I ran a 10k on Saturday!
Ever since I moved to Charleston, any time I mentioned running to anyone, the very first response I got was “oh, are you going to do the bridge run?” Fortunately I have a friend at Clemson who told me about the race before I even moved, so we’d already agreed to run it together and I knew what they were talking about. But I still assumed that their insistence that it’s a really big deal was just Charleston people being proud of Charleston.
Turns out I was wrong.
The Cooper River Bridge Run is actually one of the ten largest races in the country, and this year over 40,000 people ran it. For anyone familiar with races and corrals, it started with an elite corral and then it continued on from A to K. K! By the time the people in the last few corrals got to start the race, there were probably several hundred (maybe even thousand) people who had already finished it.
But anyway, of those 40,000 people I finished 8,874th (3,631st among females overall and 593rd in my age group). My net time was 1:01:18 (9:51 mi/min), which isn’t bad considering about three quarters of a mile were uphill and the bridge is pretty much the only hill IN Charleston.
However, none of that really mattered because I came into this race with one goal and one goal only: not to slow down my friend. You see, last February this same friend and I ran in the Disney Princess 10K in Disney World. We both trained for it, but at the time I was just getting into working out, was ten pounds heavier than I am now (with less muscle and more fat), and hadn’t ever made it to running more than five miles at once before the race.
So on race day, I tried to keep my friend’s pace. That worked pretty well for the first four miles or so, but at about 4.5 it became a serious struggle. And when we hit a hill (on a bridge, ironically!) I just couldn’t do it anymore and I had to make her stop and walk. I felt terrible, especially when even after the walk break I knew that I was still slowing her down, but she was very patient and stayed with me regardless.
Hence my goal this year. And I am absolutely thrilled to say that I succeeded. This year she was the one who wanted to stop and walk (once on the uphill, once at the beginning of mile five). I won’t lie and say that those walk breaks didn’t help me out a bunch, but I will say that I was totally prepared to try to brute force my way up the rest of that hill (likely at the expense of the rest of the race, but hey, I’m not a quitter). It was a pretty good moment. 🙂
And then we went and got cupcakes after, so that was pretty great too.