I Might Be Getting Faster Or The 5K I Ran On No Sleep

I recently ran the last race of my favorite 5K race series, The Watermelon 5K Series, put on by the Lakeland Runner’s Club. (I previously wrote about races one/two and three.) It is a wonderful series that helps keep me motivated through the sweltering Florida summer and is like $30 for four races if you register early.

Even though I feel faster lately (this is completely due to some breakthroughs with my new running group), leading up to Watermelon 5K Race four was not ideal. Months earlier, I bought tickets to see The Killers at Hard Rock Live. Very exciting, but of course it was the night before the last race. My friend and I stayed for the entire concert. I didn’t drink at all, which was a first for me (not because I’m some huge drunk but because I do like a few beers at a concert). After the second encore, we decided to leave but there was a torrential downpour. I mean it was biblical. (Also it was truly hilarious to watch quite a few inebriated people staring out the doors and trying to decide what to do.) Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal but Hard Rock Live is located in Universal City Walk. That means we had to walk about two miles in the pouring rain to the parking garage. So we ran. (I am kind of glad that I was sober, would have been much more annoyed about this after a few.)

I got home around midnight and promptly passed out. (The concert was awesome and they played every song you would want to hear.) Somehow, I was able to wake up at 4 AM and got my butt out the door. I am not someone who does well with little-to-no sleep but I paid for the race and was going to run it (unless I slept through my alarm which I thought might happen.)

So the plan going into this race was to finish. Not die. Not pass out. Not fall asleep on my feet. So, it was a success there. Somehow, maybe it was the lack of sleep, I ran my fastest 5K ever.

Watermelon 5K Race Four Splits

Official time 30:43.

Watermelon 5K Race Four 2013 Finish

Not sure how I seemed to finish with no other people.

I loved that they took free commemorative photo’s of participants after the race was over.

Watermelon Number Four 2013 DinaRuns Picture

For running the series, I did get this awesome woman specific tech shirt.

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K 2013 Shirt

This is my second year running the Watermelon 5K Series and it is starting to mark the end of summer. Until next year, it was fun huffing and puffing my way around Lake Hollingsworth.

A Tale Of Two Races

It was so hard not to type Tail in the subject line of this post. This post is, sadly, not about this guy.

Tail Cat Stares At You

It is about running, which I have been doing some of lately.

Running in the Florida summer is tough. I never have any luck getting up before the sun to run (mainly because I am afraid of running in the dark alone and also because it is really early) so I tend to run after work in the sweltering heat and on the treadmill on the gym. Keeping the motivation high, I need to have something to aim for. Luckily, the Lakeland Runner’s Club has the same idea.

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Lakeland Runner’s Club Watermelon 5K Race One

This series takes place around the beautiful Lake Hollingsworth area in Lakeland. Amazing houses, water views, and all kinds of ducks. It is such a treat to run in the area.

Lake Hollingsworth Lakeland Florida

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This race started like pretty much all races in Florida, hot and humid. Luckily, the 7 AM start is just when the sun starts to come up. The race route is mostly on the path that goes all the way around the lake (there is a little road running at the race start.) It can make parts of the race a little congested but I am usually able to get around people if needed.

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Garmin Map Race 1 2013

Sadly, the same cramps that plagued me last year, happened again during this race. This lead to a few walk breaks (so I could breath) and missing my sub-30 minute goal.

Splits Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Race 1 2013

My official time chip time is 32.39. Not my fastest by far but a starting point to get my time down over the course of the series.

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Race 1 2013

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Lakeland Runner’s Club Watermelon 5K Race Two

I made great time and parking was a breeze. (The more often I run this race, the better I get at deciding which side streets are the best to park on.) I did have to choose between warming-up and using the bathroom (the bathroom won.)

Having learned my lesson from Race One, I started this one in 9 minute mile area. What a difference that made! It seems obvious but starting near people who run your pace makes so much more sense. Especially in a race where people run with strollers and dogs.

Lakeland Runner's Club Watermelon Run #2 2013

Lakeland Runners Club Watermelon 5K Number 2 Splits 2013

Again, there were a few walk breaks but it helps prevent cramping. I am happy to say that race was faster than race number one, so at least the numbers are going in the right direction.

My official chip time is 30:55 which is just so close to a sub-30 that I hope race number three I can get there.

Dina Runs Lakeland Runner's Club Watermelon 5K Run 2

(Photo taken from the Lakeland Runner’s Club Facebook group)

A 5K That Was Not 3.1 Miles

On Saturday, I ran the inaugural Margarita Run 5K Urban Run & 1 Mile Walk. This is a small local race which is for a great cause, benefitting Haines City Main Street, and close to my house. It was interesting running at 5PM but the weather was perfect. (What do most people eat when they race later in the day? I had breakfast but lunch was a difficult one. I ended up eating breakfast foods for lunch and hoped my stomach would be fine.)

Haines City has a great downtown area that is really on an upswing. I love seeing all the local businesses that are opening.

Downtown Haines City

They had a cute mini expo in Railroad Park. I loved that a local Mexican restaurant, La Fiesta Mexicana, sold nachos and tacos. It went well with the margaritas.

Haines City Mini 5K Expo

We started running through an arch of balloons. (I took this picture after they unhooked one end of the arch.)

Balloons

This course had a lot of hills (for Florida). It even took us on a dirt path and over some railroad tracks. The course sadly was not 3.1 miles.

Margarita_5K_Haines_City

At the two mile mark, I heard one of the volunteers yell that there was only a half a mile left. I looked at my Garmin and knew I could not have a half mile left because I cannot run that fast. The sad thing is that I would have had a PR if I maintained my average pace for the remained of the 5K.

At least there was a band.

Haines City 5K Band

Have you ever had a race go wrong?

Is it crazy that I will probably run this race again next year?

Please take a minute to enter my giveaway of The Swiss Cheese Theory Of Life.

Half Marathon Training Week 11 In Review

You can follow my previous weeks training and current DVD rotation on my Workouts page.

Sunday: 30 Minutes Elliptical. 15 minutes Upper Body.

Monday: 10.05 Miles! (This is my personal distance record and I am still thrilled about this run.)

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 2.41 Miles

Thursday: 30 Day Shred Level 1

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 4.26 Miles

Thoughts: I feel really great mentally about getting over the double digit run hump. Lately, my strength training has gone out the window and I am starting to notice a difference in my level of strength. I need be more consistent but am having a hard time spending 40 to 60 minutes on a full body routine. Starting the 30 Day Shred again seemed like a good idea because it is short and I always see results.

My training plan calls for a 5K to access time goals. Ultimately, my goal is to finish the Half but I love to run 5K’s and this one is almost too good to be true.

The 2011 Margarita Run – 5K Urban Run & 1 Mile Walk.

Why is this race so perfect?

It’s near my house. (I normally drive upwards of an hour to race in Orlando.)

The race starts at 5:00 PM (It is late and close enough that J can actually attend and still get his studying done.)

It is for a really great cause.

Plus there is the promise of Margarita’s.

Do you have any upcoming fun races? Is it just me, or are small local races super fun?

The winner of the Eeyore Track Pants from OldGlory is Khourt from Life As A Convert. Send me an email to DinaRuns@Gmail.com with your address and size. Thanks to all who entered, I really enjoyed reading about your favorite fall foods.

Celebration of Running 5K

Before I put a ton of (delicious) cured meats in my face at The Ravenous Pig on Saturday, I ran the Celebration of Running 5K. The race started at 7:30 but every minute that creaped by grew hotter and hotter. Halfway through I was dripping in sweat and wiping my face on my shirt.

The race started at the Orlando Science Museum.

Celebration of 5K

                                  

(Can you see me way in the back near the 10 plus minute mile sign in the back?)

The course took you by beautiful Lake Formosa and a place where I used to work. Down one brick lined and pothole filled street. (That was interesting, I kept picturing someone tripping and hurting their ankle.) It looped around The Track Shack and the finish was at the Science Museum.

Garmin Route Map

Celebration_of_5K_Course_Map

Garmin Stats

Garmin_Stats

Not sure why it says 3.24 miles. I started my watch when I crossed the starting line and stopped it when I crossed the finish line. Could it have to do with where I am running in relation to the road?

My official times were clock 36:36 and chip 35:29. My goal was closer to 30 minutes but as hot as it was that day, I am happy with my time.

Takeaways: I started out too fast. The first mile was at a 10 minute per mile pace which is speedy for me. I should be in the 11 minute mile range. I ran out of gas towards the end and would have felt better if I had started of slower. 

What are you best race tips?

Track Shack Swag

Friday was kind of awesome. I got to wear jeans to work and leave early (to go to the dentist but whatever.)

After getting my teeth cleaned, I headed to an iconic Orlando store.

Track Shack

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The Track Shack!

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(Does anyone know how to take a good picture of a plastic bag?)

They are having a sale (that ends on Saturday) that is 20% off everything in the store plus it’s Florida’s tax free weekend. I needed some new shoes and to pick-up my race pack for the Celebration of Running 5K.

This was my first time in the Track Shack and it did not disappoint. What I ended up taking home.

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New Asics GT- 2160. I have already run in these twice and they feel so good. I waited much too long to get new shoes.

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A larger pouch for my Fuel Belt. It fits my phone perfectly which is great because I like to listen to Sirius when I run and need my phone for that. The longer my runs get, the safer I will feel having my phone. Just in case I end up in a ditch or hurt myself. (Or just to see how fast J will come and get me.)

The BodyGlide is for my horrible armpits. I have had some armpit irritation that is making me mental and have to concentrate not to scratch in public.(I want to apologize to Maria, who sits next to me at work and am sure has caught me scratching.) I used the BodyGlide and I can see an improvement already. I should have purchased this months ago.

I want to try some new nutrition as my runs get longer. So far, I have used Cliff Shot Bloks mainly because they are available at my local Target and nothing else is. I decided to try two flavors of GU and two Cliff Shot Gel’s and see how it goes. From what I can tell, this seems to be a highly personal process and filled with lots of trial and error. If you have any suggestions for me as to your favorite nutrition, I am all ears. What is important is that I do not want tons of chemicals. I try to avoid food coloring, fake sugars, and additives as much as possible in my diet.

All of this for 20% off.

I also picked up this baby.

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Should have a race report up tomorrow. First 5K of the season was a lot of fun. I missed racing!

What are some of your favorite running products? Have you started your racing season yet?