It’s been awhile since I’ve done a fitness related post, but I can finally say that I’m back in the swing of things!
The last time I checked in about my fitness (or lack thereof) I was just starting to get back to running. Yoga was my go-to workout, but I was definitely getting the itch for more cardio. Slowly but surely I’ve started to get in some swimming, biking and running. My mileage is still relatively low (for me), and I’m definitely not Ms. Consistent like I was last season, but I’m happy if I get in 4-5 workouts during the week.
Having some rad new SOAS gear also helps with the motivation.
Yes. Definitely helps.
You’ll be seeing a lot more of this awesome teal this season:-)
(get some gear for yourself- you won’t regret it!)
Anyhow, last weekend, I was looking for something to do. Most of my friends were out of town, so Meghann suggested I run the IronGirl Clearwater 5K. Without hesitation, I said ok! A 5K would be fun! My last time running there was a distant memory; had I remembered, I may not have been so quick to agree (hint: Florida runners go here to run the bridges aka Florida hills). Great.
Sunday morning, I woke up bright and early to get myself over to Clearwater for the 7:30 start. I was a little worried about parking, so I arrived close to 6:45. Parking was a breeze, so I had time to putz around, stretch and do a (half-hearted) warm up. I watched the half marathoners start at 7 and then milled into the corral for our 7:30 gun time. I really had no expectations for myself- I just wanted to have fun. I lined up close(ish) to the front and waited for the gun.
As soon as it sounded, I took off. I pressed play on my iPod and started to run.
Hmm…I’m not sure I have any other pace than my Ironman goal pace (5:30/km)…Steph, that’s way too slow for a 5K pace.
This is a 5K- you have to run FAST Steph.
This is gonna hurt…but it’s supposed to!
The pain will only last 25 minutes Steph. You did an Ironman, you can handle 25 minutes!
I quickly found my rhythm, and started passing some people right away. Before we had even hit the bridge, I noticed that I was near the front of the pack. Don’t get too excited now; just take it one K at a time, left, right, left.
My first km ticked off and I saw a 4:XX. Really?? Haven’t seen that pace in quite some time! Just keep it up, don’t die now!
I started up the bridge and felt pretty good. I actually passed someone, which gave me a little mental boost. Don’t let her catch you on the downhill Steph!
Before I knew it, I was actually at the top of the bridge! It wasn’t quite as tough as I remembered, but I knew I still had to come back over it, so I couldn’t get too excited. I took advantage of the downhill, and when another km clicked by with a 4 in front, I was getting pretty excited. But, I was also really nervous that I would crash and burn- my runs lately have been between 4-8K; with many more on the 4K end of that spectrum, and all the mileage after 3K feeling way more difficult than I wanted it to feel. At the bottom of the bridge, there was a short straightaway before the turnaround. I looked over the median to see the girls who had made the turn already. 1…2…3…4…5…6…I couldn’t see the girls directly in the turn, but there were definitely a few there. I figured I was definitely in the top 15, but I might be able to squeak into the top ten if I can keep it up!
Right after the turn, we were hit with a headwind. This was both a blessing and a curse, since it made it feel cooler (stupid Florida humidity!) but it was a darn headwind. A little flat and then up the bridge we went. Oof. It was getting hard at this point. Really hard. My lungs were burning and my heart was pounding. Gosh I miss my Ironman fitness! I saw the girl in front of me, maybe 10 meters or so and I really wanted to catch her, but I didn’t want to end up passed out on the top of the Causeway bridge…so I pulled back a tad. Once I had reached the top of the bridge, my heart rate had settled some, and I knew it was time to bring it home. With only a km left (and some of that downhill), I kicked it into high gear. Lean forward Steph, take advantage of that bridge!
As I headed down the bridge, the girl in front of me got closer. C’mon, do it Steph! I caught her at the bottom of the bridge, as we were making the turn onto Osceola Avenue. Yes! Now hold on Steph!
Down Osceola, and then a left onto Cleveland and into the finish chute! Yahoo! I did it! Finish lines are so fun!
I grabbed my bling and took a photo with Meghann while I waited for results to be posted.
I was so surprised to see that I had won my age group and was 11th OA! Totally unexpected, but totally awesome!
I mean, check out these awesome awards:
Wow! It was so much fun to race IronGirl. It was a beautiful morning (though a little on the humid side), a challenging course, and such an amazing event that empowers women. I loved watching women of all shapes and sizes cross that finish line! The race was super organized, the vendors and expo was great, and it was great motivation for me to keep getting back at it. (So much so, that I signed up for an OWS race this weekend! Oh, and I’m doing a triathlon relay at the end of the month!)
I’m back friends!