You know that feeling when you’re all, “I know I forgot something!”?! Well I had it the entire drive to Severna Park, Maryland for the B&A trail marathon. Clif blocks? Check. Hammer gels? Check. MP3 player? Check. Lipgloss? Check. Propel? Check. Tylenol? Check. I went through this list a bajillion times before I finally realized why I couldn’t shake the feeling…I forgot my watch. And the race was in 20 minutes.
According to the locals, the closest Target/CVS/similar was more than 15 miles away. The only thing they weren’t selling at the expo was, you guessed it, watches. Now I know I said I was “running not racing” this one, but COME ON- a girl needs her split times!
After getting some looks to kill when I asked my fellow runners for the time (one woman even asked me “why?”…uh, I don’t know. Maybe because I’m in a race!) I decided to just focus on running. Many of you know how competitive I am as well as how intense I can be during a race…so needless to say, a focus on only running was a “first” for me!
The miles flew by. I got lost in my music (read: sang out loud with hand motions and everything). I took in the the scenery. I gave thumbs up to spectators and high fived all of the kids. I pondered Gu versus Hammer, course changes, UNC/Duke rivalry, and the freezing point for lipgloss with other runners. Before I knew it, we were at mile 20!
The only split I do know is the half (13.1): I was at 1:56. So a 3:45:09 finish definitely solidified my streak of negative split (second half faster than the first) races. 3:45 is also my new PR and, to be honest, I didn’t think it was going to get any better than the 3:54 in Chicago! Turns out I didn’t even need a watch to run a great race…!
To celebrate the finish, I signed up for a massage and took advantage of the post race feast the Annapolis Striders provided all 300 marathoners. Imagine my surprise when, face down on a massage table, I heard my name called for overall finishers during the awards ceremony…I was the 4th female overall and 2nd in the 25-29 age group! No lie, they called it and I looked up and screamed, “shut up! I’m Suzy Holt!”
Why have I been avoiding small races all of this time? Packet pick up is seamless, registration is half the cost of big races, start is not at all chaotic, crowds thin out within the first few miles, and a 4 hour finish can get you an age division award!