The St. Pete Beach Classic was my first ever 10k. I had so much fun at this race last year the I signed up to run it again this year. My friend Montana over at Pretty Lil’ Mudder decided to run this event too.
The night before, we had opted to get dinner out due to the timing of the days events. Needing to carb-load Montana and I headed over to the local Olive Garden where come to find out their servers were down and they could not take anyone’s orders or check anyone out. The anticipated wait time was well over an hour. We checked the wait time at several of the other restaurants nearby and they were closing in on an hour with one restaurant having a wait time of 105 mins! Needless to say with two “hangry” people, we ended up at Chili’s. I’ve been wanting to try a rice and beans carb-load meal, but the night before a training run. In this case, I was trying it the night before a race. I know you are not suppose to try anything new the night before and morning of the race but I was running out of options to carb-load with. I ended up with the Margarita Grilled Chicken with the cirtus-chile rice and black beans.
The morning of the race, the weather was very similar to last year, a cool, crisp morning with a temperature of 54 degree and windy conditions. Unlike last year, I did not pile on as many layers keeping it simple with a shirt and running capris. The great thing about this race was I could use my “Bibbits,” a Christmas gift from one sisters. Bibbets are magnetic bib holders. These things are pretty cool and I love them, but they will take some getting used to with being magnetic. They kept attracting my headphones when I wasn’t wearing them, lol.
As the gun sounded we took off down Gulf Blvd. I took the mile steady not wanting to start off too fast. The legs were feeling good and I focused on my breathing. Montana stuck with me for the first mile and a half before breaking off into her own running style. With every passing mile my watch signaled a time under 10 minutes. As I neared the mile 5 marker, I looked at my overall time and was shocked to find I was on track to finish around an hour. Could I break an hour? I tried not to think about it too much and just focus on the next mile. About a quarter into mile 6 I was hit with a sharp pain in my side. Of course I would get hit with a side stitch with less than a mile left to go! I slowed down to walk it out for a minute and started running again. I maintain a much slower pace until the pain subsided. As I hit mile 6, I gave it all I had and with the finish chute in eye sight sprinted it out coming in at 01:03:38 – just over a 4 minute PR!!!
Not only did I manage to PR but so did my running bestie, Montana took 5 minutes off her previous best!
After crossing the finish line, I waited for Montana. The course is designed so we had to pass the finish line and turn back around in order to meet the USATF course certification. On my way back to finish post turnaround, I spotted her so I knew she was just minutes behind me. Once she collected her medal and a drink we met up and headed over to the post-race amenities.
Once again, I had a great time at this race and was well worth the registration fee paid. I will be adding this race to my list of races to consider for 2016 🙂