Thursday night was the third 5K in this summer’s Race the Landing series.
Since Race the Landing #1 and Race the Landing #2, Charleston temperatures have gotten a lot hotter and more humid. May was very mild, but summer is officially here now, and and the inevitable struggle shuffle slowdown comes with it.
Race the Landing is near my home and I can’t pass up the opportunity to run a race close to home. I’ve run a lot of races (and miles) in the last few weeks, and my legs and body are feeling it. I’m not trying to set any PRs, and I’ve thrown all finish time expectations out the window with the heat. Right now, my goal is to run consistently and stay injury-free.
Since I was registered for the Floppin’ Flounder 5K on Saturday, I decided to use Thursday’s race as a “race-out” (race as a workout) tempo run and work on pacing. My goal was to start the race slower and maybe even speed up a bit toward the end. I wanted to leave enough gas in the tank for Saturday’s race.
I got to the race early, grabbed my race number and swag (this week’s gift was a light-up running armband), and warmed up for an easy 2 miles around Charles Towne Landing and the surrounding neighborhoods. Soon, it was time to race.
At the start, I let the speedy people go ahead and kept my goals in mind. I also knew the race was a lot longer than the first mile and hoped I could catch some runners later (I did). Early in the race, I heard some runners around me talking and we all had the same goal of going out slower and pacing better- I guess many of us were taking it easy since we weren’t completely heat acclimated and we were signed up for the Saturday 5K.
I hit the first mile in 7:24 and passed a few people on the straight portion of the course in the second mile. Even with the turns and curves of the second mile, along with the wooden bridge, I ran a 7:21 pace. I think this is the only time my Mile 2 split has ever been faster than the first mile of a 5K. At this point, I was also the third female and running fairly comfortably.
The final mile of any race is physically tough, but on this course, you see and hear the finish, then have to loop around to run another .25 miles. The 4th female, Lana passed me in the last mile. She motioned for me to feed off of her surge of energy, but my legs were kind of “stuck” in the tempo pace.
I still hit Mile 3 in 7:31 and finished in 22:34. Once I finished, I grabbed Melissa and we went for a 2 mile cooldown to cheer on some other runners on the course.
I was super excited once we finished our cooldown because it was dinner time. Race the Landing 5Ks have the best post-race food around, but I thought the food at this one was especially good. I really liked the vegetables and the rice with shrimp in it. After everyone was done, I went back for more vegetables (runners could get seconds because this race was a lot smaller than the last one for some reason).
After everyone ate, the race gave out awards. I was fourth female overall, so I won my age group. The awards this week were toy bear figurines. Race the Landing calls out awards starting with the older runners first, so I borrowed someone’s award to take a picture with it before Andy and Melissa had to leave.
This was my slowest 5K finish time in a long time, but my goal for this race wasn’t a specific time. Even though it was a slower time, I’m proud of the effort because I didn’t start too fast and ran even splits. With the heat, I’m looking toward the Fall for PRs, and all of my best half marathons were even splits- so this was a great training run for my Fall half marathons.
We have two more Race the Landing 5Ks to go- June 9 and July 14- and I’m excited about both!
Race Name: Race the Landing 5K #3- A Taste of Italy
Location: Charleston, SC (Charles Towne Landing State Park, West Ashley).
Date and Time: June 2, 2016, 7 PM.
Course: Flat road, one wooden bridge, curvy course, shade. USATF Certified.
Swag: Finisher’s medal and light up running bracelet, 5 year, 5 deep age group awards. Shirts for series participants or those who purchase them
Post-race Food: Shrimp and rice, veggies, fried chicken, tomatoes, pasta salad, cornbread, pickles, Holy City Brewing beer.
Weather: 82 degrees, 79% humidity, feels like 89.