Running the Ravenel {Countdown to Cooper River}

Running the Ravenel

{Countdown to Cooper River}

The Bridge

It’s beautiful, isn’t it?  The Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge stretches over Cooper River with a main span of 1,546 feet.  Of it’s kind, it’s the third longest in the Western Hemisphere.  It’s 8 lanes move people across the river day in and day out.  It boasts a 1 mile long 4% uphill climb.  And if you’re running the Cooper River Bridge Run, that comes after you’ve already pounded out your first 3 miles.  In 9 weeks and 4 days, I’ll be there.  I’ll probably be huffing and puffing and panting my way along (very possibly also one of those people the real runners complain about slowing them down), but man that last down hill stretch is going to be nice.

Charlotte 10 Miler Group10 Miles… a 10K is Cake!

I’ve ran 5Ks, an 8K and even a 10-Miler, yet the Cooper River Bridge Run will be my first official 10K.  I’m not worried about the distance, but that 4% grade may kill me.  I’ve really been wanting to get out and do some training runs – I have been a real slacker lately – but between my day job, the commute for said job, my kids and the fact that it’s dark by 6 pm… well, running hasn’t really been happening much.  Did I mention that it’s 18 degrees (wind chill of 9 degrees) here right now?  Yeah, so…  I learned really quick that my asthmatic lungs do not like the below freezing, moist air.  And really, I would pull out just about any excuse at this point to not go run in the cold, so let’s just go with that.

Piggy BackingPiggy Backing

If it were warm out, I could throw 50 pounds of 7 year old on my back and go find a hill to run over and over.  That would be a great way to prepare myself for that incline.  I know, I’ve done it.  Last year, the girl decided she wanted to attempt a 5K with me.  Clearly, as you can see in the picture above, that went well.  About a mile in, she was “oh my hip, oh my back!”  What’s a mom to do?  I popped her on my back and alternated running and walking the rest of the 5K.  Really, it was an evening run and was going to get dark on us and I really didn’t want that to happen.  Piggy backing seemed like the best option at the time.  Seriously though, it would be great for a little hill work.

Color RunSpeaking of Down Hill

I haven’t really put much effort in to running since I dropped a good bit of the 50 lbs I lost last year.  A lot of it was because of the diet restrictions I was under – I just wasn’t taking in enough to be burning that many calories and it be safe/healthy.  Near the end of my weight loss, some if it was weather and some was laziness.  I’m over the laziness part of it now.  I headed back to my first Zumba class in 8 months last night.  I am terribly sore today.  Also, my stamina sucked a big one.  If I’m not out running over the next few weeks, I’m definitely going to be hitting up Zumba as much as I can to work on getting my heart and lungs back up to par.  I am curious to see what running is like 50 lbs lighter.  I wonder if I’ll be faster or if I’ll still progress at the speed of a stampeding turtle?

Stampeding Turtle or not, I will finish running – even if I end up walking some of that incline.  I guess I better get started.

Are any of you runners?  Maybe some of you are headed to Cooper River too?  Do you have a specific training method when it comes to hills/hilly courses or do you train flat and hope for the best?

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7 Responses to Running the Ravenel {Countdown to Cooper River}

  1. Jessie L. says:

    I’m running it this year. First time away from my babies. Ever.

  2. Carly says:

    This race looks amazing, I just started running again 6 weeks after our little one was born….man did I miss it!

  3. That’s BRILLIANT for the hill training! I’m hoping to run a half marathon that’s practically in my neighborhood in April. I started training just last week and this week the snow plus a horrible cold. But there is a HUGE hill at mile 10. I’m thinking come March I should just hop my 2 year old over there and run up it with her on my back. She’ll love it!!

  4. Amy Lauren says:

    I run this bridge quite often (I am an “age grouper” runner here in Charleston and train on the bridge bc it helps with flat races too), but I won’t be participating in the event. I understand a lot of people do it as a bucket list type thing or just for the experience, though. 10K is the hardest distance out there to race, and there aren’t many of them, so it doesn’t surprise me that you did a 10 miler before a 10K. I’m doing a few this Spring, just not this one.

    My friend Noah Moore has a blog post full of tips for the bridge run, here is the link: http://www.mooreonrunning.com/p/bridge-run-tips.html. Some are really good tips! You will FLY on that downhill too… uphill is hard, but downhill is where people tend to get injured when running because of increased foot turnover.

    Good luck!

  5. Kristin C. says:

    Have fun! I would love to do this race!

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