The Track Shack Winter Park Road Race 10k was the first 10k race I did 5 years ago. My friend AJ paced me, I threw up about 0.1 miles from the finish, and I felt like a rockstar. Lol, yup, barf and all. For one reason or another I wasn’t able to do the race again until this year. It fell on a weekend that I was free and was a perfect distance with the Publix Savannah Women’s 1/2 being just two weeks away. So I signed up and was ready to go!
The morning of the race I just wasn’t feeling it. My hip has been bothering me a lot lately and it was hurting before I’d even left the house. But I needed to get the distance in and there was a beautiful medal and pint glass waiting for me at the finish. So I headed to downtown Winter Park and met up with my friend Lita that I was going to run with. We walked around for a bit before heading to the starting line.
Holy cow this race has a lot of people! They said at the start it was 3,500 and you could really tell. Once the race got started it took well over half a mile for things to clear up enough that you could really get in your own rhythm. Throw in the crazy cobble stones that make up most of that first half mile and it isn’t the best start you could ask for. Thankfully the rest of the race was smooth sailing.
Even with the pain we were both feeling, we kept up with our intervals and actually maintained a pretty good pace for those 6.2 miles. It was hot and humid (yeah, I’m pretty sure winter is definitely over in Florida), but the route was beautiful which was a nice distraction. Unfortunately the hot and humid weather made the three water stops on the route insufficient, especially with the first one being over two miles into the race. But the volunteers at each stop were great and made sure that everyone got enough water on their way through the stop.
Let me tell you that I was SO very happy to see that 6 mile sign! You hear a lot of runners “joke” that the last 0.1 or 0.2 of the race are what really kills you and I’m here to say that they are. As exciting as it was to see the 6 mile sign, the idea of going 0.2 more was not fun. Thankfully this year that last 0.2 is a straight shot to the finish. I ignored my intervals and just went for it. I really REALLY wanted to be done!
Thankfully on the other side of that finish line was a BEAUTIFUL medal, lots of water, and a spiffy new pint glass. Hooray for being done! This year they had beer at the finish (woo hoo!) so we grabbed a snack on the way to the beer line. We were hoping for a little more to eat at the finish, but I must admit that the Florida strawberries they had were so good and made me smile 🙂
After grabbing our beers we took a post-race picture (of course) and walked around for a bit while we finished our beers before heading out. I was really happy with our finish time and glad that I decided to do this race. Even though I was in a good amount of pain, I feel like I’m at least a little bit prepared for my 1/2 marathon in 2 weeks. Savannah here I come!