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Race Recap: Melissa's Race 2019

Posted in Race Reports

Melissa's Race to Battle Brain Cancer is a 5K road race in Sanford, Florida. This year was the 4th annual of the growing local event. This was my first time participating in this fundraiser race.

Melissa's Race follows the same 5K course as the Riverside Dash 5K.

Training & Goals
Still wonky in the Achilles. I planned to follow my slow and easy 1:2 run:walk ratio for the race.

Race Day: May 18, 2019
Arthur dropped me off race morning. I picked up my packet at our club's Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon tent and could leave my stuff there while I ran.

It was 66°F at the start with about 94% humidity. The sun was shining from the start, making it feel hot.

Mile 1: 13:46

Mile 2: 12:17
I tried out a couple of 2:1 intervals in this mile.

Mile 3+: 13:22, 1:23
But that just made me have to slow down a bit more for the last mile. What happened to my stamina? Yeah, no training will do that.

After Party
There were plenty of sponsor vendor tents at the festive finish line area. Water, bananas, and snacks were offered to all finishers.

This local race is well-organized and growing. The race was followed by a charity event in downtown Sanford, Brains and Beers, that I did not attend, but looked like fun. Recommended.

Chip time: 40:43
Placement details: 44th of 76 in Age Group, 410th overall out of 764 finishers
Race Amenities:
Nice cotton logo t-shirt, finisher medal for all; I won a bottle of Fish Oil pills in a club drawing
Cost: $39

Recap written June 8, 2019

Race Recap: Run 4 Life 4 Miler 2019

Posted in Race Reports

The Run 4 Life 4 Miler is a charity run through the tree-covered roads of historic old Enterprise, Florida and along the shore of Lake Monroe. The race starts and finishes at the Florida United Methodist Children's Home (FUMCH). The run raises awareness and money for local suicide prevention and mental health programs. This was my third time running this one. See my Run 4 Life 2018 and Run 4 Life 2017 reports.

Training & Goals
Still wonkly in the Achilles. I planned to start with a 5 minute warm up walk followed by an easy 1:2 run:walk ratio for the remainder of the race.

Race Day: May 11, 2019
I biked to FUMCH from home and locked my bike to a tree behind our club's tent. Like last year, West Volusia Runners had a huge showing at this charity race, now with over 100 WVR participants. At the start it was about 70°F with 94% humidity and clear skies.

Mile 1: 13:43

Mile 2: 12:54

Mile 3: 13:17
Our club had a jump contest; the first spot we could try was just at the end of mile 3. I made an attempt here. LOL

Mile 4: 13:41

This is a very good, well-organized race. The course is a pretty, mostly shaded run through old Florida. The water stop we hit twice and course support were all very good. I like supporting this race and will be back again. Highly recommended.

Chip time: 53:28
Placement details: 98th out of 166 women, 172nd out of 269 total finishers
Race Amenities: Nice cotton t-shirt and finisher medal for all
Cost: $33.50

Report written May 14, 2019

Professional group and race photos (c) Almost There Photography

Race Recap: Riverside Dash 5K 2019

Posted in Race Reports

This was my 3rd year participating in the Riverside Dash. You can see my previous reports here: Riverside Dash 5K 2017 and Riverside Dash 15K 2018. This year I did the 5K. The course for the 5K goes along the river front in Sanford and then through streets of downtown before returning to Fort Mellon Park. It's a very nice course.

Training & Goals
I felt okay after last weekend's races at Disney. My Achilles still doesn't feel right and I'm starting to wonder if that might be my new normal and I need to buck up and start running again and stop eating everything in sight. Anyway. No particular goals for this morning. Finish upright, don't die.

Race Day: April 14, 2019
I had picked up my packet ahead of time and the race is really close to home so I didn't have to leave too early. I found a good parking spot a few blocks from the start/finish area. I brought along my Oofos to change into after the race and my shirt, which was a bit on the small side, to exchange after the race. Bag check was smooth and easy. Soon the 15K runners took off and 10 minutes later it was time for us 5K participants. It was a warm 75°F with 89% humidity at the start. Fortunately the skies were cloudy so we didn't have any scorching sun to deal with along with the heat and humidity.

Relive 'Morning Run'

Mile 1: 12:44
The race starts at Fort Mellon Park and takes runners along the lakefront on Seminole Boulevard before turning back along 1st Street into downtown Sanford. Once I started moving I felt a lot of annoying little aches in my legs and knees. Took it easy with slow 2:1 run:walk intervals.

Mile 2: 13:00
This part of the race takes runners briefly along the lakefront at the marina and Veterans Memorial Park before turning back into downtown Sanford. There were at least 3 water stops before we finished mile 2, and I think we hit at least two more (on the out-and-back portion) on the course. I walked all of them -- the heat and humidity really got to me. My legs started to warm up but I felt like my heart was racing.

Mile 3+: 14:10, 2:09
The last mile had us on 1st Street once more, now running back the way we came, headed to the start/finish at Fort Mellon Park. I switched to a 1:2 run:walk interval because I was feeling extremely winded. Yeah, that will happen with no training.

After Party
I didn't stick around too long after the race. Like last year, a nice breakfast buffet was offered to runners, but I wasn't hungry. I did have a beer and spin the wheel at a couple of vendor booths before heading home.

This race is a regional favorite for the scenic courses for both the 5K and the 15K, great support, and generous after party. This year the medals were particularly nice and a soft cotton shirt was offered instead of tech (I like when races change this up from year to year). I continue to highly recommend this event.

Chip time: 41:57
Placement details: 23/39 in age group; 319 out of 501 finishers
Race Amenities: Nice gender-specific soft cotton shirt, nice finisher medals for all, nice fresh food and beer spread after the race
Cost: $33.50

Report written April 14, 2019

Amy running downtown photo (c) Almost There Photography

Race Recap: Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon 2019

Yay, it's time for my 4th consecutive Star Wars Half Marathon at Disney World! You can read my previous race reports here: 2016 Dark Side Half Marathon; 2017 Dark Side Half Marathon; 2018 Dark Side Half Marathon. This year's race weekend was rebranded as the Rival Run, with runners choosing to run for the Dark Side or the Light Side upon registration.

For this race I ran in a simple kit with a REBEL hat and an old Light Side "Run Like a Rebel" runDisney tech shirt with a trusty old SparkleSkirt.

Training & Goals
Still struggling with an achy Achilles, I took almost three full weeks off from running prior to the 5K on Friday. I fully expected to walk much of the weekend and had fears and doubts about completing the half marathon. I was very glad to have a middle corral (D of H) for an extra buffer but I expected to be unable to stop for many or any photo ops. The usual Disney race goal for me is to have as much fun as possible, and that was still the main focus, despite my fears.

Race Day: April 7, 2019
I woke up before my alarm for the third day in a row. Arthur and I left home at 3:33AM.

First World Problem Update: On this day I would be running with the third device in three days. First, for the 5K, I had an old iPod Touch with a front-facing camera only, after finding my daily driver iPhone 6S had completely died. For the 10K I ran with my old iPhone 4. My new iPhone 7 arrived Saturday afternoon and I had a few hours to play around with it before going to bed Saturday night. I didn't have a protective case for it but the battery case I had bought to save my iPhone 6S fits the 7 so I used that.

On the drive down we passed a terrible accident with a jackknifed semi truck twisted around on the side of the road so we had a bit of delay. We had the car parked at Epcot by 4:56AM. Arthur walked with me towards the buses before kissing me goodbye and wishing me good luck. At the start area I used a portapotty and got into my corral with time to spare.

The course was very similar to the previous three Dark Side races.

It was about 70°F with 100% humidity when I started the race at 5:46AM.

Mile 1, 2, 3, 4: 14:03, 14:37, 14:28, 14:53
I didn't really know what was going to happen in this race. I wanted to be able to stop for photo ops but I was worried about finishing in time. For these early miles I stopped to snap the photo ops that were set up just to have a record. I saw Rey, the Emperor's chair, Ewoks, and the trash compactor before reaching Animal Kingdom just after mile 4. I also stopped at each mile marker (at Disney, I always do). For these miles I did a slow 2:1 run:walk interval, to save my energy but bank a little time if I could.

Mile 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10: 16:34, 16:10, 16:07, 16:31, 16:23, 16:31
I was feeling alright but my legs were pretty heavy at the halfway point. Makes sense, since I didn't train at all and had extremely low miles for the last several months. I slowed down further, knowing I had the buffer of a few corrals and the early 14-15 minute miles at the start. I switched to a slow and easy 1:2 run:walk interval most of this part. Outside of Animal Kingdom I stopped for some photos with the 501st that was out there.

Arthur was waiting to see me in the Animal Kingdom parking lot, close to the Hoth Wampa photo op. I stopped for a selfie and a hug with Arthur but skipped Hoth. After leaving World Drive and crossing over at Buena Vista Drive runners could look back on the course as we went over the bridge. There was still a sea of runners behind us with no balloon ladies (effectively the last pacers before the course closes down and runners are removed from the course) in sight.

I think everyone with that view on the bridge breathed a sigh of relief, me included. I felt a lot more relaxed about taking photos and taking my time for the remaining four or so miles of the race.

Mile 11, 12, 13+: 18:04, 17:04, 18:08, 9:05
My legs were feeling really heavy. For this part of the race I was mostly walking, with sporadic little bursts of jogging here and there when course congestion allowed (and when there were photographers on the course). Entering Hollywood Studios there was another group of 501st around the Fantasmic queue and I stopped for some more photos. I saw Arthur again inside Hollywood Studios on Sunset Boulevard and again shortly just outside of the park.

There were fewer spectators than usual through the Boardwalk area, and that was a little bit of a bummer. The spectators that were there were awesome though, and put a smile on my face that stayed plastered there until I reached the finish line.

Like last year, I made a quick pit stop at Joffrey's in Epcot to purchase a fruity iced adult beverage to enjoy for the last mile of the race. It was super yummy.

It was pretty crowded at the last 501st area after leaving Epcot. I took a few photos but didn't linger too long as I knew Arthur was waiting for me. I was so extremely happy to cross that finish line! I learned what it meant when runners say "sure, you can finish a half marathon with little or no training, but it won't be pretty". My legs were not happy with me but I got it done and (hopefully, ha!) learned my lesson.

I saw Arthur just after the finish line and he handed me my 10K and 5K medals so I could take a finisher photo with all of them. Then we met up and he gave me my Oofos sandals to change into. We waited in the short line for K-2SO so I could have one more medal photo. I got a celebratory beer as well before heading back to the car.

After a quick change of clothes and a yummy late breakfast at Centertown Market at Caribbean Beach we headed to Magic Kingdom and Epcot for the rest of the day. Walking was very slow but good for recovery!

Chip time: 3:38:31
Placement details: 648/772 in Age Group; 10856 out of 12113 finishers
Race Amenities: Tech shirt, finisher medal and challenge medal, all that Disney good stuff
Cost: $357.11 (the cost for the Rival Run Challenge which includes the 10K and the Half Marathon; about $42 more than last year)

Report written April 12, 2019

Race Recap: Star Wars Rival Run 10K 2019

Yay, it's 10K day during Star Wars race weekend! You can read my previous Dark Side 10K reports here: 2017 Dark Side 10K; 2018 Dark Side 10K. I missed running the inaugural 10K (and challenge) and that's a big regret. I wonder what my bib will look like next year when I run the challenge as a half marathon legacy runner?

For this race I ran as C-3PO. I had a C-3PO Mickey ears hat, InkNBurn tech shirt, gold SparkleLight skirt over a pair of shorts, and one red arm sleeve to represent the droid as seen in The Force Awakens.

The 10K course was quite different this year, with no running in Hollywood Studios or around the Boardwalk area and a lot more running in and around Epcot.

Training & Goals
Still struggling with an achy Achilles, I took almost three full weeks off from running prior to the 5K on the previous day. I fully expected to walk much of the weekend and had fears and doubts about completing the half marathon. The usual Disney race goal for me is to have as much fun as possible, and that was still the main focus.

Race Day: April 6, 2019
I woke up before my alarm again, at 2:55AM. I left home at 3:30AM and had the car parked by 4:25AM.

First World Problem Update: Yesterday I had found my iPhone 6S doing its best brick impression. A visit to the Apple Store confirmed the device was dead. Arthur and I weren't sure what I should do, but we ended up ordering an iPhone 7 for me. It would arrive Saturday afternoon. For the 10K I left the iPod Touch at home and brought along my old iPhone 4 so I could have a front- and rear-facing camera. Spoiler: the front-facing camera on this old device is terrible. Also, we had returned my parent's car and picked up our rental (Jeep Compass) after dropping off our damaged Prius.

Anyway, after parking the car I got on a bus and arrived at the starting area with time to leave my sweatshirt at bag check and get into corral B just in time -- corral A was already closed.

It was about 66°F with 94% humidity by the time I started at 5:43AM.

Mile 1, 2, 3: 22:15, 14:20, 18:46
About a half mile into the race was a new photo op with Rey. She was great, talking to all the costumed runners in character. Towards the end of mile 1 on World Drive there were a bunch of 501st characters out. This was a new spot and it was really dark with a few harsh lights shining on some of the characters. At the end of mile 3 Disney had Stormtroopers out for photos.

Mile 4, 5, 6+: 16:23, 16:37, 15:51, 9:22
There weren't a lot of official Disney characters out on the course. I may have missed some, but I only noticed Ezra and Sabine just outside Epcot and then Darth Maul in World Showcase. Just after mile 6 the 501st was out again in full force between exiting Epcot and heading to the finish line.

I picked up my medal and retrieved my checked sweatshirt and then headed straight home to await the arrival of my new phone and rest up for the half marathon on Sunday.

Chip time: 1:53:28
Placement details: 648/772 in Age Group; 10856/12113 overall
Race Amenities:
Nice tech shirt, finisher medal for all, magical 10K course.
Cost: $357.11 (the cost for the Rival Run Challenge which includes the 10K and the Half Marathon; about $42 more than last year)

Report written April 10, 2019