Iron Girl 5K

Yesterday I ran the Iron Girl 5K and had an absolute blast.

The day started with a 4:30 a.m. wake up call. I car pooled with two co-workers, Wendy and Sheila, so it was off to Wendy’s then to Sheila’s.

The drive over to Clearwater was pretty easy and traffic was pretty non-existent when we got there. We found a spot in a garage right away.

Wendy and Sheila were doing the half marathon so I wished them luck as I waited for them to get started so I could line up for the 5K. While waiting I ran into some Junior League friends, who were also doing the 5K (saw lots of familiar faces!)

Once the half marathoners started I made a last minute pit stop to the bathroom, but ended up getting out of the non-moving line once I saw I only had 10 minutes left to line up. Big mistake! I should have been ready to get in line right behind the half marathoners. As I neared the starting line I saw there were no corrals or anything. Just a large crowd of women. I ended up at the back of the line, which I wasn’t happy about.

Once the race got started it moved fairly quickly. I did spend the first mile passing walkers and people going at a slower pace. So I did not pace myself like I should have. The bulk of the race was going over the Clearwater Memorial Causeway, which I was a bit nervous about, but it actually wasn’t bad at all! I pushed to get up it and tried to put on the brakes some as we made our way down it. Then I found my groove and kept a nice, comfortable pace. I was so pleased at how GOOD I felt during this run. The weather was sunny and not too hot. The view was beautiful.

Once I saw we were nearing the finish I pushed myself again and really ended strong. And I remembered to smile for the finish line photo! (Which felt so weird.)

I clocked in at 30:01 at a 9:42 pace. I couldn’t be happier! Maybe I’m a better runner in the morning? This race just felt so much better than the first and I shaved off 2 minutes from my time and 30 seconds from my pace. Or I could just be improving 🙂

I had an hour to kill before Wendy and Sheila finished so I made my way to the food tent, where I got a dissapointing “breakfast”. I was expecting a buffet of gloriousness and instead was handed a box with crackers, hummus, a protien bar, a piece of chocolate, dried edamame and a dried fruit and nut mix. I chowed down on the bar and fruit and nut mix, which was good…just not what I expected. Then I saw they were doing free massages…yes please! My massage felt ahh-mazing. It was an awesome 10 minutes. By that time I headed back to the finish line to wait for Wendy and Sheila.

It got extremely windy (we were right on the beach) and the clouds got really dark. I thought we were about to be faced with some serious storms. It only ended up raining for a few minutes and then the sun peaked out. Oh, Florida weather.

This photo makes me laugh so hard…my hair!

Overall, this was a great second race experience. Definitely bigger than the Robinson Preserve, but I wanted my first race to be small. It was interesting to compare the two.

Pros of the Iron Girl

  • Great course
  • Easy access location
  • Fairly organized
  • Massages!
  • Vendor tents seemed to be good although I didn’t visit them

Cons of the Iron Girl

  • It might have just been me, but every time I was looking for a volunteer I couldn’t find one. I don’t think they had special shirts or anything that identified them as volunteers.
  • I didn’t check a bag, but noticed that gear pick up was right where the water was after the race and seemed like a really hectic place to have it.
  • I was expecting real food and the snack box was a dissapointment. I wouldn’t have minded much if they had promoted “snack box”….just a matter of expecting something and then getting something else.

Did you run a race this weekend? Was it the Iron Girl? If so, what did you think?

Eat, Run, Repeat

That has pretty much been my life recently. Eating and running. I’m still amazed that I am now a “runner” when I used to loathe running and couldn’t even fathom running a 5K. And now I’ve signed up for my second one! I’ll be doing the Iron Girl 5K in Clearwater and I am SO excited. The race includes running over a huge bridge so not sure how I’m going to handle that, but the whole race experience sounds really fun. This one is also in the morning so will be interesting to see how my body reacts.

For my first 5K I followed a simple couch to 5k plan that worked you up to 3 miles. It mixes walking with running and you add distance each week. This plan really worked for me and I was able to run my first 5k easy breezy. This time around I wanted to see how I can run faster and better. I came across a few plans that have you do a mix of runs each week…one short and easy run, a tempo/speed run and a long easy run. I’m sure this is no surprise for you seasoned runners, but remember I’m still a beginner 🙂

I came across this plan from Fit Sugar and thought it sounded like a good one. Since Iron Girl is only a few weeks away I just picked up on Week. Saturday I was scheduled for a 5 mile easy run. This seemed pretty daunting to me. Hello, I’m still getting over the fact I can run 3 miles straight! But now 5? It makes sense because it builds up your endurance, but…oh boy. For an easy run though you’re supposed to go slower than normal so that definitely made it easier. I just had to keep reminding myself in the beginning to slow down. And guess what? I did it 🙂 5 miles straight! I did stop a few times for a few seconds, but only to check my MaptoRun app to make sure I was following my route correctly. SO proud of myself!

I will say though that when people say running is a mental sport, they are not kidding. Running outside and distracting yourself with your surroundings will only take you so far. It is mentally exhausting to keep telling yourself not to stop and that “you can do this”. But wow, talk about a confidence booster!

Ok, enough about running…last weekend Jon and I went down to Cape Coral just to hang with his fam.

 

 

  

As you can tell the weekend was full of good eats 🙂

There was also a rousing game of Pictionary, which I love playing with Jon’s family. They all get very competitive and loud and it’s hilarious.

 

This past weekend was a fun one.

Saturday morning I volunteered at the Junior League’s Jelly Bean Fling. It’s so cute seeing all the little kids dressed up in Easter outfits and collecting eggs during the Easter Egg Hunt. This one little girl had shoes on that squeaked and at one point she was running and it was all I could do to hold it the laughter. So cute!

 

Sunday my mom and I had tickets to the Rays game! I now understand about 90% of baseball so I enjoy it a lot more than I used to. We had great seats right behind the Rays dugout, with a great view of home plate.

 

I had a late breakfast so I wasn’t super hungry, but knew I should eat something. A pretzel and mustard sounded awesome so I got one and a bag of popcorn for my mom. I had to stop eating the pretzel a few bites in. It was so salty that it was inedible. I ended up sharing the popcorn with my mom, which was also salty but not so bad. This then led to me getting a soda, which I NEVER drink, but it sounded good at the time. And it was 🙂 Every once in a blue moon I’ll have one, but that’s the thing about “bad” foods/drinks right? As long as they’re not a constant in your life.

After the game we had dinner at BellaBrava, which is always good. I got the Chicken Piccata, which I got last time and it was just as good. Paired with the Pinot Blanc and a side salad with a lovely vinaigrette. For dessert we walked down the street to the Cassis Bakery. I had this tart that was loaded with fresh cream and a few cream puffs. Ya, it was as heavenly as it sounds 🙂 I tried a bite of my mom’s chocolate ice cream too, which was also really good. It was also the perfect weather outside. Right before the sun sets now there’s that slightly cool breeze that gives you relief from the hot sun. Wish that would stay around year round.

This week is going to be a quiet one, but I do plan on trying to use a week pass to a gym I’m thinking of joining. Plus, I really need to cross train. I haven’t been and my muscles miss weights!

What’s on your agenda this week? What fun things did you do this weekend?