Saturday, September 30, 2006

IronGirls 5k in Clearwater, FL Sept. 30, 2006

I really enjoyed this race very much! It seems like it has been awhile since I have run a 5k (only) race. This was first class from the onset. I was invited to attend, which basically meant they graciously paid for my entry into the race. This was based on running in some past local races.
This past week my training was on the super low side due to my lung issues, which I promise to explain further one of these days. My expectations were to run somewhere in the 23 minutes range. I wasn't sure how my recent tri training would effect my road racing, so it was hard to set a goal. Then, I learned the course would include 4 hills. 2 shorter and steeper ones and 2 going over the causeway bridge. These were longer... a lot longer. So, I gave myself a bit of a time cushion upon learning this. It may not sound all that daunting, but to us here along the flat Gulf Coast, the biggest hill we get is going over a speed bump!
The start was a little delayed due to getting all the proper streets closed and safe. Waiting is never easy before a race, but the MC helped to keep us motivated. Once off, and on our first hill right away, I tried hard not to go out too fast. The running sin I usually commit. Down the road and up the bridge I was feeling really good. I missed the first mile marker, so I wasn't sure of my pace. I told myself to go with how I am feeling and not worry so much about the time.
Up hill number three, seemed the longest to me, I dug my eyes into the lady in front of me. She seemed strong and I envisioned being an extension of her. 4th and final hill was quick but still hurt. I knew it was flat and down from that point and tried to give what I could.
I hit the turn for the final stretch and saw the clock below. It read 22:40. I thought, "Darn, I have got to be more then 20 seconds from the finish line". Then something in me said, "What the heck, go hard and see what happens." I crossed the line in 22:58.
Although, in the realm of my entire running career this would be considered a slow time, I was pretty happy with how I did and that I met the goal I had set for myself.
I ended up 12th overall and 3rd in my age group. I received a neat sterling silver pendant with the IronGirl logo and year on it.
This race was one of the best races I have run. Not because of the course, but because of the obvious effort that went into making this women's only event fun, high energy and friendly. Everyone I came into contact with was super nice. Afterwards I had a chance to visit the vendor tents that were set up. There were free samples galore. I received a complimentary massage, food samples, drinks, free pictures from Ryka shoes (that they took and printed within a few minutes of finishing), free magazines, and a gorgeous and huge buffet of fruit, muffins, breads, and hot breakfast wraps.
The results were quickly posted and the awards went smoothly.
I will definitely seek out this event to do again in the future.