“Running teaches us that we are capable of so much more than we ever imagined”.
(Patti Sue Plumer)
The 2022 running season started for me with the 2022 Track Shack Celebration of Running 5k in August. I have run this event multiple times and view it as a great way to launch my running season and test my fitness levels prior to the half marathon schedule. An added angle for me this year is this event allows me to combine the 5k miles within my long run for the weekend.
I officially started my training program two weeks ago to prepare for my first full marathon on 12/11/2022. My program calls for a long run on Saturdays so used these 5k miles as a warmup and then got down to the longer portion of my run while I was in the Orlando area.
Traveled to Orlando on Friday after work this year with designs to pick up my race bib and t-shirt prior to the race on Saturday morning. I had enough Marriott Bonvoy points for a free night so took advantage of this and stayed at my favorite Marriott property in Oviedo, Florida. There were locations a bit closer to the race sight, but I planned to leverage the trails in Oviedo so decided to just stay there and drive a bit for race day.
August in Florida is hot and humid, but the weather was a bit cooler this year. I was not ready for the humidity in 2021 but my new training focus has me running several days per week and acclimating to the heat a lot better than last year.
Made my way to the Orlando Science Center on race day to get my bib and allow time to warmup before the race. There were a lot more runners this year as people are starting to come back and enjoy the running communities again. I got a chance to catch up with a few runners I have known for years and made sure my legs were ready to move me around the course. I completed several rounds of stretches, lunges, and hip swings to bring everything into alignment to avoid injuries while running.
Track Shack allows runners to self-identify their projected pace at the start line, so this makes the start of races interesting to say the least. I say interesting because you will have people who plan to walk the 5k at the very front and this creates traffic faster runners must maneuver through. It also causes folks to bump into each other, but no one got hurt this year, but it is a weird dynamic. I always line up in the 8 minute per mile group with the intention of using that pace as a guide for my race plans—sometimes it works. 😊
My marathon training so far has focused on building up my base miles, so I have not done much speed work. I race at a faster pace than I train so know I can speed up on race day—it’s just a matter of determining how fast I can go based on how my body feels and the conditions.
Decided not to focus on a specific time but to run as fast and safely as possible. Wanted to enjoy the course, the process and just being back around the Orlando running community. There were several folks I followed as pacers and this race was a lot of fun for me this year.
My time was 29:35 which is a 9:31 per minute pace—not superfast or slow, just steady for me.
- Mile 1 = 9:17
- Mile 2 = 9:45
- Mile 3 = 9:37
- Mile .1 = :58
I was able to finish the final portion of the race with a sprint to the finish line and felt good—I had another gear but did not fully engage for the race. I collected my medal, got water, fruit and my complimentary beer—yes, we drink beer at 8 am. I got a few pictures in the race village to document the day and prepared for the next phase of my training program.
I left the Orlando Science Center and drove over to Oviedo to take advantage of the Cross Seminole Trail again.
The trail provided a great and shaded place to complete the next 6 miles of my weekend training plan. I parked in downtown Oviedo and walked over to the trail to begin the journey towards 9 total miles for the day.
The Cross Seminole Trail is professionally maintained and is used by walkers, runners, bicyclist, and skaters. The people I encountered all had smiles on their faces and greeted me. It was great being back on a trail with folks again. My runs in Fort Pierce are done mostly on sidewalks and there is not a lot of folks to interact with—not complaining just stating facts.
My goal on the Cross Seminole Trail was to run out for 3 miles, regroup and then come back for a total of 6 miles on the trail. Mission complete. Most of the trail run was uneventful but at one point there was a truck parked in the street blocking a portion of the trail. I did not understand why the truck was there but quickly discovered the driver’s pit-bull got out of the truck somehow and was roaming the trail. The driver was trying to get his dog back into the vehicle, but the dog was not ready to go yet. This caused a bit of a scare to folks on the trail, but the dog was just excited and happy to be out and about. It started to run with me on the trail, so I stopped and turned around to lead it back to the owner. Never imagined my long run would include me directing a dog back to an owner—fun day! 😊
Completed my run with no problems and made my way back to my vehicle so I could get out of my sweaty clothing. Made my way back to the hotel and then got lunch at Bahama Breeze which is one of my favorite places to eat. Got some quick shopping in at Dick’s Sporting Goods and then got on the road to head back to Fort Pierce.
This was a quick trip over to Orlando for the 5k but eventful. I will leverage my 5k efforts into my training program to continue to get faster and mentally ready for my full marathon in December.
“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful”.