We are going to have to skip yesterday momentarily for a quick tour de Baltimore.
The epic 23-miler started around 5:30 am when I downed a granola bar and some coffee; I think I was awake at the time but I’m not 100% sure. Then, I headed out to hit every town in Baltimore. First up, was, of course, the Harbor. Since it was still a little dark out, I headed to the safest streets. I saw a lot of the Inner Harbor this weekend. It really is a beautiful part of the city, despite being super touristy. See that bright red dot in the horizon? No, that’s not the sun. It’s the famous Domino Sugar sign! It’s been gracing the shores of Charm City since 1922.
Next up was Federal Hill. Which is exactly what it sounds like — a hill.But the cool thing is that when you get to the top, you get another awesome view. I sort of miss living in Balitmore. Last night I was talking to some ladies that live in this (really nice) part of town, and they pay 1/3 of what I do in rent. That is insane. DC is only 45 minutes away from Baltimore; somewhere along the road the cost of living absolutely plummets. If I was good at math, it’d be neat to study local economies. This is the sort of stuff I think about on my runs.Up next was East Baltimore, which was interesting as always. This is what you could call an “up and coming” part of town. Ironically it hosts one of the best hospitals in the nation. Hopkins has a very interesting relationship with the city of Baltimore — you can get a taste of the couple’s strange and sort of dark history in this article.Bored of you photo tour de Baltimore? Hungry? Let’s stop for some pizza. I think I saw more the other week, but Baltimore showed that it knows how to party too.Then, through Fells Point and back along the water. Fells Point is a historic, once-shipbuilding, part of the city full with little shops, restaurants, bars, dog-walkers, etc. What I mostly associate Fells Point with? My 21st birthday. Flashback:Oh wow.
Next I had a short model session. Yesterday Amanda from Run to the Finish blessed me with a pair of running sunglasses! They’re Oakley Overtime shades for women — and the best part is, they’re actually functioning, practical sports sunglasses that are ALSO cute. I felt like a very athletic Olsen twin.
The sunglasses worked really well over all 23 miles. I wore them on my head for the first 9 or so, and they stayed on well. I was nervous they’d fall off, but they never budged! Nor got tangled in my hair. Nor gave me a headache. When I put them on, they stayed snug on my very sweaty nose the whole time. I have a pretty narrow nose (I think?) so a lot of glasses tend to slide down my face. So, A-plus for Oakley! My only warning for those who wear these — or any running sunglasses — is that when you transition from head to face, you’ll probably have to wipe the lenses on your shirt because they’ll be a little moist from your head sweat. Apologies if that was TMI but I honestly don’t know if anyone is still reading this epic post by now.
Then, I headed north to my old stomping grounds. Thank you for educating me, Hopkins! I spent way too much time in this library but it still holds a soft spot in my corazón.
Pit stop around mile 13 for some complimentary water brought by Starbucks. I had a nice chat with a man about my journey. I love meeting supportive strangers along the way. He really pumped me up for the rest of the run. Then, I headed my hydrated self off to Lake Montebello, in Waverly town. I took a lap with the locals around this mile-long lake. Up next? Fuel station. I bought a banana and some Gatorade at Eddie’s market in Charles Village. I used to shop here a lot when I was a student. And then… the great community of Hampden. Hampden hosts a lot of little artsy/boutique shops where you can get things like oddly shaped soaps, vintage toaster ovens, handmade dog leashes and the like. All those things you never even knew you ABSOLUTELY NEEDED.
And then, back to Mt. Vernon! 23 miles DONE. Sometimes I feel ill toward the end of my route, but today I mostly just felt hungry. I stopped at Eddie’s market in Mt. Vernon (there are 3 or 4 in the city!) for an egg and cheese on rye. Plus chocolate milk and an enormous water. I plopped myself right down on the curb and ate it like a champ.You would think 23 miles alone would be extremely boring and difficult, but it actually went really well for me today. I am typically a big advocate of running with people for long jogs, but I think after 2 days of heavy socializing at FitBloggin’, I was ready for some “me” time. What’s even weirder is that I had my iPod with me the whole time and didn’t turn it on once. Yep, 3+ hours in complete silence. Not sure where that came from.
I was worried that my run would not be complete without a Street Furniture spotting. DC definitely beats Baltimore in this category, but no fears — I managed to discover this nice collection around mile 18. And now, my long training runs are officially over until race day. I am going to celebrate with a nap.