Beach Classic Fail & Pleasure

I have found the combination of failure and pleasure usually works out for me in a great way and that’s what happened to me Saturday while racing at the St. Pete Beach Classic and celebrating my daughter’s birthday. Here I’ll share my experience from a fantastic cold Saturday in Tampa Bay.

I decided to race both the 10k and 5k challenge to help prepare for the upcoming duathlon season. This was my first 10k run only race since last winter so I was curious to see how I would perform with that being the first of the two races. I recently raced two 5k distances with my times getting faster so being second on this day was a good test for the second run in the upcoming duathlons.

On Friday, Morgan, decided to race too. If you know me, running with Morgan is special to me and made the morning that much more fun going in. I also had my great friend, Dan, racing the 5k so that even added more to the excitement of the day. We arrived at 6:00 AM to register Morgan and were greeted with 41 degree temperatures and 20 MPH sustained winds from the north…it was cold!

The 10k was up first and my race only. We started the first 2.5 miles going into the wind. I tucked behind someone for about a half mile but then had to detach and was met with the wall of wind. It impacted my first two mile goal paces. I knew it would impact and was hoping to make up some of the time with the tailwind coming back in miles 4-5. I had a good mile 4 pace but I could not make up for the miss on the first 2+ miles. I continued to fight knowing we were all facing it and make the best of what I had to give on the day. At mile 5.5 I made the only u-turn on the course and saw a gentleman about 10+ seconds behind me. He looked like he could be in my age group so that’s all I needed to create an extra edge to push to the finish. I came through ahead of him and he was in my age group sneaking out the age group win by 23 seconds. I missed my goal pace by 5 seconds per mile. I failed to achieve my goal pace. It was tough conditions but I failed to achieve resulting in me not being satisfied with the performance but I mentally fought and I was happy with that aspect.

Dan, Morgan and I warmed up for the 5k and before we knew it we were off and facing that 20 MPH for the first mile plus. This time I was able to tuck behind two different runners and had a good first mile pace. Not great, but pretty good considering the conditions and second race. I struggled in mile two as I expected and missed the pace I was shooting for. Mile three was slightly better but with the tailwind not as good as I was hoping. All I was thinking in the final mile was the gentleman who finished behind me in the 10k was also racing the 5k and I wasn’t going to let him catch me…or if he did, he would have to work his butt off. I crossed the finish line 12 seconds ahead of him so that was satisfying while winning the age group. That was all I knew about and then I checked the 10k/5k Challenge results and I ended up winning the overall challenge by 12 seconds over another gentleman.

I failed to meet my 5k goal by 4 seconds per mile and again with conditions I fought so I was happy with the mental aspect. It was a mixed day from that perspective. Bottom line is I have to get faster for the important races coming in April.

On the positive note, Dan and Morgan, finished with great performances and Morgan was just running as a run, not a race and still finished 2nd in her age group. Dan hit his goal and also finished second in his age group. Then we hung, shared stories, received our awards, and took some pictures.

I never know how many occasions I will be able to run or race with Morgan so I knew in the moment it was a special day for me and it was also a special day for her as we celebrated her birthday. When we left we made a visit to Starbucks to get her a coffee and then lunch of her choice followed by much needed naps for both us and then dinner. I cherished the day and was back at it Sunday morning training to get faster. The race was a great data point to show the gap in my current fitness and where I need to be. I can’t wait for the next test.

– Add Health to Your Life

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