Sunday, September 6, 2009

Official Race Results!

Sorry I haven't posted up all week.  I tapered all this week, with a 3 miler on Monday, a 3 miler on Tuesday, and a 5 mile hilly run on Wednesday.  I worried that I didn't get enough miles in and that I tapered too much, but I felt really strong on my hilly 5 miler.  I managed a 9:30 pace on that course, which involved lots of rolling hills.  So, on to the race!

I woke up about 4:50AM to eat a bagel with PB.  I thought I would stick with what has worked for me.  I drank a PureSport electrolyte drink at about 6:30, an hour before the race.  I had tried this drink before my hilly 5 miler this week and felt great, so I thought I would do it again.  My stomach felt a little full for the race, and this worried me, but ended up not really being a problem.  Of course, I had the "race runs" this morning.  I get them every time I race.  I still felt like I needed to use the bathroom one more time at the start line, but obviously couldn't.  By the time I got to the hills, the feeling was gone.

My goal was to keep a 10:00 min/mile pace and finish in 2:30.  The weather was perfect again, starting off in the high 50's.  It was actually kind of chilly.  I felt really good.  I had a fully charged Garmin and iPod and my heart rate monitor, so I was all set.  I immediately settled into a very comfortable stride and felt great cardiovascularly.  I looked down and was running a 9:30 pace, which felt very comfortable, so I decided I would go with that and see what happened.  At the 3.5 mile point, the hill started.  I knew this would be my test because when you're having a bad day, the hills will kick your ass and send you home crying, but when you're having a good day, they aren't a problem.  Luckily, I was having a great day!  I originally planned on running an 11:00-ish pace on the hills, but again I felt pretty good.  I think I ended up having a 10:30-ish pace up the big hill.  I was actually passing people on the hills because I had been training on them for months, which gave me a lot of confidence.  I flew down the hill, trying to make up some time.  On this portion, I started to get a side stitch under my left rib, but it went away after about two miles.  When I hit the halfway point, I looked at my watch and it was exactly 1:15, so I was perfectly on pace for my 2:30 goal if I could just keep a 10:00 pace or faster.

Once I was back on the flat, I was relieved.  I tried to keep a 9:30 pace, but I was getting tired from starting out a little too fast combined with the hills.  I started slipping into the 9:45-ish pace.  Surprisingly, my daddy came out to cheer me on.  He showed up at 3 different points on the course, which was nice.  My husband, Eric, and a couple of friends were at mile 13 to cheer me on as well.  I seriously needed it because at mile 12 I really started to fatigue.  The idea that I had to run 30 more minutes seemed impossible.  At this point, I was stopping at every water station to take a 10 second breather and drink some water.  I was really struggling to keep my pace under 10:00.  At mile 14 I was so tired!  Fourteen miles was the longest I had ever run before, so I was ready for it to be over.  At this point, I had slowed to a 10:15 pace.  I just didn't have the strength left to muster up anything faster.  My heart rate was off the charts.  It had been in the 170's for most of the race, except the hills, but the last four miles on the flat it was in the mid 180's, reaching 190 when I hit the track to finish.  I reached Hansford Street and saw the entrance to Laidley Field.  I was so happy, yet so tired.  Seeing the end gave me some strength, and as soon as I hit the track, I found the strength to run a 9:00 min/mile pace.  My husband, dad, and four other friends were standing on the fence cheering me on, so I couldn't disappoint.  I rounded the track and saw the time clock.  It was still on 2:27.  Holy crap, I was going to break my goal of 2:30!  I held my pace and kicked it in in 2:28:05 (a 9:53 pace).  It was finally over!!!!!

Official race results (till the complete results are posted)
I finished 334 out of 482.  For those wondering, my running friend Andrew, who I train with sometimes, finished in 1:46, placing 47th.  You can see my splits here.

My legs, my chest, my ribs all hurt.  My legs are still hurting as I type this, lol.  The race was difficult, but I did it.  There was no way in my life I would have ever thought I could run anything more than a mile, and here I finished a 15 mile race, beating my goal.  Sixteen weeks of hard training and I did it.  When I decided to take on this race, I had no idea what I was getting myself into or what I would learn along the way.  Yes, I ran 15 miles, but I learned that I can accomplish something if I put my mind to it and have a good plan.

Thank you to all of my runner friends out there in the blog world and on dailymile.  I know for a fact that I couldn't have done any of this without the support of all of you each and every day.  This has been the best thing I have ever done for myself in my life, and I hope to continue running and taking on new goals.

I have one question: now that I have tackled the Charleston Distance Run, what should I change the name of my blog to? 


  1. YOU ARE AWESOME!!! Great Run Tammy! I am so proud of you and to have come in under your projected time is wonderful but not surprising because you really put in a lot of hard work in your training. I think you should just take one word out of your Blog title and now call it "My Quest to Tackle the Distance Run." Congrats Tammy!

  2. congrats tammy! great run - you absolutely left it all on the course and worked those hills! i'm glad it went so well and you definitely tackled your time goal :) hope the soreness has started to fade away so you can ease back into running!

  3. That is great to finish and to meet your goal! Now, onto the next one!

  4. WOOO HOOOO! I am cheering for you at my computer! I am like a proud mama. I feel like I have watched you grow. It's so awesome right? I can't wait for your next race.

    Seriously, you worked hard and it paid off. GO YOU! Bask fully in your awesomeness.

    You should totally rename the blog : "My Quest to Tackle the [insert next race name here] Because I Totally Kicked the Charleston Distance Run's Ass!"

  5. I can only hope my half-marathon is half as successful as your 15 miler! Congrats on a race well run!

  6. KICK BUTT---you did! YAY! :) I love the blog title b.o.b gave you--YOU GO GIRL! YAY!!!!!!