Sunday, January 19, 2014

Avalon Park 10K Race Recap

One of my 2014 goals is to run at least one race each month. There are several months were the race choice is easy, but I knew that there would be a few months when the options would not be great. January was one of those months. I found a couple of 5ks that looked fun, but I was really hoping for something a little longer, but not too long, so when I found out about the Avalon Park 10k, it sounded perfect. It was close to home and fit well in my training plan.

My husband ran this one with me so Saturday morning, we got up about 5. Got dressed, packed and ready, then got Baby E up and fed. We were out the door a little before 6:30 to drop Baby E off at my sister-in-law's house. She is super nice and watched the baby for us. It is amazing how much more complicated race logistics have become, but it is so worth it.

Packet pick up started at 7 and we were there shortly after. The crowd was slim, but I figured that was because it was pretty chilly Saturday morning and people didn't want to wait in the cold. After getting our packets, we went back and sat in the car to stay warm. The race didn't start until 8:15, so we made a quick potty run and I pumped. 

Pre-race pic
We walked up to the start a little after 8. I knew it wouldn't be a large race, but there was a 5k, a 10k, a half marathon and a duathlon, so there had to be a few hundred people…right? Yeah, not so much. I don't think there were 50 people total.

Yup, that was pretty much everyone who ran the 10k.
After some quick announcements, we were off. The course wound through a variety of neighborhoods. It was an open course and there were lots of turns. In all honesty, the course wasn't much more interesting than my normal run. Most of the turns were well marked, but a missing arrow at about mile 2.5 cost me some time. 

The first 3 miles felt great and I kept about a 12 minute mile pace. I know that is not very fast, but for me it is a good pace. About 3.5 miles in I got a cramp in my right side. I cramp pretty rarely, so it surprised me. I think the cold may have had something to do with it. By mile 5 my lungs were burning from the cold and I was starting to have some trouble breathing. It was probably about 46 degrees at this point, so it wasn't unexpected. I think I am the only person in the world that has trouble running in the cold.

When I hit 6.2 miles on my Garmin and the finish was nowhere in sight I mentally checked out a bit and didn't finish the race as strong as I would have liked. I am pretty sure the course was off by a good amount. My Garmin put it at 6.46 miles. There is normally some variation between the Garmin and the course, but I think I have run half marathons with less difference.

My official finish time was 1:23. I had hoped to get a good baseline 10k time from this race, but I am not confident enough in the distance to use it for comparison. Once we hit the finish line, we grabbed a water, granola bar and banana and headed out.

Overall, I am happy I ran the race. That said, I wouldn't run it again or recommend it. I could have stayed home and accomplished the same thing running around my neighborhood. It does make for a good story and I don't think I will be fourth in my age group again any time soon. You run, you learn.

Next up are the Lady Track Shack 5k and the Best Damn Race Orlando half marathon.

What is the smallest race you have ever run? Any must do races in Orlando?