Good job on your first race. It can take a while to figure out how to race rather than train. You will get it though.
My thought on the treadmill is simple. You live in the south and really don't ever need to run on that thing. It's very rare when the weather is so bad I can't get outside. Running in the hills and elements will do you good. Call it karma from the running gods.
PS – I hate treadmills so I am a bit biased. But seriously the weather down here is great most times so why be indoors?