Charles Street 12 2014 Race Recap

On Saturday I ran in the Charles Street 12. In case you don’t feel like reading every little detail about this race, I am going to start off by just summing up the race day’s key points:

  • I ran a 1:33:41, which is a 7:48 pace.
  • It was a really fun but challenging race!
  • We had great weather, especially for early August in Baltimore.
  • Overall the event was great and so well organized.
  • I got to hang out with some other bloggers post race!
  • I followed my recovery plan (as best I could) and it went really well!
  • Rob beat me by 40 seconds. It’s fine, and it’s good to know that he will never “let” me win a race- I will have to earn it.


Alright so now to get into a little more detail.

Race Day Logistics:

The course was point to point, and started north of Baltimore City and ended down in Powerplant (which is right near the inner harbor). There were shuttle busses driving people from Powerplant up to the start of the race. We were a little nervous about how this operation would work so we got to the busses by 6am. We were able to get right on a bus and were at the race start by 6:30. The runners had plenty of room in a large parking lot to hang out, warm up, use the bathroom, etc before we lined up at the start.


The race started pretty much on time at 7:30am. I didn’t have any issues on the course- although I was desperate for water around mile 10 and there wasn’t another water stop until 11.5. By that point I was so focused on getting to the finish that I didn’t even take any water.

The finish area was set up well, with the finishing chute a block away from the post-race celebration area. It wasn’t crowded once you crossed the finish line- you got your medal and some water and walked across the street to everything else. One of my biggest pet peeves about races is when the finish area is crowded and you can’t move after you cross the finish line (ahem- Baltimore Running Festival). Runners were given a boxed lunch of a turkey or veggie wrap with a banana and chips, as well as a free beer. Since we were in Powerplant, you could also purchase your own food or drinks in the bars/restaurants there.

Race Performance:

This being my first 12 miler, I didn’t have a time to beat. My plan was to use it like a half marathon (based on pace) to see where I am with that distance and help to figure out training paces for my upcoming full marathon. My plan was to go out at around an 8:15 pace, and gradually take it down to a 7:50 with a faster finish at the end. I think in the back of my mind my goal pace was a 7:50.

We got really lucky with the weather:


I felt good starting out but it took a good mile to get into the groove, with my first mile being an 8:23. From there we went up and down some hills which affected my pace, but during most of the race my average pace was 7:50. Once we got downtown my Garmin started to go crazy (surprise surprise) so I did my best to ignore it and run based on feel. Rob was within eyesight the whole time (I led for the first 5 miles and then he passed me on a downhill) so I just tried to keep the same or less distance from him.

I think the hardest part of the race was after my legs were trashed from 10 miles of hills, we got downtown and ran the last two on flat ground which suddenly felt really hard! I wanted to take another gel at mile 10 but there was no water so gave up on that idea. The last mile was a real struggle but that showed me that I paced pretty well but ran a hard race.



I felt like leading up to this race I was so busy that it was like the last thing on my mind. In a way that was a good thing because I didn’t stress out about it at all. The only problem was I didn’t think everything through as well as I usually do. I hadn’t eaten pasta in a few months while I have been playing around with paleo but it was the only carb option we had in the house on Friday night. So I ate it and hoped for the best. I also haven’t eaten bagels in months (which used to be my pre-race food the morning of) and I had been able to get away with just a banana when I was doing up to 10 mile runs.


Saturday morning I ate a banana and a lara bar (cashew cookie) before leaving (I think it was at like 5am) and then had a honey stinger waffle around 7am. I didn’t love eating the lara bar pre-race so I will need to figure out something else or go back to bagels. I already talked about the gel problem I had, but I took my first gel at mile 5 as we were approaching a water station. I think if I were doing a 12 miler again I would take in a gels at miles 4-5 and 9 instead of waiting until mile 10. 

Blogging Friends:

There were so many bloggers running this race! I saw Lauren from Breathe Deeply and Smile on the course, chatted with Sarah from Picky Runner for a few minutes after finishing, hung out with Lauren from Run Salt Run and was introduced to Amber from PBs and PRs, and then met up with Samantha from The Running Graduate for a few minutes before I had to head home.

bloggers Recovery:

I did a lot of things right, but it was not my best recovery effort. The problem I have with eating post race is that I usually don’t want to eat, and if I don’t like what they offer I usually opt to not have anything. The boxed lunch was nice but I really did not want a turkey wrap. When races offer an array of snacks I can usually do a protein bar or something like that. I tried to eat the wrap but probably only had half of it…and it was a small wrap. I did eat the banana but I definitely didn’t do the chips because they were bbq flavored. And of course I had a beer.

post race

I finished running around 9:15 and we got home around 10:45, at which point I made a smoothie and then ate an egg frittata. I also foam rolled and wore compression tights for a few hours before we headed out to go house hunting. It was a busy Saturday from that point on (house tours, mani-pedi/church/grabbed dinner/packing) but I think wearing the compression tights for an hour post race and then an hour before bed helped, even though I didn’t wear them for as long as I would have liked. I also didn’t drink as much water as I would have liked with all that I was doing on Saturday. I got to bed by 9:30 on Saturday night and woke up naturally at 4:45am…not as much sleep as I would have liked but when my body wakes me up naturally I figure it was well enough rested? At least I get to relax a lot this week.


Ok so that was a lot of info. I am really happy with how this race went and part of me wishes it was a half marathon so that I could have set a PR. But I also know that when I crossed the finish line I had zero desire to run another mile. For a hilly course I think I paced the best I could. It is also exciting to think that I ran this before I started training. I’ll need to think about if I want to go for a PR when I run the Baltimore half in October.

Since a 12 mile race means nothing to me, I did some converting to a half marathon. With a 7:48 pace, if I had run an extra 1.1 miles at the same pace, I would have run a 1:42:15. This is 2 1/2 minutes faster than my current half marathon PR from 2012. Of course I headed over the the McMillan race predictor. It predicted a 3:35 marathon. As we all kind of agreed when I talked about this a few weeks ago, longer distances are better predictors on full marathons than shorter races, and marathon performance will still be very dependent on training and how things go on race day. It is also a whole different beast than the half. So all these things taken into consideration, it is just nice to see where my fitness is going into training.

MiMM MIMM #105 Roccos Birthday in Wisconsin and More!

What a marvelous way to spend a Saturday morning, right?

What was something marvelous about your weekend?

Are you able to eat after a race?

What is your favorite race distance?

Other ways to connect with me: Facebook  / Twitter  / Instagram   Follow
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

43 thoughts on “Charles Street 12 2014 Race Recap

    • Haha he might! I’ve beat him a few times but he’s definitely faster than me in shorter distances. Once he figures out how to train for a marathon I’ll be in trouble with that too. We joke that I just use him for pacing- but its kind of nice now that I’m getting closer to his times that I am able to just try to stick with him!

    • We really got lucky with the weather! Usually in August it doesn’t go below 75 even at night, and its typically way more humid than its been!
      I am the same way after a race…once the hunger sets in it cannot be tamed!

  1. Great job! That is a great pace, and it will only get easier as you continue to train (well, we all hope so, at least!). Fueling and such is difficult in and of itself, and I am certain even more so for you right
    now as you figure things out. I’m so jealous of the great blogger meet up of 2014, haha. Would have love to meet all of you!
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Run, Sleep, Eat, Repeat #MIMMMy Profile

    • Thanks! We would hope/expect that training will only improve performance, we will see! Maybe you will need to sign up for a Maryland race one of these days:)

  2. Awesome job! You should be very happy with your performance all-around! Sure there were little things you noted, but they are all ‘learning moments’ – and funny how the fuel is such an adjustment as you modify your diet. I know my fuel plan is different than before – and obviously still a work in progress as I ran out of fuel after about 14 miles … ugh.

    Also so cool that you got to meet up with everyone – would love to have that opportunity someday!
    Michael Anderson recently posted…Motivation Monday – 21 Tips to Help You Keep GoingMy Profile

    • Thanks! I am happy with how things went- especially since it was not a goal race and I signed up 9 days before! Maybe its just easier to do well when you don’t put pressure on yourself. And fueling is definitely tricky. Luckily it all worked out ok but there is lots of room for improvement!

  3. What an incredible race you had! You are SO going to PR this fall! Funny how your husband has to “beat” you, does he sprint to the finish to do that? Very cool that you got to hang out with a bunch of bloggers too :)

    I’m not able to comment using paleorunningmomma for some reason FYI, I think my site might have been marked as spam? anyway I’ll be commenting just as little old me :)

    • That’s so weird- and both of your comments today went to spam for some reason? But thanks again:)

  4. You really met all the bloggers! Maybe one day we’ll get all of us in one place… wishful thinking? So glad you had a good race! I had the same goal of a 7:50ish pace but surprised myself completely. Those last two miles KILLED me. I never thought that would happen but they were my slowest and most difficult miles. I, too, was converting my 12 mile time to a half time which would lead to a PR. That’s a pretty awesome feeling if you ask me :) Enjoy your vacation!!
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…Baltimore TouristsMy Profile

    • I agree- I thought that the last 2 would be easy since I am familiar with the area and knew it was flat- but it was really a struggle! Its funny how I think alot of people were just doing the race for fun and ending up surprising themselves with how it went- maybe the lack of pressure and the luck of good weather? Either way I’ll take it! Now let’s go run some half marathon PRs this fall!:)

  5. Awesome job at the race! Our times ended up being really close! I was running at my goal marathon race pace for the first 9-10 miles and then tried to speed up for the last two. It was great to see you on the course!

    • Good to see you too! I was behind you for a couple of miles but didn’t realize it was you for awhile! Then my husband sped past me on a downhill and I tried to catch up with him- it didn’t work:) Great job running a solid race pace run with a fast finish!!

    • Thank you! I was so surprised we had that weather. I don’t know how you do it in Florida. Even running there in May was tough!

  6. I am so glad you had an awesome race! Sounds like you will be beating Rob before you know it! It is really cool that you got to meet up with other bloggers! Maybe that will be us after the Philly Marathon, as long as I am not too delirious!
    Amy recently posted…Be Kind to YourselfMy Profile

    • Haha I think Rob has been a little nervous lately since I have been right on his heels!
      We will definitely meet up after Philly! I’m sure we will both be delirious (but hopefully in a good way!)

  7. Awesome job hun! Congrats on such a good race! I’m with you on not being as to eat after races for a while, which was bad yesterday. After running over 16 miles, waiting two hours to eat was not smart, but I wasn’t hungry earlier and couldn’t make myself. Thankfully I had a ton of food with me to eat when I did get hungry on my drive, but I felt sick out of nowhere, which would have been bad had I not been prepared!
    Caitlin recently posted…14 WeeksMy Profile

    • Thanks! It’s funny how running hard/long can do crazy things to our stomachs. I am way behind on blogs today (and not sure when I’ll catch up this week) but I can’t wait to read about how your race went!!

  8. I read Lauren’s recap and it sounds like such a fun race! I think your off to a great start heading into your marathon training. I usually have no problem eating after 5ks and 10ks, but when I ran my first half I wanted nothing to do with food. I couldn’t even stomach one bite of a banana. Something about racing longer distances just makes me super nauseous afterwards, which I guess is a lot better than during haha.

    • Yea I’m not sure why certain foods just sounds gross to me after a hard or long run! I can usually do chocolate milk, when that’s an option. It was a really fun race, and it was a nice confidence booster going into marathon training!

    • Thanks! A great day all around! It would be awesome to PR in Baltimore although I know its a challenging course. (and the weird thing is I ran it twice, 4 years apart, and ran the exact same time to the second!) You will have to try to run the Charles St 12 next summer! It was great event, whether you are racing it or just doing it for fun!

    • It was so fun meeting up with you after the race! And I’m glad your foot behaved itself and I hope it continues to improve. Hopefully we can get together again soon!

  9. Awesome job!! It was so great meeting you! You are going to do awesome at your upcoming races, and I think you can totally PR at the Baltimore Half. Those hills were so much worse than I expected. My legs were/are trashed as well. I definitely need a few miles and some more rolling with the stick to work out some soreness tonight.
    Sam @ The Running Graduate recently posted…The Best Weekend EverMy Profile

  10. This was an AWESOME recap and I felt like I was right there with you, I love that!!:)

    Congrats on doing so well, I think that you are going to do well in your fall full marathon.

    I think the turkey wrap sounds really cool post race-but I am also soooo weird with what I will eat after running. Sometimes nothing at all sounds good and I don’t even want to eat anything for hours!

    Great job, and. I love how you plugged your stats into McMillian immediately…I am the SAME WAY!!!! :)
    Nicole@thegirlwhoraneverywhere recently posted…Out of Your Comfort ZoneMy Profile

    • Thanks so much! It definitely boosted my confidence going into the next training cycle, so we will see what happens this fall!

  11. We were so lucky with the weather on Saturday! When I first signed up for the race I was definitely expecting a hot, humid August day- thankfully I was wrong.
    I’m not great at post race recovery when it comes to food either. Typically the only thing I want is a banana, but not a meal, and certainly nothing heavy with protein. I like recovery shakes, but am still waiting for those to become an option after races :)
    Great job on the race, sounds like you’re already PR ready for your half this fall!
    Amber recently posted…Three Things ThursdayMy Profile

    • Wouldn’t it be great if something like recovery shakes could be a post-race option?
      I agree about the weather- leading up to it I wasn’t even planning to “race” because I figured it would be too hot. This summer has been much better than most. I’ll take it, but I’d rather not have to suffer through another long and freezing winter like the last one we had:/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge