Sandwiched between last week’s 15k and next week’s Tower of Terror ten miler was the second leg of the Final Mile Fall Grand Prix racing series, the Wildcat 5k. Proceeds from all of the Final Mile Grand Prix races go to benefit a specific charity, with this race benefiting the Taylor High School cross country team in Pierson, Florida. Check that on a map, and yes, I drove 95 miles each way for a 5k race. Don’t ask.
Race time was set for 7:30, the latest race start that I have seen since last winter. Just before we got started the sun started coming out. Big deal? According to the Weather Channel’s site we have seen over 9 inches of rain this month at my house. The sun is a welcomed site!
Just before 7:30 we walked up a hill from the finishing area in order to get to the start line. Jennifer (the race organizer) started off on her bike and Race DJ sent us on our way. I had a general goal of what pace I wanted to run, but honestly didn’t know if I could hold that pace. Trying to get a feel for my initial speed I looked at my MapMyRun app after about a minute – lost GPS and have run 0.00 miles. Awesome! I turned the GPS off and back on and it came back but now it’s a guessing game. I had to use the mile markers and the clock to keep my pace in line.
The first mile was done in 7:09, about 30 seconds faster than my plan. Felt good on the second mile with a time of 7:21. Near the end of the third mile I started to feel really weak in my gut, like I was about to pass out from lack of fuel. Because of the 2 hour drive to get to the race I brought food for pre-race but forgot to eat it. Keep pushing. Third mile finished in 7:23 and I finished at 22:46.
I finished with an average pace of 7:19 which blows my mind. That is slow for many of you, I understand, but my first 5k was last November (at age 44) and that was the first time I had run 2 miles in the same day, let alone 3.1 in one shot. My average mile that day was 9:35. I have shaved 2:16 off of my average mile and 7:04 off of my 5k time in under 11 months. I don’t even believe it myself.
My time was good for 21st overall (field of 208) and third in my age group. The AG placing also earned me a few points in the racing series standings. Overall this was another great race put on by Final Mile and I’m looking forward to my next race with them, the Lighthouse Loop half marathon around the Ponce Inlet lighthouse! My next race will be back to RunDisney for the TOT10. Can’t wait!