Race recap: Floppin' Flounder 5K 2016

Well I flopped. And I floundered. But at least I finished. And then I got to hang out with friends, which made all of that floppin' and floundering a little better. 

This was a hot, humid one, for sure. The weather for this rivaled last year's Isle of Palms Beach Run 10K, which I didn't officially finish partially because of the awful heat (and lack of water on the course), partially because I was sleep deprived. This time I finished, but wow, I was miserable. Fortunately my only goal for this race was to finish without having an asthma attack (done!). Go me. 

 Race t-shirt

Race t-shirt

I woke up on race morning with the start of a migraine and some nausea (seriously, of all mornings, wtf?), so I took some migraine meds and hoped for the best. I couldn't eat anything, so I was running on empty. My head felt mostly better by the time I got to the race, but the nausea continued to hang around. I felt just awful while standing at the starting line waiting for the race and within less than a 10th of mile after the start, I knew I was in trouble. My stomach was just rumbling and angry. And it was so hot and humid. This is not a great combination and definitely not conducive to reasonable running, let alone racing. 

I finished the first mile in 7:40, which really isn't too horrendous, considering the heat and how I was feeling. I foolishly hoped I could just hold on to that or somewhere close to it and come in around the 24 minute mark. But my stomach just wasn't having it and I kept feeling like I was going to lose it along the side of the road. And at that point, I had to slow down to an easy pace. Not even a tempo pace. Just a regular old easy run pace. Blah. Miles 2 and 3 clocked in at 8:45 and 9:02 respectively (ugh and ugh). My "kick" (bwahaha!) at the end was 7:11. The good news here is that even at that 7:40 and in the crazy heat/humidity, my asthma didn't act up once! That's beyond good news. 

The bad news is, my overall time came in at 26:44 (8:37 pace), which is over one minute and thirty seconds slower than last year's time on the same course (when I had an empty inhaler and asthma issues) and a far cry from the Moms' Run a few weeks ago where I was talking while running faster than this! This was one of the slowest 5Ks I've ever run and came in less than 10 seconds faster than my first 5K ever. I was faster when I was pregnant, and I've run 10Ks and half marathons faster than this (much faster than this, actually). 

What a hot mess. Literally and figuratively.

But that's all I had in me that morning, so that's what I could do. If it hadn't been a race, I wouldn't have even been out running at all and would have pushed the run back to later in the day since I felt so bad when I woke up. At least I finished, even if it was a miserable slogfest. 

My biggest complaint about this race - and it's the same one I had last year - is the location and lack of water stops. The only water stop in the entire race is on the opposite side of the road from where you run and it's easy to miss. I really needed water, but couldn't get to it. This is one of those 5Ks where I'd consider carrying my own water even though it's a pain. 

I met up with some friends at the finish line who also mentioned feeling nauseated because of the heat, so while I got a head start by waking up nauseated, who knows what would have happened on the course even if I hadn't.

We went and stood under the water fans for a while (best part of the race!), had some watermelon because the burritos sounded awful to our angry stomachs, talked about how we still felt like crap, then decided to head to a local bar at 9:30 in the morning to wash away our pain with some beer. And that was the best part of my morning and the race, and by that time, my stomach was starting to calm down since I got some food in me.

 Post-race Sandwich - Because I didn't bother to take pictures at the race

Post-race Sandwich - Because I didn't bother to take pictures at the race

Summer racing in Charleston isn't about PRing or even running all that fast (for me anyway). It's about getting out, being social and drinking beer before noon. Because that's a completely acceptable thing to do after you've hauled (slogged) butt in the blazing sun and soupy humidity for 20-30 minutes on a Saturday morning. 

Immediately after the race, I said I was done with summer racing in Charleston. After I cooled off and had a beer, I changed my mind and registered for a run on July 4th.

To call this race exceedingly bad is probably an understatement, just like the Isle of Palms 10K last year. Hopefully, I'll get back on the horse and manage to at least get back to the 24ish mark for the rest of the summer and this becomes the exception, not the rule, just like last summer. While I don't mind slightly slower times in the summer, I don't like to see times like this race ever, no matter what the time of year.

And hopefully since I think I've got my asthma mostly under control now and I'm maintaining my miles better this summer than prior summers, come fall this awful plateau that's been hanging around for way too long will finally start to break. It's been one long, frustrating haul and I'm about over it.

Until then, I'll be slogging my way through summer running and yes, more racing, because I can't let this abysmal race be the way my summer racing season ends. This race is just the beginning. 

TL;DR Summary

Race: Floppin' Flounder 5K
Date: June 4, 2016
Location: Sullivan's Island, SC
Course: Flat, mostly unshaded, figure 8 loop
Cause: Sullivan's Island Fire and Rescue Department (50%) and Charleston Running Club (50%)
Weather: 80+ degrees, 95% humidity
Performace (1/worst to 5/best): 1
Health: Sick/nauseated, no asthma issues!