I’ve mentioned a
few million times that the Ironman sapped my speed. Was it worth it? Hell yes. But do I want it back? Duh.
The Run Less Run Faster plan worked really well for me during marathon training last year, allowing me to PR not once, but twice, and avoid injury. Well, I had a previous issue become aggravated but at least I wasn’t sidelined for the race. So after Sweet Tea’s slow (in comparison) finish, I started following the Run Less Run Faster half marathon plan. My goal race is the Myrtle Beach Half, but I signed up for Charleston so I could get a feel for my progress.
I ran 2015’s Sweet Tea in 1:44:48 (8:00 pace), while training for Disney.
I ran 2016’s Sweet Tea in 1:55:xx (8:46 pace), 3 weeks after the Ironman.
My “A” goal is a 1:42:30 (7:50 pace)
I’ve run the Charleston event three times (1 half and my first and second full), and not much was different so there really isn’t a ton to report. I drove myself to the start line early and picked up my packet the morning of, in order to avoid rush hour traffic the night before. I did that, and used the bathroom not once, not twice, but three times after my measly half cup of coffee and about 4 oz of water.
I also stopped at my car three times so I was glad I was parked nearby. After my second bathroom visit I walked to the start and had to go AGAIN. Geez Lousie.
There were complaints over the last couple of years about the temperature at this race because it was so cold. Obviously (see tank top) this year was much warmer, and honestly even a little warmer than I’d prefer for a race. The starting temp was supposed to be around 57 degrees, but I knew that when I was standing around waiting for the gun to go off and wasn’t even a little chilly, it was going to feel warm.
The gun went off at exactly 8:00.
My initial plan had been to run this race as a training run and go by the pace in the book, which was an 8:20. I told others this. I told myself this. I, unsurprisingly, didn’t listen.
I started the race and ran the first mile at an 8:09, and felt ok, so decided to go with that. I, as usual when I go into a race without a definite goals, changed my mind one mile in and decided to stick with an 8:10 hoping I might be able to speed up a bit the last 3-4 miles.
By mile 2 I wanted to take off my tank top, but I didn’t feel like carrying it for 11 more miles, so I kept it on. Mile 2 and 3 were run in a 8:10 and 8:11, so at least I was staying consistent. I picked it up at bit at mile 4 and 5, hitting both at 8:06, and by the time I hit mile 6 I couldn’t stand my shirt anymore. Unfortunately by then it also felt quite a bit warmer, so my next 5 miles were between an 8:09 and an 8:12. It didn’t help that mile 10 was over a bridge. By the time I hit mile 11 I had hoped to speed up, but forgot that the last few miles run through a twisty and hilly (ok ok, they were pathetically small inclines) section of North Charleston, so it didn’t happen then either, finishing the last 3 miles in 8:08, 8:11 and 8:07.
The course registered a bit long for me at 13.22 miles, so my official time was 1:47:12, but my time for 13.1 was 1:46:47. Factoring in a temperature that was almost 20 degrees warmer than 2015’s Sweet Tea race (my ideal racing temp is in the 40s and the weather was perfect at this race), I feel pretty confident that I’ve made it back to where I was, so now I have 7 weeks to get faster.
I actually stuck around for the after party this year, and even drank my two complimentary drinks (mimosas, still not a beer person), and discussed the cool-ness of glittery sports bras.
Charleston does know how to throw a good post race party.
30-34 age: 15/284
January 23, 2017 at 9:00 pm
Congratulations on a great race and such a big improvement from Sweet Tea, in much worse conditions (hot hot hot).
Your splits were SPOT ON! I mean, your pace varied by only a few seconds even late in the race… you had a solid plan and finished pretty close to where you started out, which is great considering the last miles are harder with that mini bridge and that stupid trail/gravel section. No splits will ever be completely even unless you’re on a treadmill and set it and forget it… gotta give yourself a little margin in there. I bet you passed a lot of people because people notoriously start out too quickly in a race and die around Mile 11-12 in a half.
I don’t understand the complaints about this race being cold. I’ve run this race 5 times and it’s only been cold once (2014). I heard way too many reporters say the weather was perfect and I wanted to ask if they did the 5K because the weather would be great for a race that was over by 8:30…
January 23, 2017 at 10:15 pm
Perfect for a 5k yes. Actually, temp wise it wasn’t bad but it seemed humid to me and that’s what I most struggle with. I was very happy with my splits and it seems that consistency in race goals is the way to go for me (vs. starting slower and trying to finish faster). I had the same consistency with both my fastest sweet tea and Myrtles marathon last year. YOU rocked it though!
January 23, 2017 at 10:23 pm
Thank you! But when we were running this past Saturday, I was so grateful for the weather at Charleston! Saturday was even muggier, but at least we had a lot of people on the trail. We’re going to do another long run soon and go to Charleston Bagel on Main Street next time because Melissa wants to try it and so do I.