This morning, I popped out of bed at 5:45 AM, grabbed my coffee and drove down to Casey Key for the 25th anniversary of Bill’s Beer Run, a local 5-mile race that I did not know much about when I registered – other than the fact that I was told to register IMMEDIATELY when it opened…and well, that there was beer at the end. Fair enough 🙂
Once I arrived, I learned that there was a lot more to the event than crazy silver-wearing (see above) and running near the beach – Bill’s Beer Run, in fact, was a big annual fundraising event that was started by local runner Bill Menard. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Bill was a two-time Badwater winner. Yup, not “just” a finisher (because honestly…135 miles through Death Valley isn’t enough) but a freaking winner. Pretty BA. Oh and the silver – it’s for the 25th anniversary, of course 🙂
So, yeah – basic gist – awesome 5 mile race that benefits the local running community, is super affordable (~$30), is capped at 700 entries (which explains why I was told to register ASAP) and features a distance most runners will likely PR in because…5 miles? Woot!
Now that we have all that straight, let’s start back from the beginning…
The race was about 25 minutes away from my house and the event information had warned about how congested the parking situation could potentially be, so I left around 6:15 AM – and after a quick stop at the gas station (darn E light turned on) I was at North Jetty Park about a little over an hour early, with lots of cars pulling in.
Since I had gone to packet pickup on Friday, there was no reason to leave my warm car, so I snuggled up in my trials hoodie and reclined the seat for half an hour….then, in one fell swoop, got ready to face the “cold” (haha) outside!
We all lined up – pretty randomly – and after the anthem, we were OFF! The course was an out and back down Casey Key Road – a somewhat torn-up, narrow paved road lined with vacation rentals, little shops/cafes and further up, multi-million dollar homes (Stephen King lives out there somewhere!!) so there was a lot to look at…oh, and of course, the beautiful water 🙂
I had never run a 5-mile race before, so although this was going to be an insta-PR, in my first mile, I distracted my brain by running a few figures in my head:
- I ran an 8K (4.97 miles) a few years ago in 40 minutes flat, so 40 minutes sounded like a good time to beat.
- I ran 56 miles before the race – this event would bump be to 61 – a weekly mileage PDR for me, so that was a consideration.
- During a speedwork session this week, I’d hit a 7:30 mile twice…so if I could lay down 5 of those, that’d take me to somewhere right under 38 minutes.
In that first mile, I was really glad that I had worn my Brooks Pure Connect! I could feel the cracks in the road – and they felt like they gripped each – and kept my footing even.
Mile 1 – 7:22
Oh! That was cool. Usually it takes my body a little longer to get moving. But wait…this means I have to keep this up…and preferably, go faster…hmm.
Mile 2 – 7:21
By this point, I had passed about 8-10 people that had started right near me, including another girl wearing big DJ-style headphones, just like at Tower 10-Miler…what’s up with that?! How can people do that?
At 2.5, we hit the turnaround and I saw only a handful of women ahead. As I cheered the lead women, I realized that if I kept it up, I could probably be in the Top-10 women – new goal!!
Mile 3 – 7:17
As Mile 3 ticked by, it dawned on me that I had just busted my 5K PR – unofficially, of course, but nevertheless…it had to be around 22 minutes – and since my PR was 23:25…that was pretty significant!
Mile 4 – 7:11
By Mile 4, I had passed a few more people and was still feeling good – pushing it, but not quite pedal to the medal.
Mile 5 – 7:14
After I passed the Mile 4 marker, I looked over my shoulder and didn’t see anyone immediately behind me…so I just kept chugging along.
Last .05 (I must have run over) – 6:26 pace
…and before I knew it…it was over!
After I crossed the finish line, I was handed a medal (multi-functioned – bottle opener) and grabbed a Sweetwater IPA – sweet success 😀
Official time: 36:43 / 2nd AG / 9th woman / 41st overall
It was JUST the confidence booster that I needed! Hitting those paces – in the highest mileage week OF MY LIFE – not to be dramatic – yeah, it felt pretty darn awesome! And YEAHHHHHHHHH 34 days til Space Coast Marathon!! BRING IT!
Did you race this weekend? Big shout out to all my pals who ran MCM, Rock n Roll LA, Rock n Roll StL, and so many more!