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Race Recap: Cooper River Bridge Run 10K

April 4th, 2012 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts | Race Recaps

Less than 2 weeks to go, and the taper is on! Except my legs feel like lead and I’m exhausted. Not surprisingly, given a busy work trip, 10k race, and late nights this weekend. I’m going to try to make sleep a priority this week, lay low this weekend and hopefully I’ll be a bit more refreshed leading into race week.

About Saturday’s 10k race. All things considered, 40:38 is pretty good. It’s only 2 seconds off my (very weak) PR. I didn’t exactly have the best race prep, but since I was down in Charleston for a work trip (Chobani was a sponsor of the race), I had to make sure work was a priority. Racing was simply a nice perk.

Here’s a link to the full stats for the race, using the Polar RCX5 I’m wear-testing for Boston.com. If you know anything about heart rate training, I’d love your insight! Is an avg. of 181, max of 190, right for a 10K race?

Can you tell where the bridge was? Ha.

I hate to play the ‘excuses’ or ‘what if’s game, but bear with me. Under the right conditions I really believe I could have broken 40 minutes. Here we go:

  • My pre-race prep sucked. I spent Thursday & Friday entirely on my feet, shuttling & lifting cases of yogurt, and eating samples from booths at the expo for lunch and dinner (Muscle Milk, Blue Moon, fruit snacks, ice cream, and Atkins bars…)  Gross. Except all the Chobani, of course :)
  • Since I was offsite during the day, I had to catch up on work when I got back to my hotel each night after 9 at night. Combined with early wake ups, I slept about 5-6 hours each night– which is not enough for someone who needs 8-9 on average!
  • I had to get blood drawn on Friday (long story), so since I didn’t have a car, I ended up running to and from my blood test, while trying not to pass out, cry, or die on the 3 miles home. I felt really drained the rest of the day and into Saturday, unsurprisingly.
  • The race was delayed by an hour (!!!!) due to issues clearing the bridge, so it was even hotter. We stood around on our feet, not knowing when the gun would really go off, as the sun rose. Pretty sure it was over 80 degrees and this little Northerner was dying.
  • There was a massive, never-ending bridge for about 1.25+ miles, up which I hit blazing splits of 6:45 (started at the end of this mile) and 7:18. Combined with a whipping headwind, WTF. I shouldn’t run those splits in a 10K…
  • My legs weren’t exactly rested, nor trained to run a 10K. It doesn’t make sense that my 10K pace should be the same as my half-marathon pace, but it is. I’ll definitely drop time once I kick the high mileage & focus on ‘speed’.

Ok! Excuses, excuses. I know it’s like saying “well I definitely could have PRed if I was half-Kenyan/on a bike/magically had a tailwind/stopped a mile early!”, but I’m simply trying to put it in context of things I could and could not control. End complaint session.

On my 2nd Boston.com post this week, I wrote a bit about the race and loosening up a bit. After I finished and reflected on last year’s NYC Marathon, I made it a goal to become more flexible in training & racing. I was so ingrained in my routine, getting super stressed out when I had to stray from it. Everything about Saturday’s pre-race prep typically would have made me crazy anxious and defeated. “But I didn’t get 8 hours sleep the night before the night before the race! I didn’t eat my favorite oatmeal for breakfast! We’ve been waiting on the start line for an hour and I have to pee!” But this time, I just rolled with the punches and did the best I could, given the day. It was what it was. And obviously, the situation will be much different for Boston.

This training cycle, I’ve worked hard to let go, stress a lot less, and still live life. Through this, I’ve maintained a better running/life balance, and while everything hasn’t been perfect, I’ve been so much happier with myself, my running, job, friendships, life, everything. My post on working hard & playing hard just about sums it up. I firmly believe that keeping it fun and balanced will ensure a long love affair with running…and hopefully snag a few PRs along the way.

The remainder of my Saturday is a good example. Despite being exhausted from the race (and working the finish line event for about 2 hours post-race…in my sweaty glory), I still had time to grab some burgers and margaritas along the water with some coworkers before boarding my flight back to NYC. I passed out for a quick hour on the flight, got home around 7:30 p.m., pulled myself together (and threw back a 5 Hour Energy), went out to dinner with Terence as I missed his surprise birthday party while down in SC, and then went to Gian’s birthday where I drank (too much) and danced until 3:30 in the morning.

Again, it’s no surprise why I’m tired. While breaking 3:00 is THE goal and will make me feel incredibly happy and accomplished, spending time with friends and going out is a priority, too. Again, it’s about balance. I’ll just reel it in these next two weeks and hope I can “have my cake and eat it too.” Wishful thinking? We’ll see.

And now, sleep. sleep. sleep. And a little bit of running thrown in there, too.

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7 Responses

  • Wait, dancing until 3:30am isn’t how you’re planning on tapering for Boston??? I was going to continue doing that the next 2 weekends…

    Hehe, just kidding. Except, if you want to go out this weekend, I’m totally down…

    I think your assessment is a good one – the prep for this race was not ideal. It’s not making excuses, it’s a fact. While I don’t think conditions have to be 100% perfect in the days leading up to a race, sleep and eating and how much time you spend on your feet DO matter. But you know this! And it sounds like your ready for some solid taper action. I have no doubt that you’ll be rested and ready to go on the Boston starting line :)

  • Nicole says:

    I’m pretty sure you’ve probably run a sub-40 10K in a CPTC workout! That is definitely in your reach. I’m not even training for anything right now, and yet I’m beat up from the past two weekends! Good luck at Boston!!!

  • Sarah K says:

    That’s so awesome that you got to run a race as part of work! I can only hope that I one day have a job that lets me do the things I love.
    Sounds like you have a really great mentality going into Boston. I can’t wait to hear about the race! I know you’ll beast it.

  • Meggie says:

    Oh, I totally agree with your “complaint” session – I’m sure you were on your feet all day before the race, too! I mean, still pretty damn fast to me!

    Sleep is the best. I’m not tapering, but I’ll join you on making sleep a priority and such. Because I love sleeping.

  • I think most of the pre-race prep is mental…eating your favorite oatmeal isn’t going to make or break your race, but it will make you feel better, so I get it. But nice race otherwise! I’m sure you have a sub-40 in you.

    Did you see this article about the race? I hope your pictures looked like this! http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20120405/PC16/120409571&slId=2

  • I think you are doing a great job of finding the balance. I struggle with that myself. I tend to get a little crazy about training and upset if I’m not constantly setting new PRs for each race. I’m also trying to learn to balance a little better. PS – I can believe you ran TO and FROM a blood test. I’m surprised you didn’t faint!

  • Robin says:

    I just read your Boston.com post and am so jealous of your final hard workout. I can’t imagine the pace you are going to run Boston. :) Loved reading your posts and so glad to have found a new blog to read. Good luck on Monday, I can’t wait!!!



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