Last Sunday, the day after running RnR USA half, my husband and I ran in the Kelly’s Shamrock 5K in Baltimore City. I wanted to run this race because A- I’d never done it before, B- I heard it’s a great race with a great atmosphere, C- It was part of the B3 Challenge I signed up for. I wanted my husband to join me in this one, because I knew it would be a big race (sold out and capped at 5000 participants) and he’s never run in the city before and I thought it would be a great experience. Plus, we never do anything for St. Patrick’s day, and I thought it might be fun to get out and spend some time together doing different things.
The race didn’t start until 1:15, which I really liked because it gave a chance for it to warm up a little outside (morning races can be really cold standing around!) and I had the opportunity to sleep in a little, take my time eating breakfast, getting ready and driving down there. We found parking in a parking garage using Parking Panda. This is the first time we used this company and I found it very convenient and easy. Basically, you go on Parking Panda’s website and search for parking. You pick a garage, or lot you want to park in, and you pay through the site. You get a voucher for your payment and your spot in that garage or lot is reserved, so there’s no worry about the place being sold out, as you are guaranteed a spot.When you go in to park, you take a ticket like usual, but when you leave, you hand the attendant your ticket and voucher (some places even let you show them from your phone) and you are done.. no payment is necessary because you have pre-paid. Pretty easy… they even have an App for your phone in case you are driving around the city looking for parking. I liked that we were able to reserve our spot ahead of time, being that the race wasn’t the only event going on in that area- there was the parade as well.
So we found our parking and walked to the race start. We noticed it started on top of a hill, which we liked. We waited around for a little while, and watched other runners filter in. Took a few good pics at the starting line.
Took us a little time to start, but soon enough we were off. I kept my phone out to take some pictures along the course. We took off running down Charles Street. the first mile or so was pretty much down hill.. which I liked a lot. We turned onto Light St. and made our way passed the Science Center and Federal Hill. We got to see the lead runner pass us in the other direction making his way to the finish. We reached our turn around point right before the 2 mile mark on Key Highway and headed back towards the harbor.
We headed back down Light Street and turned right onto Pratt St. This is where the half and full marathon starts during the Baltimore Running Festival. It was cool to show Mike where that start was and let him see how it felt to be in big race like that. I asked him how he was feeling, thinking he might want a walk break, but he just gave me a thumbs up and told me he was still feeling good. I was impressed given how little time he took to train and how concerned and reluctant he was to do this race. So proud of him 🙂
We hit Pratt St. and the home stretch. This is where a lot of spectators were, all lined up for the parade. The cheering always perks me up. I think it helped Mike out too, because he picked up the pace a little. Before we knew it, we hit Market St. and the finish was in front of us! Mike sprinted ahead and finished a few seconds before me- 33:14.. a brand new PR for him!
After the race, we headed into Power Plant Live for our free beer and live entertainment. Beer always tastes the best after a race!
After our beer, we headed back to the garage to get our car. The parade was hitting the end of Pratt just as we were making our way down, so we got to see a little of it.
It took us a while to get out of the city, as the roads were closed for the parade. But it was to be expected. All in all, I would do this race again. I thought it was an easy course down hill, mostly flat, with some slight inclines. I love running in the city, as you get to run places you wouldn’t otherwise be able to. It was also cool to see so many people out and about for the race and the parade. I wouldn’t otherwise have gone down for the event, so it was a cool experience. As for running the day after the half, I had a blister that I had to drain, but overall it was ok. My knees were definitely achy, but I took it easy on them. I knew that if Mike started to run a little faster, I wouldn’t have pushed to keep up, so I focused on keeping it slow and light. The next day however, I was having some Achilles pain. I took a rest day on Monday from everything and only did cross training this week. I did an easy 3 miles yesterday (Friday) and I noticed the pain came back a little around mile 2. I’m going to have to watch that, as I have a bunch more races coming up over the next few weeks. Tomorrow I’m doing my long run, but I think I’m going to cut it back to 6 miles, and pay attention to how I feel. I may cut it shorter if the pain comes back. My next race will be the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in DC on 4/6. Looking forward to that as it is the first time I’m doing that one. In the meantime Zeus wishes everyone a happy belated St. Patrick’s Day!