On Sunday I ran the IronGirl 5k for the second time.
I had a lot of fun last year so I was pumped to run IronGirl again! IronGirl is an awesome national all-women 5k and half marathon. They also do triathlons. It’s a very “rah-rah womanhood” kind of event, which I’m a fan of.
Our local IronGirl race is located in Clearwater, which I normally hate driving to from St. Pete. Luckily there was no traffic Sunday morning and I located a parking garage ahead of time. I had no problem parking and then just followed the crowd to Coachman Park.
By the time I got there it was a little after 6:30 a.m. I chose waiting in the porta potty line over meeting up with the Tampa Bay Bloggers for a photo opp (sorry ladies!). I just knew it was going to be a long wait and I didn’t want to end up in the back of the race line like I did last year. So after business was taken care of I headed to the start line where the half marathoners were getting ready to take off.
Once they were off us 5kers started to line up. I was at the front of the line! That was a first. I’m not a super fast runner so I didn’t want to be too close to the start, but I definitely didn’t want to be in the back. (Last year in the back made for a very slow start.) I let some people pile in around me and felt comfortable where I was.
As we were waiting to start I looked up at the bridge that we’d be running over soon. Last year the race started in Coachman Park and ended at Pier 60. This year the race started and ended in Coachman Park, which meant we had to go over the bridge twice. Gulp. Even though the route change has us going over the bridge twice, I liked the change. It made it easier to leave (you had to take a shuttle back last time) and it just seemed to run smoother all around.
I started off really, really good. My pace was where I wanted it to be and I felt comfortable. I was saving myself for the bridge! Once the bridge hit I picked up pace a little bit to power through to the top.
Average Pace: 9:36
What goes up must come down. Going down the bridge was of course much easier. I wish we had a little more time before going back up the bridge…it seemed like we instantly got back on it! Up, up, up. This time was definitely a bit harder. Plus, there was a strong wind blowing against us. I actually stopped for a few seconds at the top just to catch my breath. It was around this time that I got a heart palpitation 🙁 I’ve gotten heart palpitations all my life (and yes, I’ve seen doctors…they’ve all told me not to worry about it?). The worst is getting them when I’m exercising. Usually I’ll just slow down or stop completely until it goes away. I didn’t want to just stop in the middle of a race so I kept going at a slower pace.
Average Pace: 9:00
Once we got off the bridge we turned down a few streets to head back to Coachman Park. I knew the end was near, but with my legs feeling heavy and my heart palpitation this was the worst mile ever. I stopped a few times, but kept going going going. Finally, we entered the park and as soon as I saw the finish line I pushed as hard as my body would allow.
Average Pace: 10:01
Race Time: 30:04
Since I haven’t been running a lot I didn’t have a true goal in mind, but a few days beforehand I got it in my head that I wanted a sub-30:00 5k. I was 5 seconds from that goal and was a little upset that I didn’t achieve it. But I realize that I hadn’t been training and I certainly couldn’t help that I got a heart palpitation.
After I grabbed a water and a medal I sat down to cool off and let my heart rate lower. Once it did I walked around the expo a bit before I headed back to my car. Lots of great local businesses were there like Fit2Run and Fitlife Foods. IronGirl had set up a pancake bar, which looked pretty awesome. However, I was not in the mood to stand in a long line. I ended up stopping at Frida’s bakery on the way home and getting a delicious egg, cheese and bacon panini. For all you locals, you must try Frida’s…they make the most delicious sandwiches and bakery goods!
Even though I didn’t have the greatest race personally, I still love IronGirl and will continue to race it for years to come. It’s motivating, a lot of fun, well organized and they do a lot to make sure the runners are happy!
Thank you IronGirl!