I’m a half marathoner again!
I finished the Georgetown Bridge to Bridge Half Marathon on Saturday in 1:49:37 (chip time- finish time was 1:49:44). I honestly have no clue which time “counts”…
I was pretty stoked about my finish time. I set a goal for about a 1:55 finish after plugging my 5K times in a pace calculator and taking the tough course (2 large bridges that you had to run over twice) into account. Best of all, I had a great little (last minute) overnight trip and date night with my handsome husband, and it meant so much that he and my mom were waiting for me at the finish.
Clay and I left for Georgetown Friday afternoon when he got off work, and we got into town at around 5:30 (it took longer to get out of Charleston and Mt. Pleasant than to get to Georgetown) and checked into our hotel. I picked up my race packet, which included a map of the course and a parking map- really helpful. I also got a size small long-sleeved, blue, cotton t-shirt, which was really nice but looks like a dress on me (why do race shirts NEVER fit?).
The 5K and 13.1 packets had a car sticker in them, and the stickers were a great touch since they were personalized with the city and race name, not just an ordinary 13.1 oval. I’m excited to put it on my car soon.
Of course, a trip wouldn’t be complete without some delicious food and a date night, so we headed to The Humble Crumb, a small Italian restaurant that uses local ingredients and makes everything from scratch.
We love supporting local restaurants, and pasta and pizza are a runner’s best friend, especially before an endurance race. Clay had a pizza and I had a pasta dish with eggplant and zucchini, along with salads and delicious bread and butter that they brought to our table. It was enough to fill me up without being overstuffed- very important for a pre-race meal!
Insert random NomNomNoming sounds here…
After our pasta dinner, we hit the convenience store to grab something to drink and a little dessert (double stuft oreos for me), then headed back to the hotel to sleep. Our hotel was the Jameson Inn Georgetown, which was really accommodating to the runners by offering a late check out (yay for showering before driving back to Charleston!). I got a great rate from Priceline and even though the hotel was pretty no-frills, the price was right for a one-night stay for a race. We both watched a lot of TV (Yukon Men on Discovery Channel) then fell asleep pretty quickly.
I always have to take this picture of Clay when we check into a hotel…
I got up at 5:30 Saturday morning and drank lots of water, then headed down for the continental (carbo!) breakfast, where I had a bowl of instant oatmeal and a little less than half of a “make your own waffle”. I can’t go to a hotel without having one, and some extra breakfast before a half marathon can’t hurt, right? I also had hotel coffee before heading to the start.
My Believe/Achieve run club friend Barbara was doing the race too, so I ended up parking close to her and her dad, Chandler (who also runs with us) and hanging out with them before the race. Chandler was our expert driver, cheering section, photographer, and caretaker of the coats while we ran… it was CHILLY at the start with winds and temperatures in the 50s.
I ran my first mile pretty conservatively with about a 8:35 pace… cool for me. Instead of going out so fast, I tried to take in the amazing race environment and enjoy the scenery of the marsh. We hit the first bridge at mile 3 and miles 3-5.5 were on it (out and back)- My 5 mile clock time was 42 minutes and some change, just what I was hoping for… nice and steady. Off the bridge, we ran through downtown Georgetown where we were met with water, gatorade, Gu (I didn’t take one- I had my own, but it was nice of them to provide this), and lots of spectators and cheering, including Chandler. People were sitting on their porches cheering for us, and most of the 5Kers were done and cheering as well.
I passed a few girls on miles 6-7 because I picked up some speed once I was done with the bridges. Seems like I always get a second wind here. The spectators were awesome- the City really supported the race!
We went up the last bridge, the steepest, around mile 8-9. With the wind and uphill, this was the most brutal part of the race, but fortunately it was a little warmer. I ate half my Blackberry Gu (so thankful my friend and fellow Mt. Pleasant Track Club coach Peggy told me about them- they are a lifesaver) and drank a little water at the water stops. I saw my 10-mile split (1:23/1:24ish and some change) and didn’t meet too many other ladies on the out and back… that’s when I mentally figured out I might be able to pull a slightly faster time.
I beasted up the bridge again and enjoyed the downhill, then saw the right turn onto Front Street and got excited since I knew we were almost done. Pretty soon I could see the finish, including the finish clock, and I could read the 1:49 on it, so I hit my Tiny Terror kick.
I finished in 1:49:37 (or 1:49:44), got my medal, took some pictures with my mommy and my husband, and then enjoyed a complimentary stretch/massage session.
Thanks for the awesome genes, Mommy. My young looks lead guys to believe they’ve been chicked by a 15-year-old when I’m really 27.
When the results were posted on the timing trailer, I figured out I was 3rd in my age group, so we stuck around for the awards ceremony at 10:30. The race had live music between the finish and the awards ceremony so we were pretty entertained. I won a $10 gift card to Try Sports in Mt. Pleasant for finishing 3rd out of 25 females ages 25-29.
So thankful he puts up with my 5 AM wakeup calls for running!
This was really the only beef I had with the race, as lots of winners were from out of town, yet won gift cards for more local running stores. Some winners got tech shirts or gift cards from another running store in Myrtle Beach.
I have to say this was one of the best races I’ve done and I really hope I can do it again next year! It’s only a little over an hour away from Charleston, so it’s a great getaway and a really beautiful, well organized race- especially for an event only in its 2nd year. The race direction, crowd support, and atmosphere were unbeatable.
After awards, showering, putting on my Mt. Pleasant Track Club shirt in honor of their cross country meet, and a pit stop for a gas station Turbo Mochachino (my favorite!), we hit the road for Charleston. Clay drove home…
After a light lunch, lots of social media and post-race texting, and a nap, my friend Nadine and I hit up Cracker Barrel because she’d never been there and I wanted more carbs. I haven’t been to Cracker Barrel in ages- it’s like a country cooking restaurant here in the South- but she wanted to check it off her SC bucket list since she just moved here. We both had French Toast and it was delicious!
I really can’t wait to run 13.1 again! I’m already looking forward to my next half marathon, probably next month, and then one here in Charleston in January. But, we’ll see how I feel with the post-race recovery and soreness!
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Disclosure: I received a free race entry on behalf of Try Sports Mt. Pleasant, who sponsor my running club and this race. However, all opinions are my own.