Two weeks after the marathon and I’m already running races again!
Notice I said running races, not *racing*.
Since I felt kinda crummy for an entire week post-marathon and had some rough runs, I’d like to say running in organized, timed, events rather than racing. In other words, I’m not going *PR or ER*, as my friend Alex (Tour de Blue Shoes) says. Not even close.
Knowing how competitive I can be in road races, I picked a nice trail run 5K today, the Lowcountry Trail Half Marathon and 5K.
Hosted by the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission at Mullet Hall Equestrian Center, this inaugural event was more of an event than a competitive rat race. The coveted award of the day was the “Golden Horseshoe”.
If you’re coming back from a marathon or just want to run to enjoy it, I recommend trail runs. My times on trail runs are always pretty slow- mostly because I’m a klutz and scared of falling, but the trails are beautiful and nice to your knees!
I pre-registered for the Lowcountry Trail 5K on Friday, and I woke up on Saturday morning at 6:30 to caffeinate, hydrate, and drive 25 minutes to Mullet Hall on John’s Island. Sleeping until 6:30 felt like sleeping in- normally by 6:30 on Saturday mornings, I’m 3 miles into a long run!
It was fun to sleep in, and the weather was still great from 8:30-9:00 when I was running, but I knew it’d be a little warm for the half marathoners. It’s been unseasonably warm here in Charleston lately…
I got to the race at 7:40ish and found Virginia to take some pre-race pics. It’s her first race back after having Stella, so it was fun welcoming her back to the running community post-pregnancy!
The 5K started at 8:30 and we were off. I held back the first mile secretly hoping for a negative split (when you run each mile faster than the last), but that’s next to impossible on a trail because they’re so unpredictable! You never know what kind of terrain is around the next turn, and since this was an inaugural race and not super close to home, I couldn’t run or drive the course before. The first mile was actually the easiest terrain!
At the water stop, the girl ahead of me physically *stopped* to drink her water, leaving me asking volunteers if I was going the right way! Yikes! She ended up passing me again later on the 2nd mile (she finished 3rd overall).
All the times were slower because the trail was pretty rough. At one point, we ran through sand that felt smushy underneath my feet, and I even saw a slithery reptile- yikes! Luckily, it was one of those harmless little green snakes.
I crossed the finish line in 26:08 according to the clock, and the course was right on a 5K, not long or short. No coveted horseshoe trophy for me, but I left Mullet Hall with quite the “haul”.
With all the roots, rocks, limps, and leaves on the course, I really can’t complain. The trail was tougher than the CrossBridge Pancake 5K I did the week before my marathon. I’m not running fast so I can’t expect to race fast, and I’m playing it safe two weeks after a marathon!
Virginia finished in just around 30 minutes and her friend Sara finished right after me, we got really sweet pint glasses for winning our age groups!
The Lowcountry Trail Half Marathon and 5K was also a great event because it was just that- an event. Complete with an after party, the half marathon and 5k featured post-race libations from Palmetto Brewing, along with pizza, hot chocolate, and music from a local band. The race fee was a steal- only $28 for Charleston County residents, and it included a pretty cool long-sleeved, blue tech shirt, along with the beer and Coastal Crust pizza.
Coastal Crust is a mobile pizzeria, which is a really fun concept. The brick oven is built into the truck, and the owners drive to cater races, bike rides, and brew events. The pizzas are made to order, then fired inside the brick oven. They’re pretty fast making them, and the pizza was delicious and light- some of the best post-race food I’ve ever had. I definitely made up for the lack of post-race food at the Darlington Marathon by enjoying half of the Coastal Crust pizza (they weren’t huge pizzas).
Virginia, Sean, Stella, Sara, and I hung out underneath a shade tree and ate our pizza while watching the half marathoners finish the race. Lots of them finished muddy due to their course also being rough and a few falls, but they got through it- including a few first timers. Kudos to anyone who did this as their first half marathon on such a tough trail course.
I really enjoyed the Lowcountry Trail 5K; the race organizers and volunteers did a great job, especially for an inaugural event, and it had a really fun atmosphere. I hope to do it again next year because it was a really fun run!