Thursday, July 16, 2015

Race Recap - Suck it Up Buttercup 5k

Last Sunday, I sucked it up and did the Suck it Up Buttercup 5k. I ran this race last year and it was a lot of fun...that is if you think fun is running a bunch of hills in the FL summer heat. I do, but my definition of fun is different that most peoples.

Sunday morning I woke up at 5 a.m. threw on my running clothes and headed out the door. I can't say that I was super excited to get up and get going. It had been a tiring weekend and I was kicking myself for signing up. I have been super slow lately and the 5k distance is not my favorite. I could have slept another hour and still gotten a run in before anyone else was awake.

I got to the park by about 6 a.m., but it took almost 20 minutes to get parked. This meant that I didn't have long to hit the restroom and get to the starting line. Luckily the lines were not too long and a friend of mine had picked up my race packet the day before.

We lined up, the National Anthem was sung, and we were off. The start area was not well marked. This meant that faster people were caught up behind those of us who are slow, and there was a lot of weaving in and out. In addition to people being out of order, the course was narrow and more of a trial than a road for the first quarter mile or so.

Over the first half-mile there was a pretty steep hill, but then the course leveled out or was down hill. I started the race with a 2 min run/30 sec walk interval. I felt good through the majority of the first mile. I looked at my watch and I was on target for a 12:30 pace. That was far faster than I had been running, but I felt good, so kept at it. I was able to hold that pace for the second mile as well. 

Approaching the third mile, the pace started to catch up with me. I was hot and tired and very thankful that the majority of the last mile was under a canopy of shade. I had a lot of conversations with myself during that mile.

Coming out of the prettiest part of the course.
 It wasn't long and I hit the marker for mile 3. Only a little further to go. I picked up the pace a bit and ended up with a finish of 39:21 which is a pace of about 12:40 per mile. I am still far from my PR, but I am getting there. It is 2 minutes faster than last year.

I need to work on my finish strong face!
 I have to say that I was not thrilled with this year's race or this year's course. One of the things that made this race special was the hills. Most of FL is flat, so the hills were a special treat (in a stick and twisted way), but they were missing this year. The course also had a number of narrow areas. This meant that there were times you were forced off the pavement to get around people.

I know that the race organizers had to change the location because of construction at the old site, but I hope they don't use this course again. The things that made it special were not there this year. It was not a bad race, but something was missing.

It may not have been as good as last year, but at the end of the day I was happy I got up when my alarm went off at 5 a.m.