Andy and I signed up for this race last year when registration opened. Its an inaugural race and I was lured easily with the possibility of signing up for the race at the whopping ticket price of $1. I am a big spender, I know.
The day registration opened I had a timer set on my computer to remind me. I can't remember what time it was exactly, but I know it was early afternoon on a weekday. Either way, the minute the clock ticked I refreshed the website and signed me up on one browser and then signed Andy up on another. The goal was to get him in for the 5k and me for the 10k. Well after putting in my info the site crashed. I didn't get a confirmation. I submitted a "contact us" request and shortly after Nick, the race director, contacted me. He explained how the site was overloaded and apologized. But also, told me that I successfully managed to register both of us.
I was ecstatic I paid the best damn price of $2 for two races. Kids you can't beat that with a stick! ;-)
Sadly neither Andy or I, properly trained for this race. With all my injuries, I have been running but not running as much as I should. And Andy fell off his bandwagon after the Turkey Trot.
I wasn't going to give up on going to the race. All of my friends would be in attendance and the race promised the best damn time.
On Friday, the night before the race, I mapped out some directions. I have never been to Safety Harbor. For once, I knew nothing about the course. And I didn't even lay out my clothes for race morning. I was nonchalant about the race. I figured I would do my best during the race but not push it, since I am under trained.
Race morning, Andy and I got up at about 5:15 a.m. for a 6:30 race time. My goal was to be out the door by 5:40. With it being so cold that morning we spent more time figuring out what to wear. Andy doesn't consider himself a runner so he doesn't shop for "running clothing" per say. Needless to say we took longer to leave. Then we also stopped at Starbucks. Oops.
We literally got to Safety Harbor 5 minutes after the 10K should have started. Thankfully, the race was running just a tad behind. Andy was able to drop me off by 6:35. He went off to find parking. I got there in enough time to hear the National Anthem. The woman singing has a great voice. The gun went off after that and we were off.
I started at a jog. Trying not to go out too fast. But you know that's easier said then done. I went out at a 10:30 pace. In my defense, we were going slightly downhill. My goal was to average an 11:30 pace. To ensure my calves didn't get too tight (something that has been happening often since my shin splints) I chose to run a mile then walk 0.1. This worked out perfectly for the first half.
Let me just say that the location of the race was absolutely stunning. Watching the sunrise on the other side of the bay (usually I see the Tampa side) had me in awe.
As we went south on Bayshore and passed the halfway mark things started to get a bit hilly. I slowed down some by walking the uphills. With two miles left, I decided to be done with the race. I ignored any leg tightness and bolted. Those last two miles were the fastest miles of the whole race.
I breezed in through the finish to claim my best damn medal from the magnificent Beth. :) I didn't exactly know what my time was and I was too distracted by all the wonderful friends volunteering at the finish line. Once I caught my breath and looked at my watch, I was pleasantly surprised that I PR'd by 15 minutes.
That's a best damn time for me!
|Not too shabby!|
After my finish, I met up with Andy and some bloggy friends. Looks like everyone was having a great day. I had to run to the car and get my sweater. I was freezing. We had to wait a good while before Andy's 5K started since the half marathoners were out on the course. We walked around, mingled, went to the bathroom. We walked around and checked out the race festivities. I have to give it to Nick, the race turned out great! The post race goodies are the best I have ever seen. There was water, soda, pizza, fruits and Jimmy John's sandwiches, which were a complete hit.
Finally it was Andy's turn. He lined up and was off. While he was running I went back to mingling. I ran into Beks and Meghann. Beks successfully ran a sub-2 hour half. I am so happy for her!!
Andy, who as I mentioned hasn't been training, estimated he would be coming in at 40 + minutes. I stuck around the finish either way. And was shocked when I saw him flying in way early. He too PR'd. We discussed his plan before the race and I told him to run 3 minutes and walk 3. His goal was to finish. He was able to stick to the 3/3 for more than half and when he got tired he dropped to 2/3. Even with all the walking he came in 7 minutes faster then his fastest 5k time. He finished in 35 minutes!
It's funny to think my issues on race day involved my legs but I had no cardio issues. Andy was the exact opposite. Opposites attract! LOL
|Best Damn Day!!|