I’m allowed to use the life has been crazy busy excuse, right? Because it has. And I’ve either not had enough time or just not felt like writing much, so this recap comes a solid two weeks after the fact.
Better late than never?
I’ve run/raced the Bridge Run two times before. It was the final run on the old bridge and the first run on the new, so 2005 ( I ran a 50:44 and there were 18k runners) and 2006 (I ran a 52:52 and there were 33k runners) It was a long time ago and I was much younger then. Actually, that first bridge run was my first official race, even though I had been running recreationally since 2001.
The logistics of this run have always been a nightmare for me. The last time I ran it I got up at the crack of dawn to drive to Mt Pleasant, waited in line to get on a shuttle, ran it, couldn’t find my friends, sat in a shuttle again to get back to Mt Pleasant and then had to walk my to my friends apartment solo. Not that much fun. Nearly every year people ask me if I’m running the bridge, and until this year I’ve said no. There are simply too. many. people.
So fast forward to 2017. It is the 40th anniversary of the event, so guess what? There is a finishers medal. Did you say medal? Sign me up!
Yes, I signed up because there was a medal.
This year, I also happen to have friends that have the logistics of the race down to a T. It still involved getting up at the crack of dawn. I honestly think I wasn’t up much earlier than this for the Ironman, if that tells you anything. I rolled out of bed, made some coffee, and hopped into Tammie’s car when they pulled up at 5:02 (3 minutes early). From there we drove to Kelly’s house, where we hopped into her car and drove to West Ashley to her parents. There, we crammed into their car and they drove us about a half mile from the start. Then, we waited. And waited. And waited. The sun came up. We still waited. We peed. We waited. We peed again. And THEN, we waited some more.
The last 10k I ran was in early 2012, before we started doing fertility treatments. The 10k used to be my favorite race distance but I’d gotten away from them and started running more half and full marathons. Considering I’d made great strides in my half marathon time, I’d hoped I’d PR, but with minimal hill training, who knew. My pace for my fastest 10k (in 2011) was a 7:37, so I just hoped to run faster than that.
My race strategy was based on a lot of estimation and hope. I planned to run the first 1.5 miles 10-15 seconds faster than my average goal pace (maybe 7:30?), because I knew I’d lose speed going up the bridge. I’d hoped I’d gain some on the way down and then try to stay steady towards the end.
It turns out this was a good, solid plan. Even starting pretty close to the front I did some people dodging the first half mile or so, but hit mile 1 in 7:18. I tried to keep that pace until we hit the bottom of the bridge. Half of mile 2 was flat and half uphill, so I averaged 7:35. Almost all of mile 3 was an incline. A steep and torturous incline. Like I why in the world did I sign up for this type incline. At one point I was only averaging an 8:45, but gained some speed back on the way down and hit mile 3 at 8:00. Mile 4 felt surprisingly easy and steady (though it was totally downhill) and I hit that one at 7:00. The rest of the race was flat, and it was starting to get warm, so the last two miles were a bit of a suffer fest, but I was happy with the averages at 7:21 and 7:28. I had very little left for the last .2 but got a little faster (7:13).
I crossed the finish line with an official time of 46:33, about a 45 second PR, and celebrated with the yummiest muffin (cinnamon bun flavored) that I think I’ve ever eaten while chatting with friends and stalking official results.
I just wish I had gotten more than one picture. And maybe a picture of that muffin. *drools*
Finish Time: 46:33
Age: 27/2,406 (they put me in the 35-39 age group)
This run makes my 3rd PR in a MONTH! Now, time to rest a bit!