Weekly Rundown: October 9-15

Hot summer streets and the pavements are burning as I sit run around
Trying to smile but the air is so heavy and dry humid
Strange voices are saying (AHHH what did they say?)
Things I can’t am too hot to understand
It’s too close for comfort, this heat has got right out of hand. – Ace of Base, Cruel Summer

I survived another week of cruel summer training in record-breaking heat. The calendar may say October, but it feels more like August in Charleston. It’s way too hot for pumpkin spice or Halloween movies, and running feels like a struggle shuffle.

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It’s supposed to cool down this week, and we will have a day when temperatures are in the 70s. That’s basically like the first snow of the season in other parts of the US, and I expect people to be decked out in hoodies, boots, and scarves.

TWW

Monday 5.5 miles + ITBS Rehab Routine
Tuesday 8.4 miles (including 45 min. at mid-tempo pace)
Wednesday 6.4 miles + ITBS Rehab Routine
Thursday 6.2 miles + 60 min. yoga
Friday No workout
Saturday 6.9 miles including Avondale 5K (21:44)
Sunday 11.4 miles
Total 45 miles

On Monday, I ran with the group and all of us agreed that we needed a “sightseeing run”- aka, EASY DAY. Downtown Charleston is on the water, so we had a little breeze and some shade, and that made it  tolerable. I was still recovering from Saturday’s Isle of Palms 10K and Sunday’s long run, and being sick post-run (the worst part of post-run stomach issues is that when all was said and done, I was still well above racing weight). My legs were heavy, but we enjoyed the sights and lack of crowds since tourist season is winding down.

On Tuesday I did a tempo run on the treadmill because it’s way too hot to attempt that outside and because I like trash TV.

Our track has been taken over by middle school football on Wednesday nights, so we’ve started running a slightly hilly neighborhood instead, where we have 4 and 6 mile routes. We had a good crowd this week, and Erin had everyone over post-run for a cookout. Her husband grilled burgers and hot dogs and everyone brought side items and drinks.

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It was great hanging out and refueling after the hot run. You know you’re at a cookout full of runners and triathletes when you foam roll and stretch while the burgers are grilling.

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I did an easy run on Thursday, in the hottest temperatures I could to hopefully regain some heat acclamation, then did a Vin-to-Yin yoga class that night. Soul Yoga of Charleston sent me a coupon for a free yoga class during my birthday week, and it was an nice way to stretch out and de-stress before Saturday’s race.

Friday was a much-needed day off of working out, but I spent the afternoon volunteering at the SheTris Aquathon, a swim and run event for young girls. A good crowd of Summerville Tri Clubbers volunteered. All the girls were great athletes and demonstrated positive sportsmanship, and the whole afternoon was wonderful. Angie’s done a great job organizing women’s events and bringing them to the Lowcountry, especially for preteen girls who need the encouragement and positivity.

Saturday was the Avondale 5K, and for the first time in a long time, I ran a race time I am proud of. The weather was warm but less humid, and that helped big time. I didn’t let negative thoughts creep in, left everything on the course, supported the Charles Webb Center for Special Needs kids, and shared some great memories with Charleston Beer Runners.

We had some new PRs, a couple of age group placements, and we shut down the after party in true CBR style. I’ll write more about the race this week (Thanks Brian from CBR for this great pic!).

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The week wouldn’t be complete without a long run, so I logged some miles on Sunday morning, then met up with OnShore Recreation for the last 8 miles. We had record-breaking high temperatures on Sunday, so I was scared that Church of the Sunday Long Run would be a “Fire and Brimstone service”. Thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as last Sunday, and you can’t beat a long run in downtown Charleston.

After the run, I came home to a Sunday of brunch, farmer’s markets, and football with Clay- good times. I hope everyone has a great week!

I’m linking up with Holly at Hohoruns and Tricia at MississippiPiddlin‘ for their weekly wrap link.

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Posted in Charleston Beer Runners, Summerville, Summerville Running, Training Log, West Ashley | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Isle of Palms Connector Run 10K (47:54)

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

On Saturday, I ran the Isle of Palms Connector Run 10K, the hottest and most difficult race I’ve completed in a long time.

The Isle of Palms Connector Run 5K and 10K have been around for 25 years, long enough for a race to have all the kinks worked out and get everything right- and they do. It’s one of the larger and more competitive races in the Charleston area, so it’s a good run if you want to challenge yourself to your fastest time or complete your first 5K or 10K. The courses are tough- the 10K is harder than the Cooper River Bridge Run course- but offer beautiful views.

The Isle of Palms Connector Run benefits many charities that help prevent child abuse and provide rehabilitation for children and families who have been through that. The beauty of charity races is that no matter what your time or performance is, those who benefit only care that you paid, showed up, and supported their cause.

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On race morning, I stepped out of my home and into the sauna. It felt more like August than October, a stark reminder of why South Carolina doesn’t have 10Ks in August. When I signed up a few weeks ago, I opted for the 10K knowing that PR was soft and hoping for good weather to give me a chance at breaking it. Charleston has a shortage of 10Ks and a shortage of nice weather.

At 6:35 AM, it was already 78 degrees, with an hour and a half to go until the race’s start time. I drove a little over 30 minutes to the Isle of Palms, warmed up, hit the potties, and headed to the start line. I found Allison, Melissa, Brent, and saw a few of the other usual Saturday morning suspects.

When we were standing at the start- 78 degrees, 100% humidity, and a dew point of 75- the sun came out.

We took off at 8:06 AM and headed up the Isle of Palms Connector. The first climb is super early in the race, when the crowds are still close enough that you can’t see the incline in front of you and the adrenaline is pumping to the point your legs don’t feel it yet. I also didn’t feel the fairly steep downhill, and gradual downhill in the first two miles. Melissa was leading the 5K for the ladies, so I motioned one finger- the nice finger- to her to let her know she was #1.

I was jealous of the 5Kers turning around and heading back when I had miles to go. The Connector itself was slick from rain overnight the sweat and tears of all the runners.

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At Mile 3, I came up on a lady playing music from her phone- so loudly that I could hear it over my earbuds (I wear earbuds a lot in races, mainly to drown out chatter from other runners who are able to hold conversations while I’m dry heaving in race pain). The song playing was Green Day’s “Time of Your Life”. Not wanting to get depressed in the race, I tried to pass her as quickly as possible so I didn’t have to listen to the music.

We got to the turn around point, and the crowds were sparse. Knowing the worst of the inclines was yet to come, I ran into the headwind without anyone to block it and tried to look at the water to keep from staring at the Connector’s uphill. I set a new mental goal of not letting anyone pass me- only one lady passed me in the last 3 miles of the race.

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My pace continued to slow down as I ran up the gradual incline. I saw Adam Gorlitsky from I GOT LEGS, who was hand cycling the 10K. Adam always inspires me when I see him on the Cooper River Bridge or at any race. I told myself that I wouldn’t let myself walk, even though others around me were stopping to walk. I just wanted to be done with the race and knew walking wouldn’t help with that, so I powered up the connector.

Once I got over the incline, I tried to use the decline to speed up a little and hope for a faster finish. At this point, I felt dizzy and dehydrated and found myself running toward the 5K chute rather than the 10K one (oops).

I crossed the finish line in 47:54. 9th female overall, 1st place 30-34.

I found Allison, and we headed out for a cooldown. She finished 2nd female in the 10K in her first race since moving to Charleston, which is really impressive!

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Later on, we headed to the after party to have refreshments and enjoy the live music. The Isle of Palms Connector Run has a great after party with unlimited beer and bands.

The race’s swag was also top notch this year, with an updated t-shirt, and the awards were pretty impressive too. I received a Yeti-style tumbler with the race’s logo, as well as a fun medal. You can detach the “medal” and use it as a keychain to remind you of your accomplishment year-round, and the ribbon is a lanyard you can use for a school or work ID. Both the medal and the tumbler are some of the more functional age group awards I’ve gotten.

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I won’t lie that I was disappointed in my race performance. I went into this race with time goals that I didn’t accomplish. I won’t pretend that this was a tempo run (I hate seeing those posts after a race goes badly- besides, I’ve had better tempo runs). I ran as hard as I could on Saturday, and while I don’t think this race represents my fitness, this is the time I have to show for that.

The sub-tropical weather was a HUGE factor, and everyone agreed their times were several minutes off their usual 10K times in cooler temperatures. Several runners and walkers ended up in the medical tent or throwing up off the side of the connector, and I’ll take a slower time over either of those outcomes.

While I may not be proud of my time, I am proud ’of completing the race and not giving up. When I woke up to August temperatures, I could have just stayed home. When I arrived at the race, I could have opted to switch to the 5K to be finished quicker, and I could have opted to walk or or stop- but I kept going and gave 100%. I did not let the weather, distance, inclines, or negative thoughts defeat me.

I’ll be back next year to make peace with the heat, humidity, and hills!

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Race Name: Isle of Palms Connector Run 5K/10K

Location: Isle of Palms, SC

Date and Time: October 7, 2017, at 8 AM

Terrain: Road. Connector with big inclines. Everyone runs over the inclines twice (out and back).

Entry fee: $25-40

Swag: Soft cotton t-shirt (men’s sizing), sweat towel, reusable bag

Post-race Food: Bananas, bagels, oranges, apples. Unlimited free beer.

Weather: 78 degress, 100% humidity, 75 dew point.

Posted in 10Ks, IOP/Sullivan's, Race Recaps, Race Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments