In part 2 of 3 of my “Run Maryland” weekend and part 1 of 2 in the Frederick Running Festival Nutjob Challenge, at 6pm on Saturday night I ran another 5K through a desolate, empty part of Frederick.

Here in Montgomery County, because we’re snobs, we refer to Frederick as “Fredneck.” Whether it lives up to its nickname is open to discussion, but I’ll say at least this: there is a lot more farmland one county north of Montgomery. And that’s essentially all this course was. An out and back on a road that cuts through some farmland.

The 5K started inside the Frederick Fairgrounds on the track

After I finished up at the Run for the Bay 5K I went home, showered, ate a peanut butter bagel, and was on my way up to Frederick to visit my friend Sophie’s showing of her beautiful vintage fashions as part of the Frederick Spring Garden Craft Show. Sophie’s DressDarling creations were even more stunning in person, and sad for you what you can’t buy (yet!) in her Etsy shop is the adorable Rosie the Riveter-esque headwrap I’m wearing today at work. Sophie also measured me properly! Now I know what my natural waist is! Be sure to look through Sophie’s shop, she does really lovely work.

Then it was off to the Frederick Running Festival Expo, where I was pretty good and only picked up my bib, my two shirts – a red tech tee for the 5K and a long-sleeve gray tech shirt for the half marathon – and bought a couple of headbands. Because headbands. Always with the headbands.

Eventually I got a veggie panini for an early dinner and hung out in town waiting for 6pm to roll around, and when it did, wandered inside the Fairgrounds in time to catch the kids’ race get going. So cute! I love the little kids who don’t know what’s happening and why everyone is cheering and just dead stop to wave, baffled, at the strangers clapping for them.

Frederick Running Fest kids race

Once the kids race was over I lined up in the corrals – yes, a 5K with corrals. Not strict ones, more like loose pace groups, but they had signs and everything. 1,500 people were running this 5K.

Literally RIGHT as they sent us off the skies opened up and the wind started howling and sideways rain started hitting us all in the face. Again, at least it wasn’t the half marathon. Being in the middle of the pack for this one I heard some people laughing about it and some people freaking out about it. I was mainly cold.

I had lost my headphones somewhere in the City of Frederick and was not excited to run 3 miles with no music but I figured at least it hadn’t been right before the half marathon. I’m kind of glad I lost them – I’m definitely a little too dependent on music when I run. Running the 5K without music gave me a chance to actually hear what groups of friends who race together say to each other on the course. Mostly I was tuned in to the mother and son duo who kept picking out spots ahead to run until before they stopped for a walk break. With a pretty boring landscape, it was mainly “that stop sign” or “that fence post.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for big open space. But all I remember about this course was gray. The sky was gray. The road was gray. The fence was gray. The one or two buildings we passed were gray. I kept a pretty steady pace but allowed myself the walk breaks I didn’t take in that morning’s 5K.

Because my IT band was acting up. Which made me REALLY EXCITED for the next morning, obviously.

Band in shadow to protect the innocent

The rain stopped and the sky opened back up as I rounded the corner to head back onto the track for the finish line. The band playing was so perfectly awful, I’m talking like Adam Sandler movie awful, like unbelievably “seriously?” awful, that when I later saw someone posting on the Facebook group about the 5K “great band!” I burst out laughing. Literally the lead singer didn’t know half the words to half the songs they played and they covered everything from Jason Aldean to Linkin Park. Like OMG I left in the middle of Linkin Park’s “In The End” just appalled that people were actually enjoying it.

Like I said, I’m from MoCo, and I’m a snob.

Maryland pride!…but mainly Montgomery County elitist.

After leaving it was back home for the night — but first stop was Target for some new headphones. Buying the cheapest pair I could find would come back to haunt me the next day — but that’s for tomorrow’s post.

CHIP TIME: 32:10
OVERALL: 767/1,262 finishers
FEMALES: 350/762
AGE GROUP: 56/97