Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Race Recap - UCF 5 Miler

This was the race I wasn't going to run this year. I had a bazillion excuses...It was a week before my half marathon, last year's course was short and not clearly marked (leading to the UCF 4.5 miler), training was going slowly, we had a bunch of work being done at the house....

Then I saw an ad for the race during a UCF football game a couple weeks ago. A new course that goes through the stadium (getting interested), a "free" ticket to a game we needed an extra ticket for (getting more interested), and a medal (sold). I am sucker for bling, especially if it is tied to one of my almamaters. Now that it is over, I am so glad I signed up because this race was a huge win for me.

The two weeks leading up to the race were crazy. We had the whole house painted, new carpet put in our hallway and 3 of our 4 bedrooms and new furniture delivered. I got my runs in, but the only cross training I was doing was moving furniture around in circles so the various contractors could do what they needed to do.

Sunday morning was race day. My alarm went off at 5:35 a.m. I hit snooze once and then rolled out of bed. I wasn't out of bed long when I heard "Dayyeee, Moyyeee" coming from E's room. (At least I didn't have to wake her up...then again, that is not usually our issue. Someday she will sleep through the night again.)

We were out the door by 6:30 a.m. It was a short drive to campus and a quick walk to OIA plaza. E kept asking if we were going to see feetball (yeah, it is as cute as it sounds). She was excited when we told her she was going to get a chance to run.

We got to the race nice and early. I hit up the bathroom and my husband registered E for the kids races. Then we hung out and watched the start of the 2 miler. E loved the band, but was scared of the tuba.
It was a beautiful day for a run
A little before 8 a.m. I headed to the start line. I got my watch and music ready to go and waited for the start. At this point I was a little nervous. I can't really tell you why, but I had some butterflies.

The gun went of and the heard of us moved forward. I was toward the back, so it always takes a bit to get to the start line. Once we hit the line, the crowds thinned out a bit so you could run pretty comfortably. We headed out and around the stadium. Watching the sunrise over the stadium was pretty cool.

Good morning Brighthouse Stadium

The first mile felt pretty good. When I hit the mile marker, I realized I was going faster than I intended and faster than I had been in training. I made a mental note to take things down a notch so that I didn't die after 3 miles. Mile 2 took us through some of the older parts of campus. Mile 2 was a little slower (but still faster than I intended), but I was feeling good, so I didn't change anything.

So pretty
Mile 3 took us through some of the more boring parts of campus. I was still feeling really good at after mile 3, so I stepped it up a bit. Mile 4 wound us around through Memory Mall and back toward the stadium. (It is amazing how much easier Memory Mall is to navigate when you are not trying to push a stroller through throngs of tailgaters.)

Mile 5 was the march to the stadiums and I was still feeling good (score). We headed back toward the athletic fields. First it was a lap around the warning track of the baseball stadium. Then across the plaza and into the football stadium where Nitro was cheering us on. A quick lap around the field and it was out of the stadium with a tenth of a mile to the finish. I really picked it up here and actually passed someone (that never happens).

My final time was 61:51 (12:22/mile). I am super happy with that. I was only 2 minutes slower than last year's 4.5 mile course and I shaved 4 minutes of my 2012 time. The biggest bonus is that it was faster than anything I have run during training.

We hung out for the kids run. E did amazing and loved that she got a ribbon. Now that I have a little one, the kids races are a huge bonus to Track Shack events. 

Enjoying the sweetness of a great race
I am hoping I have found my groove and there will be good things at the Cocoa Beach Half this weekend.