Last Saturday, I ran the Miles for Moffitt 5K race. I wasn’t really planning to do this race until the very last minute. I hemmed and hawed and drug my feet debating on whether or not I should run this race. It certainly wasn’t my fastest 5K but I am glad that I decided to run it.
Last week, the race organization had several opportunities to pick up your race packet and/or register for the race if you missed the chance to do it online. On Friday night, I headed over to the Embassy Suites near the University of South Florida (USF) to register for the race. There wasn’t any sort of line so I was in and out there in record time.
One of the major sponsors for this race is the Tampa Bay Rays and they provided each race participant with two tickets to an upcoming game. They were also promoting this year’s USF night.
On Saturday morning, I woke up at
an unnatural hour 5 AM to head over to USF for the race. Technically, the 5K wasn’t scheduled to start until 7:45 but I wanted to make sure that I had plenty of time to eat breakfast and not a problem finding a parking spot. While I got dressed, I munched on two unsalted rice cakes with dark chocolate peanut butter smeared on top.
Around 6:15, I arrived at USF and had no problems whatsoever finding a parking spot. The morning was still pretty cool so I hung out in my car for as long as possible. Once it warmed up a little bit, I wandered over towards the race staging area. There were lots of tents set up for each of the teams running in the events. There was a stage set up for the presentation of cancer survivors after the races. There was also a pavilion being used for late registration, packet pick up and setting up for the post race breakfast.
Just before 7:30, the 5 Miler started. I ran into Genna and Meghan just before they went into the starting area for that race. I wasn’t really comfortable trying to run the 5 Miler since my training has been so spotty lately. I wished them luck and they were off. Then it was time for me to line up at the starting line. By this time, the weather had definitely started to warm up and I could tell that it was going to be hot during the race. At 7:45, the 5K race started!
Mile 1: 10:36 min/mile
During the first mile of the race, I was feeling pretty good. I really tried to set a pace that I knew I would be able to maintain for 3 miles and push myself enough to set a new PR. My legs were feeling great and my pace wasn’t bad at all. Since I brought my handheld water bottle, I didn’t worry about stopping at the water stops.
The race course was entirely contained within the college campus and brought back a sense of nostalgia. It started out on Alumni Drive and then did an out-and-back on Lee Roy Collins Boulevard. Shortly after passing the College of Engineering, I saw the Mile 1 Marker.
Mile 2: 11:31 min/mile
The second mile was when my body decided I wasn’t going to PR and it took me the entire mile to come to terms with the fact. Apparently, my monthly visitor decided that today would be the perfect to stop be for a visit. The cramps from my all-too-familiar dehydrated state and my favorite friend were unbearable at times and walk breaks became necessities.
The course made a right turn onto Magnolia Drive. I passed by the Moffitt Cancer Center, which is a place I have spent quite a bit of time at. My mind started reeling and I actually started to tear up thinking about my aunts. The course made another right onto Holly Drive, where the Mile 2 marker was located.
Mile 3: 11:27 min/mile
During the third mile, I decided to just run as much of the race as I possibly could. I was in pain and just wanted the race to be over. I know that a 5K isn’t a terribly long distance but today it felt like an eternity. I kept going and didn’t give up. I wanted to finish the race as strong as possible.
When the course made a right turn onto Maple Drive, I found myself running side-by-side with the 5 Miler race participants. I tried to maintain my pace so that I could finish the race as strong as possible.
Mile 3.1: 10:24 min/mile
I decided to give it as much as I had left. I picked up the pace and crossed the finish line in a pretty respectable time (35:16). I didn’t PR but I did have a good time running a race through my former college and helping to raise money for a great cause.
After I crossed the finish line, I made my way over to the food pavilion. The food that was provided was truly awesome!
A turkey sandwich from Jennie-O and black beans and rice from the Colombia Restaurant. Totally yummy!
A banana, some Dole fruit chunks (my favorite), a sample size Larabar, some Cascadian Farms granola and a nutty buddy bar. Oh and a cinnamon crunch bagel from Panera!
Have you ever had a really tough race?