The first race of 2018!! Unfortunately I was coming off of vacation…
Race: Charlotte 4 Miler (and Ten Miler), on 2/17/18. I originally wanted to run the Hot Chocolate 5K/15K, but it was too close to the return of our vacation, so I picked this one. It was my first official 4 mile race, which meant automatic PR! Haven’t race since the Jingle Jog (not counting the Castaway Cay 5K).
Goal: Since I didn’t do much on vacation, then came back and had a nasty cold, I had zero expectations for this race. I figured anything around an 8-minute mile, for me, would be great. In the future, I’d like to the run the Charlottesville (VA) 4 Miler (it’s on my bucket list!) under 30 minutes (7:30/mile pace)
Gear: it was a tad chilly, with the temps dropping, so I went with my Oiselle bra, tank, and capris, Brooks Run Happy arm warmers, Mizuno’s, Garmin, iPod (I remembered it!!!) I wore my North Face jacket to warm up, & sweatpants from the Army Crew team in 2006ish 🙂
Gut: To be honest, I haven’t been eating great ☹ I woke up at 4:30 to drive to this race (UGH!) so I made a PB&J and coffee for breakfast. Coffee isn’t great for my tummy pre-race, but I NEEDED it since it was hella early! I also had Nuun hydration (about 12 oz). I definitely needed to, ahem, use the bathroom pre-race… twice. But felt OK once I got moving.
Weather: Though the temps were dropping, the race ended up being nearly perfect, at 52*. I was sweaty but not overly sweaty, and probably didn’t need the arm warmers but wore them anyway. It was an early race that started near dawn, and then was cloudy, cool, with little wind. I’ll take it!
Pre-race: After picking up my friend V, we ventured about 1.5 hours south to Charlotte (the parking lot of Earthfare at Ballantyne). We arrived well before packet-pickup ended, and then sat in the van for awhile since it was chilly. By the time I got ready to make my final bathroom stop, the line was HUGE. That is my only complaint about this race (other than lack of medals)—not enough porta potties! I had to do an abbreviated warm-up, probably only running a quarter mile or less (vs. the mile that I wanted to run but didn’t have time for).
Race! I said good-bye to V and headed off. I quickly passed most of the group, and settled into a pace that I thought was doable for 4 miles (without actually looking at my watch). I enjoyed the course as it wound across a greenway area with boardwalks. Mile 1, 7:43 (nice!) I felt into step behind an older guy, and drafted behind him. Eventually I came up beside him and he said “Good pace” and I said “you too.” We chatted for a minute, and he told me there’s a huge hill coming up (I had heard this also). Mile 2, 8:04 (slowing a little but can still recover and finish fast!)
I was trucking along around an 8 min pace… until the hill. I was proud of myself for keeping up the momentum the best I could on this 4% grade of a hill. The elevation gain was 126 feet, so not a monster hill or anything. Mile 3, 8:18. Yup, definitely felt the hill! I got a boost from passing a few more folks, and headed down the homestretch to the finish, pushing as hard as I could without red-lining. Mile 4, 7:36. The course was a little long (0.07 miles according to the Garmin) so final time was 32:04. Right at my tentative goal! I was at 31:45 at the 4 mile mark so I feel good about that, coming off vacay and the cold. I ran strong and happy, and kicked it at the end, so I couldn’t ask for much more (other than speed, but that will come).
I did a short 0.1 mile cooldown jog, then went back to the van, stretched really well…
…drank the rest of my Nuun and a chocolate milk, then got a banana and other snacks while I waited for V.
Once she came in, we headed to the best part of all—breakfast WITH mimosas! I had to pay an extra $10 for the mimosa but it was worth it.
Breakfast was pancakes with sausage, pretty decent. We waited for awards, and I got my second place age group award (a thermos, to my dismay).
And we headed home!
Review: this race was a good one. Besides getting a lil lost trying to find the start line, I found it very well-organized, high energy, and fun! I enjoyed the 4 mile course. The breakfast was also awesome, to include the mimosas! Downside: no age group medal, but the 10 Miler runners all got medals… so I had medal envy, ha! I might do the Ten Miler next year. This was a really fun race!
Results: from the Garmin below, and from the race website. Pretty proud I was able to eke out 8 min/mile pace, considering the vacation and having a cold.
Next up—first race in the Greensboro Race Series–the Oldtown Beerun!