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December 2021
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Shamrock 5K

We decided it would be an excellent idea to do a 5K while we’re in FL on vacation.  Brian and his sister are running a 5K per month, and this was a chance to run one together.  It’s been too long since Sarah and I have signed up for a race together, too (longer ago than we’ve had this blog!!).  So Leslie recommended the Shamrock 5K at Lake Worth, and all 4 of us decided to toe the line.

No need to beware the ides of March in this case, as we all had great races and a lot of fun.  There were about 500 runners in the 5K and another 500 in the 10 miler, so a fairly large number of people were pulling into John Prince Park as the sun was starting to rise.   It was a relaxed but well organized race with plenty of facilities, space to warm up and stretch, and of course awesome weather.  Many of the Floridians were wearing their long sleeved, bright lime race shirts, but our group opted for short sleeves or tanks.  With a race time temperature of about 70 degrees, it was pleasantly warm, with a slight drizzle that seemed to evaporate as soon as it touched our skin.

We decided to each run our own race.  Leslie knew the crowd, found a spot at the start that felt comfortable for her, and avoided some of the weaving. Brian, Sarah and I all paced closely together for the first mile, weaving through the crowd (despite Leslie’s suggestion that we should move up at the start line.  Lesson learned.)  The course was along a recreational path along the water, really pretty with plenty of turns to keep it interesting.  The crowd was a little congested at the start, but after the first mile it was mostly single file, with enough people to have someone to pace with you, or someone just ahead to target for passing.

As Brian predicted, I went through the first mile at a 7:45, with Brian and Sarah a few seconds back at sub-8s as well.  I held on for a 7:45 second mile, and stuck to nearly the same pace with a 7:48 3rd mile and 44sec last .1 for a 24:03.  I heard a spectator cheering on a woman just ahead of me, telling her she was placing in her age group.  And she looked about my age.  Sure enough, 3rd in my age group was just 5 seconds ahead of me.  Lesson #2, don’t forget about being an “age grouper” now, those few seconds of weaving or loss of focus can count!

Brian  came through shortly after in 24:21, with Sarah right behind at 25:23.  We had just enough time to walk back to the 3 mile mark and see Leslie coming through, so we could cheer her through the finish too.  We did a leisurely cool down, stretch, and snacking before heading back to the car.  It always feels good to have done a race and have your whole Saturday ahead of you at 9am!

I had not run a 5k in a very long time.  It is just as short as I remember it, hardly time to get into a groove before the race is over.  It’s all about starting out hard and pushing yourself the whole way.  My limiting factor as this point is that my core muscles still have not recovered from pregnancy/childbirth, so getting them toned up will be a focus for the coming months.  I also experimented with caffeine, which I have not really had since February of 2012.  I had nearly a cup of coffee before we left for the race.  It was hard to tell if I was affected by normal race butterflies or if the coffee caused a bit of distress, but I don’t think I’ll be resuming consumption of regular coffee again quite yet.

Overall, a really fun day, I would definitely come back next year, and maybe try the 10 miler!

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