Wait. What? Shouldn't this be a Kiawah Half recap? Yeah, about that...
I ended up deferring the Kiawah race until next year. With all of the stress I've had recently plus with being sick for a month, and consequently very run down from being stressed and sick, I decided running a half wasn't the best move. And on top of it all, we had to send one of our precious dogs, Stella Blue, to the Rainbow Bridge this week, so I'm just drained. Drained is putting it mildly, too. Running is definitely good for de-stressing, but at this point, 13.1 miles on a race course was not what I needed.
So I ran an easy, no goals, 5K at the Charleston Reindeer Run instead. And that turned out to be a pretty smart move. In addition to the above mentioned stress, we ended up having a really rough night with B the night before the race, and he threw up in the morning. All of that made me really glad we weren't in a hotel and I didn't have to slog through a half marathon.
I decided to dedicate this race to our Stella and run it in her honor. Even though I wasn't trying to do anything crazy, like PR (I certainly wasn't in PR condition today, that's for sure), I just wanted to get out and run for her. I even made a special bib that I pinned to my back.
I usually try to get to races early, but because of the little B vomit incident just as I was walking out the door, I ended up being late. By the time I got to the parking garage where I normally park, it was full. I sat in traffic waiting to get into another parking garage a few blocks away. I made it to the start line with about 10 minutes to spare. Whew!
I started off the run pretty easy at a tempo-ish pace and figured I could hold on to that for the race, which I did.
It was another hot one with high humidity, which didn't please me since it's December and not June. It wasn't as hot as summer, obviously, but it was still pretty hot for December. And the second mile along the water at the Battery was pretty steamy with the sun beating down.
After running mile 2 along the Battery, I stopped to walk at the second water stop while I drank half my water and dumped the other half down the back of my neck. Since I wasn't racing this race, it really wasn't a big deal. I ended up coming in at 24:16 (7:49 pace), which is fine for a tempo run after not getting a ton of sleep. It's a course PR as well, so that's something I suppose.
But it turns out that water break stop cost me third place in my age group. By one second. Crazy. By chip time, I was actually tied for third, but by gun time, which is what this race goes by, I was fourth. Who knew a 23/24 minute 5K would have been good enough to place at a race this size? I should have known, though. I've been in the top 5 in my age group for the past three years (4th twice, 5th once), and this is the fastest I've run this particular race. Had I known I was that close to placing, I would have push a little bit and come in sub-24 minutes. Oh, well! Goals for next year, I guess.
Otherwise, I was fine with that 24:16 time for a tempo run without much sleep and being mentally exhausted. I do hope I can pull it together next week at the Nexton Cocoa Cup and PR. I'd at least like to run what I know I'm capable of running, which I believe if I get enough sleep, I'm not sick and it's not freakishly hot, is somewhere in the 21/22 zone. At the very least, I want to see something under 23:30. The weather is looking good, so we'll see.
I'm glad I got to run this race. I was disappointed when I found out it was on the same day as Kiawah, so running it at the last minute was a nice surprise. And now since I didn't just run a half, I have a second chance to attempt a 5K PR before the end of the year. Here's hoping I end 2015 on a high note. It's been a rough racing year for me, so I'd love a good race to go out on.