Race recap: Charleston Reindeer Run 5K (5 months postpartum)

Another weekend, another race! And another post-baby PR (and course PR), coming in at 24:45. That's still far from where I want to be, but I'm improving by the week right now, so I can't really be upset about that!

On race day, I woke up with the beginnings of a migraine, and feeling very unmotivated. I even briefly considered bailing on the race. But I wasn't feeling so terrible that I felt like I couldn't run, so I popped a few Excedrin, drank some coffee, and had an egg wrap before heading to the race with D and Baby B. Usually I get really excited on race mornings, epecially as I'm standing at the starting line, but on this race day, I really just wanted to go back to bed. Even the loud music and the energy of the crowd wasn't really enough for me to get into to it this year.

Middle and top right: pre-race (and me looking very tired), Top left and bottom right: post-race with my cheering squad, Bottom left: Little B in the reindeer antlers that came in the race bag

During the first mile, I really questioned whether I'd finish the race since I was just so tired. I was probably dehydrated and under-fueled, too, since the day before I had a crazy busy day with work and forgot to eat and drink for most of the day. Not a good thing to do in general, but the day before a race, it's especially bad. But I pulled myself together and managed to haul it to the finish line, although I'm pretty sure I've run some half marathons that felt shorter than this race.

Since I felt like I was dragging bowling balls on my feet, I wasn't really paying attention to my overall pace or time, so when I saw 24:xx on the clock near the finish, I was pretty surprised. I was sure I'd long passed that time (hours ago). But seeing that gave me the last little push to pick up the pace just a bit to make sure I'd come in under 25 minutes.

Last year I ran this race in 25:15, so I am officially faster than I was one year ago at 13 weeks pregnant, and I feel much more like myself with every run. I'm think I might be on the upswing of this speed thing.

I also think I may be a little burned out on racing for this fall, though. I've got one more race this coming Saturday at the Nexton Cocoa Cup 5K and then no more races on the calendar until the Charleston Half. And I'm happily welcoming the racing break, especially with the holiday festivities and travel and all that jazz. Getting enough runs in will be enough of a challenge over the next few weeks.

If you've read the post about my goals for this fall, you might remember that the Reindeer Run was supposed to be Autumn Beagle's big debut race since they allow dogs on the course. However...#RunningWithAutumn hasn't really been working very well for me, not for any fault of Miss Autumn's, but mostly because of time constraints on my end. I really want to get her out running (and racing), but I'll have to save that for another time when I can add her running onto my own training. She's super slow and needs to do a run/walk for a while and I'm not really into run/walking my own training.

On a positive note (since I feel like this post has been sort of blah - sorry!), this is a fun, flat course through some beautiful sections of the lower peninsula in downtown Charleston. Whenever I run a race like this, I can't help but feel lucky that I live in such a beautiful place. And I do love this particular race and course, and it's probably one I'll do every year.