I opted to run the Charleston Marathon – the half distance as a taper run for my full in New Orleans two weeks from now. I signed up awhile ago when it was still a decent price, before all the increases, and figured it’d be more fun to do the race as a training run then to run on my own.
First, a bit about the race itself:
I will start off with a warning – this race is no frills. So, if you like the bells, whistles, etc. of large, big city races this is not the one for you. It is very low key, not many spectators to cheer you on and the water/aid stations are fewer and farther apart than at most races.
However, if you want a quick, simple race this one is for you. Packet pickup is a breeze, not a single line since the race had only about 5,000 participants. I pulled into my parking space 35 minutes before start time and was able to see the race start from where I parked. Nice and simple. You run the first 4 miles through beautiful downtown Charleston, amazing, but then the following miles straight up the very unattractive North Meeting Street.
The course is super flat though which leads to many strong race times. The finishers party in Park Circle is nice with shrimp & grits, mimosas, and beer for finishers if you would like.
My only wish is that this race would somehow find a way to incorporate more of the beauty of Charleston.
This particular morning was rough. Last weekend it was 60 degrees by the time I headed out for my final 20 miler at 8am; however, that was not the case this time. It was only 34 degrees at the start of the race, and the wind was so horrible it felt way colder. I can actually count on one hand the number of times I have heard the phrase “wind chill” in my 10 years living here and I am pretty sure they were almost all last night and this morning.
I told myself I would be running not racing, because this was just a training run, but the truth is there is very little racing in my life lately. That is one of the many reasons I am taking a break from scheduled races for a few months after the New Orleans Marathon, my body needs it. 3 years ago, pre-injury, I cut a sub two hour marathon on this course and felt amazing (still my PR). A month ago, I pushed hard at the Kiawah Half, gave it my all, and was pleased that I came in right under 2:15. Today my goal was to run a 10:40 pace in order to see what that would feel like. That would put me finishing the half at 2:20 and hopefully seeing if there was a chance for me to run with the 4:40 pace group in New Orleans. The truth is I am not sure if I’ll be able to hang with the 4:40 group. It is really just going to depend on my body that day. A month ago at Kiawah I felt good, 2 weeks ago my 18 was AMAZING! I am praying for runs like those. However, last week my 20 was ugly and I rolled my ankle at one point. It has been bothering my on and off all week. It was fine until about mile 6 and then it got ugly, the ankle I rolled really kicked up and started bothering me. I couldn’t keep up the 10:40 pace and was in a lot of pain. It was ridiculously windy and I am sure that did not help either, especially since many of the miles were straight into the wind. I kept pushing through even though it was not pleasant and managed to finish in 2:22:24. (How cool would it have been if I could have shaved 2 more seconds off that time?) Now I am resting, relaxing, and icing my ankle in hopes it heals quickly.
In the past few weeks I have had some amazing runs, some horribly slow runs, and some painful runs. I feel I never know what my body has in store for me. I am praying that two weeks from now in New Orleans it gives me a good day, and I will reward it with lots of rest and recovery afterward so that I can begin to heal and finally run injury free.
What you do this weekend?
Faces on the medal (above) – yea or nay?
I vote no. They look a bit creepy. Zombie runners? A mob? Hmmm…..not sure what they are.