My First Half Marathon

Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon

Two weeks ago, I ran my first half marathon: the Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon. It was tough, but a lot of fun!

I finished in 2:01:58, running at a 9:19 min/mile pace. I had a goal to finish it in 2 hours, but just missed it after having to stop a couple times to stretch because of a bad leg cramp. I’ll reach it next time!

Training

I trained using Hal Higdon’s 12 week Novice 2 Half Marathon Training Program. I would definitely recommend it.

At the beginning of the program, I printed a calendar template and filled it out according to the program. I marked down how much I was supposed to run each day, and which days I was supposed to rest or cross train. I followed the plan pretty consistently, except for the last two weeks when I skipped some due to achilles pain. Despite that, I felt prepared for race day, although a bit nervous.

The Race

The race began with a wave start at the Inner Harbor and looped around the city (including my favorite, a run around Lake Montebello), and ended with a downhill run through Camden Yards with a finish line in front of M&T Stadium.

There were a lot of hills throughout, something I was not fully prepared for. I knew it was hilly, but wasn’t expecting so many. Most were gradual and slow, while some were steep and quick. Luckily, the last two miles or so were mostly down hill, which made for an enjoyable finish.

The crowd was great. The half marathon joins the marathon at around the 3 mile mark, so there were lots of people watching and cheering throughout the race. The crowd waved funny signs (“If Donald Trump can run, so can you”), played loud music (including two guys dressed up as tigers dancing to “Eye of the Tiger”) and handed out lots of drinks and food (shots of Natty Boh, swedish fish, water etc.). It made the whole course enjoyable.

BRF time

Overall

Despite my leg cramping at the 10 mile mark, I really enjoyed my first half marathon. I definitely recommend Hal’s training program and the BRF race. I felt prepared for race day and especially because I was nervous, appreciated the fun atmosphere and how well organized everything was. However, make sure you train for the hills!

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Recently Read: We Were Liars

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As part of my 36 in 365 days challenge, I set a goal to read 36 books. I plan to review some of my favorites here. First up: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

I read about this book online a while back, took a picture of it on my phone, (am I the only one who does this to remember things?) and then forgot about it completely. I remembered it weeks later, and found it in the library in the Young Adult section. I was a little worried it might be too childish, but decided to give it a try.

I’m glad I did. It was a fun, quick read (it took me two days), that draws you in right away. The end was a total surprise. I really did not see it coming.

It’s definitely a book you want to talk about with someone after reading (which is why I convinced my mom and L to read it). This Goodreads discussion board (CONTAINS SPOILERS!) was interesting to read afterwards, as was going back and rereading certain sections to see how everything fit together.

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Friday Antics

  1. Need to remember to book this hotel for L and I’s (happening sometime) Providence, RI trip.
  2. 22 unexpected things that happen when you run your first half marathon. Let’s see how accurate this is!
  3. Exit interview with Charleston’s longtime mayor Joe Riley.
  4. Would love to visit this “obsessively curated vintage men’s shop” in Brooklyn, NY.
  5. New to me, folk-inspired band to listen to: Great Peacock.

 

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Nashville Travel Guide

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Earlier this year, I visited Nashville for the first time with my dad. We had a blast taking in the sights, music and history of the city – I can’t wait to go back! Here’s a brief travel guide if you’re thinking about planning a visit:

Eat

Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant (Yelp) – Classic southern food located right in the downtown area. We went twice for breakfast, and both times were good. On the weekends they have a breakfast buffet if you want, which we got once. I liked ordering off the menu better. Have live music at dinner most nights I think. Can get crowded.

417 Union (Yelp) – Really good breakfast. We ended up coming here twice, and both times were really good. Seemed to be a little less crowded than Puckett’s. Also open for lunch.

Merchants (Yelp) –Nice lunch or dinner spot right by the honky tonks. New American food in a nice, classic setting. We went here for a late dinner on our first night, and then for lunch on our last day. Some places on Broadway seemed too touristy/kind of dumpy, but this place definitely stood out in a good way.

Husk (Yelp) – Well known, fancy farm-to-table, southern restaurant by chef Sean Brock. It’s in an old restored house a few minutes outside of downtown, and the food was really, really good. Menu changes daily. My parents had been to the other Husk in Charleston, so we knew we wanted to go here. Definitely a memorable dining experience for a nice night out – need to book reservations in advance.

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Drink

Nashville is famous for its honky tonks – you can’t miss them. Most of them are several stories with several bars and bands on each level. We went into four or five of them, and they were all fun. They can get really crowded at night, but we also went during the day. Most have one band right by the front door so the streets are flooded with music. We would go to one, stay a while/have a couple drinks, then try another. Of the ones we went to, the one that stuck out the most was Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge (Yelp).

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See

Ryman Auditorium (Yelp) – Known as the “Mother Church of Country Music,” this is a cool concert hall to tour, right around the corner from the honky tonks. It’s the original home of the Grand Ole Opry show and hosted Elvis, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash etc. Today, the biggest names in country (and some other genres) continue to play here because they love the acoustics. We took the self-guided tour and also did the guided backstage tour, which was fun. Touring the Ryman gave a good overview for the history/dominance of country music in Nashville.

Grand Ole Opry House (Yelp) – Current home of the Grand Ole Opry show, the famous weekly radio variety country music show that features all different bands. It’s about 20 minutes outside of the downtown area. We bought tickets in advance for a show- at the time, they hadn’t announced who was playing yet, but really it’s more about the atmosphere and the different acts. Old Crow Medicine Show was one of the bands we saw, which was fun. We got tickets in the upper deck, and they were good.

Do

Nash Trash comedy tour (Yelp) – Hands down one of our favorite parts of the trip. Hilarious bus tour around the city with The Jugg Sisters- a vulgar duo that are really funny. You ride on an old school bus while they take you around the city. It’s not really an informative tour of the city, but it’s really funny and you do get to see some different parts of the city. They mix stories about country stars while bantering and interacting with (or really, making fun of) the crowd. You can bring alcohol on tour, which we did. Need to book far in advance!

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my corner of the internet

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I figured it would be fun to create my own little corner of the internet in the form of this blog. A space to write and post about people, places and things I find interesting and want to remember. I’m not exactly sure what this will end up looking like, but here goes!

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