Cooper River Bridge Run - 10k Race - Charleston, SC . This is the second year I have done this event. Last year I had planned a weekend with my wife and do the race, but she could not make it at the last minute, and I just drove over the day before and drove back right afterwards - had a decent race but not stellar. This was a re-do - in which she got to make the trip this time, and I got to have really good effort and result. Very pleased with this race today.
For those unfamiliar with this event, it is a large 10k with an estimated 35,000 runners this year. It is a point to point race over an iconic bridge. The bridge is about 2.5 miles long and has a decent climb of maybe just less than a mile.
My recent heart procedure (arterial stent) in December has me feeling very good aerobically, but I really have had limited training until the last 2 weeks with doctor's restrictions of running no more than 3 miles per day for the first 30 days and then no more than 5 miles per day until mid to late March. My training has been mostly tempo or faster efforts on the roads. My longest long run was last weekend at 10 miles.
I went out somewhat conservatively wanting to not blow-up on the ascent up the bridge in the first part of the race and miles 1-3 were good at 6:38, 6:52, 6:52 for a 5k split of right at 21 mins or so. But I felt fantastic as I crested the middle of the bridge and maybe let some irrational exuberence allow me to crank the backside of the bridge a little too quickly at 6:08. We leveled off on mile 5 into town at 6:29 pace and that would have been a great place to finish for me because I was running on fumes for the last mile at 6:49. Managed to pip someone at the finish at 6:19 pace for the last 2 tenths of a mile.
My wife was at the finish and caught a good video of me on her phone as I ran by (maybe I did not catch that guy at the end??)
So - I had a negative split by about 30 seconds. I ran nearly 2.5 mins faster this year than last year (perhaps it helps to have full blood supply to one's heart being unblocked) and I finished in the top 300 of the event.
All in all, while I would have liked a better 6th mile and maybe liked to have been closer to going sub 40 minutes - I was really just so pumped on the top of that bridge, feeling so solid and so much depth to my fitness that I had not felt in quite some time, that I would have to say this was really a good day.