Race the Landing #4: Mexican Fiesta (21:55)

On Thursday night, I broke my streak of less-than-stellar 5Ks. Best of all, I did it at Race the Landing #4, which is almost like a “home course” for me in West Ashley.

Summer racing is about solid workouts rather than fast times or personal records. My goal this summer is to run my usual weekly mileage and race consistently. I didn’t go into Race the Landing with many expectations, but I hoped to run close to the same pace each mile so that I don’t fall into the habit of starting too fast.

When you bank time, you pay it back with interest. I feel like my strength is in longer distances like the half marathon, which I plan to target this Fall. Interest rates from “banking time” are especially high for half marathons and longer…


I got to Charles Towne Landing and headed out for a two mile warmup. I didn’t eat well on Thursday, so my warmup basically sucked. I had an Orgain protein smoothie for breakfast and a 6-inch Subway veggie delight for lunch. I drink smoothies and eats sub sandwiches a few times a week, but usually not on the same day- much less the day of an evening race. It was too much fiber, but I hoped to do my best with what the course, field, and my stomach gave me that night.

The starting gun went off and we were off. I let everyone who want to start the race too fast go ahead of me and settled in. My race = My pace. The first mile is slightly downhill and I hit it in 7:10. My legs felt good at mile 1, but I knew we had a lot of race left. I settled in behind my friend and training partner, Larry the Legend, and I hoped to keep him in sight for most of the race. He’s kind of a legend and better at racing and pacing than me, so why not use that to my advantage?

The course got curvier on the second mile, as usual, and we passed by the enthusiastic volunteers, the photographer Brian, and the water stop. I focused on telling myself that this race would be the race that breaks the streak of bad races- and I repeated that mantra to myself. We ran over the wooden bridge, and I hit mile 2 in 7:17. It was a slight slowdown, but the last half of this course is more difficult, so I was okay with that. I didn’t want to start too fast- and I didn’t- but this was a race and not a progression run.

I knew I was third female, so I told myself to hold on. I didn’t know if anyone was behind me, but I certainly wasn’t looking back to find out. I passed Brian again, taking pictures. I wasn’t expecting to see him again but managed a smile anyway. I told myself that I was taking the next day off running, so give it my all tonight and “earn” that rest.

I saw and heard the finish, rounded the curve, then heard my Garmin buzz at Mile 3 (7:17) before I took off. I could see the clock in the distance, and it became a race against the clock.

I finished in 21:55, good enough for my first sub-22 5K since Run for Change.


I’m not sure why the clock says 21:55 before I crossed the line, but according to Garmin and the official results, it was a 21:55 finish. I’m thankful my friend Noah Moore caught it on camera!

After the race, I grabbed Melissa for a cooldown run. We ran to meet Melissa’s daughter Alex and her friend McKenna to pace and encourage them to the finish. They are training for Fall soccer and both had strong finishes at this 5K. We also saw Becky, who placed 2nd female overall, cooling down on the course to pace and encourage her cousin. So many times, the top finishers of a race don’t encourage or cheer for other runners, but that’s not the case at Race the Landing. It’s truly a friendly race series for everyone.

The racing and pacing works up an appetite so we came back to Founder’s Hall for music and food. I sat outside again because the temperatures and bugs weren’t too bad. Most of the food last week was meat, but I found enough to eat and ate some shrimp once I got home for the protein.


Melissa placed first overall and I was third, and the awards this week were wooden gators. We always take a lot of award pictures at this race because a lot of people place.


I was super stoked about this race. At this time last summer, I hadn’t run a sub-22 5K on a certified course yet. The sub-22 5K and placing were icing on the cake from pacing myself better. I don’t plan to run any other races for a few weeks (of course, you never know what will come up). I hope to take the positive momentum into the next few weeks of training- and hope to see some of you at our last Race the Landing 5K in July!


Race Name: Race the Landing 5K #4- A Taste of Italy

Location: Charleston, SC (Charles Towne Landing State Park, West Ashley).

Date and Time: June 9, 2016, 7 PM.

Course: Flat road, one wooden bridge, curvy course, shade. USATF Certified.

Swag: Finisher’s medal and sunglasses, 5 year, 5 deep age group awards. Shirts for series participants or those who purchase them.

Post-race Food: Chicken, pork, green beans, corn, rolls, cole slaw, watermelon.

Weather: 82 degrees, 66% humidity, feels like 86 degrees

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20 Responses to Race the Landing #4: Mexican Fiesta (21:55)

  1. Pam says:

    Wow, fantastic race Amy. Going sub 22 in the midst of summer heat and humidity should be a huge confidence boost when you race this fall. As always, those awards make me drool. Its always encouraging to hear about races where the leaders go back to help others finish their race too. Enjoy your little break from racing, but I bet you find something to fill in your schedule!

  2. Congrats on breaking your streak of bad races and hitting sub 22! Your pacing was perfect.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thank you! I was glad to have a good race after a few rough ones. I try to work on pacing in every training run because I don’t want to self-sabotage in my Fall half (after all, it’s not like you can run a half and then run another one the next week, like you can in a 5K).

  3. Woo hoo! Great race and great pacing. As hard as it is to put into practice, it really does pay to start out a little bit conservatively. Having someone to pace with helps so much too! That is an awesome pic of you finishing the race. You can tell you were bookin it!

  4. That weather looks hot and sticky! Nice job running so hard and fast in that heat. I’m glad your smoothie and sub choices didn’t upset your tummy during the race!! 🙂

  5. Melissa Cunningham says:

    Way to keep even splits the last 2 miles!!! That is really difficult thing to do on that course! Great job!!!

  6. Amy, just FYI the actual visible clock is not tied to the official timing system. It is manually started and is primarily there to give folks a general idea of their finish time. I actually start it a split second before the primary system to provide a more accurate display of their real time since runners can not see it when they are actually on the finish line. Great job! Hope to see you Tomorrow on Daniel Island!! Oh, and get Noah to crop out the ugly guy with the clipboard…

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks Jimmy! That’s good to know about the timing clock. I honestly TRY not to look too hard during the race since I know it will be up on the internet soon.

      See you tomorrow night!

  7. Congrats on a sub-22 Race the Landing! You’re definitely accomplishing your goal of getting in your mileage and racing consistently. And I think that’s what is going to really pay off in the long run!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks! Yeah, probably not going to race quite as much for the rest of the summer, as the events are becoming more sparse. Mentally, I sort of need a little break, but I am still planning on at least 1 race per month in July and August!

  8. Canuck Carl says:

    Always love it when the faster runners hang around to cheer the others on. Congratulations on such a great time….and a 3rd place female finish. The wooden alligator awards look very impressive! 🙂

  9. liz says:

    Oh. My. Gosh. Those gator awards. How cool! Congrats on a great race and for breaking through your plateau. I agree that summer races are all about the workouts, but it’s nice to throw down a good time, too. I’m on a personal mission to find a 5K that offers watermelon at the finish line around here. I eat pounds of watermelon every day in the summer. I can’t get enough.

  10. Amazing that you were able to pull out such a great race in the heat. You are doing fabulous.

  11. supereli23 says:

    I think given the weather you’ve been running and racing in, that I wouldn’t even consider the other races “bad races”. Just races that were run on hot hot days 🙂 Good job getting sub-22!

  12. Amazing race, Amy! I love how you said that your race = your pace. That is such a good thing to remember when racing. People will always go out too fast, but you get the choice to keep the speed in check and use it throughout the whole race.

    So sorry about the tummy troubles. I guess you could chalk that up as a learning experience. I’m also glad all the fiber didn’t impact your time. You really did great!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It is hard not to get caught up in placing or competing with other people, but all of my best races have occurred when I made a plan and stuck with it, instead of trying to catch some rabbit (err, another runner). Plus, it’s good to remember that not everyone has the same goals in each race, especially when someone runs a lot of races. I sometimes pick one out just to tempo or use as practice. Sure, some runners will probably be thrilled to beat me, but okay- my goals are all long-term.

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