and after a few minutes the rest of the family was running through.
Nikki, Kenny, Marybeth and my dad before the 5K start
Nate came through first, finishing just over 25 minutes. Laura wasn’t far behind, finishing in 28:37, a brand new PR!
Then came Nikki and my dad who ran the race together. They finished around 32 minutes, which is a 3+ minute PR for my dad from his first 5K!
Kenny was only a few steps behind and then Marybeth came flying through, earning herself a top 10 finish in her age group!
How is that for some Milcetich racing success! I just wish I would have been able to get some pictures of everyone finishing, but I failed big time.
After the 5K wrapped up, we walked over to the half marathon start line and my mom and I lined up in our corrals, while the 5Kers went off to grab some brunch and wait for us to finish.
Me and my mom before the half start
My plan for the half was to take it slow and steady. I could already feel the lactic acid pooling in my legs, plus I was stiff from hanging out in the cold for so long.
The first couple of miles were a little tough as my legs tried to warm up again and get into a groove. I took my first walk break somewhere just past the 5K, at the first aid station and that really helped things loosen up.
From there I had tentative plans to walk one minute every time I hit a mile marker. But that plan sort of feel through and I decided I would try to time my walk breaks with the aid stations since I am so bad at running and trying to drink Gatorade at the same time.
That plan worked for the next several miles. I started feeling pretty good around mile 5 or 6. Yea the hills were definitely brutal, but my legs were holding up well.
I was so grateful when we got out to Lake Montibello because it was about a mile and a quarter of flatness. After coming off the lake path, we shot out through some more Baltimore neighborhoods and onto some more hills.
One thing I have to say about this race is that the neighborhoods really come out to support the runners. Through every section of town there are people cheering, playing music, handing out food (this year candy corn seemed to be a popular choice) and water. It’s just a great atmosphere for racing.
I really, really appreciated the crowd support through the last several miles. My legs were trash by mile 11, and I just wanted to be done. As we made the final turn on to Eutaw Street, I knew it was mostly downhill from there. I willed gravity to carry me through. We were still more than a mile from the finish line, but I knew the downhill would help.
From there to the finish, the street was packed with spectators. I kept my headphones in for a few more songs, but eventually yanked them out of my ears so I could listen to the cheering.
As I got close to the finish line I saw my family cheering super loudly. They were definitely a welcome sight and gave me the little bit of energy I needed to kick it in across the finish line.
After getting my medal and some water, I hustled back to where they were cheering and waited for my mom to finish. She came through not too much longer afterward, smiling and looking good.
In total, I ran 22 miles on Saturday. My time for the half was 2:09 and my time for the 9 miles was 1:33, so adding those together my total time for the 22 was something like 3:42. Not too shabby at all.
All around it was a pretty awesome day. I love when my family races together!