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The St. Michael’s Running Festival: The Ins & Outs

The St. Michael’s Running Festival (link to: was

Saturday, May 14 th of this year. The half marathon is described as, “one of only two

Maryland events recognized in the TOP 100 HALF MARATHONS IN THE USA! Our

course is beautiful and built to help you reach a new PR.” Well, my goal was to get

under 1 hour and 30 minutes and I wasn’t sure how attainable that was, but it was my

goal. Given that this St. Michael’s course is a fast and flat course, I thought it would be

the perfect opportunity to try to meet this new PR.

During my training for this half marathon (Jan- April), my workouts were sporadic. I

injured my back a few times and that set me back a few weeks, plus we went on

vacation. (Check out my Active Mom Travels: Orlando post) So, I wasn’t feeling that

optimistic about a new shiny PR. In fact, I was wavering on whether I would even do the

race up until 3 days before. But eventually, I decided to go for it and pulled the trigger.

The race started at 7:10 am and Charm City Run highly recommended getting there in

the 5 o’clock hour. Now, I never get to races that early - ever. I rolled up at 6am and

didn't have any trouble finding parking, I parked on a side street that a bunch of other

runners were also parking on, so it worked out just fine.

I made my way to the race start and over to the port-a- potties. Why is there never

enough?? The lines were so long!! After my pit stop, I warmed up about a mile. My legs

felt pretty good. I was wearing my Brooks Hydro Elite 2, and I really do like them. But I

did find that the laces kept coming undone, which is annoying. I need to invest in some

better laces, I think.

I went to my starting area around 7 am and after the national anthem, the bell sounded,

and we were off. The course started out flat and was on a wide paved road with scenic

views of very big houses in St. Michael’s! I started off feeling good at a 6:45 pace. My

race strategy was to start at 7:30 and I well exceeded that pace, which isn't a good

thing! I tried slowing down some for mile 2. During miles 3-7 I found someone running

my pace that was playing music on their phone and that kept me occupied for 4 miles.

The course had some out and backs with turns and there were no spectators. So, mile 8

hit me. I was feeling a little depleted. I just kept telling myself, “It’s only 5 miles. You got

this!” I saw someone walking and thought about how nice it would be to slow down for a

second. Instead, I told him to keep going and that we were almost there. At mile 11, I

told the same guy to not let me stop. I was really holding on to hope at this point. I kept

picturing myself running around my regular route its only 2 miles. “You can do it! You

made it this far!” It hurt, a lot. When we hit mile 12, I could not have been happier to

finish!! I crossed the line at 1:33:31. While, I didn't set a PR, I did enjoy myself. I find joy

in things that hurt and push me hard! 

Final thoughts on the St. Michael’s Half Marathon: The course was flat, almost too flat? I

wanted to use different leg muscles, and never got the chance because of no change in

elevation. Also, it was disappointing that there were barely any spectators except at the

very end. Oh, but I will say that Charm City Run put on a great after party!

Before I left town, I treated myself to a stop at an adorable little coffee shop in St.

Michael’s and then headed home. Now, I’m planning my next half marathon!

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