Best Damn Race 2016 Race Recap

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Ok so this race recap is way over do, but better late than never, right?! 😉 Almost three weeks ago I participated in the 4th annual Best Damn Race Safety Harbor 10K. This sold out event has been making it rounds around Florida, adding a new location every year. It’s deemed the “race for runners, by runners.”

I registered for this race last summer with the intent of pursuing another great race season, little did I know then how I’d be feeling and what I’d be doing I may have re-thought that decision…or maybe not. My goals for the race were to meet up with fellow runner friends and friends from boot camp, have fun, run at my own pace and finish with a smile on my face. Not only did I accomplish that, but I achieve a surprisingly new PR. Yes, that’s right I went out there untrained (running wise), set my watch for a 3/1 interval and had no intentions of running my best time to date.

Weeks prior a friend from boot camp mentioned she had to defer the run. By the time I realized that was an option, I was weeks out from the race. Since I knew a handful of people participating I figured what the heck, go out there and do it, even if you have to walk more of it that hoped to. I had done absolutely zero running since the St. Pete Beach Classic nearly three weeks prior. I did, however, attend more boot camp sessions than ever before. Race week just so happen to line up with bold week, or recovery week to put it. I took most of the week off to recover. I laced up for one 3 mile run the Monday prior, where I averaged a 10:39 pace, and did a double workout on Thursday.

Since the burrito bowl from Chipotle really fueled me for the SPB Classic I figured, stick to what I know and what has worked. I picked up some bananas the night before and made sure I had some bread and peanut butter in the cabinet for some pre-race morning fuel. I only hoped to do as good as I had on my previous 10K.

The morning of the run, temps were in the low 40s – 47 to be exact when I arrived to the race site! I opted to wear a pair on my running capris and a short sleeve. I’ve become more tolerable of the cooler temperatures after I’ve warmed up. Sure I was cold in the final minutes leading up to the race and I froze my butt off after but for the time I was on the course the weather could not have been more perfect – I think it’s what was the contributing factor to my PR.

30 minutes before the race I met up with my friend Barb. It was so good to see her and catch up! We then met up with some other ladies from a meetup group we are apart of and made out way over to the start chute. As the horn sounded I weaved my way around other runners and walkers in the pack to find a comfortable position. I decided to run as much of the race as I could comfortably before I exhausted myself too much and went into intervals.


Just before mile 1 I caught up with a girl, Kim, who works out at CG. I had no idea she was running it but it was great to chat for a few minutes and see another friendly face on the course. I was still feeling pretty good and kept up on running, I was passing a lot of people within reason so I tried to be smart and conserve some of the energy I had. We approached the first hydration station where I stopped for water, I had reservations about stopping because it could go one of two ways- I could stop and get back right into the groove or stop and then lose it and have to go into intervals. While it was a cool day, I knew I needed the hydration and I was feeling pretty confident in my ability to get back into a comfortable running pace so I stopped.

Around mile 2.5 I could see my friend Barb about 5-10 runners ahead of me. I knew she was running at a faster pace and I wasn’t monitoring my time or pace, I didn’t want to, so I had a general sense that I was probably on the 9:30-10 track for the mile I was in. Shortly before mile 3  I decided to go into intervals. I was still feeling pretty good overall but only acknowledge my watch when the interval changed. Just before mile 4 I saw my trainer Mike, he was on his way back to the finish for the 10K – again another face on the course to keep the motivation going. Mile 5 was once again the tough mile for me, my asthma began to act up so I took a few more extended walk breaks to get my breathing under control, when my watch beeped to notify me of the mile I decided to see just how slow I took that mile and was shocked to see it came in at 10:29! I only saw the mile not the overall time but was impressed with how well I was doing. Just shy of mile 6 I had to step off to the side for a minute to stretch out my hip flexor, my right side was getting a dull ache and I only had little to go till the finish.

As of rounded the corner for the .10 to the finish I saw the clock reading around 1:04 and change, I knew I was about a minute or so lapsed but didn’t know how much exactly. After crossing the finish, I collected my medal and a bottle of water and made my way over to meet up with Barb who had finish in just under an hour (go girl!), it was then I looked at my watch which read 1:02:56! ‘Uhmm what?!’ Was my first reaction. Did I really just PR? I didn’t expect to beat my previous time of 1:03:38. Even my official chip time of 1:03:07 beat my previous PR.


Overall, I could not be more happy with the end result and more importantly, proud of myself for not giving in to a ‘DNS.’ I’d like to give a big shoutout to Camp Gladiator, most importantly my trainers, Mike and Drew, for helping my build up my stamina and speed. While it is not recommended to run a race untrained, running wise, strength training truly does play a key factor in your performance when it comes to running. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Best Damn Race 2016 Race Recap

  1. So glad you got a PR! And untrained too that’s pretty impressive! Good job BRF! Hopefully you get back to running more regularly soon though I miss running together! The last weekend we did our 8 miler was fun 🙂

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