When I started running at the end of 2010 my first race EVER was the Seasons 52 Park Avenue 5.2k race in January 2011. I did it with some friends and walked a good portion of it, but I still did it. Because it was my very first race it holds a special place in my heart. So every year since, regardless of how I’m feeling, i’ve signed up for this race. This time I was extra motivated to sign up for the race when I got an email stating that if I registered on a certain day, that happened to be 52 days before the race, I’d get a set of Seasons 52 wine glasses. Sweet! So I signed up 52 days before the race and this became my first race of the year. It also became my first of 5 races over 11 weeks (3 of which are 1/2 marathons). At least the first one was an easy one right?
We had a cold snap here in Florida this week so I had to put a little bit more thought into my race day outfit. I’m one of those people that warms up pretty quick once I start running, but I also knew I’d be standing around outside for at least 30 minutes before the race. With Best Damn Race – Safety Harbor being just a week away I decided to wear my BDR shirt. I paired it with some black running capris, my red sparkle skirt, and a long sleeved top. I wore a jacket in the chair hoping that I’d be able to leave it once I got to the race, but I had to keep it on along with my gloves. It was WAY colder than I thought it would be.
A little bit after I arrived I met up with one of my Team Challenge buddies and her friend. We talked for awhile and tried to stay warm before finally moving to the start line about 5 minutes before the race start. I was really hoping for a PR at this race but between the weather (which can be good or bad for me) and my hip bothering me a lot lately, I just wasn’t sure if I could swing it. At the start of the race I stayed with my friend for a bit but then found myself on my own after about a 1/4 of a mile. My plan was to run as far as I could and then switch to running 2 minutes and walking 1. I got to the 1 mile marker before I started my 2/1 pace for the rest of the race.
As you may have noticed, this was a 5.2k since it was sponsored by Seasons 52. They had mile markers at the 1, 2, and 3 mile places and then another one at the 5k mark. They also track your time at the 5k mark since most people (at least those who care about their times) are comparing it to their other 5k times and not a 5.2k time. Just before mile 3 I realize that most like I wasn’t going to get a PR this time around but I pushed it anyway. I got to the 5k marker and figured out that I was either JUST over or JUST under my current PR time. Regardless, I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face and made my way over for some snacks and water.
They post times immediately after the race and waited a little bit for mine to show up. They post your 5.2k time, but you have to wait until the times are posted online later in the day to see your 5k times. My overall time was 38 seconds slower than last year. I knew that I slowed down some after I hit the 5k mark, so there was still a chance for a PR. *fingers crossed*
I walked around for a little bit and then decided to head out since I had other weekend plans to get to. As I was walking out I heard the announcer call my name. Huh? I was standing right next to the stage as the happened and realized I had won a prize. Every 52nd finisher won a gift certificate for Seasons 52! Score! What I didn’t realize is that it was a $52 gift certificate. How cool is that?! So I ran up on stage and got my gift certificate before heading home.
All in all it was a good race. I found out later in the day that I missed a 5k PR by 15 seconds. Well damn. It is okay though, I was still happy with how I did. And very happy that for the most part my hip held out. It was bothering me some later in the day, but nothing like it was after (and during) my 1/2 marathon in December. Hopefully it will continue to behave since in 5 short days I have race #2 of 2014 – the Best Damn Race 1/2 Marathon in Safety Harbor, FL. I am super excited about this race! It is my second time participating in the Best Damn Race AND I’m a race ambassador this year. I get to spend then weekend in a face resort & spa with my bestie, run a race, and spend time with my race ambassador crew. It should be a lot of fun 🙂