Sunday, 24 April 2016

Heart and Sole 5 miler, Columbia SC 2016

The Heart and Sole race (3 mile walk and 5 mile run) is a women's only race to raise awareness about heart disease in women. The need for awareness is because symptoms of heart disease and or heart attacks are a lot less obvious in women than men for some reason. A lot of women have heart attacks and might not even realize that it's happening. Since most of my grandparents died at relatively young ages, 1 from cancer and 3 from heart attacks, this is an area of health very important to me and a good race to remind me to keep a check on my heart health.
The start area was at a local park and I walked up there from the ample parking at the riverfront. About a half an hour from the race start they had a recent heart attack survivor come up on stage and describe her experience and how it's changed her life. Scary stuff! Once all the serious talk was done, everyone jammed out to some Prince music. 
Around 8.30 we started to run. The morning of the race was hotter than last weekend (mid-60s at the start) and humid. I thought it was going to be awful but I wanted to run around goal half marathon pace to get some slightly faster miles run.
 The start was fast and as usual I started out too quick and eventually found myself with the 8 min/mile pacer. I did think about trying to stick with her but my gps was saying she was running faster than she was supposed to. That was taxing my system a little too much so I let her go. I was running faster than goal pace regardless but went with it. I ended up running a 7.45 min/mile for the first mile and the second one...but the 8 min pacer was still ahead of me....what's up with that. Those two miles felt hard but actually pretty ok, so it's looking good for my 5k in May if the weather isn't too hot. 
For mile 3 the wheels came off a little, ok maybe a lot, with avery looong climb up Gervais Street, probably around half a mile of climb. Did I mention there were aid stations every mile and I walked through almost all of them. Well in this mile I also walked a couple of other times to get my breathing under control. Mile 4, I was slowly getting my shiz back together when I seriously thought I'd need a bathroom stop, then a fly decided to commit suicide by flying directly into my eye. I stopped to get the thing out but I was now worried more about bug parts in my eye, than poop in my pants...thanks bug, 8.41 mile. Mile 5, there were no more big hills or kamakazi bugs so I managed to pull my fastest mile of the race out of the bag with a 7.41. Finish time 41.21. The downhill finish helped with the last mile.

 So what I've learned is that I usually run my best when I don't expect to. I ran a big PR (7 mins if looking at a 8k time, 9 if comparing with another 5 miler). I don't place too much stock in that, as nice as it is, because both of my old times are very old but it is a nice reminder of how much I've improved since I started running. What is nicer is that if this had been a 10k and I could have keep a good pace for the last mile, even anything below a 10 min/mile, I would have taken more than a minute of my 10k PR, sweet. The first time in a while I've had some encouragement to keep training in the form of race results.

At the finish I got a medal, a long stem rose and a nice bottle of water.  In the park they had lots of food, the usual race stuff but also some tasty chocolate covered strawberries. Then a ton of vendors, a lot health related. I got my blood pressure checked (cause why not) and because I finished nice and early I got to get a free massage without having to wait!! I was sweating up a storm...I left an imprint of my race number on the table in sorry you had to touch me massage lady but thank you.
I didn't win an age group prize but stuck around until 10am because the bottom part of my bib was an entry for door prizes.
The age group prizes where a nifty towel thing that can cover you for changing or be a car seat cover etc. depending on how you zip or Velcro it...very useful prizes. What was really great was the age range of runners the oldest runner got 3rd in her age group and got an extra prize for being the oldest finisher at 78 yrs old...I want this to be me. Now the door prizes they were something else...massages, free entries to local races, garmins, dicks sporting goods vouchers, fleet feet training programs etc...alas I didn't win any but I was happy with my PR. Obviously this race has not only good organizers but some generous sponsors. I'll definitely run this next year if I can, it was really fun.

Then once I got home, since Sundays are now all about getting ready for the work week, we took off to the beach for the day to make the most of our Saturday. Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!


  1. Congrats on your PR! Stupid bug slowing you down! I am happy you got him out... and didn't go in your pants. Ha ha!

    Those are some SCHWEET prizes!

    Is 8:00mm your goal HM pace? That is odd that a race of this distance had pacers. Not odd that they were so far off. They seem to go out too fast often!

    1. No 8 min might be a jump too far. I'd like to aim for 8.30 to start with but obv that won't be happening for a while now that summer has arrived!
      I just thought I'd aim for 8.30 for this race (you know put in somewhat of an effort) but ended up feeling really good and running way faster.
      Yeah I thought the pacers were a bit odd at a short distance too but I"m not going to complain.

    2. 8:30 sounds like a good pace! Come run it with me and do your IL (or WI, or IA) race this fall :)

      Yeah, that totally makes sense for a 5M! You should go for it when you feel good!