Another Saturday, another tempo run-race. This one wasn't quite as good as last week's Green and Lean, thanks to an empty inhaler (yikes!), but it wasn't awful either.
I ended up with a time of 25:05 (8:05 pace), which was a little slower than I was hoping to run, even if I was only running as a tempo run-race. But when I went to take my inhaler before the run, I realized it was empty, so I didn't want to push too hard and risk another mid-race asthma attack. I figured I'd go out at what felt easy and manageable and as close to tempo pace as I could muster, but not worry too much about it overall.
I started out toward the front of the middle of the pack and found a semi-uncomfortable pace (aka, tempo pace), locked in, and tried to hold on. I did a good job for two miles and it felt like it was easier than last week, so I figured I was probably running slower since the humidity was even higher this week. I tried not to look at my pace too much and just run by feel. Mile three is where I started to fall apart and was really regretting that empty inhaler. I felt some wheezing, mentally freak out a little big, and then slowed way down and slogged to the finish.
When I looked at my splits, I realized the first two miles were identical to last week's race, so if the wheels hadn't fallen off in mile three, I'd have finished right around the same time as I did for the Green and Lean 5K. Considering I was convinced that I was going much slower in my first two miles than last week since it felt so much easier, I'd say my speed work sessions and tempo run-races are kicking into action here. So despite my overall slower finish, this was a decent workout and I'm happy to be seeing some results from training.
This was my first year running this race since I was 39 weeks pregnant last year and was no longer running at that point, and I'm glad I got to run it this year. I think this is one that will be on my race calendar every year.
Some of my favorite things about it:
The post-race food is amazing. There was a buffet of fruit and breakfast burritos, including a vegetarian option (yay!). They also raffle off tons of prizes, including gift cards to local running stores and a few other local spots. Sadly, I did not win a raffle prize. Maybe next year.
The water fans at the finisher water/food area. Fans. Blowing water mists. Yes. More, more, more. They really needed those out on the course!
The course is on Sullivan's Island, one of the beach towns here in Charleston, so good scenery is a given (as it is with most races here). It's a figure 8 course and at the halfway point you pass the finish line (although that's not exactly my favorite thing to do in a race, especially when I know I'm only halfway done). Technically, it's a "fast, flat course," but nothing in Charleston is really fast in the summer thanks to our heat, humidity, and abundant sunshine.
Seeing lots of runner friends! This is always fun, no matter what the race. I never go to a race here that I don't see several of my Charleston runner friends. This week I saw a bunch of people, including Amy, aka, The Tiny Terror and we had a photo opp after the race.
But one of the best parts about this race was the special award they gave out to one young runner in honor of Peyton Moore, a little boy who loved running and was well-known in the Charleston running community, and who sadly, passed away two years ago at the age of 9. His parents were at the race today to award the Peyton Moore Award to the first child under 12 to cross the finish line, and that child happened to be Peyton's best friend. He got a standing ovation and I'm pretty sure there were lots of teary eyes in the room. I didn't know Peyton and I don't know his parents, but it was a wonderful way to pay tribute to their son.
A few things I wasn't super pleased with:
No chip timing. I started in the middle of the pack because I wasn't super concerned about my time, but doing that definitely cost me some seconds since there weren't any chip mats at the starting line.
No starting corrals or any real organization at the start. There were about 450 runners, and it was crowded and I got stuck for most of the first mile behind people. This is the biggest this race has ever been (by almost double), so they understandably didn't have some of the bells and whistles of larger races as far as the course and timing, but for next year, they really need to consider some basic corrals - like sub-25, runners, walkers/strollers.
Only one water stop on the course (and I missed it because I was on the wrong side of the road). There's one water stop at the halfway point, but it's only on side of the road and it sort of snuck up on me. I needed that water at this race, but I passed on it because I didn't want to cut other runners off. At minimum, it would be better to have volunteers on both sides of the road at that stop. Even better, two water stops on the course, especially because it's so hot and humid in Charleston by this time of the year.
But for me, the good things about this race far outweigh the bad ones, and overall it was a good race experience with a few things I hope they change as the race gets bigger. And another fairly successful tempo run-race in the books for me. Next week, I'm heading to Run the Runway for another hot, humid one.
Race location: Sullivan's Island, SC / Course: Shady for some parts of the first mile, but blazing sun otherwise / Race size: 452 runners / Cause: Sullivan's Island Fire and Rescue Department / Post-race party: Lots of food and drinks, raffle prizes / Weather: 80 degrees, sunny, 95% humidity
25:05 (8:05 pace) / 4th in AG (I think) / Health: a few asthma issues, but nothing major