Charleston Half Marathon Recap

Ok, Charleston Half Marathon!  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.

IMG_20130118_170420There wasn’t a ton there, but we grabbed our packets and shirts and made sure we weren’t missing any free stuff before heading to our hotel. We had a nice view…

IMG_20130118_1746372Of 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.

IMG_20130118_184438They 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):

IMG_20130119_065049I 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.

IMG950807We timed it just right and had time to drop our jackets off in the car before headed to the start line just a few minutes before the race start.

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?

IMG950811Hooray, 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.







About Steph

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7 Responses to Charleston Half Marathon Recap

  1. Amy Lauren says:

    I love your recap and it was great to meet you- so sorry that the high school was locked and you couldn’t change there. Next time you’re in town let me know and you’re welcome to use my place for anything like that :). It was definitely a fun race, especially the first 5-6 miles through downtown and very flat- I didn’t like the gravel though.

    Hominy Grill is delish and you’re the second person I’ve talked to who did this race that went there. I haven’t had boiled peanuts there, but the ones they had at the race party were pretty good (it was Nadine’s first boiled peanut experience).

    Glad you’re able to get some rest today even though you’re having to work- sleeping in is always amazing!

  2. Abby Land says:

    I am glad you like Hominy Grill. I too hate boiled peanuts, yuck!
    I cannot believe I didn’t see you until the end of the race. We probably finished right next to each other I was 2:14:15.
    Sorry I couldn’t stay for long and talk, our ride had to leave right away. No beer or shrimp and grits either. Glad you got to enjoy some for me.

  3. Meredith says:

    Yay I had so much fun! And I want to do it again next year?!

  4. found you via tiny terror – i’m local to greenville too! for some reason have never been good at finding many other runner-bloggers in the area though…

    congrats on your race!

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