I walked outside to let Comet out in the am and new immediately it was going to be a rough race. The air had been cooler here in Central Florida all week and then boom, race day humidity struck. The Weather channel app has a run number that ranges from 1-10, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. Where I am in Florida the run number usually averages a 3. The week prior to the race it was averaging a 7, race day was a 4.
I actually registered Chris and I for the Dusty Rail Rally 5K on National Running Day, it looked like a cool local race, plus it was only $10. I love local races! I love that I know so many people and I love that I actually have a chance to win an award. This particular race offers the best awards. Age group awards are hand carved, wooden crosses and overall awards are actual refurbished railroad spikes.
I was shooting for an age group award. It’s funny but I was talking to the race director and his wife, who I run with, at the last pub run. He had asked me if I was going to go for a railroad spike and I shook my head and told him I wasn’t that fast. He told me I should go for it and I loved that I looked like a runner who could achieve that goal, but I pretty much figured it was out of my reach. I never thought I would win a spike. I did know that I could push hard for an age group award.
Chris and I arrived at the Trilby Lodge around 7:30 am. It was about a thirty minute drive from our house. I hit the bathroom immediately, because I have this nervous pee thing going on and I didn’t want to wait until later.
I used to be that person that made fun of people that ran before a race, because why exactly would you want to run before a race? Well guess what?? I am now one of those people. I have run my best 5Ks when I have warmed up before the race. There is definitely something to be said about warming up before a race.
My two goals for this race were to PR and to earn an age group award. This race was not chipped, so Chris and I made our way to as close to the start line as we could get, which was pretty damn close.
The race started at 8:10 and I took off at full force. For probably the first time in my twenty years of running I was at the front of the pack and there was only one other female in front of me.
This race was painfully hard. The humidity was killer and my breathing pretty much sucked from the beginning, but I just kept pushing. The course was part roads and part trails. I loved that there was plenty of turns instead of being on just a straight out and back route. At about the halfway point another female runner passed me. This kept me motivated, but I just kept a hard, steady pace while keeping her in my sight. At about mile two there was a water stop, I took barely a sip and just kept running.
The last turn was back onto the road we started at and with only about a quarter of a mile left I pushed my pace. I ended up passing the female that passed me at the half way point, which landed me the award of 2nd place female overall and a shiny new PR.
Chris did good too, coming in under 30 minutes.
It took awhile for them to tally up the awards, but we enjoyed an awesome breakfast of biscuits, sausage gravy, sausage and eggs while we waited.
After we ate, I headed outside for a group pic with the Moms Run This Town Tampa ladies.
The awards were ready by 9:30 and I clamed my awesome railroad spike!
This race will go down as one of my favorite races ever!!!
What was your favorite award at a race?