Good afternoon! Here in Charleston, it feels more like October than January. I slept in until 8:45, then got up and made pancakes- the simple egg, egg white, and banana pancake recipe that’s popped up on a few blogs lately. I also worked on some bathroom organization, cleaned the inside of my car (found 4 hoodys, multiple newspapers, and reusable bags), and took it to the car wash to clean the outside and vacuum it. Productivity, anyone?
If you find yourself eyeing new cars without the money to buy one, spend a few bucks washing and vacuuming your car. You might completely fall in love with it again, who knows? I went to one of those car washes that you put your car I in neutral and it pulls you through, pretty neat to watch all the soap and scrubbers on your car, almost like a weird amusement ride for your car.
Okay, I am clearly too easily amused.
Yesterday, I ran the 3rd Annual Charleston Marathon here in town. The race had a full marathon, half marathon, and the Shrimp and Grits 5K. On Friday, the city held a kid’s marathon where kids ran 1.2 miles downtown (they ran the other 25 miles by running with their schools twice a week over a few months), and this morning, there was a bike race/marathon. I ran the half marathon.
It was neat to have marathon events all weekend long, and the community really got behind the cause, with people coming out to spectate and volunteer. PLUS… this weekend marks the end of Charleston Restaurant Week and the Charleston Comedy Festival. Three big local events in one weekend= no excuse to stay home.
The theme for this year’s marathon was “Going the Distance for the Arts”. Love it!
After checking out the pre-race festivities and eating tasty pizza with Nadine, I came home to rest and relax Friday night. I didn’t sleep that well (not unusual last week), but I got up at 4:45 to drink coffee, eat instant oatmeal, and dress for the race.
Since the weather here has been so crazy, I waited until the last possible minute to decide to wear shorts and a long-sleeved shirt and covered everything up with throw away sweats, which actually ended up in my friend Ed’s checked bag. I actually wish I’d worn short sleeves to the race- it warmed up a lot between 8 and 10.
At 6:45, I met up with the TrySports Run Club group to carpool and once we got to the start, we took a picture, made a beeline for the portajohns, and lined up to race. I rocked out my $3 Old Navy shirt and 3-sizes-too-big Nike sweatpants until the last minute.
We got started and on our way. Over 1,000 people were signed up for the full and 3,000 for the half so it was pretty packed for the first few miles. The crowds eventually evened out. I tried to stay with the 1:45 pacers but lost them trying to dodge crowds. I’m not used to races with more than 500 people, much less thousands!
We ran along the Battery, then down King Street. This was the first time I’d ever run down King Street, so I guess I was a little distracted by all the shops and restaurants and people. I waved to people, smiled, read the signs, said hello… and slowed down. While it was hard not to enjoy racing in Charleston- especially this part of this race- my legs slowed down somewhat due to fatigue, unfortunately.
After running through downtown, we ran up Meeting Street, the old Navy base, and the waterfront park before finishing in Park Circle/North Charleston High School. The waterfront park offered a nice view and lots of cool fountains and sculptures, but the gravel was killer on my legs and feet. My friend raced in Vibram Five Fingers, which is hard enough during a distance race, much less on mile 11, on gravel. Eek.
After a few turns and lots of spectators, I turned the corner to finish the race, receive my stellar medal, and meet up with Nadine, who ran the Shrimp and Grits 5K. It was her first 5K, she trained using Couch to 5K, and she finished in under 40 minutes. Hopefully that will be her first of many 5Ks because it was a great race for a first timer.
We took some pictures, then headed to enjoy the post-race shrimp and grits (I’m thankful they had plain cheese grits), boiled peanuts, pasta salad, fruit, muffins, and beverages. I met up with Steph from Swim.Run.Eat too- hooray for meeting bloggers at races.
I definitely know to taper and rest more before my next race, and my time reflected that. I also experienced some stomach issues last week that probably impacted me as well. I finished with a good time, but not one that reflects the hard work I’ve put into training (FYI, my time was 1:50:21). I actually feel like I may be bordering on over training, so as much as it pains me, I’m taking all my runs easy this week and taking a day or two off.
I’m registered for the Charlie Post 15K on Saturday (my first 15K, so instant Personal Record), and I want to have fresh legs for it. I’m thinking this week will be lots of rest, a few “easy threes” or “easy fours”, and good nutrition. Let’s see how that goes.
Dinner at Early Bird Diner that night definitely made up for my less-than-thrilling finish time. Some of our little gaming/running/hanging out group met up there and I had my favorite signature dish, “The Mess”. It’s an egg, potato, and curried vegetable scramble that comes with a biscuit and fruit- nom nom! We had fun eating and chilling out for a bit.
All in all, I really had a great Saturday. It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie, veteran, fast, or slow- you can’t run in Charleston and NOT smile and enjoy it, it’s just impossible. This race was also a great value- Nadine and I both registered early and with a coupon code, so I paid just over $55 for a half marathon with nice ladies’ fit tech shirts, a beautiful medal, personalized bibs, a post-race party with food and beverages, and an expo (her 5K was $25). Those who won awards received beautiful plaque awards or pint glasses. For what we got, this race was a bargain.
I’ll definitely participate in the marathon activities next year too- whether as a runner, volunteer, spectator, or pacer. This was the first race I’ve done with pacers, and I think it’s so cool and would love to do it myself one day. The Charleston half marathon was awesome for my first large-ish race and has definitely spoiled me from the last small-town half marathon I did. I really can’t wait to do it again in 2014!