We came. We ran. We conquered a humongous bridge.
Oh yes. It’s THAT big.
A few months ago I wrote about a opportunity to represent the Tampa Bay Bloggers in the upcoming IronGirl Clearwater 5k and Half Marathon. We were given a complimentary entry in exchange for blogging about the experience. Well, I totally dropped the ball on registering for my freebie. This entire time I thought I had, when alas, I had forgotten about it. Further digging led me to the fact I’d had missed the boat to use my free registration code, therefore missing this race altogether.
I was bummed, as I really wanted to do it, but wasn’t thrilled on paying the inflated “almost race day prices”, so I let it be and called it for next year.
Yesterday, while the girls and I were picking blueberries, my pal Sarah waved goodbye and told me how she wishes that I was doing the race the next day with her. Marissa not Marissa (that’s for another post) perked up and said that a friend of hers wasn’t able to do the race and that I might be able to take her place. Done and done! Less than 24 hours later I was picking up my race packet, and spending the next couple hours as Dawn. (Thanks for the registration, Dawn!) 😉
Knowing I had to get there early for packet pickup, I set my alarm for 4:30 and was at Coachmen Park by 5:30am. I actually parked right by Caroline and we walked over to the area where we had planned to meet the other Tampa Bay Bloggers for a pre-race group photo. The half started at 7:00, and a lot of the bloggers were doing that race so I walked over to the start line to see them take off. The weather was overcast and very windy. Great for staying cool, but not so great for going over those bridges!
I hung around and waited for Sarah and her crew to arrive, then we headed over to the start corral. It was packed, and as the countdown started, we had to funnel ourselves through the crowd. As we crossed the starting line, the crowd eased up a bit and we were on our way. We began our race strong, at a nice jog headed through downtown Clearwater. We knew the bridge was literally right around the corner, but we were actually looking forward to it. It’s not everyday you get to do a 5k that’s mostly on a bridge!
I didn’t originally have any intentions on setting any personal records during this race since it would be officially undocumented as something that I did (remember, I was Dawn!), but after running the first bridge climb and feeling pretty good at the top, I thought that a PR could actually be something I could pull out of myself.
Once we reached the top, the downhill was a breeze! I literally flew through mile one and through the turnaround. Why can’t all races be downhill?
Just as soon as we were off the bridge, we were right back on to head back to the finish line. Going back up in the opposite direction wasn’t as easy. There was a major headwind smacking us and it was a struggle to push through it. I couldn’t wait to get to the other end and start my downhill sprint once again.
As I passed mile 2 I heard the run app tell me my stats. Mile 1 was my slowest mile at 15:32. Mile 2 was much faster at 14:51. When I heard that, I knew that if I pushed through mile 3, that I would set a PR, so I gunned it, and started psyching myself up, in Orange Theory fashion, timing myself through 45 second all outs until I crossed the finish line. Mile 3 was my BEST ever mile at 13:40 and it crossing that finish line knowing that this body had taken almost 8 minutes off my usual 5k time was the syrup on the pancakes.
Can you tell what I wanted for breakfast? 😉
I had such an amazing time at IronGirl today and cannot WAIT until next year! The race was so well organized, and of course, I love that bling! I’m super proud of all my blogger friends for knocking this race out and extra proud of my pal Sarah for pushing through those bridges and adding another 5k under her belt. She is amazing!
So what’s next? Miles for Moffitt on May 11! It’s about a month away and I’m going to work on speed during my OTF workouts to see if I’ll be able to PR once again. Who knows, maybe a sub 40 5k is in my future! Wow, just saying that out loud makes me feel all giddy inside.
Have you ever PR’d when you weren’t planning to?