I could NOT have thought of a better way to mark my return to running after a post-Chicago break!
Today marked Day 2 of celebratory racing events that marked the graduation of our Fleet Feet Sports training program, No Boundaries. These 10-week programs kicked off in August – AKA pretty much the hottest time EVER to be running in Florida, which makes the accomplishments of all of our participants even more incredible! They trained through what I believe was one of the most miserable seasons to ever run through, and their dedication certainly showed this weekend!
Our training tees came in red for the 5K and blue for the 10K (this fall’s event was actually a 5 mile race, so they were even more prepared) so I *had* to come up with an appropriately themed costume…which I think really worked out for the FUN!
So, without further ado, how about a little review/recap?
Race 1: Boo Run – Lakewood Ranch, FL – 5K
I had heard great things about this local race – from raves about the organization, swag, refreshments and more – so I was incredibly excited to check it out! Fortunately for me, the stars aligned for me to check it out, as it was chosen for the 5K training group’s goal race!
Over the ten weeks of training, the groups went from two interval training (2/1 and 1/1) groups, to a 2/1 interval group and a straight running group. It was so exciting to see how much confidence was gained through the program, and so on race day, Coach Whitney and I had the honor of pacing the running group, while Kim would head up the interval group.
The race started at 8 AM, but I arrived pretty early (about a quarter til 7 AM) since I had to pick up my packet (which is very quick and simple – score!) Apparently, this was the biggest turnout ever (900 runners) but you would never know since it was so well organized. Another great point? Saw my super fast runner friend Fernanda!
After pickup I hung out in my car for a while (it was “cold” out – 59 degrees) until 7:30 ish, when it was time to meetup with the group and take a pre-race picture. After some wise words from Coach Whitney, we headed to the start.
Our group of gals were so excited to run, and their nerves pushed them through a VERY strong race! The course was nice and fast (not too many turns) through retail/residential areas. It was super fun seeing so many costumes, and the spirit in the air was awesome!!
Post-race, there were great goodies from First Watch, as well as a costume contest. It was a great vibe, and I decided it’d definitely be a race to repeat!
Race 2: Bill’s Beer Run- Casey Key, FL – 5M
I LOVE this race! I was very excited to run it again, after a great first impression last year (recap here). Of course, last year, the race fell right in the peak part of my Space Coast Marathon training, and this year, well, I hadn’t run since Chicago – but as a goal race for the training program, I’d have a very different goal: to support our strong runners!
My best gal Jillian was also in town (after I raved about it last year, she made sure to register) so I was so excited that she’d be able to join the fun with us.
This morning, we got up early so we’d be sure to be coffee’d up, and on time for primo parking at Jetty Park, where the out’n’back course starts and ends. After a quick bathroom stop (yay for real potties!!) we walked over to the staging area and met up with the group for a pic / quick strategy session and then it was race time!
For this race, Whitney would be running ahead with fastie Gina, and then we’d be monitoring the course for our runners. I seeded myself behind Laura and Jude (very consistent runners) so I could be there to support if needed (they both also ran the 5K yesterday). Of course, they pushed each other so well through the race, I only ran up once to cheer for them!! 😀
The course, of course (hehe) is pretty flipping fabulous – down a beachy road past small roadside inns, multimillion dollar coastal homes and secluded shoreline. So beautiful!
PROTIP: The crowd is VERY big to start with, but thins out fast.
(back to regularly scheduled programming)
SOOOOO…Jillian’s “secret” goal today was sub-50, and though she had some shoulder pain, she TOTALLY rocked it with our 48:xx finish! We kicked it in at the end and I really hope there are finish line photos cos they are surely hilarious.
That was the FANTASTIC cherry on top of a real peach of a running weekend, and it realllllllllllly motivated me on my track back to training and racing – this is what it’s all about!
Did you race this weekend?