Happy MLK Day (and Monday)! I hope you get a day off to enjoy, but if not…oh well. I don’t, but I am getting a bit of a reprieve today since we have to travel to another site, so I get to sleep in a bit, at least.
So, anyways, Charleston. I’ve been really excited about this trip since we planned to go back in like October. My friend Meredith wanted to do her first half marathon, and this weekend was her birthday! So it seemed like a good idea. Once I finished up with the Spinx Marathon, we started training together for this race (with me doing a few other races in there because, clearly, I have a problem). She’s a little bit faster than me, just enough that it forces me to push myself, but not so much that I’m dying trying to keep up.
I wasn’t planning to PR this race, mostly because I’m still recovering a little from my cold and I ran a race last weekend, but I at least wanted to come close, like 2:15 or under. I know Meredith said she wanted to be under 2:15 as well, so that worked out well!
We left Greenville on Friday afternoon so we would have plenty of time to get to the race expo, eat dinner, and go to bed on time.
Of the Waffle House. We stayed in that weird round Holiday Inn, so the room was a funny shape, but it was a decent room. A short nap later, we headed out for dinner. My cousin’s cousin (so we’re not really related, but whatever) just recently moved to Charleston, so I invited her and her husband to join us for dinner. We met up at Hominy Grill, on a recommendation.
They weren’t participating in restaurant week, but that was kind of good since we didn’t have to worry about the limited menu. The food here was really good. The only bad thing were these boiled peanuts:
Yuck. I know it’s a crime in the south to not like them, but they’re nasty. Sorry. Everything else was good. After that we headed back to the hotel and went to sleep!
I had tried to lay out my clothes the night before, but I just could not figure out what to wear! Since all of my races have been on particularly warm days, I’ve always had to fall back to shorts and a tank (which I had just in case), but it was going to be too chilly for that. I ended up going outside when I went downstairs to get our breakfast (the race provided little breakfast bags for us) to see how cold it was before I put my running clothes on. I settled on a pair of crops and one of my long-sleeved Lululemon tops (and bad hair):
I had a tank on underneath in case I wanted to take the long-sleeve shirt off. The start line was only about two miles away from our hotel, but we still left around 7 so we could have plenty of time to park and find the bathrooms.
The race start was crowded, but there weren’t a lot of walkers to dodge, which is always nice. The first 6 miles flew by! They were all in downtown Charleston, so there were lots of cheering spectators and nice scenery to look at. I think at mile 3 we were well under 30 mins, so we slowed down a bit for the next few. I didn’t have my Garmin on, but Meredith had her runkeeper app going and I could sometimes hear it talk (it tells you your pace and distance). Even still, I could really only guess at our pace when we ran by the mile markers because they had big speakers calling out the time, so I had to listen when we ran by them.
The next 4 miles were really boring. We were on this long, straight road and there was just a whole lot of nothing out there. At least it was flat!! It never really seemed like we slowed down at all, but I can’t say for sure.
The last three miles I really started to die. I was having a hard time catching my breath (I kept coughing the whole way), and my legs just felt like lead. I started to fall back from Meredith a little bit, so she would know she could take off if she wanted, but I tried to stay pretty close. She really took off during the last half mile or so because I just totally wimped out. I could not hold whatever pace we were doing and slowed way, way down. It was so different from Kiawah when I really kicked it in at the end and probably could have gone faster if I hadn’t had to pee so bad!
Anyways, I finished in 2:14:17, and Meredith was a little under a minute faster, so still a good race!
We stood near the finish line for a few minutes so I could catch my breath, and Abby stopped by to say hi. Then we hoofed it over to the beer tent, because, Priorities, right?
Hooray, beer! And coconut water, which was handy later. We hung around the post race party for a while to enjoy our beer and get our shrimp and grits, where we ran into The Tiny Terror:
After a bit, we got on a bus to take us back to the high school where our car was. Since we couldn’t go back to the hotel, we were hoping to be able to use the high school to change, but it was locked. NOOOOOO!! We were able to stop somewhere to change clothes, and we stopped again later to eat at Cracker Barrel for lunch/dinner.
This race was a lot of fun, and I would definitely want to do it again. Also, it was beautifully, magnificently flat. It wasn’t my best race, but it was still pretty good, especially since I didn’t really taper. And for Meredith? An awesome first race (and birthday race!). She’s already signed up to do the GHS half, which is another PR friendly course, so it should be awesome.
I’ll leave you today with a picture of Teddy. He’s mad at me because I left him for a day.