The primary reason I went to Charleston a few weekends ago was to run with Sarah in the Cooper River Bridge Run, a 10k race that starts in Mt. Pleasant, crosses (you guessed it) a huge bridge, and finishes in downtown Charleston.
I signed up for the race about a month beforehand, at the end of February, so I knew from the get-go that I wasn't going to run the entire race. I know what you're thinking- mind over body, it's all mental, you can run it if you think you can run it. But I don't run races to beat my last time or anything like that. I run races to have fun and to give myself a reason to keep running each week. In order to run the entire Bridge Run, I'd have had to double the distance I'd been regularly running, and like I said before, I signed up for the race a month in advance. Doubling my distance in a month is not my idea of a good time and wouldn't have kept me motivated, so I didn't worry about it.
But anyways, on to the actual race. There were six of us running together(ish): Sarah, her three roommates, her roommates' friend and myself. Friday night we carbed up with a spaghetti dinner and then went to bed pretty early because (and this is the best part of the trip...sike) we woke up at 4:30 on Saturday morning. Left the house by 5 and were downtown near the starting line by 5:30. The race didn't start until 8:00 but they were closing off streets at 6:00, hence the incredibly early wake up call.
Fast forward three hours, numerous trips to port-a-potties and lots of cell phone pictures later, and we were approaching the starting line. Not the finish line, the starting line. 44,000 people running one race means we got grouped into corrals and walked one corral at a time to the starting line. At 9:30, we finally started our race.
Sarah's roommate Lesley and I ran together. We took it easy, taking pictures and talking about the crazy costumes people were wearing. I wish I'd gotten more pictures, but it was a little tough trying to run and take pictures. :) I did snap a picture of the runaway bride and best man, and of the firefighters running in full gear and with air tanks.
It was quite a hike up the bridge but the view was so worth it. And the breeze coming off the water was well worth it too.
Once we reached the top of the bridge, the rest of the race was easy. A mile downhill is much easier than a mile uphill, and then the adrenaline kicked in and carried me the rest of the way. I've gotta say, there is no better motivation to run fast than thousands of people watching on the side of the streets. :)
The race ended in a park located in downtown Charleston. After ten minutes or so of grabbing food and water and searching for the rest of our group, we finally found everyone and took some post-race, sweaty, you-don't-wanna-get-too-close-to-me pictures. Friends of ours from our hometown also ran the race, so we got to meet up with them as well.
Later that night, after a luxurious two-hour nap and a shower, we met up with our Virginia friends for dinner. I had to get shrimp and grits, being that we were definitely in the South. (This was my second time eating shrimp and grits-- the first time was also in Charleston, when we moved Sarah in for her freshman year.) Check out Lindsay's meal in the bottom left corner-- not "surf and turf", more of a "surf vs. turf". (I must give credit where it's due-- I didn't coin that phrase; Jez is the funny one.) The food was delicious, the company was wonderful, and all around it was a great day.
On Sunday after church, we finally, finally made it to the beach. I'd been waiting all weekend to get to the beach and after a long day on Saturday, I was craving time to just lay on the beach, relax, and read. We finished off Sunday with dinner and lots of conversation at a seafood restaurant, and I was able to drive home Monday morning very happy.
I'm thankful for Sarah's willingness to host me for a long weekend and play tour guide at the same time. Love you, Foo! Can't wait to be back in Charleston for graduation!