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Starting the Season with a Bang

by Meghann on September 12, 2009

What a perfect race to kick off racing season with! :)

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I practically jumped out of bed this morning at 6:00am ready to roll. I was too excited! Unfortunately Derek didn’t share the same enthusiasm. I practically dragged him out of bed 20 minutes later.

As I got ready I nibbled on 1/2 of a Clif Bar for some pre-race fuel.

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After fueling and prepping Derek and I made the quick minute drive to the race site.

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We met up with Caitlin, Kelly , Megan, and Megan’s boyfriend Jason at the starting line.

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Kelly’s boyfriend Anthony was there as well to show some his support and be our official photographer.

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We ran into our friend Katy as well and I threatened to steal her headband!

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Derek was super nervous about running his first 5k, but he was a trooper and never once threatened to back out. I was so proud :)

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I have to admit after all of the friendly competitive bantering leading up to the race, I was a little nervous to race all of these very talented ladies.

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In an effort to not lose focus in the race, the four of us made a pact to all start in staggered positions. I knew if I saw any one of them taking off like a bat out of hell in the beginning, I knew I would be encouraged to do the same thing. So I made my way to the center of the crowd on my own and tried my hardest to zone everything out.

I have a history of starting to fast in 5k and burning out before they’re over. My goal was to not do that this race. I was *hoping* to start off at a decent pace and gradually increase that pace to produce negative split.

As always my plan failed.

Once the gun went off I took off with the crowd. My legs felt great, I was breathing normally and I felt I was holding a great pace. That is until I looked down and saw my pace was hovering around 6:30! Oopps… too fast.

I tried to talk myself into slowing down but one side of my head was telling me “You can do it. You can keep it up”

Gradually my pace decreased on its own as I grew tired and worn out. My goal for negative splits deteriated and I just focused on finishing strong.

After mile 2.5 I felt my head wanting to give up. It officially became a mental game. I turned around and saw Megan close behind me and knew I could not let her beat me. I pushed through and kept repeating “I am a Machine! I am a Machine!”

Even though I saw my pace nearing the 8:00 minute mark I knew I could still beat my PR. I saw the final turn and sprinted when I passed the 3 mile marker.

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I crossed the finish line with a big ole smile.

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The smile got even bigger when I looked down on my Garmin and saw this…

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23:54!!!

WOOO HOOO!!!! New PR!!!

And I was the first one of our group to cross the finish line!! :)

Soon after everyone else started crossing one after another. Let’s play “Where’s Waldo”

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The minutes started to pass by and I got a little worried when I still had not seen Derek cross the finish line.

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I waited and waited, until finally I saw my sexy, sweaty man make his way through.

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He immediately chugged a whole bottle of water and took a seat. Poor baby was in pain!

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I could not have been prouder though, his official time was 37:57! Way to go!!!

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My Dad was awesome and made the drive up this morning to watch my sister and I race. He stood by the finish line and took all he above pictures for us.

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Thanks for showing your support Daddy!!

After the race we walked around a little bit to check our times and I snagged a couple of Orange Slices.

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The a group of us headed to First Watch for a great post-race breakfast.

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We had a great crowd including Katy and her husband, Lucas.

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Side note: The whole time Lucas was claiming he was not a runner and didn’t seem to happy about running the race. You can imagine my surprise when I saw him before the race lined up with the 7:00 minute milers. Turns out he crossed the finish line around 21:00! That’s some natural running talent there!

As well as local reader, Mary Beth.

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And blogger Sarah whom I thought I had a picture of, but I guess not. :(

I ordered the Floridian French Toast that was topped with fresh Strawberries, Kiwis, and Blueberries.

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I was still in my sweaty running clothes and started to feel a bit chilly so I warmed up with a nice cup of hot tea.  

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Breakfast was great. I love meeting so many other Orlando residents who love running and being active as much as I do. The 5 of us girls already have plans to try a trampoline gym on Wednesday!

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Group Shot: Anthony, Kelly, Sarah, Derek, Me, Mary Beth, Katy, and Lucas.

I am still grinning from ear to ear over my new PR. I am so excited racing season has officially begun!!! It’s going to be a great one! :)

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