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

Weekly Workouts: April 7, 2014

Previous Weeks of the LiveFit Trainer program:

What a week! Last week was the first week of Phase II of the LiveFit Trainer program and it totally kicked our butts. Going into last week, I was really excited about getting to add cardio back into our training regimen. I couldn’t wait to get back to a somewhat regular running schedule. The workouts were harder and longer so adding cardio back in proved to be a little bit more difficult than we expected it to be.

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Monday – Strength Training + Easy Run

  • Strength Training – Back (56 minutes)
  • Easy Run – 2.07 miles, 29:57 minutes, 14:24 min/mile avg. pace
  • #FFAprilAbs Plank – 1:32

Tuesday – Strength Training

  • Strength Training – Chest and Abs (91 minutes)
  • #FFAprilAbs Plank – 1:05

Wednesday – Strength Training

  • Strength Training – Legs (95 minutes)
  • #FFAprilAbs Plank – 1:40

Thursday – Strength Training

  • Strength Training – Arms and Abs (77 minutes)
  • #FFAprilAbs Plank – 1:32

Friday – Strength Training + Easy Run

  • Strength Training – Shoulders (57 minutes)
  • #FFAprilAbs Plank – 1:50

Saturday – Cross Training + Strength Training

  • Elliptical – 1.07 miles, 12:00 minutes
  • Strength Training – Legs (93 minutes)
  • #FFAprilAbs Plank – 1:30

Sunday – Iron Girl Clearwater 5k

  • 3.11 miles, 37:12 minutes, 12:00 min/mile avg. pace, 169 BPM avg. HR
  • #FFAprilAbs Plank – 2:00

Last week’s workouts were not easy and they definitely challenged us. We were supposed to finish 4 of the workouts with a 30 minute cardio session. Unfortunately, that only happened on one day. With Pete and I doing the workouts together, they have been taking a little bit longer than normal to complete them. After our strength workout on Monday, I hopped on the treadmill for a super easy run on the treadmill. I didn’t want to overdo it so my pace ended up being a lot slower than I am used.

Tuesday’s strength workout ended up taking us a lot longer than we were expecting so we decided to skip the cardio workout. It may not have the best decision but it was what our bodies needed. The same thing happened after our workout on Thursday, which was a little frustrating for me. I was really hoping for more than two runs this week. I did manage to keep up with the #FFAprilAbs Challenge. I am getting closer and closer to that 3 minute plank.

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On Sunday morning, I ran the Iron Girl Clearwater 5k. The race was a little celebration of everything that I have accomplished in the last years. The 2011 Iron Girl 5k was my very first race and it was where my racing addiction began. That first race challenged me to be more than who I was a that time in my life and II  have spent the last three years trying to achieve that. My finishing time from 2011 was 40:37 and my finishing time on Sunday was 37:12. While it wasn’t a PR for me, it was a 3:25 improvement from my very first race and that is what matters!

How did your workouts go last week? Did you run any races?