Sunday morning, I woke up bright and early to run the U Can Finish 5-miler at the University of Central Florida. I don’t think it’s ever been easier to get to a race. I met Michelle at her house around 6:45 and she was very excited to see that I was celebrating Movember early this year.
(Thanks for the picture, M.)
We left around 7:00 and her husband, Dan, dropped us off at the UCF Arena around 7:15. (I love when Dan drives us to races. Makes things so easy!)
We were running a little late but we never ran into traffic which was a big win. We had 15 minutes to kill before the race started so we hung around the extremely uncrowded pacer area and waited.
While we waited, we ran into a few friends, including my cutie pie Tower of Terror buddy, Danielle.
The race started on time – without a National Anthem. That was kinda weird. At least, it was pretty obvious for me it was missing. I think this is the only race I’ve done where it wasn’t played.
I was feeling wicked awesome the whole time. That’s right. WICKED awesome. It was so fun to run around campus and try to remember which class I took in which building as I passed by. Plus, the campus is so pretty it almost made me wish I was back in school.
For the first mile or so, I constantly checked my Garmin. I noticed I was running around a 9:00 pace and that kinda freaked me out because it’s a little faster than I thought I would run. I was aiming for a 9:30, so if I see that I’m running faster than what I think I should be, I worry about burning out. Then my mental game starts. So I stopped checking my Garmin unless I felt like I was slowing down because I can de-motivate myself easily. I figured as long as I was passing people and they weren’t passing me, I was doing ok.
I guess that strategy worked because I have never run anything this consistently in my life. I have no idea how this happened.
I finished in 45:45 (a 9:08 average). Considering I was hoping for a 47 – 48 minute race, I consider that a big win. Plus, I’ve never run a 5 miler before, so instant PR!
Now, I just need to figure out how to keep up that pace for a half marathon and I will have my coveted sub-2:00. The HIIT workouts I’m doing seem to be working, so I’ll keep that up and see what I can do in November at the Space Coast half.
After the race, we ran into more friends (some managed to evade my camera). I swear I felt like I knew everyone. This must be what it was like for Norm when he walked into Cheers. ( < — too old a reference? Probably. But I’m old and that’s what you get.)
This was a really fun, really well-organized race. I’ll definitely do this one again next year. Oh, and apparently I missed out on the beer at the end, so I’m going to need redemption for that. No beer left behind.
The Giveaway: Tiffany guessed my time EXACTLY.
Tiffany, I emailed you yesterday and the email was kicked back as undeliverable. So email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim that super sweet gift certificate. I’ll give you a week or so to contact me until I pick the next closest, which was just 3 seconds off! You guys are good at guessing!