Jul 7, 2017

July 4th 5k 2017 Recap

I signed up for a July 4th race again this year. Luckily, they only had the 5k option this year. Last year it was entirely too hot for a 10k. This, of course, didn't mean that  it wouldn't be insanely hell hot this year.


And hot was an understatement. I did 10 miles on Monday, the day before the race, cause I couldn't get in a Sunday run. And that run was hard, even though I started in the dark.

I woke up early on America's birthday, threw on my red, white, and blue, and headed to Indian Hammocks Park (which is luckily about 2 miles from my house).


It was already hot and humid, and after the feels like temps in the 100s over the weekend, I was happy that it was only 3.1 miles.

I got to the park, and picked up my bib there. I just lost track of time the day before and didn't make it to packet pickup. I grabbed my bib and shirt. The shirts for this race were Brooks shirts. That was a nice surprise.


At 7:04 exactly (a rarity that a Miami race starts on time), we were off. This course takes us through the park out to 117 Avenue, back up a side road to 107 Avenue, then back through the park to the opposite side from the start to the finish line. There was a bit of thunder before we began, but no rain while I was running. Thankfully, there was some cloud covery, so the sun wasn't blaring on me. But, the humidity was nasty. That thick air kinda slowed me down, but I tried not to let it get to me.

I did pretty well with my new 1 mintue/30 second intervals. I only skipped half of one interval, cause hell, I needed it. Then I was at the finish back inside the park and ready for some water, and watermelon.

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That's the one very summery thing about this race, the watermelon at the finish. I hung out for a bit to see my results, and I was only a tad bit slower than my PR. Not too bad considering the heat.


The medals were two sided and super cute. I signed up for this race as part of a series. The next one is on Labor Day weekend, and then I have the last 5k for Veteran's Day. I think the medals all come together somehow.

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A rarity for a summer race here in South Florida, cause obviously, it's crazy hot. But this is a great little race. And I can't pass it up when it's so close to my house too.

May 15, 2017

ALS Lou Gehrig's 10k Race Recap

So, I have apparently now become added to the mailing lists of evert single race out there. Which means, sometimes I'll just click on it to see how much it is. And when I saw that this race was only $30, I decided to sign up and go for it. I knew it would be hot, but at least I'd be getting out there for a run.

Of course, Jenn would have a 10k that same morning on the other side of the country. So we coordinated outfits to be matchy 3000 miles away.


The next morning I headed out to Coconut Grove for the race. I've done another 10k in the Grove, and it's a nice course. I was hoping it'd be the same one.


I parked a little farther out than I would have liked, which meant that I'd have to run with my commemorative shirt in my pocket. Not ideal, but I wouldn't have time to get to the car and then back again for the start.


At last the anthem played and we were off. As usual in a small race, I'm at the total way, way back of the pack as the race started and I get in my 5 mintue warmup. But soon enough I start to pass people. I had a goof pace going as we passed through the main part of the Grove.


It was getting warm for this race. Like hot warm, this is Miami after all. It's a swamp in the Caribbean. But the one thing that is good about this course is the tree cover on the middle stretch of the course. Down Main Highway and through some of the neighborhoods, the trees give much needed shade.


I kept up a good pace, and wanted to keep going, but not gonna lie, that last part of the course, as we head back to the marina. The trees are gone, and that sun gets HOT. But I know it's so close to the end. And finally that last stretch and I booked it towards that finish line. I gave it all I had and emptied my tank to get there.


I really gave it all and with the heat, I felt a little lightheaded. I went and stood in the shadow of the paramedic truck. I needed the shade, and might as well be close, just in case. But I drank some water and felt better. So, I walked over and got some munchies and water. What a difference that made.

I hung around the results for a bit to see how I did, and wouldn't you know it? A 10k PR!

I couldn't have been more shocked or grateful for that PR. Especially after feeling it at the end. I was glad to get a reward for that hard work.


At long last, I made it back to my car and cranked the AC. Nothing like blasting that cold AC. What a relief!

Star Wars Dark Side 5k

I haven't done a 5k in a while, and I haven't done a runDisney 5k in what seems like forever. But Kris's dad wanted to take a shot at a Walt Disney World 5k, and asked us to join him, so we did.

He decided on the Star Wars Dark Side 5k. This is one of the best race weekends that runDisney offers. It always has a great vibe. Since the race was on Friday, I decided to make a long weekend out of it, and took the bus up on Thursday to go to the expo and get our bibs. 


Thursday we hit up the expo and got our bibs and some merch. I got us a room in Disney Springs, so we could sleep in as much as we could before the race. Thankfully it started at 6am, and not 5:30. But Kris's dad wanted to make sure we got there with plenty of time, so he came to pick us up at about 4:15 and with our Leia buns ready, we headed over to Epcot.


We got to the start area and headed to the corrals. And hung out until it was time to start.


And I'm totally digging the new corral waves send off. It keeps the people really moving to the start. There is way less waiting for your corral to start, plus lessens up the crowding. This is a total win runDisney. Definitely keep this.


Kris and I set up an easy goal for this race. We'd run (no intervals) from character stop to character stop to get all of the pics. We set off with a little walk to start and then it was a run to the first line. I stayed at the end of the line, as Kris went ahead to see who was there. It was the ewoks, and we decided to skip that long line for them.

The next stop was around the back employee entrance to Epcot. It was the imperial throne. As we waited for this stop, we were able to see Kris's Dad walk by. We finally got on the throne and took our pic.


Then we ran into the World Showcase. I've run a bunch of races through Epcot, but never did we come in next to Mexico (all the way at one end). It was pretty cool to be able to run so much of the "world." We even caught up to Dad around Africa, and were able to snap a selfie.


We heard rumblings through the crowd that R2D2 was in America. We knew that was our next stop. The line was LOOONG. But this was the point of the race for us, so we waited. And got some pretty cute pics with R2.


R2's line took forever, but then we went out through the rest of the World Showcase. There were tons of photographers, but I seemed to miss them all, or I thought I did, as I passed them. But Kris told me about one coming up, so I threw up my hands and hoped for the best. Best race pic ever!

We headed out the international gateway and looped around and saw Chewbacca. Since Chewy is usually available for pics in Hollywood Studios, we skipped him. Then, we ran back into the park and into Future World. After we rounded The Living Seas, Kris and I took our only walk break, and of course there were photographers there!


Pretty fast after that we were heading to Spaceship Earth and back out to the parking lot and the finish line. It's odd to me that the 5ks aren't timed. There wasn't even a timing mat to see when I really finished, but hey, I did it.


I got my water, and the all important bling. The medals for the 5ks are actually metal now, and the design was so cool.


We headed out of the finishing area got the famous runDisney food boxes. Now, I'm gonna get real here, this processed cheese and salty chips are life after a race. I'm so spoiled by this. I need something salty when I'm done with a race now! LOL


Since there are characters available after the race, we got in line for Darth Vader, cause it is the Dark Side after all. He was HUGE.


Star Wars Dark Side is such a fun race weekend. This 5k was great the course was through a LOT of Epcot. I don't even thing in a 10k I had that much park time. Even though I only did the 5k this weekend it was still so much fun. Everyone is in such a great mood and looking to have fun. Having done lots of runDisney races Star Wars Dark Side is def my current favorite.


And seriously, the Dark Side has cookies!

Which is your fave runDisney race?

Mar 28, 2017

Race for Women's Wellness Half Marathon Recap

I have been looking for half marathons since I signed up for the Walt Disney World Full Marathon. I'm gonna need a half for proof of time for that race. Now, races between now and POT deadline, are few and far between, cause Florida and summer. But I stumbled across this race in Coral Springs. I had nothing going on that weekend, but I didn't sign up until after I did an 8 miler a couple of weeks ago. Once I did that run, and felt OK, I signed up.


This race is in Coral Springs, which is about 45 minutes to an hour away. Not too bad of a drive. And the race began at 6am. This made for an almost-Disney style wakeup, but it meant running before the sun was up, so I'll take it. I left my house at about 4:20am and turned on my Waze to get me to the Coral Springs Sports Complex.


I got there in about 45 minutes. Since packet pickup was also in Coral Springs, I just grabbed my bib on race day morning. I went to the registration table and got my bib, shirt, bag, and water bottle. Then I headed back to the car to drop this all off and chill a bit before hitting up the port-o-potties and heading to the start.


When I walking towards the port-o-potties, I noticed some blue ones and pink ones, and went to get in line for the blue ones. Turned out the blue ones were for the men, and the pink for the women.... and the women's line was shorter! There were tons more available for the ladies. Plus they were huge and even flushed. There were even some nice ladies making sure the port-o-potties stayed clean too. Um, more races need to get on this. It made the early morning port-o-potty stop a little better.


Soon enough they said the half people should start lining up. I went into the chute and hung out next to the 2:40 pacer. They played the National Anthem, and at about 6:02, we were off. It was dark out there and coolish with a little breeze. I was wearing my arm sleeves, so I didn't have to wear a jacket. This way I would be able to slip them off, since I knew I'd be warm a few miles in.


I started off with my 5 minute warmup, and that made me the 3rd from last person. I was kinda freaking out. Would I be able to pass people, or was I the slowest one here? I made it out the front of the Sportsplex and as soon as I turned right, I was at mile 1. It seemed like that first mile was super fast. And then mile 2 came before I knew it.


And this is when the rain started. The rain wasn't terrible, but it was there. I was getting wet, and just hoping it wouldn't be like this for the whole race. Luckily, it was just a South Florida storm, and was gone in a few minutes. It did come back every now and then throughout the rest of the race though.

I was getting a little warm, so a little before mile 3 I took off my arm sleeves. Thankfully the pockets in my sparkle skirt were plenty big enough to hold them. I was consciously taking it easy. I know I could have gone faster at this point, but I wanted to save some juice for the end.

The course was weaving through the neighborhoods of Coral Springs. Nothing too interesting. And since the start was at 6am, those first few miles were dark. I remember turning a corner into one neighborhood and the red and blue lights from the cop car on the corner was the only light there was. I kept going, I was feeling pretty good, and listening to the new Mindy Kaling book to keep me entertained and laughing.


The sun started to come up, which made everything a little more visible. At mile 8, we ran through a high school parking lot. The volunteers had tons of energy and were so fun. When I headed out, I hit mile 9 a little after. I took my chews now, and somehow managed to bite the inside of my cheek while chewing them. Damn, that hurt. Guess I was concentrating on the running...

At about mile 9.5, I saw that 2:40 pacer in the distance. I hadn't seen her since the start line, so it was a welcome surprise to see that little sign. I figured I didn't need to pass her, but as long as she was a little in front of me I had a chance for a PR. I kept chugging along with the pacer as my bullseye. I soon passed mile 10, and a little after, I passed the pacer! She passed me during a walk interval, but a few intervals passed, she was behind me for good.

Once I passed her, I wanted to make sure she stayed behind me, so I picked up the pace. I started going a little faster, and even ran through a water stop while still drinking my water. Somehow the miles that seemed to come so fast in the beginning seemed to take so long now. I know it's cause I wanted that finish line so bad. Mile 12 was eternal, but soon enough we were turning into the Sportsplex.

The 5k runners started mixing in at this point too. It was getting a little crowded, I just wanted to not run into a stroller, or have a 5k walker slow me down. I was able to weave around a few of them and saw the finish. I gave it all I have left and sprinted to the finish. With the pacer no where in sight, I knew I had my PR!


Cold towels and cold water and my medal were waiting for me at the finish. I also grabbed some food, cause I was hungry! I waited to get a post race pic, hit the bathroom, and then headed to the car. This is when I checked the results, and saw my final time 2:35:01! I killed my last PR. So freaking crazy! About 8 minutes better than last month.


I took a look at my splits too. They were pretty impressive, if I do say so myself. Easy and steady at the start, then I picked up the speed at the end.


This was a great race to PR in. It was small, only about 400 people in the half, very flat, and though it was a little boring, since it was through the neighborhoods, it was kinda like my weekend long run, which made it comfortable for me. And I liked the early dark start. It sucked getting up so early, but it definitely made the run in March in Florida way easier than 13 miles in full sun.


Mar 10, 2017

Best Damn Race Orlando 10k Recap

There is a race series in Central Florida called Best Damn Race. They started a couple of years ago, and they have a rolling registration. The first few people get in the race for $1, the next bunch for $5, and so on. Kris did this 10k last year, and raved about it. So when registration day came we were ready to see how fast we could snag our spots. We ended up getting the 10k for $30! Not to bad at all.


Now we registered for this race last year, when we decided we would only do 10ks... hahahaha. We also forgot that Eddie was doing this race with us too. So we all got to run this one together too. And Kris's coach from OTF, Bev, joined in on the fun too.


It was a chilly morning in Orlando on race day. It was another long sleeve race. We parked at Eddie's office and walked the few blocks back to the race start. It was a cold walk. On the way we met up with Bev, and all headed to drop our bag and make a pit stop before the race start.


We lined up and were off. The race ran through downtown Orlando. I've done plenty of Orlando races, but none in downtown Orlando. It was really nice. The only thing is the brick streets. Some of the streets downtown are brick, guess they were trying to be fancy. You just have to watch your footing a bit. But after the wonky-ass streets of NOLA, this was no big deal.


It was definitely colder than during Rn'R New Orleans. It was hard at the beginning cause of the cold. My legs needed to get moving and really warm up. Once we got to about mile 2 and everything was warmer it was much better. I did tape up my knee before the race, but was feeling good. No issues there. 


It was also kind of windy, so it made it a little colder. And made for some headwinds on some of the turns. Coming up the chute to the finish line there was a nasty headwind. It sucked. But soon enough it was all done.


We finished and collected our medals. On our way out of the finishing area, we saw the half medals. They were immense. We decided then and there, it needs to be the half next year. Cause big bling is better bling... LOL


And here is where a good race turned into a great race, even the best damn race if you will, the post-race festivities! First the food. There was the usual bananas, oranges, and cookies. They had some masa real, totally random, but I brought some home for Grandma. And here's the best part, they had pizza. Fresh pizza!


Pizza after a race at 8:15am? Why the hell not. It was delicious.


We snacked on some almond butter bites, smoothies, frozen fruit bars, plus fruit and the pizza. Then we decided to go over to the beer garden.


I figured there would be the regular Michelob Ultra in the beer area. But no, there was also hard cider, hard root beer, and hard cream soda. I can have like 2 sips of a Michelob Ultra and then I'm over it. But the cider was great. And then besides the beer, was a bar. They were serving vodka lemonades and bloody marys.


Who am I to say no to something free. I had to have a celebratory drink or two. I couldn't not try the lemonade. LOL! After we finished our drinks, we headed to get our free massages. You heard me right, FREE massages for everyone. The line wasn't too long, and my massage therapist was amazing. She worked miracles.


And after we took full advantage of all that the race had to offer, we headed down the street to meet up some more friends for brunch at The Stubborn Mule. Great food and great friends. It was so much fun.


I can not say enough good things about the Best Damn Race. I'll totally be back next year for all of the best damn-ness. I emailed them to ask about a possibility any South Florida Best Damn Races, but they are scared of the heat. Come on people...