Two words for you.
I signed up for this race a few weeks ago because I thought I’d be clever and do 13 13.1’s in 2013. I wouldn’t normally pick a race like this the week before a big race (Charleston next weekend), but I figured I could just run an easy pace and not worry about time. I knew going in it would be really hilly, but I didn’t plan to be sick, and I *definitely* didn’t plan for it to be hot as balls in January.
I feel like this has happened for every long race I’ve done this year! It’s really strange, but on every day of a big race that I’ve done (except for Disney), there’s been a heat wave, and it was really unseasonably warm. Since it’s been pretty chilly the last few weeks, I was definitely not ready for 70 degree weather and 80%+ humidity! I was sweatin’ buckets.
Plus, there were bugs. So I kept catching bugs in my sweat, which was super gross.
Anyways, the race. The morning started out nice:
Packet pickup was available Friday night, but I didn’t want to drive all the way out to Travelers Rest twice, so I just went a little early this morning to get my packet. It was pretty painless; the whole even was very well organized. Since the event started around the high school, there was plenty of parking (and real bathrooms!!).
Since I got there so early, I had plenty of time to wander around and get warmed up a little.
The race swag was really nice. We got a long-sleeved tech shirt that’s really good quality (though it doesn’t fit me great) and they had these ceramic mugs that were for the age-group winners (which wasn’t me!).
The race started right on time (at 9), and the 5K race was supposed to start a few minutes afterward.
So, the hills. The course was an out and back, so I would get to experience the hills twice. The first half of the race wasn’t too bad. Really, up until about mile 8, I was at a pace to finish around 2:15 or so. Then there was:
That. hill. was. death. That was pretty much the end of my race. I was able to hold out for a little bit after running up that hill, but from about mile 9 on, I pretty much only ran on the downhills. My poor legs were just dead. It was pitiful.
Luckily, I got some mid-race motivation! A couple of friends were out on the race course cheering for people right after a *giant* stretch of uphill. I definitely needing some motivation, so it was good to see them =)
Anyways, I finally made it to the finish, in 2:28-ish, which is better than I could have hoped for considering how much I walked! Considering how little I ran last week because of being sick, plus the heat, and the tough course, I’m not too bummed about the time. I glad I finished! Instead of finishers medals, they gave out these ceramic coaster things:
I like it! So, overall, the race was pretty good. It was well organized, there was plenty of water and Gatorade on the course, and good snacks post-race. Just make sure you’re into hills.