Race Recap: Charleston Turkey Day Run 5K 2018

Turkey Day 5K 2018

Last week was a whirlwind of family visits and holiday fun. I’m still trying to catch up on everything that wasn’t absolutely essential for me to do (like blog posts and commenting). And, in place of my regular weekly recap, this week I’m recapping the Charleston Turkey Day Run. This was my 5th time running this race, and this year I paced my niece who was visiting from Pennsylvania. I also coerced several other family members who were visiting to participant as well.

This race is always a fun one and I love starting my Thanksgiving off with it. I missed it last year because I was sick with the never-ending UTI from hell and didn’t feel well enough to run. And this year, because I was pacing my niece, I had no goals of my own.

She didn’t want to know what pace she was running, but she did know she didn’t want to stop and walk at all. And she wanted me to push her. I also knew she was hoping to PR, and based off her prior PR of 33 minutes (run in terrible, rainy weather), I was aiming to come in somewhere around the 29 or 30 minute mark. I was fairly confident she could run sub-10 minute miles without too much trouble.

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The plan was to start us off slow and incrementally increase the speed with each mile. The first half of the race went by really fast and she was doing really well, and I started to pick up some more speed to see how much I could push her. Every time I picked up the pace, she picked up as well and continued to run strong. In the last 3/4 mile or so, we really got stuck in the crowd and the road was more narrow, which made it hard to get around. But we kept our sub-10 pace.

When we hit the last quarter mile, I told her we only had about one time around the track to go and the finish line was in sight. She asked me if it was that white thing up in the distance (it was) and that gave her the extra push she needed to bring that last stretch in at an 8:19 pace. We came in at 30:48 with a 9:53 pace overall and she got her PR!

We could haven’t asked for better weather, either. It was in the 50s with really low humidity. Sometimes (okay, a lot) here in Charleston we’ll get cooler weather, but the humidity is still in the 90s (kind of like my Sunday run where it was 45 degrees, but the air was still sticky and clammy with 95% humidity). But at this race, we had none of that.

And this course is definitely a pretty one - it starts and ends in Marion Square in downtown Charleston and has waterfront views at the Battery. I’m not sure if my niece appreciated the scenery of the course while I was pushing her to keep moving, but she did such a great job at this race. She didn’t slow down and she didn’t walk, even when she got some pesky side stitches toward the end (in fact, that’s when she decided to sprint to the finish!). I told her I’ll pace her for a half marathon next. I’m not sure if she’s on board for 13 miles of me talking and pushing her, though. Ha!

B and D sat this one out to cheer the rest of us on.

B and D sat this one out to cheer the rest of us on.

So here’s the good news for me. I felt fantastic during this race. Yes, yes, I was pacing someone who runs a different pace than I normally run, but given all of my struggles over the past several years, to run this and feel like the pace was so easy that it felt more like an 11 minute pace or something as opposed to sub-10, I’m thinking I’m finally getting over the sickness slump.

Even comparatively, when I paced my friend Jenn last year for the Wine & Dine 10K, the pace felt okay for me, but I wasn’t feeling great like I’m feeling now and it felt similar to the pace of this 5K even though it was slower (10:45/mile). I was still all messed up from antibiotics and the UTI plus my back was bothering me. So even though last week wasn’t a “race” for me, I still see improvements in how I felt. Plus my regular runs have been pretty decent, too.

And while I haven’t raced a 5K myself in quite a while (or any other distance), I’m feeling confident going into the Wilmington Half this weekend that I’ll be able to pull off something decent despite it being 13 miles and my first real race attempt in years.

No, I haven’t done speedwork at all this training cycle (or races), but I have put in the long distance miles. I’ve run more runs over 10 miles leading up to this race than any other half marathon I’ve run, including a 13-miler two weeks ago at a 9:00/mile pace. Does that mean I expect a PR? Eh, maybe? But it’s a stretch. Does it mean I think I’ll be okay and be relatively happy with my finish time? Eh, probably.

But here’s the thing…I want to race. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve felt like that.

So. I’m heading into Wilmington this week cautiously optimistic, and with a solid base. We’ll see where that takes me, and I’ll continue the journey from there.

How was your week? Did you run a Thanksgiving race?

Race info

Race: Charleston Turkey Day Run 5K and Gobble Wobble
Date: November 22, 2018
Location: Charleston, SC
Medals: Just for the kids races (shorter distances, after the 5K)
Course: Road, partially shaded
Weather: 50s, 62% humidity, sunny
Performace (1/worst to 5/best):5 (paced my niece)
Health: Good

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I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap series