Last Updated on December 10, 2019 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP, CSCS
Well there was no sun at this years Sun Fun Beach Run 5K , but there was plenty of fun!
The Sun Fun Beach Run, not to be confused with the “Fun Sun Run 5k“ (real creative with naming races around here, aren’t they?) I ran in April, was held ON the beach in North Myrtle Beach, SC. The tide was actually coming in at the time of the race, I believe, so needless to say there wasn’t a ton of that hard, packed down sand to run on. It was either the goopy wet sand you sink in, or the soft fluffy sand, that you also sink in. My legs were gonna love this one!Since I’ve been sick (what else is new) and am currently on a good dose of antibiotics (doxycycline, which I just found out today is also used for the prevention of malaria, sweet), I made a bargain with myself. I could run in today’s race if I didn’t go all out. Before I even left the house, I set Coach Garmin to yell at me in his beeping shrill if I went faster than an 8:00/mile at any given time. And I promised myself to stick with it.
Hope (sister in law) , Jan, (mother in law/our cheerleader) and I arrived, registered, and Hope and I took our place at the start line. It was gloomy, but not raining; in the low 70’s and a nice breeze off the ocean. *Perfect* running conditions in my opinion! I had zero expectations of myself for this race, other than to finish. It was somewhat of a relief to have that pressure off. Regardless, I still got a few butterflies in my stomach, yet Hope and I passed the time waiting by talking about school She’ll be joining me this fall in the Exercise and Sports Science program. Yeay! Anyway, the race timing guy said a few words that I couldn’t hear, and then the gun went off.
For the first time ever in my “local” racing career, I did NOT start at the front, and I did NOT take off like a jackrabbit with everyone else. I listened to Coach and went at my own pace. It felt like all 139 racers passed me in the first 30 seconds. But I was OK with that. I have no idea where this sudden inner peace and non competitiveness came from, but there it was. The first half mile I felt great. I ran along singing in my head, no lie, the theme song to Ni Hao, Kai-Lan. The moms and dads of little tots will know what I mean “Kai-Lan, Kai-Lan, Kai-Lan, NI HAO! Kai-Lan, Kai-Lan, Kai-Lan”. I stuck around an 8:40 mile. Somewhere past the half mile mark, I caught up with Hope, and we stayed side by side.
Mile 1: 8:47
“come on Rintu, let’s tiger tiger roar!” Gah gotta love it. Speaking of which am I the only mom who wakes up in the morning singing random kids show theme songs? Certainly not. I suppose that’s a topic for another blog. Since it was an out and back beach run, at a mile and a half we hit the turn around, right into the headwinds. Luckily they weren’t that bad, and we passed a bunch more people just going at our nice, steady pace.
Mile 2: 8:30
My hamstrings are burning from the sand. Note to self: you LIVE at the beach, how about running on it more often? This has got to be some sort of great resistance training !! Somewhere around mile 2.6 I started having a coughing attack. I thought we were over this, but apparently not. My lungs cooperated and I got over it quickly, but it threw me off. My breathing was off, my focus was off, even my attempt to get Ms. Kai-Lan back in my head didn’t work. And here came the evil voices. “Just walk for a minute, catch you breath, you’ll be fine, you aren’t competing”. NO NO NO !! Go away voices!! the next 2/10ths of a mile sucked, as I yelled at myself , in my head of course. Then, before I knew what happened, at mile 2.9, my legs just…stopped. Hope kept going and disappeared quickly. WHAT HAPPENED? No , no no no. I was doing so well in my zone. I can’t stop now, I can SEE the freaking finish line.
Just then what to my wondering eyes should appear, but runner Rick, the guy who talked me through my last race. He told me to get moving, and I couldn’t help but laugh. He must think I’m the biggest pansy with a giant fast stride ever to exist, who can run a sub 7:00 pace but can’t back it up with any endurance. I laughed at myself and started running. Here’s where my competitive side showed up and refused to be thwarted. Rick had in tow another young lady. Perhaps in my age group, perhaps not, but I was NOT going to let her beat me. We ran side by side until about 100 yards out. I knew it was soon to start my sprint, with her slightly behind me SHE had the advantage. But I went for it. (that’s her in the pink)
Finish/clock/chip time (all the same in these races!) 26:58. 8:41/mile avg. Certainly not a P.R, but for a “non race” race, on the soft sand, I’ll TAKE IT! And, it was good enough to earn me third place in my age group, Female 20-29.
Hope finished in 26:17. First place in her age group. Had I stuck by her side, I would have been second in my age group , as second place had a 26:19. But I’m not being competitive today right? Right. ha.
We stayed for the awards ceremony, collected our Sun Fun Beach Run 5K trophies, and did the happy dance because a) we love the hardware, and b) Hope ran faster than her guidance counselor (second from the left in her picture)