Coffee Date {4/18/2014}

 Coffee Date

Happy Friday! What a seriously crazy week it has been. I am so glad that the weekend is only a few hours away. My work load is about to increase like crazy so I have big plans to relax this weekend and get as much done around the house as possible. Since it is Friday, we need to make some time for a coffee break before we get this weekend started!

If we were having coffee today, I would probably order the largest cup of coffee available and add an extra (or two) of espresso to it. I am seriously exhausted today. Last night, a few of my coworkers and I headed over to Orlando for the IOA Corporate 5k with our Orlando office. It was a ton of fun but it was also a really, really late night. All these late nights are starting to catch up with me and it is only going to get worse over the next couple of weeks.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you about the crazy silly thing that I did on Wednesday. What I did may even be considered to be completely Dopey. Can you guess what I might have done? Well I may or may not have registered for the 2015 Dopey Challenge. That’s right I have decided to tackle 48.6 miles in 4 day again next year. I know that I haven’t posted my final thoughts about the challenge (look for that post very soon!). When I crossed the finish line of that marathon, I knew that I was going to do it again. I knew that I wanted to train harder and run faster. I just knew that I would run it again. Are you planning to run any of the races during the WDW Marathon weekend?

If we were having coffee today, I would want to talk about the upcoming Boston Marathon. I am still amazed that it has a year since the tragic events of the 2013 Boston Marathon. History always talks about defining moments of generations. That day may not have been as defining as other moments but it definitely struck a chord in the heart of every runner. I remember sitting on my computer at work listening to the race in the background. I was in awe of the strength and ability of Shalaine Flanagan and Kara Goucher. When I heard about the bombing, I remember sitting at my desk in shock. We may never truly understand why it happened but we will always remember that day. #BostonStrong

If we were having coffee today, what would you share?

2014 Iron Girl Clearwater 5k Race Recap

On Sunday morning, the alarm clock went off at 5:30 and we lazily rolled out of bed. It was way earlier than either of us enjoy waking up but I had a race to get ready for. Within 30 minutes, we were out the door and on our way to Clearwater for the Iron Girl 5k. My race didn’t start until 7:30 but we knew that parking could be an issue so we wanted to have plenty of time to find a spot.

We made it to Clearwater in record time and headed straight for our favorite parking lot. It is right next door to a Starbucks, which happened to be open at 6:30 in the morning! Score! I ate one of my favorite pre-race breakfasts (chocolate BelVita cookies) and headed inside to use the bathroom and grab Pete a coffee. The line for the bathroom was a bit long but I didn’t mind waiting for a real bathroom.

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At 7:00, I left Pete and started making my way towards the starting line. I wanted to get in some pre-race stretching and I wanted to find a good spot in the starting corral. As I headed to start line, I watched the half marathon runners go by and felt the excitement of the race environment. When I got to the starting line and found a spot in the starting corral, I glanced at the Memorial Bridge that I would be running over soon. That is a difficult bridge to conquer!

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Mile 1 – 11:56 min/mile pace

Right at 7:30 AM, the air horn went off and the race was under way! I went into this race with one goal in mind … to beat my previous time for this race (40:37). I knew that the bridge was going to hurt but I also wanted to push myself and see what I could do. As I ran across the starting line at Coachmen Park, I knew that I was going to have a good race. I knew that I was to need some energy in my legs for the bridge so I tried to keep my pace steady and not too fast.

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After running through a little bit of downtown Clearwater, I could see the uphill of the bridge coming up. Even though my legs felt pretty good, I decided to walk the uphill and run the downhill. My legs thanked me for that especially since I had killed them the day before at the gym. Just before the crest of the bridge, I spotted the Mile 1 Marker.

Mile 2 – 12:21 min/mile pace

Once I crested the bridge, I started running again and really made up some time. Even though I don’t like running this bridge, it has some spectacular views of Clearwater and the beach. As I came down the bridge, I could see the turn around point in front of me. I still had a little bit to go though. After I came off the bridge, I took a quick walk break as I went through the water stop. Sooner than I expected, I was turning around and heading back towards the bridge. I took a deep breath and started making my way up the bridge. Mentally, I wasn’t thrilled that I walked up the bridge (both ways) but I think my legs were pretty grateful. At the top of the bridge, I passed the Mile 2 Marker and I was in the home stretch.

Mile 3 – 11:44 min/mile pace

As I started running down the bridge, I started thinking about my finishing time. I knew that I was going to beat my time goal so I began wondering how fast I could actually finish the race. I really wanted to beat my time from the Grand Prix 5k that I ran two weeks ago. As I glanced at my average pace, I tried to do math in my head and figured out that I would be really close to a 36:XX finish time. Unfortunately, I ended up taking a few walk breaks during the final mile of the race. My endurance has definitely fallen off during my break from running.

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When I made the final turn of the race, I spotted the finish line and kicked up my pace. I wanted to finish the race strong and see what I could do. I crossed the finish line and felt absolutely awesome as I did it! This race was challenging and inspiring. I made my way through the finisher’s chute, collecting my medal and grabbing something to eat. Then I headed back to the car where Pete was waiting for me. All in all, I had an awesome race and I beat my previous time for this race by 3:25!

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One thing that I really love about the Iron Girl race series is that they truly celebrate the spirit of every woman. I may not enjoy running the bridges but it always challenges me to be a better runner and push myself harder. I will definitely continue to run this race year after year. Who knows, maybe next year I will run the half marathon again.

Iron Girl Clearwater 5k by the numbers

  • Official Finish Time – 37:12 minutes
  • Average Pace – 12:00 min/mile pace
  • Division Place – 118 out of 251
  • Overall Place – 1047 out of 2410