FINALLY we did race #10. FINALLY we visited my family in SC. FINALLY we are back in the swing of things. And it feels good.
I had forgotten the feeling of community and accomplishment at a race. Even though I'm not super competitive, I do get an adrenaline rush which has gotten me through races many times. This was our longest race so far this year at 12k (7.5 miles) and it kicked our booties a little bit. Our summer has been a little crazy. We've both been working and traveling (Barry traveling much more than me) and our training some weeks has taken a hit. But by completing this race it showed us that not only is it worth it to make the time to train, but that we are much better for it. Since we've been back we've been back on the training and diet wagon and we seem to have gotten a much needed boost.
The weather the day of the race was beautiful. The race began at 7am so we of course had to be there at the ass crack of dawn. The Eagle Endurance 12k (also 5k and half marathon) was held at the Francis Marion National Forest in Awendaw, SC, just north of Mt. Pleasant, which is just north of Charleston. The weather there this time of year is great because you finally get a break from the crippling summer humidity but it's not exactly cold yet. Just a little chilly in the morning and nice and breezy by the afternoon. Our morning was chilly and it was dark when we got there, but the sun was just about up as the first mile was completed. There was also a little bit of fog. That coupled with the forest scenery, felt a little spooky but very beautiful, and very different from our usual city and treadmill runs. No traffic lights or panhandlers. No trains or tourists. Just miles and miles of flat dirt path surrounded by trees and plants and wildlife. (I didn't really see any wildlife except birds and two inexplicably flattened frogs.)
One other change was that was had a cheerleader in the form of my dad there. My mom was unable to come due to work but met us with pizza that night. Dad took lots of great pictures (more than we would have ever gotten) and seemed to be really excited to be there. And, as dads are, he was really impressed by my finish time of 1:30:07, even though it didn't seem that impressive to me. Especially after a half marathoner blazed by me during my last mile. But I was happy to have finished in the time I'd expected. Barry finished about 22 minutes ahead of me and we both got plaques for placing in our age groups! After the race we relaxed for a while and got lunch. Then passed out for a few hours. That night we all had pizza together. All in all, a great race day!
The rest of our time in Charleston was spent eating (how fortuitous for us that our vaca fell on Charleston restaurant week?), catching up with friends, a fun day of antiquing and shopping with my dad, a day trip to Myrtle Beach and general R&R. Barry was blessed with some much needed decompression and relaxation. We got to eat at our favorite mexican restaurant a few times and at my fave 82 Queen in downtown Charleston.
We are back in Baltimore now and getting back into regular life again. Our cats only ignored us for a day or so when we got back. They seem to be over it now. We are gearing up for fall (my favorite time of year) and our next race, the Apple Trample 5k in Martinsburg, WV. 'Til next time!
Race Information:Francis Marion Dirt Dash -- Awendaw, South Carolina
9/7/2013, 7:00 AM, Completed
Race Distance - 7.5 miles, Travel Distance - 535 miles
Dirt/grass, 70 degrees, sunny
Barry - 1:08:46 (9:10/mile), 15 of 44, 1 of 3 (males 25-29)
Kristen - 1:30:08 (12:00/mile), 33 of 44, 3 of 5 (females 25-29)
And now pictures, courtesy of Lee McKenzie!