Saturday, January 14, 2012

St Pete Beach Classic 2012 Race Recap

Bbbbrrrrrr. A chilly 50 degrees this morning. Thats downright frigid for us Floridians, but we bundled up and were out the door by 6:45. I rather like the fact that it was an 8:30 run, so at least we didn't have to leave the house at 5am!

The drive was pretty quick even though we had to venture over the Skyway Bridge. I was worried a bit about parking since the 5K took off at lots of people would already be there before us. Fortunately, the race committee arranged a lot of parking with th
e city. The designated lots were all taken when we got there, but all the "non parking" signs in the residential street off of the main road were available this weekend for runners. We were able to find parking a mere 5 minute walk from the start (and thats with holding my ever-so-slow son's hand).

The staging area was pretty open, probably because the 5kers had already left the starting area. I was able to make not 3....but 4 stops at the porta potty. Must have been my morning shake before we left coupled with a Monster drink on the drive :) Regardless, the fact that I was able to use the porta potties that many times WITHOUT a line was nice.

We walked around a tad to get our bearings on the food offerings and to sneak a few things for the hubbies that were there with us, then made our way to the starting line. Again, not very crowded and we ended up in 2nd-3rd row from the front. I knew we were surrounding ourselves with speedy people, but thats ok...we also knew we would move out of their way immediately.

Shotgun start (also chip timed start) and away we were. The road was ample. Easy on the eyes and very little camber in the middle half, so I tried to stay in that area as much as possible until I realized that I was not running the tangents. We ran through the first water stop and I gulped a few gulps of water and continued on. Thats about the time there were more turns....and thats when I realized that I had to start running the tangents properly.

While I love the logic of running the tangents, its so contrary to most always feel that you are the ONLY one doing this. Why is that? Its such an obvious piece of wisdom and yet people are just naturally inclined to follow the center of the road regardless of how much more they have to run simply because of nature.

We continued running and were pretty consistent with our times. We did walk through ever water stop for about 30 seconds or so, and I think this helped us both. It made sure I didn't bonk, and it made sure she didn't walk too much :) It helps that my running partner in this endeavor and I have about the same experience, and obviously the same pace, even though she's taller and younger than I am. :)

We got all the way to mile 5.5 (at the hairpin return) and decided to take an extra wa
lk break....ssshhh....this is so we didn't look absolutely exhausted and gasping for breathe in front of our kids and the finish line. Don't tell anyone, ok?

We finished 1:01:46 (results are here) and the kids were right there to embrace us! They apparently both did wonderful at the kids races which occurred while we were it was definitely a good day for all!

So, did I wear the right clothes? YES! At 50 degrees, I know that I need a long sleeve technical shirt, capris, gloves and something over my ears. I had ankle socks and this seemed sufficient for me. Occasionally I was warm when A) the wind wasn't blowing and 2) there were no clouds....but that combination was RARE today.

Would I do this race again? Yeppers. The parking was sufficient. The staging area was more than plentiful. The food afterwards had a nice selection...lots of bakery items, but also some hot items, and of course fruit. The beer I didn't partake in....too chilly! The timing was great because it was a timed start AND finish. The results were up within 6 hours of race closing. All in all, a good experience. Maybe next year I'll try their half? :)

And my results? Definitely a PR for me, whether its official or not. I'm so glad I was able to run under 10 minute miles for this duration. I was 28th (out of 52 in my age group), but was 151nd out of 323 female finishers. I'm more than ok with this time! Strange though, as the 5k isn't very competitive and I would have been close to getting an age group award, but no where close in this distance. Next week's 4-miler will be hard since its a major hill, but I'm ready...bring it on!

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