Charles St 12 Miler: Looking Back and Forging Ahead

As I’ve recapped in training posts, these past 6 weeks or so have been all about the Charles St 12 Mile race. After deciding I wouldn’t be attending Rock N Roll Philadelphia due to a new work schedule/travel costs, this race became my “goal race” for summer training.

Charles Street 12 Miler revente

Unless you’ve been reading for a while, you may or may not know that the Charles St 12 haunts me. I ran the race in 2014, as my first long distance race. It was horrible. HorribleHorrible. Not the race itself – it’s wonderfully run, as Charm City Run races always are. It was me. My performance was abysmal. Running and my body were not friends that day.


I recapped this race in my early blog days, but this summer I have spent so much time on runs processing that race. I won’t recap it again (although the recap I wrote is horrible, lol), but I will summarize what was so bad about that race.

  • I misjudged the hills on a “net-downhill” course. Net-downhill doesn’t mean all downhill. Any hill I saw thoroughly intimidated me. This was stupid, because I totally ran hills while training in New Hampshire.
  • I ran this race with a sub-2:00 goal (10:00 pace) and also with a goal to beat my friend. Uh, why did I care about beating someone, especially my friend, and base my success of of hers?!
Pre-race with Beth!
  • My pre-race nutrition was horrid. I had beer and a crab pretzel the night before, and all I drank for the two days before was nuun. I was overhydrated (or mishydrated – is that a thing?), and I paid for it.


  • Due to my nutrition errors, my right hamstring cramped up real bad around mile 5/6 and I never recovered. I basically walked the last 4 miles of the race. 4 miles. WTF?!
  • I finished with my slowest race pace EVER, even slower than my slowest half marathons, with a time of 2:35, pace of 12:51/mi. Dreadful.
  • P8090178.jpg
    I only ran in because there were people watching…

What’s different this time?

  • I’ve run the course, backwards and forwards. I know where/how bad the hills are. And realistically, they’re not that bad. I’ve studied and studied those runs on Strava. Over and over. There will be no surprises.
Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 10.01.50 AM
Elevation chart from 2014. The last mile is slightly different, but elevation remains the same. Those first two hills are not fun, then it’s really not that bad.
  • I haven’t completely set a time goal for this race. I’ve thought about it, but I’ve struggled. I know that when I set time goals I stress out and fail. I plan to run the first half with 90:30 walk/run intervals, and the second half with 120:30 walk/run intervals. Needless to say, I will set a course/12 mile PR. By a lot. Like at least a half an hour most likely.
  • I’m not stupid with pre-race nutrition anymore. Also, 12 miles isn’t that long and I’m plenty trained. I still drink Nuun, but not nearly as much. As long as I don’t get drunk the night before (which trust me, won’t happen) I don’t see nutrition/hydration as being an issue unless it’s stupidly hot. **knockonwood** The forecast looks perfect so far.
  • I love doing races with Beth, but no longer concern myself with anyone else’s perfromance but mine. She will probably run with me, and whether or not we finish together or apart could make no difference to me. I’m going to run my race this time! Although, I don’t think we’ve ever finished a race together, so that would be kinda cool.
  • IMG_0726
    Poor AK has a stress fracture, so it’s just Beth and I!

As I’m writing this on Monday, I am feeling so excited for a chance to redeem myself on Saturday; to put to use these summer miles; and to seek revenge on this course. Regardless of my pace or time, Saturday will be amazing. Charm City Run always puts on amazingly well organized races. I’m excited for the race to end with beers at the Under Armor world headquarters, and hopefully have Jake there for me at the finish (his house is only a mile from the finish – talk about convenient!) Oh – and the premium! CCR is also known for their premiums. The hoodie for this race looks glorious – almost as good as the B3 race series premium.

I’ll also earn an extra medal for completing the B3 race series!

Have you ever felt the need to seek revenge on a race? 

12 miles is a weird race distance…What’s the weirdest race distance you’ve ever done? Seriously…why not make it a half marathon?

2 thoughts on “Charles St 12 Miler: Looking Back and Forging Ahead

  1. I guess I haven’t run enough races yet to truly feel I have to seek revenge on a course, LOL, but I can definitely understand where you’re coming from…. this seems like you’re now in a much better mental spot to take on this race (any race!) than when you first started out!


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