Weekend Forecast: Long Run With A 100% Chance of Beer V-Neck Shirt

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Race Recap: Ice Cream Beach 5K NSB 2022

The Flagler Avenue Business Association puts on a series of beach 5K races in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, each year. I participated in their July event, the Ice Cream Beach 5K, for the first time this year. The race is an out-and-back run on the hard-packed sand of NSB.

Training & Goals
I've been down on running, my weight loss efforts, and life in general for a few weeks. Unsurprisingly, I didn't have any time goal in mind. I hoped to keep up my regular run:walk intervals of 2:1 for the run. 

Race Day: July 2, 2022
Arthur came with me on this hot, sunny day. We left home around 6:45 and found a parking spot on Flagler Avenue in time to walk to packet pickup, drop off my shirt at the car, and get back to the race in time for the 7AM start time. It was 77°F with 89% humidity at the start with hot sun beating down on the shadeless beach. 

Mile 1: 13:17
I felt okay running from the start. After watching my footing and stepping through the soft sand at the beginning, the field headed towards the water, where the sand was hard-packed and very nice for running. I had to make myself take it slow.

Mile 2: 13:59
I started feeling really hot, so it was no trouble slowing down after the first mile. Still, I kept up my intervals, moving comically slowly during the runs. I kept telling myself I'd switch to 1:2 run:walk, but each time my watch told me to run, I did...

Mile 3+: 15:03, 1:09
... until mile 2.3, when my body was just done. I thought I'd try to jog a bit but each time my watch vibrated I just kept on walking. I shuffled a bit towards the end, and tried to sprint at the finish line but the soft sand made that difficult. 

After the Race
I was mildly disappointed at the fatigue I felt, and that I couldn't keep up my run:walk intervals for the entire run, just 3 miles. I'm glad I was able to finish and I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. It was hot, and I haven't been consistently training. It's tough to reconcile the gratitude of listening to my body when it's time to slow down, and disappointment in not managing to meet my simple goal.

This ice cream themed race gave out Twistee Treat cups to runners at the finish line. I drank some water and inhaled my ice cream. I was bushed and Arthur was also feeling really hot so we didn't linger at all after the run.

Recommendation
This race offers a standard cotton shirt and simple finisher medal, plus ice cream at the finish line. The water stop was well-stocked and it's fun to run on the beach. At $25 before fees this is an affordable race. 

Chip time: 43:24
Placement details: 12/30 in Age Group; 256th out of 405 finishers
Race Amenities: Cotton race shirt, finisher medal
Cost: $29.63

Branded photo (c) Almost There Photography

In a Relationship with Marathon Training V-Neck Shirt from Amazon

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Just a Girl Who Loves Running Phone Case

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Customizable Just a Girl Who Loves Running Apparel and Gifts

This fun runner-themed design is also available via our Zazzle shop. You can see the full collection here: Just a Girl Who Loves Running. Check out some options below. Zazzle products are easy to customize -- add your own text or images, pick a different color or style of product, or choose other custom options to make a unique gift for the running enthusiast in your life!

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Race Recap: Doughnut (or Donut) Day 5K 2022

I ran the Doughnut Day 5K in Lake Mary, Florida on June 4, 2022. This race is put on by the Rotary Club of Seminole County and benefits their scholarship fund. It was the 4th or 5th annual running of this race (Facebook said 4th; race page said 5th). The race was also called either the Doughnut Day 5K or Donut Day 5K, according to various sources. The race commemorates National Doughnut Day, which takes place on the first Friday of June annually.

Training & Goals
Since January 1st I've been working on coming back after a period of no running, managing knee pain, and working on losing some pandemic weight. Weight loss has stalled over the past couple of weeks, which was compounded by a recent bout with COVID-19. I was in isolation and semi-isolation with the virus for about 10 days and went into this race following two weeks of no running. I aimed to run/walk this race at 2/1 intervals as well as I was able, with no expectations. I was ready to walk the whole thing if that's what my body told me. 

Race Day: June 4, 2022
I left home at around 6:25 and arrived at the race location, Front Running Sports in Lake Mary, about 15 minutes later. This gave me plenty of time to pick up my bib and drop off my shirt back at the car before the race began. 

The race took place under the shadow of a tropical system that was predicted to dump rain over the region, but we only got a very small sprinkle during the run. I think the spectre of stormy weather may have kept some participants from showing up. While 208 were registered, there ended up being only 141 finishers.

For unexplained reasons the race had a bit of a late start; it was about 73°F with 89% humidity and dark, gloomy skies when I crossed the starting mat at 7:08AM

Mile 1: 12:43
This race takes place on the Florida Trail out of Front Running Sports. The out-and-back course is mostly on the really nice suburban multi-use trail, with a short turn onto sidewalk for the turn-around.

The course was lined with terrible donut pun motivational signs put up by Rotary volunteers. They were amusing to read on the way. Stuff like Donot Give Up with a cartoon doughnut running on a treadmill, Donot Stop Believing, plus silly signs about eating doughnuts after workouts and even the old standby You Thought They Said Rum Didn't You? made an appearance.

Mile 2: 12:36
There was one water stop on the course, close to the turn-around. On the first pass, I saw that the volunteer was removing the lids from all of the water bottles for runners to take. On the way back, I asked the volunteer for a closed bottle and he happily obliged. I was able to drink a bit and then stow the bottle in my skirt pocket while I was running, and take sips on my subsequent walk breaks.

The turn around was unmarked, and unmanned! I was kind of shocked to see this, and I wondered how the lead runner managed to know when to turn back. There was a cone, but it was to the side of the path, so it wasn't super obvious, in my opinion.

Mile 3+: 13:19, :39 (another slightly short race; my Garmin said 3:06 miles)
I felt pretty good running this race, so I was surprised to see my 3rd mile split so much slower than the first two. I didn't feel like I was slowing down at all. I was able to keep up my 2/1 intervals for the whole run, and I was pleased with that, especially considering the complete lack of any running the 2 weeks prior and recovering from illness.

After the Race
There were donuts, plus bananas, watermelon, and other treats for runners, plus ample water and orange juice available. I didn't stay too long because it still looked like rain and I wanted to beat any weather. Of course, it ended up staying dry all day!

Recommendation
Well, I'm sorry to say that I don't recommend this event. The race started about 8 minutes late, which isn't a huge deal, but there was very little pre-race communication at all, and that was pretty disappointing. The lack of any personnel or volunteer at the poorly marked turn-around was unacceptable in my opinion. There was no national anthem at the start either, which I don't particularly mind, but it is notable. I'm also not a big fan of the plush donut "medal" participants received at the end, although I think that's kind of typical for doughnut dashes, maybe. I do really like the soft everyday t-shirt we got; the plum color is different and the design is cute. But I don't plan on running this one again.

Chip time: 39:16
Placement details: 51/89 female; 89/141 overall
Race Amenities: Nice soft race shirt, plush donut finisher medal for all
Cost: $38.65

Local Race Recap: Hero Hustle 5K 2022

The Hero Hustle 5K, formerly known as the DBK 5K, is a fun small town race here in my hometown of DeBary, Florida. The race helps to fund the Kruid Charitable Foundation, which in turn benefits local and regional services for veterans. I ran this race under the old name twice before: DBK 5K 2016 and DBK 5K 2018.

Training & Goals
Since January 1st I've been working on coming back after a period of no running, managing knee pain, and working on losing some pandemic weight. Weight loss has stalled over the past couple of weeks, which has tanked my motivation, along with the start of our long hot and humid summer weather. I only got a couple of walks in during the weeks before this race. There's been little change in my knees. The pain remains, but remains manageable if I keep up with my strength work. A few weeks ago I changed my regular run/walk intervals to 2 minutes / 1 minute and I aimed to keep that up for the entire race, if I could. 

Race Day: May 21, 2022
I biked over to the race site on the other side of town, happy to take a newly paved multi-use trail for part of the way. The trails in and around our town have been a work in progress since we moved to DeBary and I'm so happy each time a new segment opens. I arrived‌ in plenty of time to lock up my bike and pick up my packet before the race began. After I got my stuff stowed, I hung out with some friends from WVR before it was time to run.  It was 72°F with sunny skies and oppressive 94% humidity when the race began at 7:30AM.

Mile 1: 12:38
I started out trying to keep it nice and slow as my body warmed up.

Mile 2: 12:13
Still feeling pretty good through this mile, happy to keep up my run/walk intervals. I shifted the interval shortly to run a bit of downhill before the water stop so I could walk through the stop.

Mile 3+: 12:10, :43 (according to my Garmin the course was a little short at 3:07 miles)
It still feels hard to run this "fast" but I was glad to complete this run while maintaining my run/walk goal.

After the Race
Free beer, bananas and oranges, chips and snacks were available for runners. The after-party for this race always includes a bunch of bounce houses, water slides, and other inflatable entertainment options. I stayed for a few beers,  watched the awards ceremony, and chatted with friends before heading home after a fun race morning.

Recommendation
I liked it when the race was called the DBK 5K because they used the name of the sponsor company to play on the name DeBary 5K. But I never liked the race shirts or the medals, which featured their mascot Bert (sorry Bert, and thanks for taking a selfie with me). With the new name, we have a new medal style and a much nicer t-shirt. 

As before, this race had very good course support and law enforcement out to keep the roads safe for runners. The price is good, the swag is good (nice soft cotton t-shirt and custom finisher medal), and the after race party is fun and well-stocked. Recommended for locals. 

Chip time: 37:41
Placement details: 7/24 in Age Group, 142nd overall out of 292 finishers
Race Amenities: Soft cotton shirt, custom finisher medal, good after party.
Cost: $29.63 for early registration

Race branded photos (c) Almost There Photography

I Love Running Funny Junk Food T-Shirts & More

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Local Race Recap: Melissa's Race 2022

I ran this local charity race for brain cancer for the third time this April (previous runs were Melissa's Race 2019 and Melissa's Race 2021; I also participated virtually in 2020).

Melissa's Race is put on by Melissa Vosburg, Inc, a charity devoted to supporting brain cancer research through awareness education and fundraising. The race is accompanied by the Brews for Brains fundraising event, which follows the run in Sanford's Fort Mellon Park.

Training & Goals
Since January 1st I've been  working on coming back after a period of no running, managing knee pain, and working on losing some pandemic weight. My knees presented with some new pains the week leading up to race day, so I was mostly walking during the week before this race, with extra stretching and strength work. If my legs were up to it, I did plan to run using relatively new 75/75 intervals from the start and see what my time would be if I really did my best.

Race Day: April 23, 2022
Race day came and my knees felt okay. The new pains disappeared (old pains persisted though!) so I figured I'd do my best and hopefully come in under 40 minutes (ugh) on the familiar flat course. I checked my results from my previous Melissa's Race outings and both were over 40, so my goal ended up being to beat my Melissa's Race record of 40:43 from the 2019 run (I came in at 41:46 last year).

Parking is easy in Sanford and I found a great spot in the predawn darkness close to the race site. I got my packet and team shirt and headed to the restrooms to change. Races at Fort Mellon Park are great because there are real bathrooms on site -- no need to step into an icky portapotty.

I was in the second start wave, which began at 7:10AM. It was a very pleasant 64°F at the start with delightful 77% humidity, mostly clear skies, and a light breeze off the lake.

Mile 1: 12:29
I felt pretty good from the start. The field seemed to open up right away (the four different staggered starting waves really help with that) and I could keep my pace without getting in the way of others or having to weave too much around walking participants. This mile takes runners along Lake Monroe and swings around Fort Mellon Park.

Mile 2: 12:35
For this mile we turn back towards the Lake Monroe waterfront and pass the marina before turning back to run the streets of downtown Sanford. I felt good after warming up and was happy I could keep up with my run/walk intervals as planned.

Mile 3+: 12:36, 1:03
Much of this mile is a repeat of mile one, heading back down 1st Street to loop around Fort Mellon Park to the finish line on the lakefront. Before turning back to the park, the run down 1st Street is in full head-on sun, and that wasn't a lot of fun. I didn't feel hot, but it was hard to see and unpleasant to look up. It made the final shaded stretch down the lakefront feel great for a strong finish.

Recommendation
This is a well-organized local race for a very good cause. On course support was great with volunteers throughout, and the support after is very good as well with treats for runners and several local vendor booths with the usual freebies and giveaways. It was really nice to see this race back to full force after the return to in-person racing last year had an understandably smaller field. Recommended.

Chip time: 38:39
Placement details: 17/61 in Age Group, 306 overall out of 751 finishers
Race Amenities: Nice cotton logo t-shirt, finisher medal for all, drawstring backpack
Cost: $27.95

Branded photos (c) Almost There Photography

Local Race Recap: Bunny Hop 5K 2022

I ran the Second Annual Bunny Hop 5K on multi-use trails here in DeBary Florida on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022. Here's my recap.

Training & Goals
Six years ago this month, I finally broke 30 minutes for a 5K distance. Now that I'm starting over, I'm chasing a sub 40 minute 5K and hoped this race would be the day. 

I'm still working on coming back after a period of no running, managing knee pain and working on losing some pandemic weight. My plan for this race was to try out new run/walk intervals of 75/75 for the duration.

Race Day: April 17, 2022
I love when there are races at Gemini Springs, because these are familiar running trails, and I can walk or bike to the start. On race morning, I arrived in plenty of time to get my packet, stow my stuff with my bike, and line up for the race. It was 70°F at the start with uncomfortable 94% humidity and clear skies. 

Mile 1: 12:48
I tried to start off slow, as lately I've been starting with a walking warmup. I felt okay, though humidity always gets me sweating ridiculously.

Mile 2: 12:39

Mile 3+: 12:54, :06
I came in at 38:25, so yay for a sub-40! My Garmin recorded a final distance of 3:01 for the run, which is pretty short, so that bummed me out a little bit. The pace was still good for a sub-40. Next stop, sub-38. LOL

After the Race
There was a very good spread of packaged goodies, water, and bananas at the finish line. During the awards ceremony I went looking for another bottle of water but the coolers were empty. When race staff found out, they jumped into action to refill the ice coolers with more water. Nice.

Recommendation
This was a cute little race on our beautiful trail. Well-supported and fine swag. The Easter Bunny was there, and there were activities for kids, including an egg hunt and free kid's race. I'd recommend for locals.

Chip time: 38:25
Placement details: 9/15 in Age Group; 90/129 overall
Race Amenities: Cute tech shirt, finisher medal for all, video of start/finish 
Cost: $38.53