Charles St 12 miler training: 8/14 – 8/20/17

Happy Monday everyone! I’m taking a much needed rest day today after two good days of running over the weekend. And who is going to take in the Eclipse? It’s supposed to rain here during the eclipse, but I’ll likely watch on TV (to save my eyes – don’t have glasses), and take in the light changes around me before going to work!

This was my last big week of training before starting to simmer down for the Charles Street 12. I feel much better prepared for this race then when I ran it 3 (?!?!) years ago.

Charles Street 12 Miler

Monday: Rest day (Always. But not for much longer…)

Tuesday: 7 miles easy (on the treadmill). I hadn’t been on the treadmill in months and actually didn’t mind it!

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Wednesday: 5.7 miles at November Project. Ran the 5:30 workout HARD, and got a PR for that specific workout, then ran the 6:30 session with a friend. It was a day where I could truly see improvement and I felt so proud of myself. However, I ran out of water and it was hot/humid, and I spent the rest of the day in a dehydrated stupor.

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Normally make it to #7, made it through exercise 10. (15 of a # exercise, then alternating laps/1/2 set of stairs)

Thursday: 25 minutes of strength work, but no run. It was really hot once again, and I wasn’t quite feeling recovered from the day before.

Friday: Rest day – my typical second rest day, I failed at getting up to run. Once again, it was blistering hot. I did walk at least 3 miles in DC that afternoon.

Saturday: 12 miles on the second half of the Charles Street 12 course.  Ran 6 miles uphill to where I stopped during my last course run, and 6 miles back down. The hills were hard, but definitely didn’t kill me. I was planning for 14, but by the time I got back to the harbor, it was a real feel of 90 and I was feeling pretty dehydrated again (despite drinking Nuun and almost my whole hydration pack of water). 2 miles isn’t worth getting sick.

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Sunday: 5.86 miles at a local run-club 10K. I almost didn’t go, as I felt horrible the night before (dehydration, probs). But it was in the low 60’s and I couldn’t pass that up. The course was short, but I was proud of a race pace/intervals effort (120:30) and had an average pace of 9:54. My 2 minute running intervals were consistently run in the high 8’s/low 9’s. Once again, progress.

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Total miles: 30.6

This is no more miles than the last two weeks, but I did miss one run. My legs are feeling great after a hard month of training. Just two more weeks until this race, and then training for the Goofy Challenge officially begins!

Do you have any upcoming races?

How are you handling this heat? It hasn’t affected me too much this summer, but this week was rough.

Do you have special Eclipse plans?

Charles St. 12 Race Recap

On Saturday, I participated in the race I had been looking forward to all summer, the Charles St. 12 in Baltimore, MD. I trained so hard. I was so confident that I could do alright. I flew to Maryland to enjoy an amazing weekend with my best friends. Here’s how it turned out:


Beth and I were up at 5:30 to get ready and drive to Towson for the race start. I felt good, but could hardly choke down half a bagel with peanut butter. But I was ready and excited. I decided to wear my knee brace just to be safe, but it ends up that my knee was the least of my problems.

We arrived at the start about half an hour before the race start. Our wonderful chauffer/best friend/Beth’s boyfriend Ben was able to park right at the start to watch us off. There was plenty of space to spread out, lots of porta potties (with long lines) and water. I was so excited to meet Sarah before the start! Her blog was one of the first ones I came across when I started blogging. If you haven’t checked it out before, you definitely should because she’s awesome!


The gun went off right at 7:30 and after about 1:30, Beth and I were off! We started off at an easy pace because the hills started right away and lasted longer than I expected. I originally planned to stay with her for the first few miles, then speed up for the rest of the race. However, my body had different plans. Around mile 4 I started getting awful leg cramps, like I’ve never gotten before. My gluteus medius (I believe) was so unbelievably tight. I started walking, and stopped multiple times to stretch it out. Nothing. Worked. I eventually started to get stomach cramps and a headache and Beth thought maybe I’d drank too much Nuun. I tried some gatorade and almost puked. From then on out I drank only water and it helped my stomach a bit.

Running down Kenilworth – I found Ben!

Around mile 9, I simply knew that my race wasn’t going to turn around. My legs weren’t feeling any better and I knew this race was a complete bonk. I told Beth to go ahead and she ended up finishing 10 minutes before me (YAY BETH!). I’m so glad I let her go on instead of holding her back. I eventually settled into a group of people that was walking/running and I stayed with them for the rest of the way. Around mile 8 the course finally flattened out as we were getting into the city. I ran walked the last 4 miles at around a 14:00 avg. pace (UCK).


After a sick joke of crossing Pratt St. and going all the way into Fed Hill, the last mile brought us through the Inner Harbor. I wish I was stronger at that point because it was beautiful, there were tons of people out, and I’d always wanted to run in the harbor. But I was struggling real hard and fighting off tears. I faked it for the photographers and hobbled the last .25 miles to the finish. My final time was 2:35:05 Sad smile (I projected a 2:00-2:10). I was so mad at myself that I just wanted to cry. I worked hard all summer. My 10 miler the week before went flawlessly, and my body had felt great. I just felt so defeated.


The finish line area was awesome! The festivities were not right at the finish line, which helped with crowding. There were clothes to purchase, lunch boxes (I only ate an apple), and of course free beer. I was quickly able to meet Lisa before she had to leave! I wish I would have been in better shape, I ended up leaving quickly to find a chair because I felt like I was going to pass out on top of her. After the apple and water I wasn’t feeling better, but I was dumb enough to stand in line for beer. While keeling over in line, I finally felt better after sitting, stretching and slowly drinking it. There was a great band playing that I really enjoyed!

Beer + a medal + music = a happy Sam
Beer + a medal + music = a happy Sam

In general: This race was fantastic. The course is challenging, but beautiful. It was so well organized and the volunteers and police officers along the course were great. We got a super cute Under Armour premium, and there were other awesome race shirts to purchase at the finish. I wouldn’t hesitate to run this race again. I won’t let my bad day ruin how great of a race the Charles St. 12 is. In fact, I plan to run it again next year

What went wong? I’m not trying to make excuses, just trying to look back on what could have gone wrong on Saturday morning.

  • Nutrition – My pre-race nutrition was awful. It was not my best decision to have two beers on Friday, along with a tiny lunch and only a crab pretzel for dinner. I hardly ate breakfast as well. As much as I love Nuun, I think I drank too much because I did start feeling better after I drank straight water.
  • Stretching – I didn’t spend much time stretching before the race. I did a few but I didn’t follow my normal routine.
  • Traveling I don’t think my legs liked the 2.5 hours of driving and the flight on Friday. If I travel to Baltimore again for a race, I’ll likely fly down a little earlier to avoid such tight legs.

Now, I have the chance to redeem myself. I have just less than a month to prepare for the Lake Placid Classic 13.1, and I’m determined to do better than I did in Baltimore. I’m taking a lighter week for recovery this week, then working hard for the next two weekends to get my long run closer to 13 miles.

However, my goals for the half marathon have changed. I originally was hoping to finish in 2:10, but after this race I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself and bonk again. Therefore my first goal is to beat my time for this race of 2:35. My second goal is to earn a 13.1 pr, by beating 2:27:27. If I could meet one more goal it would be a sub 2:20. My long runs tend to average about 10-10:30 miles so it may be attainable if I have a great day.

Tonight, I ran it off. I’m still a little sore, but the muscles that hurt the most on Saturday have clamed down. Those two miles left me refreshed and confident that Saturday was just a bad day. I’m fit and in shape, and I can run a half marathon!

Have you ever had an awful race?

Have you ever had cramps in your upper thigh/butt? I could not stretch it out to save my life. Help me!