Floppin Flounder 5K (22:11)

On Saturday, I ran the Floppin Flounder 5K on Sullivan’s Island. It’s a 25-year-old race that’s competitive (for this area) and officially ushers in the hot weather in Charleston. Each year I’ve run Floppin Flounder, it’s been the hottest Saturday morning race of the summer so far.

The Floppin Flounder 5K was my second race of the week (after Thursday night’s Race the Landing 5K), and I’ll admit that I only signed up for the t-shirt and the Charleston Running Club grand prix points. Spoiler alert: I was third place in my age group, so I was close to only receiving participation points, and I didn’t get a good shirt out of the race.

Last year’s Floppin Flounder 5K shirts were the BEST. They were tech tank tops, and I was so thrilled to get a shirt that fit. That tank is one of the most flattery and cutest race shirts I own- and one of the few that I wear running on a regular basis.

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Unfortunately, the Charleston Running Club went with a larger men’s cut tech shirt this year. I feel like this is a step in the wrong direction, as more ladies than men run road races these days. When I see female runners wearing fun, ladies-cut, race shirts that fit, it’s a selling point for me to run those races. Yes, I know I can sleep in the race shirt, but when runners sleep in a race shirt (or use it as a car wash rag), this doesn’t advertise the event to other runners or benefit the sponsors.

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I woke up at 5:45 for the race and left my home in Charleston at 6:30 for the 30 minute drive to Sullivan’s Island. I had time to eat my Picky Bar and drink some coffee on the way to the race, at least, and I didn’t have to deal with traffic that early in the morning. I arrived in time to warm up, see the speedy competitors, and take pride that runners like me make them look even faster.

Melissa and I even found a secret porta potty .25 miles from the starting line and avoided the crowds!

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The race started exactly on time. I’ve run this course several times before, and it’s basically a big figure 8 on the roads of Sullivan’s Island. You don’t run on the beach, but the course has very little shade. Sullivan’s Island is a beautiful place, and I ran by many homes that I will never afford on a technical writer’s salary.

With so many speedsters, I got caught up in the excitement and went out too fast in the first mile (6:46). I didn’t hear my Garmin click and thought I forgot to set it, and I completely missed seeing the first mile marker because it was on the other side of the road. Oops. I ran the first mile in front of some runners usually close to my usual pace and finish time, but those runners were better trained and more recovered for this race than me.

In other words, they didn’t run Race the Landing 36 hours before.

The second mile was a lot slower (7:07). I tried to stay near some other ladies and feed off of their energy for awhile, but it seemed like everyone around me made their move in the third mile. I don’t even want to think about how many people passed me, my under recovered legs just wouldn’t move. I was mentally spent from workouts, and it’s discouraging when hoards of people pass you on top of that. I positive split like a champ, which probably wouldn’t have happened if I’d held it together in Mile 1.

In Mile 3 (7:34), I was just ready for this race to be over with. I was ready to end my run streak challenge the next day (I did), and I no longer cared about my finish time or placing. I cruised it in with a 22:11.

I ran two miles with Melissa to cool down, then changed clothes and headed inside for awards. The awards ceremony was held in a covered fish fry shack, which was really great because we weren’t outside in the hot sun. The fish fry shack also had misting fans to cool everyone off and posted finish times.

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I grabbed a Triangle Char-N-Bar veggie burrito from the refreshments table, but quickly figured out that lots of the veggie burritos actually contained meat. I snagged one of the last two that the servers realized were meat-free. I’m not sure what happened with the burritos not being meat-free, because they’re always a nice touch after this race and the Charlie Post Classic. Not good Mt. Pleasant Triangle, not good…

After waiting around for everyone’s age group to be called, I got my trophy for placing third in my age group. Ironically, the 30-34 ladies were faster than the men- even my third place time was about a minute faster than the male who won the 30-34 men’s group.

Of course, we had to take some awards pictures.

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Execution wise, the Floppin Flounder 5K was my worst race since Race the Landing #2, which was only a few weeks ago. I was under recovered and had no strategy going in. Heck, after 30 days of straight running, I didn’t want to run at all.

Still, the race wasn’t a total flop. My time this year was over 20 seconds faster than last year’s, which was a few degrees cooler. This time last year, I hadn’t even officially broken 22 minutes in a 5K, and now I’ve run one (Green and Lean 5K) in under 21 minutes. I always try to see the positives, because bad workouts and races happen. I’m still improving as a runner.

This race was the last day of a run streak challenge I completed, and I chose to rest the next day. My body was screaming for it, and I never want to fall into the trap of overreaching or worse yet, overtraining. My much-needed Sunday off was a great chance to reflect and think about some changes I want to make in my training, and hopefully start a new trend of better workouts and races.

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Race Name: Floppin Flounder 5K

Location: Sullivan’s Island, SC (outside Mt. Pleasant)

Date and Time: June 4, 2016, 8 AM

Course: Road (no beach!), flat, figure-8, USATF certified.

Swag: Men’s tech shirt

Post-race Food: Burritos from Triangle Char-N-Bar (veggie and meat, although people found meat in the veggie burritos), watermelon, oranges, bananas, coconut water. Did not see any post-race beer.

Weather: 79 degrees, 94% humidity. Last year it was 73!

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29 Responses to Floppin Flounder 5K (22:11)

  1. ThisGirlRuns says:

    Finding meat in a veggie burrito would seriously make me curious about the food. I was a vegetarian for 10+ years and had to convert back to meat when my body crashed after having my 2 sons. That is a pretty large mistake in my eyes. Hopefully they got what happened sorted out so it doesn’t happen again.

    Great race! For not being rested you ran very well! 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      That is a big mistake on Triangle’s part. The Charleston Running Club tries to accommodate vegetarians- in fact two of the most active members are vegan. So this mix up was definitely on Triangle and doesn’t leave a good taste in my mouth (literally) about their Mt. Pleasant location.

      They have three restaurants, and I’ve always liked the West Ashley one near my home.

      I was glad I check the burrito before biting in, and that I got a veggie one, but it stinks for anyone who doesn’t eat meat to find it mid-bite like one man did.

  2. laurenweiner says:

    I love the tank – sad to hear they changed it. I wish more races around here did tanks, cause I love them! Sounds like you managed a solid effort despite the heat!

  3. my boyfriend always says how great my shirt from last year is — and he’s been running close to 40 years — hope they take that to heart 😉

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Everyone loves the tanks from 2014 and 2015. They are having a cleanup/trash pickup this weekend, and CRC said if you go they will give you a shirt from a prior race. I don’t think I can go though- the cleanup is a really long way from my home and on Sunday morning when I need to get a training run in.

  4. Yeah, that tank is pretty awesome! What’s with the meat in the veggie burritos? AHHHH NOT GOOD!!! Man, you race a lot. Congrats on a great race and coming in third in your AG!

  5. I just ran a 5K last night that had amazing post-race swag (I picked up two new water bottles, four koozies, two dog toys, a race t-shirt, and an ice/heat pack) but the tech shirt that the race provided is black! Last year’s was a beautiful blue one, and I wear it all the time, but I don’t see myself ever wearing that black shirt in the heat of summer, and that makes me feel bad for the race sponsors, who are by and large local restaurants and businesses.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Congrats on your race last night (I saw it on Strava!). It sounds like they had some neat swag though besides the shirt- dog toys and ice packs are always good to have (well, unless you’re like me and dog-free, but that is a neat thing to give out that many people could use).

      You’re right about the sponsors- everyone who sponsored this race is a local business. Typically, most race sponsors around here are- even if a race manages to snag a “big” sponsor, it’s usually a big business that got started by a local. I almost feel like I should take a pic of the back of the shirt with the sponsors and post it here, now!

  6. Kind of disappointing about the shirt, since that’s one of the main reasons you ran it. I hate it when there is “unisex” shirt sizing, because that really means men-only. And I love singlets/tanks and it’s a wonder why more races don’t give those out instead of short-sleeved ones. Anyway, enough about the shirt. Congrats on another speedy, well-executed race!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks, although the race was far from well executed ;). I did a much better job of that last night at least.

      Unisex always means men’s, it’s such a misnomer. You’d never catch a man wearing a woman’s race shirt, right?

  7. Christine says:

    I didn’t like the shirt either. Plus I accidentally ordered a medium and it’s enormous. And I’m so glad I missed the “veggie” burritos. I’d have been pissed if I had bit into one of those (and that vomit I’d been holding back all morning probably would have made an appearance). Congrats on placing and surviving the heat!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks- congrats to you on surviving the heat as well. They were letting people trade in shirts after the race, if you talk to CRC they may still let you trade if they have leftovers. Or trade at the cleanup.

  8. Theresa says:

    Most of my race shirts get worn to bed. I’d LOVE some tanks and I wish more races did that. T shirts are not my thing.

  9. I love the tank top! Such a bummer they changed it this year! How impressive that the girls were beating so many guys 🙂 woo hoo!!

  10. Melissa Cunningham says:

    It totally felt hotter than 79! My cars temp gage said 83 when I pulled in to park!!! Congrats on surviving the race btw. I think a majority of the runners would agree they were in survival mode that last mile. Love the pic of us with Kerry- I felt like I was standing next to a celebrity!!! I do want to be like her when I grow up!!! Again, good job at the race. Glad you got to rest and had a much better race last night!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I list the temperature that my Garmin says on Garmin Connect… but it’s off compared to the car, or the big sign outside SHS (I always look at that sign on the way to track). It did not feel like a 79 degree run, that’s for sure. Last night was much more bearable, IMHO.

  11. Angela says:

    The tank you got last year is so cute! I would definitely prefer this over a t-shirt. This sounds like it was a fun event though.

  12. I love reading your race recaps, Amy. And yes, totally agree that a men’s tech shirt is a step in the wrong direction! Having ladies cut shirt is a huge selling point for me as well. Even if I don’t love the shirt, I can at least appreciate that the RD made an effort and some women may like the shirt. Plus a tank is brilliant! While you may not have had a great race, I appreciate that you found some good things about it and some ways to improve. Running on tired legs is hard. I remember our coach used to have us do a few meets each winter when we were swimming with very tired bodies. It was his way to teaching us to respond and manage the fatigue even if we weren’t swimming our best times. Congrats on another AG award!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I think it’s really important to do hard efforts when you’re not well rested. I read the Hansons Marathon Method book (and half marathon book), and their whole premise is “cumulative fatigue”. I can agree with it, because it’s how I’ve been training for a long time. After all, you have to run fast on tired legs at the end of your goal race, so you want to practice that in training, right?

      The Charleston Marathon has the best ladies cut shirts (Vapor Apparel). I think the Without Limits shirts are great as well. I wish more races in SC would use Without Limits for shirts.

  13. I would hang on to the fact that you were faster this year than last year and with hotter conditions it sounds like! You race a lot, so it makes sense that you would have one or two tough races every now and then. Haha. I hope you get some good physical and mental rest and are back at it soon 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks! I had a much better race Thursday night. It’s hard to be “mentally there” when you race 36 hours apart. I’m glad my Thursday/Saturday race combinations are over with for awhile… ideally it’s not something I’d want to do, but it’s hard not to with the 5K series and when other local races are scheduled.

  14. As a vegetarian, finding meat in something labeled veggie is horrifying. I’m glad you were able to locate a meat free burrito.

    Congratulations on your age group award and you improvement over last year’s results!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I’m not vegetarian (I eat seafood), but I agree. I got the veggie burrito because I don’t eat sausage. The guy who brought the burritos, nor CRC, are to blame… but it stinks that the kitchen at Triangle made a mistake like that.

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