We all have our nemesis race. Maybe you got wrecked by a half marathon, maybe there is a course out there that you tripped, fell, and ended up bloody, maybe your stomach was messed up and you threw up on the course. Whatever the case may be, you will always look back at that and want revenge on that race. Well, the Daniel Island Happy Hour 5k course is my nemesis. The last two races on that course have been horrible for me. My times haven’t exactly been that bad but just overall, I’ve lost all momentum with that course.
The last time I ran that course my splits were 7:30, 8:00, 8:30. I haven’t seen a mile at 8:30 pace since I did a really slow long run or cool down. This race is on Thursday nights at 6:30pm so we still have plenty of sunshine. It’s hot, humid, and although it is an absolutely beautiful course, it’s a tough one. It’s basically a trail run through Daniel Island with some pretty views of the water while running across a small bridge. I don’t know why I lose it so bad on this race but I wasn’t about to let that happen for a third time. I wanted revenge on the course.
I wasn’t worried specifically about what my time would be. My times have been hit or miss with the weather lately, so I haven’t been relying on my time as any indicator of how my races are going. I’m basing it more on how I felt during the run and how much I’m crashing in the last mile. Basically I’m looking at my splits to see if I’m running more even. I decided to take this weeks race and not put too much emphasis on it. I didn’t stress out all morning, I didn’t strictly monitor my food or beverage intake, and I didn’t do a ton of stretching/foam rolling. I decided to just go with the flow.
Lana and I arrived, got our bibs & T-shirt, and headed to the publix across the street for a bathroom break and then to take off for our warm up. We did just shy of a 2 mile warmup that felt okay. It’s hot, I was already drenched in sweat just from our warm up. I’m dreaming of the cooler days that will be here in the fall. We headed to the start spot and ran into other friends like Reyna, Erica, Erin, Melissa, and Penney. I love having such a fun group at races because it makes the after party even better.
Mile 1: 7:19 This mile felt pretty good considering the weather. Lana & I let a bunch of people go ahead and pass us as we got into our groove. The beginning of this race can be hard because the trail is so narrow, you don’t have a lot of room to pass others, you can’t see others who are trying to pass you, and you don’t want to get tripped up on the course. I did my best to move to the side to let others by but at the same time, I wasn’t about to lose my spot running next to my partner.
Mile 2: 7:31 Now the crowd had started to thin out and Lana and I made pushes. We had worked our way up to being in the top 5 females. I kept stride with Lana, she’d go ahead of me and point to her side, telling me to get my ass up next to her. So I would push out a sprint and get back up to her. We did this for pretty much all of mile 2. It really helped push me along and at this point Lana took off, taking over second female spot following behind Melissa.
Mile 3: 7:48 Now Lana was a solid 20 seconds ahead of me but I could see her in my view for most of the race. Between Lana and I was one other female runner who was currently in the 3rd female spot. I just kept telling myself not to let this mile destroy me like before. I wanted so hard to push myself and have revenge on the course, so I decided to go for it with a different approach. I decided to do a fartlek for the last part of the race to get me where I wanted to be. I would see a point ahead of me and sprint to it, then slow down just a little. We hit a small downhill bridge and I surged myself into the third female spot. Now in my mind I was dreading this last half a mile I had until the finish. I kept doing this fartlek technique to keep me striding. I would see a post or a tree and I would sprint it out to it. We came around the last corner and I knew I had about two minutes left of running. As Lana tells me all the time, I can do anything for two minutes.
.2 7:27 I let my legs roll. I saw Lana cross the finish line and I kicked it into high gear to come in behind her. Thank you Amy for the finishing picture for me!
My finish time was 22:48 for 3rd overall female. I was beyond thrilled to have simply felt good at the finish of this race. I feel like I finally put the crappy feeling I’ve associated with this race behind me. In reality, this wasn’t even my best time on this course. This first of this series I clocked in a 22:33 but that race was another one where I started out strong and faded much harder than I would have liked. Sometimes it’s not about the time on the clock but how you execute the race and feel at the end of it.
After the race was finished we grabbed our finishers medals, got some water & energy beans, then headed for a cool down. I’ll admit I was on my phone catching pokemon and hitting poke stops along our cool down route. I was riding a little bit of a high for having felt great at the finish of this race. The after party for this one was held at Wasabi on Daniel Island. This was me and Lana’s chance to celebrate her 30th birthday as well. We had a huge table of friends, ordered way too much sushi, had some yummy $2 beers, and chatted about upcoming races.
For taking 3rd female I got a nice prize pack that included a gift card to Fleet Feet Sports, a hat, two pairs of running socks, a cup, and a really nice water bottle. Lana took home 2nd overall female and a nice prize pack as well! We have one more race left in this series and that will be it for our summer racing. After that it will be back to fall temps, marathon training, and hopefully me seeing a BQ in January.