This weekend I kicked off my Fall & Winter 2015 racing season!
On Saturday I got in 18 miles of marathon training in the morning and then I raced the Fun Glow 5K. I use the term “race” very loosely because the whole thing was a disorganized mess from start to finish. The best part was definitely getting to run the final miles of my super long run in a big group. Normally I like running alone, but after 18 miles by myself it was nice to have motivation all around me.
The biggest motivator for me was this guy who was maybe 300lbs being paced by a friend or trainer. For the first half of the race I stayed right behind them because my legs were super sore from earlier in the day and watching them was so cool. I think I may have shed a tear or two to be honest! I swear, nothing can make me cry except for stories about animals and runners doing inspiring things.
It was also cool that the race was held at night and everyone came dressed in glow bracelets, rings, headbands, glasses, etc. We all really lit up the night!
The race was supposed to start at 8pm but it didn’t begin until closer to 8:15. There was no singing of the national anthem or anything like that. This guy who I supposed was the announcer said “3, 2, 1 GO!” and we were off. The late start wouldn’t be a problem in most cases, but this was billed as a family friendly 5K and a lot of younger kids go to bed between 8 and 9pm. By the time I was jogging back to my car (to get in the rest of the 3.1 miles because the course was only about 2.65 miles long) I heard kids whining and crying. I’m guessing they were cranky and wanted to get into bed. I know if I was a parent I would have been upset that an already late starting race started even later.
The biggest FAIL of this race was that there was no finish line! Before the race started I had jogged around a bit to warm up and I didn’t see a finish line, but I assumed it must be there somewhere. Unfortunately, as the course came to a close I ended up in a mosh pit of people and foam bubbles.
I was really confused and thought maybe I somehow went off course, so I just kind of stood there for a few seconds looking around and being pushed by people dancing. Finally I moved out of the pit and asked a volunteer where the finish line was and she said this was it – the dance pit. Um, okay? All of the other fun 5Ks I’ve done including The Color Run and Color Me Rad had a finish line that you crossed over indicating the end of the race.
There wasn’t anyone handing out bottles of water, so I just turned my Garmin back on and jogged back to my car to get in the remainder of the 5K distance.
Speaking of water, this race also made you grab a cup and pour your own water at the aid stations! This means that the stations were super crowded and if you wanted to stop for water you would need to be there for a little while. Given how hot and humid it tends to be in South Florida all year long, and especially on race day, I would have thought they would have handled this better.
The race was held at Vista View Park in Davie, FL. I had never raced there before or even visited the park, but I assumed it would be flat like all of the other parks in Davie. Adam used to bike a lot at Vista View and as I was leaving he said, “do you think they’ll make you run over the hills?”
We have hills in South Florida? Oh yeah, apparently we do and they were definitely on the course! I took the below pic before the race. This particular hill wasn’t on the course, but a similar one was. To be honest, I really liked having a hill in the middle of the 5K because what goes up must come down, and flying down the hill was nice. I definitely want to do more 5Ks at this park, just not any more glow runs.
I don’t have an official finishing time for this race. It was untimed which is just as well since the course was quite short of the 3.1 mile distance and I was running for fun/on really tired legs anyway. I averaged about 13:45 pace which included my jog back to my car. This is about what I was aiming for, but later this year I’ll go for my 35 minute 5K.
Normally during 5Ks I’m obsessively checking my pace to make sure I’m on track, but this time I just let myself go with the flow of people around me and that was nice (especially the guy with his friend/trainer who I am sure kicked butt – he seemed really motivated).
While this 5K wasn’t super exciting on its own, it did get my excited about this upcoming season. I tend to have it in my mind that if I sign up for a race I should actually race it, but I may try to incorporate more 5Ks this fall/winter into my longer training runs just for fun!
Now it’s TIME FOR THE TAPER! I have no idea how it’s already time to taper for Chicago but it is. As Hanna reminded me last week, when you’re running a plan based off of Hanson’s your taper still incorporates a lot of running. For instance, this coming weekend I’ll still run 18 miles (8 on Saturday and 10 on Sunday). I’m pretty happy about that though, I’m in a really good groove right now and I don’t want to lose that.
I spent so much time earlier this year allowing my hip to heal that it’s taken me half of this training cycle to feel “normal” about long runs again. When I first started training back in June I could run 10 miles but it wasn’t pretty. I’m finally back to the point where I can bust out 10-12 miles and still feel pretty good. It’s nice to feel like that version of myself again! More on that later though because this post is getting really long!
I’ll talk to you again soon! 🙂
Do you have any September races planned?
Ever been to a race that didn’t have a finish line?!?!