Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tails & Trails 10k Race Recap

Yesterday, I ran the Tails & Trails 10k. This is my 3rd race in 3 weeks, and 3rd 10k this year. (Can we say race addiction?)  I got in a few good runs this week after the Heart & Sole 10k last weekend, including one in 29 degree, up hill Maryland while on travel for work. I hardly ever run back to back days, but with the Glass Slipper Challenge coming up next weekend, I decided I should do some back to back days and I did twice this week, including Friday night, before this race saturday morning. 

The Tails & Trails 10k was another small-ish local race (not as small as last week though) also held in Clermont. It was held at Lake Hiawatha Preserve, which I had never been to before, and went a little ways along Lake Minneola and then on the South Lake Trail. They had a 5k and a 10k going on and started the 10k 15 minutes earlier than the 5k. They took us 10kers a little different path (along the lake) than the 5kers and we merged around 1.5 milers with the 5k course and we ran the same course until the 5kers turned around and us 10kers kept going until our turn around. I didn't particularly like how they had us merging as this race had a decent amount of kids running the 5k and it was hard to maneuver around them during the merge. Once we got past the initial merge, it was fine, but I do wish they had done it a little differently. I do know the course changed since last year as there was a section of the 10k that was apparently "dangerous" but not sure what that was or if the merging was affected by that since I didn't run it last year. Other than that one small complaint, they put on a great event and the rest of the course was great. It was mostly shaded and the weather was once again chilly at the start (around 50 degrees), but perfect once we got going. It actually did start to feel a little warm in the sunny section of the course, but that didn't last too long. 

I don't know if it was because I ran the night before or what, but my legs definitely felt tired during this race. I ran 3/:45 intervals and definitely went out too fast to start and overall this run felt "tough". I knew I wasn't going to PR but still wanted to finish under an hour so pushed myself to at least make that happen. We had a large MRTT turnout for this race and because of how the course went (the merging and the out and back), we got to see each other a few times while running. It's always so nice to encourage each other along the way! 

After the race, several of us MRTT ladies (and two kiddos) placed so we all stuck around for the awards. We really dominated the results board with the top 3 female finishers overall, I took 2nd in 30-34, another took 3rd in 45-49, and two others took 1st and 2nd in 35-39 all for the 10k and then 2nd place overall in the 5k and two of the kids placed in their 5k age groups as well! It really was an incredible day for racing for us! 

This is my 3rd official award I've received for placing, guess it's time to put up a shelf above my medals and display them properly! I never, in a million years, ever thought I'd be fast enough to place in a race. I was always happy with just racing against "myself" and trying to improve my pace and PR, but placing really does take the Runner's High to an all new level! I know in larger races my pace wouldn't even come close to pacing, but I love the small local races in general, less congested courses, better race causes, etc and if I have a chance at placing, it makes it even better. 

My Stats:
Official Chip Time: 59:32 (overall pace of 9:37)
Place: 41 of 129 finishers
Place: 23 of the 85 Women Finishers
Place: 2 of 13 in my Women’s Age Division (30-34)
1st 5k Split: 29:51
2nd 5k Split: 29:52

My RunKeeper stats (which accounts for the zigzagging, weaving, etc.):
6.25 miles in 59:33 (overall pace of 9:32)
Mile Splits:
Mile 1: 8:54 
Mile 2: 9:23
Mile 3: 9:37
Mile 4: 10:08 (where I stopped to refill my water bottle)
Mile 5: 9:44
Mile 6: 9:41
0.25: 8:51

Heart and Sole 10k Race Recap

Last weekend,  I ran the Heart and Sole 10k. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel since I had only ran ONE mile all week after the Celebration Half. I had been hurting pretty bad Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday was still pretty sore but did one mile and it felt pretty tough but I didn't hurt. I took the rest of the week off and woke up Saturday morning feeling great and ready to run! 

Pre- Race Selfie
This race was a 5k and 10k supporting the Central Florida Dreamplex, which is a fitness and recreation center for special needs children. Several of the Mommas in my chapter of MRTT work really closely with this organization (and helped organize this race) and I was so happy to be able to run a race to support them. Several of our MRTT Mommas (and their families) also volunteered at one of the water stops along the course. It's always nice to see people volunteering at the water stops, but especially nice when they are people you know, specifically calling out your name when they cheer you on and taking in action pictures! 
Water Station Cheer Ninjas

This was a pretty small race (this is only the 2nd year they've done it and I know their turnout was much better compared to last year)  only 36 runners in the 10k and 113 in the 5k but they put on a great event! They held it at Waterfront park in Clermont, which is one of my favorite racing venues as the lake is so pretty and lets off a nice breeze. It was pretty cold when it started, mid 40's, but once I got going, I warmed up quickly and the weather was perfect!
Sun rise over the lake

I was pretty sure I was getting a PR in this race once I hit the 5k mark, although didn't go into it thinking I would considering how I felt all week. As I was running, I couldn't remember what my PR was for the 10k, and was thinking it was 58:50 so when I was finishing up around 58:30 I thought I had PR'd but turns out my PR was 58:30 so I was a few seconds off. I did stop to tie my shoe TWICE and refill my water bottle once so I'm sure that was all the difference. I really don't understand how sometimes my shoe comes untied multiple times and other times not at all when I swear I tie it the same every time LOL. I wasn't disappointed in my time though, I felt GREAT during the entire run and really enjoyed it. With being such a small race, they used large age group spreads and only gave awards to the 1st place spot in each of the age groups, so even with placing 2nd I didn't get an award. With only 3 ladies in my age group, it doesn't sound as exciting haha but nonetheless still awesome to get 2nd place! 

My Stats:
Official Chip Time: 58:36 (overall pace of 9:27)
Place: 15 of 36 finishers
Place: 9 of the 21 Women Finishers
Place: 2 of 3 in my Women’s Age Division (21-30)
1.55 split: 14:01
5k Split: 29:07
4.65 split: 43:49

My RunKeeper stats (which accounts for the zigzagging, weaving, etc.):
6.28 miles in 58:37 (overall pace of 9:20)
Mile Splits:
Mile 1: 8:50
Mile 2: 9:13
Mile 3: 9:33
Mile 4: 9:31
Mile 5: 9:25
Mile 6: 9:41
0.28: 8:27

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Celebration Half Marathon Race Recap 2016

Last weekend, I ran the Town of Celebration Half Marathon. Last year, this was my first half after having ABS, and I absolutely loved it and was excited to run it again. (Recap Here). 

I got there just in time to meet up with all the fabulous MRTT ladies from multiple chapters. Like had to jog from the car to make it in time, which actually worked out well because it was pretty chilly (like 45-50 degrees) and this warmed me up! Our picture is pretty comical since it was still so dark and you can't see anything besides some reflective strips on some of our clothing. We did get a better picture of just our local chapter at least! After I met up with them, I met up with some of my other friends too, stopped to use the bathroom and made our way to the start. Love this race, because even though it's a good 30 minute drive from home, it's relatively small compared to most halfs and that means we don't have to get up super early like Disney races to get there and wait around for hours before it starts. 

Clermont MRTT
Multi Chapter Meet Up
Action Shot
Post Race Selfie, Happy with a new PR!

My set my goal for this race at 2:10-2:15 and was thinking that 2:10 was a pretty big stretch since achieving 2:15:59 at Space Coast just 2 months before took everything out of me, so didn't think I'd really be able to shave off 6 minutes, but I was going to try and knew I'd be happy with any sort of PR, even if it was just a few seconds! They had both a 2:10 and a 2:15 pace group (well technically a 4:20 and 4:30 pace group since they were for the marathon which is the same course for first 12.5 miles) so I lined up with the 2:10 pace group, with the plan to stay between them. I started off feeling great and ended up staying ahead of the 2:10 pace group for the entire race. They got close a few times, but I picked up my pace and stayed pretty steady for me. Usually my slowest mile is towards the end of any race I run, especially half marathons, but it was actually my 1st mile. Although my 11th mile wasn't far behind it. I thought for sure I was going to slow down significantly towards the end like I did at Space Coast, but I felt great the entire race and finished in 2:08:50, beating my previous PR by 7 minutes! And for comparison purposes, last year I finished in 2:37:16 and that was a PR for me at that time. 

Another great thing about this race is the support. In addition to all the wonderful volunteers, there is a town of folks from the Town of Celebration that come out and cheer alongside the course. There are also a ton of great signs posted throughout the race, which I loved last year, and was happy to see again this year! The best support though was a huge group of MRTT Mommas came out again and now that I know them better than last year, having them cheer me on made it even more special. Every time I'd see a group of them, I'd be sure to push a little harder! 

The most incredible thing I saw was this little girl running.  I swore she couldn't have been older than 8 or 9 based on her size and she was ahead of me for most of the run and we played leapfrog for some of the race as I was running intervals and she was running straight through. She was running with a guide, so I wasn't sure what the story was but she was keeping a steady pace around 9:30 and looked like she was loving every second of it. Turns out she was 10 years old, and I believe she had a guide with her just because of her age. She also ran the entire Full Marathon, not just half, which is what I had assumed and was amazed enough thinking that. I saw her finish line picture and she looked so refreshing, not exhausted at all and had a huge smile on her face. I don't know if this was a first or what, but regardless, an incredible feat at any age and her pace was just over 10:00 overall. I couldn't even imagine doing that now, nevermind at 10 years old! 

The course was the same as last year (I believe), but I am happy to report the boardwalks were dry (thanks to no rain) and well marked and freshly pressure washed so nice and clean. I didn't see or hear of any injuries, which was refreshing after how bad it was last year.

The post race festivities never disappoint either. I waited around with some of my friends and cheered on other friends until they finished and then we went and enjoyed the post race food and drinks. They had samples from several of the local restaurants and beer too (although I never do drink the beer LOL) just for the runners and it was all yummy. 

Some water marked pictures from the race photographer, which reminds me, I need to start wearing my bib lower and work harder on getting rid of that belly pudge! 

My Stats:
Official Chip Time: 02:08:50 (overall pace of 9:51)
Place: 548 of 1871 finishers
Place: 255 of the 1226 Women Finishers
Place: 28 of 150 in my Women’s Age Division (30-34)
10k Split: 1:01:03
15k Split: 1:31:30

My RunKeeper stats (which accounts for the zigzagging, weaving, etc.):
13.62 miles in 2:08:54 (overall pace of 9:28)
Mile Splits:
Mile 1: 9:51 (slowest)
Mile 2: 9:34
Mile 3: 9:22
Mile 4: 9:18
Mile 5: 9:33
Mile 6: 9:26
Mile 7: 9:30
Mile 8: 9:43
Mile 9: 9:19
Mile 10: 9:17
Mile 11: 9:46
Mile 12: 9:16
Mile 13: 9:37
.62 mile: 8:42

U Can Finish 5 Miler + 2 Miler Distance Dare Race Recap 2015

Pre-Race MRTT Photo!

I'm so far behind on all my race recaps, so this isn't going to be very thorough, but I wanted to at least get it documented. This one is for the U Can Finish 5 Miler and 2 Miler (Distance Dare) from October 18, 2015. 

The U Can Finish races are some of my favorite because we get to run through the University of Central Florida Campus, my alma mater. This was going to be my 3rd time running it (read my last recap here from 2013), and each time they change the course a little bit so it makes it a little more exciting. Now that I'm writing this 4 months after the race, I honestly can't remember all that much about it, but I did meet up with my MRTT ladies (and one of their husbands) before and after the race and at least have those pictures! I do remember it being pretty crowded and pretty narrow on certain parts of the course and lots of twists and turns (hence why my runkeeper says I ran way further than I did) but overall an enjoyable race! It was fun to run through the baseball and football stadiums too since as a huge UCF fan, we spend a lot of time at the football stadium, so it felt cool to be able to run where the players stand!

Post Race

2 Mile Course
5 Mile Course

Can't meet up with MRTT and not take a shoefie

Love the 5 Mile Finisher's Medal

5 Miler
Official Chip Time: 50:35 (overall pace of 10:06)
Place: 678 of 1719 Finishers
Place: 295 of the 1048 Women Finishers
Place: 45 of 78 in my Women’s Age Division (25-29)
My Runkeeper stats:
5.36 miles in 50:40 (overall pace of 9:28)
Mile 1: 9:26
Mile 2: 9:59
Mile 3: 9:12
Mile 4: 9:24
Mile 5: 9:14
.36 mile: 9:36

2 Miler
Official Chip Time: 19:43  (overall pace of 9:51)
Place: 410 of 1051 Finishers
Place: 196 of the 646 Women Finishers
Place: 28 of 19 in my Women’s Age Division (25-29)
My Runkeeper stats:
2.09 miles in 19:45 (overall pace of 9:27)
Mile 1: 9:39
Mile 2: 9:20
.10 mile: 8:13

Distance Dare 
Official Chip Time: 1:10:17 
Place: 105 of the 388 Women Finishers