4 on the 4th (MD) Race Recap

The date + weather: July 4, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. 68 degrees with 98% humidity.

The night before: I spent the night before at a party with some (sorority) friends from college. While they were all drinking, I was super responsible and drank a whole six-pack…of LaCroix and had a hamburger with some pasta salad. I was bored (being the only sober one) so I headed home early to set out my clothes and hit the hay.


The gear: Skirt Sports Lionness skirt, Balega Hidden Contour socks, New Balance Vazee Pace shoes, Danskin tank, Garmin Forerunner 235, Momentum Jewelry bracelet, sweaty band (switched out for my lobster one), Nathan hand held bottle …(don’t mind the socks)

Pre-race: I got up at about 6:30 the morning of –> don’t you just love close races? After getting dressed and stalling I grabbed a banana and headed out the door. It was about 10 minutes from my house to the parking garage to the start, where packet pickup was a breeze. My best friend and I waited around for about 45 minutes and then were ready to run!


Miles 1-2: The gun went off a couple of minutes early and we were off. Unlike what’s recommended, I flew off for the first mile, knowing it was the only flat/downhill mile in the race. I was running 2:00/30 intervals (I’ve been training using Galloway style intervals) and kept that up the whole race – it worked well for me. For the first mile and a half I was running my intervals between a 7:30-8:30 pace. A long good downhill brought us to the end of the first mile (8:43). Miles 2 and 3 were on my college campus so I knew to just hold on as long as possible in the hills that awaited me. Mile 2 was largely a gradual uphill, gradual downhills, and a very steep uphill. (9:43)

Miles 3-4: Mile three was the second half of running through campus (more hills, if you couldn’t guess). While I started to struggle and lag speed-wise, I just kept telling myself to go as hard as possible during my run intervals. After mile 2, no one passed me, which was a big confidence booster. I came out of campus at the end of mile 3 (10:23) and knew I had a big climb waiting for me.

At the end of the second to last hill – so dead!

After I passed Ben with about a half a mile to go, I knew the people who had almost caught me on the hill weren’t going to prevail. After I turned the corner to do a lap “around the block” I was ready to just go. Despite one short walk break I ran in the high 8’s/low 9’s to the finish and passed a couple of people right ahead of me. Despite a slow last mile (10:47) I was truly happy with how I finished with all I had left in the tank.


Results: 39:51 (1:00 off of PR), 9/25 in AG, 43/152 femaleFor most of the race, a PR felt attainable and I truly gave all I had, even when I knew it was out of reach. On a course with hills, I know it would have been possible.


In its inaugural year, this race was pretty good. They offered two colors of shirts (cool touch, even if they were cotton T’s), had free Chick-Fil-A and ice cold towels at the finish, and had nice quality medals. The course is a good challenge, winding through the Towson University campus. Anyone who is familiar with the area should have known to expect the hills. While it’s not a PR course, I would definitely do it again next year!

Most importantly….these post race donuts from the Fractured Prune. They were better than they look, I swear!


Are you a lover or hater of hilly races?

Favorite post-race treat?

5 thoughts on “4 on the 4th (MD) Race Recap

  1. It looks like you were running right around my office! Were you near the courthouse and post office on Chesapeake and Washington?
    I always complain about hills during a race but I do enjoy a nice downhill. I also think its helpful to have rolling hills in longer races to keep different muscles activated, but I can do without them in shorter races:)


    • Yep, that’s where I was! When I signed in I saw your name underneath mine on the bib sheet, I was sad that I didn’t see you there! I feel the same. I’ve also found my two flat halfs boring! I find that some rolling hills break it up.


  2. Congratulations. You ran an awesome race.
    I don’t really have that much experience with hill running (yet), but my half-marathon in SF next week will definitely be hilly (and I haven’t really trained for it… waaah!!). We will see how that goes 🙂

    My favorite post-workout snack is a popsicle.


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