OrthoCarolina 10k Classic Race Recap

Good Monday morning friends! The bf and I got back late last night from Greenville, SC, where we were visiting some friends. We took a few unexpected pit stops so it was a bit of a longer drive than the way there, but it was fun! I’ll do a separate recap of the weekend tomorrow. But today is the OrthoCarolina 10k Classic Race Recap ๐Ÿ™‚

I posted a quick update after the race on Saturday but here’s the full recap. Per the usual, you can find recaps from the races I run on the right hand side of the page. Just click on the race name and it’ll take you to the racap.

This 10k was kind of a random pick. Neither Julia nor I had any real ties to Charlotte–and this was actually my first time in Charlotte other than the airport! When we met in May at the Strawberry Festival Mile, we knew we wanted to do a race together.

Here we are (and our friend Amber!) at the start of the Strawberry Mile

I tried to talk her into doing a half marathon or a longer race but like a mature, experienced runner she had a set training plan/distance in mind that she didn’t want to mess with (and I don’t blame her!) ๐Ÿ˜‰ So once we knew a weekend that we were both free, I searched the web for a race that was close to Greenville, where Julia lives with her bf. It would be a perfect weekend: we could drive down, race, then go check out Gville and party! This race in Charlotte came up as the closest to Gville this past weekend so it was a go!

I don’t usually like 5 or 10ks anymore, mostly because running them well require a different type of training. I’ve been running the longer distances for so long now that my fast-twitch muscles just aren’t as conditioned as they used to be when I ran 5 and 10ks much more often. I can go looooooong but at a relatively slow pace. My tempo training runs are currently about a 8:30 pace, which would be an ideal marathon pace for me, so anything faster than that right now would be uncomfortable for me. So while this race was fun–it was fun–it also reminded me of why I just don’t get the same satisfaction out of shorter races anymore. I wish I could find more 15ks, 10 milers, or half marathons but they are offered less often than the shorter races. That is especially the case for 10 milers, probably my favorite mid-distance race. There’s not enough 10 milers out there! <– who’s with me on this one???!

I’ve said on here before that my “sweet spot” of running (when I feel the best and can run the fastest) is between mile 5 and 12, right after my first GU. That’s after I’m adequately warmed up and feel like I can really push my body more. True, I could do a 3-4 mile warmup before a 10k race and then start but I just never plan that well ahead of time (plus it’s super early in the morning). True to form, I finished this race with too much in my “tank” and felt ready and raring to go on another 6.2 mile loop ๐Ÿ™‚ I think a major reason why I had too much energy left at the end was that I was extremely conservative during the first few miles. I didn’t know how I’d feel and didn’t want to have a strange fainting episode in front of hundreds of people. No thank you. Luckily it was nice and cool–about 62 degrees–and most of the course was in the shade (HUGE bonus….completely different than the Summer Extravaganza 10k). So with that said, I’m really happy with my conservative pace on the super hilly course and was glad I didn’t push myself over the edge since I’ve got a 17 miler on the books for tomorrow. All in all it was a fun training run and I was happy to do it with a friend!

Ok, my legs are waaaaaay too tan for the rest of my body. Need to start using sunscreen on them for my runs haha

As usual the bf provided “course support”…ok, well this time his support consisted of drinking the free beer at the finish line while waiting for us to finish ๐Ÿ™‚ ย ย ย I should’ve known that this would be a fun race because look what they had at the starting line. My favorite, Mike and Ike!!!!!! My only regret is that I only snagged one

ย Very informal starting line

ย Bringing it in to the finish line…with a smile!ย 

And check out this high-five. There’s something about high-fiving mascots that just makes me giggle

Got my hand up and ready…

Got him! Actually here it looks like I am gonna stiff arm someone through the finish line haha

Overall, I felt good throughout the race except for the hills on the final mile. I probably wasted a good minute and a half on those hills. But I was ecstatic that I didn’t feel faint or nauseous. WIN! And I got a nice training run in which sets me up nicely for my 17 miler this week and the 20 miler race I’ve got in just a few short weeks.

The race was well organized, except for the lack of signs at the start (we didn’t know where the heck the starting line was!). It was super close to downtown Charlotte and parking was convenient and free. We got a free water bottle at the finish, in addition to the shirt, which is always a plus. But, it wouldn’t be a true recap if I didn’t mention the cons. There are only a few; here they are:

  • According to the race organizers, this race “course offers a beautiful yet challenging route, passing the major medical facilities in Charlotte, along with a great view of the Charlotte skyline.” So yeah, the course was hilly. This isn’t necessarily a con for everyone, but doesn’t bode well for me and my knee. You know, the knee with no cartilage? The uphills are fine, it’s the downhills that are tough on my body. There was no real flat stretch in this entire race and the hills were all loooong (as opposed to short and steep). I wouldn’t say that it was the hilliest race I’ve ever run, not by long shot. Hell, the Summer Extravaganza in Waynesboro and the Colonial Half Marathon, where I set my half PR of 1:40, was hillier. But it was up there (no pun intended!). On a scale of 10, with 10 being very challenging, it was probably a 6 or 7. It could have been more difficult, but like I said the whole course was basically in the shade which was glorious.
  • ย My biggest pet peeve. Getting to the finish line and having all of the food/amenities gone. Picked through by the 5k runners, who started earlier. Because it’s not like I was the last one who finished or anything. I was the 8th in my division. So I should’ve had my pick of what to drink and eat. This race wasn’t as bad as the Summer Extravaganza, which had run out of WATER when I crossed the finish line, but it was a poor showing. This is what was “offered” at the finish line

Mostly empty boxes of browned bananas and a very sad plate of bagels.

Despite some of these cons, the race was really fun and now I can say I’ve actually been to Charlotte ๐Ÿ˜‰ After the race, we went back to the hotel to shower and pack up to drive to Greenville. The boys were so worn out from a morning full of standing around and drinking beer. So this is what they did while we got ready. It’s a tough life

Eventually we got them up so we could grab a quick bite at the Panera across the street. Of course I needed a picture in front of the fountain outside.

Yay for new running friends!

What is your biggest pet peeve at a race?ย 

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21 Responses to OrthoCarolina 10k Classic Race Recap

  1. I have to agree, I freaking love the 10 mile distance. I wish there were more around. Nice job girl, way to kick it! Even with all the crazy health stuff.

  2. Congrats! Sounds like you had a great time!

  3. julie says:

    I loved having such an experience runner guide me through the race. I’m all excited to start training for some longer races after September so we can do another one!

    I have to say my biggest pet peeve about the race was also the lack of signs for the start of the race. That was the same issue at the race I ran at the beginning of the month and I was annoyed that I spent time wandering around and asking other runners where to go instead of getting my mind focused on the race ahead.

  4. Great race! Looks like you had a strong finish.
    Biggest pet peeve at a race? the middle aged women at the starting line who won’t stop talking about their PR’s. haha, I don’t know why that bugs me, but it does.

  5. Sounds like a great race and that’s awesome you got to do it with your friend. You and your BF are too cute btw…it’s nice when you have that extra support there. ๐Ÿ™‚ I agree that there should be more 10 milers! There are soooooo many 5K’s around here and I want distance! LOL. Have a nice and relaxing evening! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. katiemoves says:

    So glad you got to run with a friend! ๐Ÿ™‚ you and ur man are too cute!! I did a duathlon in April that had a super poor amount of food at it. By the time I was done there was like a tub of butter, no bagels and gross bananas. I need my after race bagel!!

  7. Kailey says:

    I always think it is so hard to find the right balance when starting a race because you don’t want to go too fast but then again you don’t want to go out slow haha

  8. Congratulations on a great run girl. Can I just tell you that you & the boy are absolutely adorable, and i love your outfit you were to Panera. So cute ๐Ÿ™‚

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