Smokin’ Fast 5K (21:28)

Last weekend, I visited my parents and jumped into the Smokin’ Fast 5K race, which is a part of the South Carolina Tobacco Festival in Lake City, SC.


I’ll admit that a festival involving tobacco is ironic. Years ago, tobacco was a HUGE cash crop in the area where I grew up. My maternal grandparents, my mom, and all of her siblings worked on a tobacco farm and so did many others. This was during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, when the dangerous of tobacco were not as well known and smoking was common. Most tobacco farms in the area have since shut down.

Today, the festival is a small town festival, complete with rides, crafts, food vendors, a stage with live music, a car show, a beauty pageant, and everything else you would expect to find at a festival. I grew up attending the festival as a kid and was curious to see how Lake City has changed.


I’d hadn’t heard of the Smokin’ Fast 5K until a few weeks before the race, but my mom saw it in the paper and was excited I was coming to visit and run.

On Friday, I travelled to my parents house and had dinner and dessert with my mom. We had Subway and shared a slice of carrot cake from East Bay Deli. I brought the cake from Charleston so my mom could try it and it was the biggest, most delicious, slice of carrot cake ever. 


On Saturday morning, I got up early to drink coffee, eat a pop tart, and drive to the race start. The roads in Lower Florence County desperately need paving, so it was a bumpy ride. Charleston definitely needs more roads for our population, but the roads themselves here aren’t full of potholes, patches, and bumps (the first 300 meters or so of the race was similarly bumpy).

I warmed up for two miles around Lake City with my friend Lee. The area doesn’t have a lot of runners, but I was a little surprised that we were the only people warming up. We warmed up on the course and after last Saturday, I was glad to see it was well marked with signs at each turn. I later saw another running friend, Keith, who is an airline pilot and signed up at the last minute since he got the day off. The crowd was small, but the race had a lot of volunteers and was organized.

After a few words and a quick prayer, we were off and running at 8:15. I quickly found myself as 2nd overall, first female, right behind Lee. It makes for a boring race recap, but that’s how the race played out the entire time. I followed Lee for my first mile (6:42- too fast for the heat) until I could no longer see him, then followed the signs on the course.

The course was very well marked, and every intersection had police officers directing traffic. The cars that were stopped were cheering for the runners. The course mostly ran through Lake City neighborhoods, so I saw some fun Halloween decorations and people working in their yards. I didn’t see any mile markers, and I didn’t feel my watch buzz for Mile 2 (6:54). I wish I had, because I was slowing fading and perhaps I would’ve pushed more in the last mile.


The last mile (7:10- ouch) lasted forever. I was sure no one was close to me, and that was confirmed when the police let the cars go by after I ran through an intersection. My mindset changed here. A PR was out of the question, and with a long run the next day and a race the next weekend, I kept the same effort level. I crossed the finish in 21:28.


I ran a few miles to cool down, then met up with my mom for the awards ceremony and to browse the local vendor booths at the festival. My parents are both 70, and I’m glad they can still come out to festivals and races. Someday, my parents won’t be able to get around as well, so I’m grateful for the times we can share together now.


As first overall female, I received a carved award and a gift card to a local grocery store called IGA. It was a fun and practical prize- because who doesn’t need groceries? After leaving the festival, my mom and I went to IGA to spend the gift card. I bought some steaks for Clay, salmon for myself, and a few goodies like Reese’s Cups and chocolate chip cookies.

Everything fit in a foam cooler and with a bag of ice on top, the groceries were still cold when I got home. Clay was surprised and thrilled that I brought him home some steaks for the grill!


My time for the Smokin’ Fast 5K was 8 seconds slower than my Race for the Ark 5K time. I’ll admit that I secretly hoped to beat my Race for the Ark 5K time, but I was okay with being a few seconds off because every race is different. The temperature and humidity were similar for both races, but the Smokin’ Fast 5K was a much smaller event without a lot of other runners to keep me on track for that last mile.

I’m still waiting on the temperatures to cool down and hoping to be under 21 when it happens!


Race Name: Smokin’ Fast 5K

Location: Lake City, SC

Date and Time: September 24, 2016, at 8:15 AM

Terrain: Paved, flat and fast road. Well marked course with police assistance. One water stop.

Entry fee: $25 (advanced registration), $35 day of.

Swag: Soft blue t-shirt

Post-race Food: Water, bananas, granola bars. Plenty of festival food readily available for purchase steps away from the finish.

Weather: 70 degrees, 94% humidity, sunny and HOT.

Posted in 5Ks, Family, Race Recaps | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Weekly Rundown: September 19-25

Happy Monday guys! It’s a new week and the last week of September- so let’s make the most of it. Here’s how my training looked this week.


Monday 45 minutes strength + 7.1 miles (bridge)
Tuesday 6.2 miles AM + 3 miles PM (all easy)
Wednesday 8 miles, including tempo
Thursday 6.1 miles
Friday No workout
Saturday 7.2 miles, including Smokin’ Fast 5K (21:27)
Sunday 12 miles + 60 mins. BodyFlow
Total 49.6 miles + 45 min. strength + 60 min. BodyFlow

Monday was an uneventful morning lifting session followed by a bridge run with Steve, Richie, Kaitlyn, and Dustin. It was warm out and the bridge wasn’t packed at all, but I was glad to be done because a thunderstorm came just as I got home. I would not want to be on that bridge in a storm.

On Tuesday, I ran easy that morning, followed by the Charleston Running Club group run that evening. We ran the West Ashley Greenway, then had pizza at Mellow Mushroom Avondale. The Charleston Running Club is doing a great job with monthly events. Each month, we do a 3 mile group run in a different area of town, followed by snacks or food at a different venue. The runs have been on Tuesday night, so they don’t conflict with other groups/stores.

If you’re not a CRC member (or if you are but not attending the events), you’re missing out on a lot of fun lately. Plus, you can’t beat pizza after a run- and Mellow Mushroom never disappoints. We had a private area upstairs reserved for the club to eat and socialize.


Wednesday was Pub Run Night, so we didn’t have track. With a 5K this weekend, I did a tempo run at half marathon pace to get some long miles on my feet at a faster pace, and it went well. I feel nervous each time the tempo run distance increases, but I always surprise myself. I think the pace runs will set me up for a strong half marathon when I eventually run one.

This weekend, I visited my parents and ran the Smokin’ Fast 5K in Lake City, which is a part of the South Carolina Tobacco Festival. My mom came out to the festival and race, and you can’t beat a good day with family. Our families are always our biggest fans! I was the first overall female at the race (it wasn’t a very big race), and I will recap it later this week.


On Sunday, Melissa and I ran 12 miles on the Sawmill Branch Trail in Summerville. We had a great run and it was a bit faster than last week because it was foggy outside, which meant NO SUN! It was still humid, but the clouds helped a lot. I felt like I could’ve run 3-4 more miles, but I have to save something for next week and for later on in training. Why push it and have it backfire later? Sometimes that backfire includes burnout, injury, or having to take days off, so I stuck with 12 miles.


With the increasing mileage and speedwork, I’m focusing on recovery big time over the next couple of weeks. I came home, put on my compression socks, and drank a delicious protein smoothie made of Orgain chocolate grass-fed whey, Fairlife milk, 2 tbsp. of caramel syrup, and 7 cubes of ice. The smoothie was like a dessert!


Good luck with any Fall races you have coming up. If you’re in the Charleston area and don’t have a run on the calendar, I highly recommend the James Island Connector Run on October 22. It’s one of my favorite events in the Charleston area, and proceeds benefit the Gavalas Kolanko Foundation, which helps students with disabilities go to college.

When you register for the James Island Connector Run, use the code Scott16 to save $5 on your registration fee. This makes the price only $30, which is a steal for what you get- a race, finisher’s medal, shirt, and free food and beer at the finish.

I hope everyone has a great week!

I’m linking up with Holly at Hohoruns and Tricia at MississippiPiddlin‘ for their weekly wrap link. Check it out and read the other posts here.

Posted in Charleston Running Club, Summerville Running, Training Log | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments