After spectating the Catch the Leprechaun 5K on Thursday, I headed out to Summerville on Saturday morning for the Summerville Shamrock Shuffle 10K. Still feeling pretty stoked from cheering everyone on (I truly get my motivation from helping other people), I woke up super early that Saturday to fuel and drive around 20 minutes to nearby Summerville. I don’t live too far from Summerville, but I don’t get out there for many purposes other than running- it’s basically a small town where people settle if they work in Charleston but want a slower paced way of life .
Since this was my first 10K since last year’s Race for Taylor (my next 10K will be May 18- this year’s Race for Taylor), I was almost guaranteed a PR unless something happened, so I knew I’d get some personal satisfaction out of the race, if nothing else. I also got to hang out with Andrew, Nicole, Ed, and official run club puppy mascot Denali- Andrew & Nicole’s puppy.
I arrived almost an hour early to stand at the TrySports Mt. Pleasant tent/table and welcome people to the race and talk to them about our store, training programs, and run club. Sometime next month, we’re branching out to a run club in Summerville, so it was neat to meet runners there and a lot of runners from West Ashley (the part of Charleston where I live) who just travelled there to race.
At the race, I met Kindal for the first time when she stopped by the tent. I’ve been reading her blog, Lifting Revolution, for a few months now- she is a really awesome runner AND teaches boot camps and lifts weights. Plus she’s a pretty great writer and right here in Charleston. She did the race as a helper for Special Olympics athletes and is doing like 6-7 races in a row each weekend, including running Color Me Radd in her wedding dress to raise money for Special Olympics. Fun stuff, and always great to meet fellow bloggers in real life .
My speedy friend Virginia and I hung out before the race- she lives in Summerville and knows all the great running routes. She’s taking it easy with training for races right now and paced her friend in her first 10K (the friend won an award too!). Plus she cheered for me when we’d meet along the course- always fun to have cheerleaders .
It was a beautiful day for a race, near perfect temperatures, and we had a great atmosphere- the roads were very closed off (I guess the Summerville Police was glad to have some action on a Saturday morning), there were several water stops and plenty of volunteers, and refreshments were plentiful! We’re talking Chick-Fil-A sandwiches (I brought one home for Clay), muffins, fruit, donuts, and did I mention coffee? Gotta love coffee!
Kinda ironic that the guy who dresses up as coffee actually runs for a local high school. Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “runs on Dunkin”.
The 10K was basically two loops of the 5K course, minus the finish stretch, with a small detour cutting a block to make it a true 10K. The 5Kers started 5 minutes before the 10K peeps, which is usually good and keeps us 10Kers from going out too fast (I still went out too fast! Soooo hard to pace for a 10K). The course was through pretty neighborhoods downtown, lots of shade and no hills- not that we have hills in Charleston, but we do have bridges.
I drafted behind this one man almost the whole second half of the race, and he came up to me afterwards because he wanted to meet me know who the lightening-fast 13-year-old was. Kinda funny. I didn’t pass many people or negative split- but pacing for 6.2 miles is tough.
I finished the race in 48:36, just behind the man I drafted off of and another guy who had the best finish kick I’ve seen in awhile. I think 6 women finished ahead of me, including the winner (in my age group… score for her winning OA), so I won the 25-29 females and got a pretty sweet plaque. The plaque looks very Irish (like my husband), and I love it already. The overall winners got trophies, age girl first place peeps got plaques, and 2nd and 3rd place in age group got medals- the prizes were nice and all had the race name on them, nothing generic.
Con of winning a plaque at a race= Can’t wear it out to post-race dinner date night. Pretty sure I’d get some crazy looks if I set it up on the table at the restaurant, too. It’s standing in my dining room now.
My training partner and friend Ed placed in his age group and got a medal. He also placed in his age group at Catch the Leprechaun, so two races and two age group awards in only three days is pretty sweet, even if the awards announcer butchered his last name.
I’m not sure if it’s the social demographics of Summerville or if something’s in the water, but let’s just say runners there don’t lose their speed with age Ed’s age group (and all the Masters’ ones) was super tough- I hope I can run like that when I’m older! Is Summerville the retirement destination of elite runners? I don’t know!
Despite my award and new PR, I wasn’t too thrilled with my time. My 5K times have been great and so have my half times, so I’m not quite sure what’s off. 10Ks are even harder than half marathons when it comes to pacing, but I really wanted to pull off a 46-47 minute finish time to be more in line with my recent 5K times (I ran a 24:22 5k in 2 inches of standing water while stuck behind chatty teenagers a few weeks ago).
With some speedwork and a few bridge runs, I can get there on May 18, because it would be super special to PR at the Race for Taylor, since that’s a special race to me. So… onward to training to shave a couple minutes off of this!
As an athlete ambassador, I received a complimentary race entry on behalf of TrySports Mt. Pleasant; however, all opinions expressed are my own and I am especially grateful for TrySports’ support to our local races, running community, and to my own training.