When I signed up for the Baltimore 10 Miler back in May, it was still cold and rainy. Then the summer heat and humidity hit full force, and race day was no exception. I checked the temps the day before and it was supposed to be about 70 degrees at the start and cloudy, so I figured it wouldn’t be so bad. However, I had NO IDEA just how humid it would be.
The morning of the race I ate oatmeal with almond butter and a banana around 5:30am, along with some coffee. We left around 6:25 to drive to Druid Hill where the race took place. I read my recap from 2014 and remembered that it took a long time to park, so we gave ourselves plenty of time.
This was my 4th year running the race. I ran a 1:22:11 and 1:22:13 in 2012 and 2013, and then broke my PR in 2014 with a 1:19:12. Going into the race I felt like I could PR, but once I realized how humid it was I questioned how things would go.
After a short warm up I tried to find my way to my wave (the start line is always so crowded) and I ended up having to climb through a gate to avoid starting with the 12 min/mile wave. I wasn’t sure exactly where I was, but somewhere between a 7 min/mile and a 9 min/mile. The race started right on time (which was nice because in 2014 they started it at 7:40- 10 minutes late!) and the first mile is downhill. Other than a little weaving, I felt pretty good and ran a 7:38 which didn’t feel too hard.
I knew pretty much right away that the humidity would make this tough. It was one of those days where you start sweating just standing still. I tried to ignore it and just focus on running off of effort. It’s an out and back course, so every downhill we get going out means an uphill coming back. I also always remember that the hardest part of the course is mile 9, coming back to the park, so I try to save some energy for that.
I took water at every single aid station, and wished there was more. (There were plenty, but it just goes to show how much I was sweating and how hot and humid it was). With each cup of water I drank most of it and threw the rest on my head. So between the water and the sweat I was pretty drenched the whole time.
Around mile 8 I knew I was on track for a PR if I could hold onto my pace. As I climbed the hill back to the park I slowed down quite a bit and desperately wanted to walk, as many others around me were doing. I managed to keep running because I knew if I stopped it would be harder to stop again. Once I made it to the top of the hill I had about .8 miles to the finish so just gave it everything I had.
Here are my splits:
I guess the course was slightly short, because there were some street closures and usually my watch read about 10.1 miles due to weaving early on. Official results were 1:18:10, 18th in my age group, 64th female, and 250th overall. This was a 1 minute PR from my time in 2014!
After finishing I got a cold towel, water, Gatorade, and some snacks including watermelon. I found Rob and we went to get our premiums (which you only get after you finish the race). We saw Lauren (Salt) and chatted with her for a bit and then went and grabbed some beers.
When we decided to leave it took us FOREVER to get out of the park because the only exit from where we parked was part of the race course. There was another exit to the street but it was blocked off for some reason!
While I am really happy with my performance in this race, the weather conditions were frustrating. I know I’m not really acclimated to the heat and humidity but even in the middle of the summer this would have been a tough day to race. The hills are tough, but fair. I feel like I run pretty well on courses like this because mentally I know I always get the same downhills as uphills. It’s always a fun race environment with great crowd support, a nice premium, and good beer and snacks post race.
I’m sure I will be back next year, and I’m already hoping for better weather!
What are the toughest weather conditions you have ever raced in?
What is your favorite local race?
Do you like out and back race courses?
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I’m linking up with Patty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run!
meredith @ cookie chrunicles says
you did awesome, congrats! especially in such humidity, that’s really hard and even harder at the beginning of the season. I have run one 10 mile race down at the beach and gosh I remember it being so hot and difficult!
Susie @ SuzLyfe says
Girl, you rocked this race in the humidity! It is tough–none of us are used to it yet, and we’ve had no time to acclimate. You did great!
Wow, you are very speedy!
I always struggle between “should I stop for water” and “can I just keep going”. What a great race you had. Congrats!
Tricia @ A Couple of Dashes says
Congratulations on your new pr! That’s impressive, especially in those conditions! I think the worst weather I ever raced in was a seattle downpour on st paddys day. My shoes were soggy and it took forever to warm up after!
Daaaaang! That’s really impressive that you were able to PR in humidity like that. The heat is one thing, but the humidity is just the worst. My heart races so much faster when it’s 80%+ humidity. I can’t imagine racing in 95% humidity! Way to go!
Laura @ This Runner's Recipes says
Congrats on the awesome PR!! You ran such a strong race and it’s even more impressive with the humidity. I like out and back for my daily runs but prefer point to point for racing. The worst weather I ever raced in was 30 degrees and windy, but I’ll take that any day over humid. You did great and are only going to get faster as you acclimate!
Holy nice PR, Batman! WAY TO GO – especially in the humidity.
There’s something about this summer already with the humidity. It’s hit here too, and no time to acclimate. Great job getting a PR, and watermelon sounds great after a race. Watermelon is definitely a summer fruit that I look forward to every year.
Congratulations on your 10 miler PR!! That is so exciting! especially in the awful heat and humidity!
Wow a PR even with that humidity- how impressive. Congrats! I am not very good at pushing myself in the heat and humidity; it seems to just suck the energy right out of me.
Congrats — and holy humidity!!! OMG!
Sarah @pickyrunner says
Congrats on the PR! It’s frustrating when a course is short but I think you probably would have PRed anyways even if it was the full distance. I wanted to run the 10 miler this year but I got a lecture from one of my friends that I was asking for another injury haha
Tiffany @ The Chi-Athlete says
AWESOME job, girl! Humidity an warm temps totally freak me out, especially when it’s a race where I’ve been *counting on good weather* (which is dumb, lol). Congrats on a great race!
Congratulations on your finish! Sounds like it was a tough one due to how humid it was. I don’t usually like out and backs, but the one good thing is, you know what to expect on the way back through.
Alyssa @ renaissancerunnergirl says
Congrats, that is a great PR in less than ideal conditions! I tend not to do well at all with heat and humidity. Last year I did several 5 milers/10ks in NYC in May and June for my 9+1 and I think my pace actually increased with each race because it kept getting hotter.
Omg I can’t even imagine STANDING in 95% humidity let alone RUNNING in it!!! We’re humid here at the ocean on this side but not like that, I don’t think. I think we stand at around 70% humidity. You did such a great job at that PR! Imagine what you would have done if it hadn’t been so humid!
Karen @ Fit in France says
The race goes through the park ? My brother lives in Baltimore and I visited in April. We did an urban hike and walked all through the park. I kept thinking what a great place it would be to run !
Megan @ Meg Go Run says
Good girl on your PR!!!! 🙂 That’s a really goo gauge of your fitness, especially since the weather was less than ideal.
Janelle @ Run With No Regrets says
Wow, congratulations on your PR, that’s huge! Running in the humidity is like hell! My last half marathon was extremely humid and I was drenched before hitting the first mile. You fought through and got the prize in the end 🙂
To PR in those conditions, I can’t even imagine! Lisa you rocked it! My toughest race still has to be my first marathon in 2007. Chicago got up to 93 degrees that day with 90% humidity. Everything I’ve run since then pales by comparison.
Kristy from Southern In Law says
Way to go on an awesome race! Even with the gross weather conditions! That is an AWESOME PR!
Rachael @ Catch me if you can says
Congrats on the 1 minute pr! Heat and humidity are no joke that’s why I don’t race locally from may till October it’s so rough. That’s frustrating you couldn’t leave when you wanted to!
Congrats again on the PR girl! Toughest conditions I have ever ran in was my last half marathon in May, with the torrential downpour. Fave local race is the GW Parkway ten miler–it’s in April so weather is almost always perfect, and the course is beautiful and the race is so well organized. I prefer a point to point race rather than out and back!
Laura @ Mommy Run Fast says
Awesome job pulling off a pr in that humidity!! You definitely have an even faster time in there waiting for the perfect conditions. 🙂
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table says
That’s an amazing time! Congrats o the PR… and those splits!
This totally prepared you for the Dreaded Druid Hills race in August…ne of my local favs along with the Annapolis 10 Miler and the Celtic Solstice.