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Race Recap: Saturn 5K (Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Race)

Posted in Race Reports

For the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, a pair of commemorative races was organized to take place on Kennedy Space Center property. I wanted to run the Apollo 11K but that race had a 13 minute mile minimun that I wasn't sure I could maintain, so I signed up for the accompanying Saturn 5K instead.

Training & Goals
Still wonky in the Achilles. I hoped to follow a slow and easy 2:1 run:walk ratio for the race, weather permitting. The race was along the treeless NASA Causeway with no shade. With a planned 8AM start (that ended up getting pushed back) I knew the heat and full sun might be an issue. I'm in the middle of a July runstreak so this was my 14th day in a row running at least 5K.

Race Day: July 14, 2019
Arthur came with me. We were at the Space Coast the day prior for an Astronaut Parade so I was able to pick up my packet a day early. This saved us some time race morning. We arrived in time to find a good parking spot and settle in to watch the 11K runners come in.

It was 84°F with sunny skies, 94% humidity, and a feels-like temperature of 101° by the time I started the race at 8:20AM. Yikes.

Mile 1: 12:25
On the way out I was able to keep up an easy 2:1 run:walk pace.

Mile 2: 13:06
Part of the run took us over a causeway drawbridge. I walked the uphill portions.

Mile 3+: 14:35, 1:00
In the heat I decided to switch to run/walking 1:2.

After the race
Runners were offered cold water, ice cold rags, bananas and beer after the race.

Recommendation
Well, this is probably a one-off based on the unique theme, but here's my take. The late start for the 5K sucked, but I suppose that was scheduled so runners could race both events. Pre-race information said that the pace requirement of 13 mm for the 11K was strict, but there were plenty of 11K runners who came in after the alleged cut-off (over 100 were over pace). I wish I had signed up for the 11K, for the cooler medal and earlier start time. I guess these are the kinds of kinks you might find in any brand new race.

I was happy to see that there were different shirts and medals for the two races, and I can't complain about the price I paid. There was a $15 coupon offered a couple of weeks before race day which brought the price down to a pretty good bargain for a unique 5K.

Chip time: 41:04
Placement details: 159th overall out of 440 5K finishers
Race Amenities:
Unisex tech shirt and medal for all finishers (different shirt and medal for 11K runners)
Cost:
$24.95

Report written July 17, 2019

Gear for Your Gear: Odor Absorbing Charcoal Bags

Posted in Gear Reviews

I sweat so much when I run. In the heat of summer, there's a chance my shoes are going to be sweaty and wet after a run. After a while they'd start to get stinky. About a half year ago I started using these odor-absorbing charcoal bags and they work like magic! My shoes no longer stink.

I bought a 12-pack of these charcoal bags that slip perfectly into my shoes. The bags themselves have no odor, and they really work to keep odor and moisture out of my shoes. I put them in my shoes right after a run, and I keep them in shoes that aren't in rotation right now. The bags are filled with natural bamboo charcoal, which acts as an absorbing agent for moisture and odors. My shoes dry faster, which is no mean feat here in humid Florida. Using the bags, there is no lingering sweat odor in my running shoes any more.

The 12-pack size was perfect for me, since I have a bunch of different shoes in my closet. They work well in non-running shoes too. This brand is also available in a 24-pack.

It's recommended to place these bags in direct sunlight every month but I haven't had the chance to do that yet (or more accurately I never remember this step). So far, after 6+ months of use, I don't notice a change in the performance of these bags.

Race Recap: Firecracker 5K Beach Run 2019

Posted in Race Reports

The Firecracker 5K Beach Run used to be a fundraiser for the Daytona Beach Track Club. 2019 marked the first year this holiday race was put on by Red Pointer Productions.

Training & Goals
Still wonky in the Achilles. I planned to follow my slow and easy 1:2 run:walk ratio for the race. I'm also working on a July runstreak so this was my 6th day in a row running at least 5K.

Race Day: July 6, 2019
The race start/finish was at Frank Rendon Park, which I have visited plenty of times during the winter to see the massive gull gathering. I was glad I arrived by around 6:45AM; I think the lot may have filled up. I got a sweet parking spot and picked up my bib and shirt. It was a beautiful morning out on the beach waiting for the race to begin. The temperature was about 79°F with 100% humidity and full sun at the time we started running.

Mile 1: 12:41

Mile 2: 12:46

Mile 3+: 12:53, 1:22
I was glad to come in under 40 minutes. Next stop, sub 35, and maybe someday I'll hit a sub 30 again.

After the Race
Cold water, watermelon, and cookies were availble for runners after the run. It was a nice atmosphere for this small race that had a lot of out-of-towners in (6+ states were represented in the awards ceremony!). It's also always nice when Race DJ is present at local races.

Recommendation
If you want to run in Florida in the middle of summer, you might be insane. But you can't go wrong with this race. Red Pointer puts on a smooth production. Recommended.

Chip time: 39:38
Placement details: 8th of 14 in Age Group, 151st overall out of 224 finishers
Race Amenities: Super soft unisex shirt, finisher medal for all
Cost: $33.75

Report written July 6, 2019

Featured and me running photo (c) Almost There Photography

Gear for Your Gear: Cap Washers

Posted on 24 June 2019 in Gear Reviews

I like to wear Headsweats visors when I run. They keep the sun out of my eyes and they work hard to keep sweat off of my face.

Keeping my hats clean is easy with purpose-made protective cages like these cap washing frames that come in a 3-pack. I use them on the top rack of my dishwasher with a powder-based detergent. Some cap washers can also be used in your clothes washing machine, but they are usually not recommended for front-loaders like ours.

Sturdy cap washers like these make sure your hat keeps its shape (important for the elastic band on my Headsweats) while it goes through a hot water washing cycle. When the wash is done, the caps come out of the washer still in the frame and I let them dry in the frame, so the hats continue to keep their shape. These cap washers are sold in a convenient three-pack but I have been lucky to find a couple of these at Goodwill.

Cap washers are also great for cleaning used hats! I have purchased costume or character hats for various Disney races via Poshmark.com and Goodwill -- one cycle through the wash cleans them up just fine. Goodwill and thrift stores are a great place to browse for affordable novelty hats you only want to wear for one race or costume. I've based entire costumes on funny hats I've randomly found at Goodwill!

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.

Recommendation
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