Happy New Year to all my followers!
For those still new to my blog, 2014 is going to be a big year for me…I will run my first two 10k races (2014 Walgreens St. Pete Beach Classic and the Best Damn Race Safety Harbor), followed by my first 15k (Gasparilla Distance Classic) and finally finishing off the season strong with the big half-marathon, Iron Girl Clearwater.
I’m super excited for all of these races. The more mileage I gain week by week, the less scary 13.1 miles seems. Oh and did I mention I’ll be getting some major bling (non-runner terminology: medals) at each of the races for my accomplishment! My thought process is if I am going to push my body the extra mile why not get rewarded for it.
I took New Year’s Day off from all my training to enjoy my last full day of vacation from work. However, I was back at it at 5:45am the next day. It felt great to kick off the New Year with a 4 mile run. It was also a great accomplishment as I worked on my pacing and had averaged an 11:25/mile. After doing some research and calculations I would need to average roughly a 11:30/mile pace in order to finish the Iron Girl within my anticipated time frame of 2:30:00.
For my long run on Sunday, I knew I had to get in a 5 miler as I had my first 10k, the St. Pete Beach Classic, coming up in the next few weeks. When I looked at my calendar last night I realized that I was less than two weeks out from this race. Somehow I lost count of the weeks and realized I need to attempt 6 miles, even if it was running 5 and walking the last mile.
When the alarm went off at 6am, I desperately wanted to turn it off and go back to sleep. However, I knew the goal I had set out for myself to accomplish that morning and that a nap could always be in future. Rather than run around my neighbor, I decided to run along a recreational trail throughout Downtown St. Pete. It has a beautiful scenic route as well as water fountains throughout the trail to aid in keeping me hydrated.
I started the run just before 7am, it was a very cool morning and started off on a comfortable pace. About a mile and a half in I approached a shelter with a water fountain, and within eye sight was the Pier. One thing my sister told me about running is you get really good at judging distances, and from my standing point the Pier looked to be about another mile and a half way. Figuring the three-mile marker would be a good a halfway point to turn back around at, I set out on my journey to the Pier. Sure enough when I reached the end of it, my watch beeped signalling the three-mile mark. As I made my way back mile 5 felt a little rough at first not having ran more than 4 miles previously but with a mile and a half to go I fell back into a pace much slower than what I had been running yet comfortable enough to power me through.
The breakdown of my run, mile by mile: