Hydrate Hydrate HYDRATE was the focus of this race. I drink water throughout the day but not nearly as much as I should. The Charleston heat has been wrecking havoc on my body and I finally realized during Race The Landing, that I wasn’t properly hydrating. My body was tapping out because it just didn’t have the fluid that it needed to push me along. After Thursday’s race I went home and focused all of my efforts on water intake.
Friday I drank around 140 ounces of water! Between working out, breastfeeding, and every day needs, this felt right. I drank when I was thirsty and left a glass of water by my bed so that every time I got up with the baby, I would drink a little. Saturday morning I also drank 48 ounces before hitting the race. Normally, I would only drink 6-12 ounces before a morning race. With all of these races that I’ve been doing, it’s been a teaching experiment to see what helps or hinders my running.
On to the actual race!
I managed to convince Lana Thursday night to register for Floppin’ Flounder. I love having that girl out on the race course with me as much as possible. She’s my rock when my mental game goes out the door. Usually somewhere around mile 2, I check out and mentally stop caring. Having Lana running beside me makes me more accountable and gives me the help I need to push along when everything else is telling me that running is stupid. Lana and I carpooled to the race. This race is out on Sullivan’s Island so we had to leave pretty early in the morning to get there. We picked up our race packets and headed out for a 2 mile warm up. It was warm, there was no breeze, and this race has no shade coverage. We kept our warm-up light and easy, especially since we had just raced 36 hours prior.
We met up with some other friends that we knew running the race and we headed for the starting line. This is a race that brings out the fierce fast competition. Throw overall female right out of the car, I knew I’d be lucky to place in my age group. I’ve never placed at this race before. (granted last year I was pregnant) There is just something so fun about seeing the fast ladies out there. To me, these are my role models and my inspiration. They are like my local version of Molly Huddle or Kara Goucher. So to see Caitlin, Kerry, and a surprise visit from Laurie Knowles out there at the starting line, it’s like seeing the superstars of your sport. My goal for this race was just some redemption after Thursdays horrible awful race.
Mile 1: 7:17 I went out a little conservative. This course is a lot straighter than Race The Landing. It only has two loops at each end of the course. I knew the heat was going to be a bother as well as the sun, so again, I tried to go with the strategy of starting slow and working my way up if my legs felt good. I felt really good in mile 1. I could tell that my legs were nice and loose and maybe the hydration thing was actually making a difference. I felt like I could give it a little push. Lana and I stayed together through mile 1, enjoying the only nice view this race course has to offer before the mile 1 marker.
Mile 2: 7:15 See, I told you that my legs were feeling good. I was able to give myself just a slight push to bring my pace up a little bit more. At this point we had passed the starting line to make our second way towards the second loop. Lana and I were still running strong together. Then I had a malfunction. I got a phone call! The phone call ended up killing my music and my music never restarted. If you know me, you know that I can’t run without my music. When I hear myself breathing that heavy, I lose all train of thought. All I can think about is my breath and how racing hurts. So I struggled to get my phone out of my case, I tried to reconnect the blue tooth to my headphones…. nothing was working! At this point we were around 2.3 miles or so and I just had give up and trudge on. Mainly because I was losing ground and speed. All that fidgeting with my stuff caused my pace to drop. This was more disheartening because I was feeling good. My legs felt great all race, my lungs felt great. Sure it was hot and horrible out but physically I was feeling better than Thursday night. I saw Lana a bit ahead of me and I just worked to try and catch up to her.
Mile 3: 7:34 I lost a little speed due to the whole phone issue but I still was feeling good and strong. I could see Lana up ahead of me and I just worked hard to get up to her. I ended up passing a few ladies that had been between me and Lana but I never fully caught up to her.
Final .1 was at a 6:41 pace. I had some juice left in the bag and I pushed it out with all that I had.
My final time ended up being 22:59, which was 34 seconds faster than the race I did 36 hours prior. Clearly the hydration thing played a big role for me. So now I can’t stress enough to people to hydrate! Not just with water either, get some nuun or skratch and pump your body up with some good electrolytes too. It can make a world of difference for you and your recovery. After we finished, we did a nice 2 mile cool down before heading into the covered shack for the post race awards & raffle drawing.
Triangle has come every year and brought yummy breakfast burritos. Normally there is a meat and a veggie but it seemed this year they ran out of the veggie pretty quickly because when Lana and I approached, there were none left. There was some coconut water, watermelon and oranges as well. The nice part about this race is that they do a pretty nice raffle drawing. Lots of nice stuff to be won, like gift cards to the local running stores. Next came the awards ceremony. Lana took 1st and I took 2nd in our age group. We were both pretty surprised and pretty pleased with ourselves having just raced in one of the more competitive races in Charleston. I love the trophies that we got and I absolutely love the tech t-shirt that came with our race entry this year. The blue is gorgeous, this race never fails me on the shirt they offer each year.
After the race was over we headed to Taco Mamasita and had some yummy post run beers with lots of running friends. Since Tony stays home with the girls now during my races, it’s nice to have such awesome friends to hang out with and socialize with after the races. I love chatting with them about what their plans and goals are for the future.
Just for fun here is a look at the last 3 years of me racing Floppin’ Flounder.
2015 ( pregnant): 25:49
2016: ( 7 months post-partum) 22:59
I’m getting stronger with each week. I can’t believe that I’m only 7 months postpartum and have only had 5 months worth of training since giving birth. I’m faster than I was prior to getting pregnant with Vale, which I thought I was at my peak condition. I look at it and just can’t believe what I’ve accomplished in just these few months. Running throughout my pregnancy with her was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. I bounced back and got faster quicker than I ever thought possible. If I can do this, I can’t wait to see how fast I can get with a solid year of training and no interruptions with pregnancy. No more babies for this girl. It’s all about hard core training from here on out.