On Saturday, I ran the Charlie Post Classic 5K on Sullivan’s Island. A bunch of us tracksters are setting goals, training hard, and dreaming big about the Myrtle Beach Marathon in a few weeks, so most of us ran this as a tune-up race. It always draws a large (and fast) crowd, and the course is flat, fast, and USATF certified.
When I arrived at the race on Saturday, Theresa and I warmed up for about two miles, running on portions of the course and even finding a porta-potty on a construction site. I love running long warmups and finding a potty to save me from the super long lines at the race start- especially because the lines were very long. I’m pretty sure people didn’t get to potty pre-race.
With racing, I’m enjoying the process and using races as a chance to get a hard workout in while being surrounded by friends. After the James Island Connector Run, my knee injury, and the Charleston Half Marathon, I gave up on “goal races”. Any time I go all in on a race, I get nervous, have a bad race, or get injured. So, I don’t.
With that said, since the Charleston Half Marathon was only two weeks prior, I should’ve recovered a bit more. My legs felt my tempo and speed workouts from earlier in the week.
Oh well. It’s just a race.
At the start, I set an unofficial goal not to let anyone dressed for an arctic tundra winter pass me. I happily toed the line in my singlet, shorts, and cheap $1 gloves. I still finished in a pool of sweat because that’s racing.
The race officials counted down the seconds until the gun went off, so there were no surprises. The speedy folks took off while I tried to not get sucked in. The 5K race course was a little different this year, but still basically the “Figure 8” around Sullivan’s Island. With plenty of runners ahead of me, I wasn’t concerned about knowing the course.
I hit the first mile split in 6:38. Not my fastest 5K start ever, but I doubted I’d hold that pace until the end. I settled around a pack of other ladies and tried to draw off their energy (I recognized one because we basically ran together last year until she turned off for the 15K). I got a big boost from hearing Larry the Legend and some other spectators cheer at the halfway mark.
The second half of the course was the same as previous years, so we hit Mile 2 (6:49) right where I expected. I tried to stick with the pack of runners I was near and reminded myself that they were on the pain train too.
Mile 3 (7:01) was a little crazy, as we ran straight into a headwind. None of the three ladies ahead of me were tall enough to block this wind, and I wasn’t fast enough to pass them and try to catch any of the tall men.
The other crazy thing that happened was that a car was on the course. This course IS NOT CLOSED TO TRAFFIC and this car sped by in the other lane. Last year, a car almost backed into me on a non-closed race course, so cars on the race course freak me out a bit. I saw the guys ahead of me flipping the car off. I’m not sure why they were in such a hurry, or why a race with 700+ runners has an open course, but I got out of the zone.
After the Mile 3 sign, another lady (the legendary Ruth Marie Embler) passed me. I heard Larry and some others cheering, but I was gassed and finished in 21:23. This was my fastest 5K since the knee injury and four seconds faster than last year’s Charlie Post 5K, so I was satisfied with my performance.
Melissa and Dan waited at the finish, where we cheered Theresa in then cooled down before the awards ceremonies.
This race was a great one for us Wednesday night tracksters. Melissa and Dan both finished sub-20. Theresa ran the race as a part of a long run and ended up beating her old 5K PR from five years ago. Brent also set a new PR and placed in his age group. We’re all working hard, and the best is yet to come this Spring!
Race Name: Charlie Post Classic 5K/15K
Location: Sullivan’s Island, SC
Date and Time: January 28, 2017, 8:30 AM
Price: $20-35, $40 on race day. Same price for either distance.
Swag: Reusable bag, knit/cotton “hoodie” shirt (men’s cut)
Post-race food: Breakfast burritos, oranges, bananas, apples for the 5Kers. The 15Kers got what was left of the food, and there wasn’t much left for them.
Weather: 43 degrees, 56% humidity, 3 mph WSW winds. Perfect temperature!