This weekend the Tampa Bay area had two big running events going on. The St. Pete Beach Classic - 5K, 10K & Half Marathon and the Clearwater Running festival - 5K, 5 Miler, 1/2 Marathon & Marathon.
I knew all of this going into the weekend, but since I need to start racking up my miles on my long runs because of Boston fast approaching, I decided that it would be best to just run long and sit out of these great races.
As I sat at home yesterday morning catching up on Facebook, I started having race envy. Everyone was talking about the race they did that morning and blah blah blah... all of this news started making my mind think crazy thoughts.... the Clearwater Running festival was the next day... I should just run it.
J and I had our leg workout to do on Saturday afternoon. I still hadn't decided if I was actually going to run the 1/2 or not. So I went through with the leg workout.
5 x 4 Med Ball Slams
5 x 5 30lb Jammers
5 x 5 65-70 lb Cleans
3 x 5/5/5 Pulls
5 x 5 45-50-50-55-55lb Goblet Squats
4 Farmers Walks
25 Box Jumps
When we got home I started looking at FB again, and finally made the decision that I was getting up and running the 1/2. I quickly started downing water and scarfing down rice to help carb my body up!
Alarm went off at 5am. Started getting ready. Had the usual - Coffee n Toast.
J decided he would go with and take the cheerleaders (Riley n Major).
I wasn't too concerned with getting to the race very early since J was going to be there. I figured worst case, he could drop me at the start and then go park. Luckily when we got there we found parking pretty fast. I was able to run to go register, then go back to the car to drop everything off and get to the starting line with time to spare. Running to and from registration was a great warm up!
My legs were feeling a little sore from the workout yesterday, but it wasn't scaring me. I just wanted to run the race!
The first mile is directly up a massive bridge.
On tired legs, that is a monster. Surprisingly I was feeling good, so it didn't bother me too much. I was just happy to be there! As we started approaching the beach I realized that I was probably going to be feeling strong the entire race, but I didn't want to get too out of control. I didn't want to go crazy and then be injured/burnt out/exhausted for days afterwards.
As Mile 3 came along, the Sand Key Bridge was the next monster on the course.
Now, I can't decided which bridge is worse. The first one is long and steep, and this one is a little bit shorter but steeper. Either way, it is taxing on the body!! You watch your pace slow a solid 30 seconds.
Once over that bridge I started picking it up a little more. I knew once we hit our U turn to head back towards the finish, we would be passing people that were still heading out. This usually makes it more fun, because you get to people watch. I love seeing all the runners. For some reason the people towards the end always make me happy, I love how all different kinds of people get involved in these events. I love seeing them, smiling and saying good job.
So on the way back, we had to go over the bridges again. This time they sucked a lot more. Once I hit mile 8 I was near this guy, I was hoping to pass him, but soon realized that I was going to be running with him till the finish. Everytime I went to pass him, he would come back up next to me and vice versa. Once I settled on the fact we were going to be buddies, I was able to relax and start thinking about the finish.
We hit Clearwater beach and I had 2 miles left... headwinds were bad, but I kept my mind on the finish and the fact that this race was going way better than I had expected.
Once mile 12 came, I looked over at the guy and I said "let's do this, only 1 more mile left!" He laughed and said, "yeah and one little hill!" haha. Little hill my @$%!! I really wanted to break 1:40 but that little hill slowed me down too much. I had too many thoughts of walking at points up that little hill.
Once I hit the top (without walking) I was ecstatic, I took off and gave it everything I had left.
I crossed the finish line with 1:40:59 on the Garmin. 7:42 avg pace.
Considering the fatigued legs I will take it!!
On the way home we stopped at Wawa for Breakfast and Ice.... With all the work on these legs I knew I needed ot do an Ice bath... it's all part of the recovery.
I guess I like to suffer sometimes :)
Some Race Pics: