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