Do you ever have those spur-of-the-moment, completely unplanned runs or races that turn out really well? Nah… Neither do I.
I’m Type A about running and racing (and life…). I plan out my race calendar each month and my training at the beginning of every week. I don’t spontaneously jump into races, and even when my races are planned, they don’t always turn out well.
In March, I opted not to run the All American Half Marathon due to my wonky piriformis/TFL/gluteus medius, started physical therapy, and got sports massages. Running that race would’ve set me back instead of helping me reach my long-term running goals, and I didn’t want to risk driving 4 hours each way with a wonky right hip. Running was okay- but I had crazy pain after sitting for hours and when getting out of cars and chairs. Still, I was disappointed to miss All American.
Virginia came to the rescue and convinced me to “just run” the inaugural Spring Equinox 10K. It was a very low-key race in Hampton Park but offered refreshments and free beer at the finish as well as a finisher’s medal. When the words “finisher’s medal” came out of Virginia’s mouth, I was sold. How often do you get a finisher’s medal at the end of a training run?
Not one to go into a race without some sort of goal, I decided to run the Spring Equinox 10K as a tempo run. It would be a good test for my wonky hip and final workout before the Cooper River Bridge Run.
The race got started at 8:30 AM and I lined up near a fellow West Ashley runner, Gordon. Gordon’s a little faster than I am, but he was having a rough day. Both of us knew it wasn’t going to be a PR for either of us, so we ran the race together and even talked some. I liked that because it let me gauge my effort so my tempo run didn’t accidentally turn into a race. One tip for tempo runs- do the talk test. If you can’t catch your breath to answer a question, you’re running too hard.
The Spring Equinox 10K course was six loops around the park, which is the kind of course I like because I could see the clock at each mile marker and I passed the spectators six times. A lot of runners think loop courses are boring, but I run better in dumb racehorse mode when I’m not distracted by scenery. OnShore didn’t hold the usual Sunday run club on race day, but a lot of the Sunday regulars came out and cheered for us on the course.
About 40 runners ran, and that helped me hold back the pace instead of going out like crazy. In fact, this was the best paced tempo run “race-out” (race as a workout) I have ever run. My splits were 7:30, 7:32, 7:32, 7:32, 7:31, 7:25, and 1:28 for the last .22. Can’t believe I picked up the pace on the last 1.22 miles.
I finished in 46:27, and with the small field, placed 2nd female overall. My friend Cherry placed 3rd female overall, running as practice for the Bridge Run and the Boston Marathon. I was glad to share the Top 3 with a running friend who I really admire. Cherry placed in her age group in the Bridge Run and ran Boston last Monday! We won TrySports gift cards and flowers, and I managed to keep my prize alive in the month since this race.
As usual, OnShore Racing hosted a great race. OnShore prides itself on offering perks like free beer, fun after parties, and unique prizes. Everyone enjoyed it and had a great run- a lot of runners surprised themselves and PRed since it’s one of the few flat 10Ks in town. The entry fee was also affordable ($25 for a 10K) so runners didn’t have to break the bank to race.
I enjoyed the race, wrote my finish time on the back of the medal, and can’t wait to hang it on my Christmas tree this winter.