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