Local 5K Race Report: Deltona's Love Your Heart 2016

Deltona's Love Your Heart 5K was a nearby race that I could bike to, so registering was practically inevitable. The cute cupid finisher's medal didn't hurt, either. This race took place at Deltona Middle School and benefitted the American Heart Association. The out-and-back course followed the bike trail spur from the school to Thornby Park and back.

Training & Goals
This was my second of four races in February. I had been running 3 times per week for several months, usually two short runs of 5K and a longer run. Three days prior to the race I had my longest run at 7.5 miles. I was hoping to beat my previous 5K PR.

Race Day: February 13, 2016
I rode up to the school and looked around for somewhere to park. I secured my bike and went to packet pickup (early pickup had been cancelled last minute due to an unknown snafu). After getting my bib, shirt, and goodie bag, I went back to my bike to put everything away and attach my bib to my shirt. As I walked back to the start area I heard the emcee mention that the race was not timed. I was confused for a moment because I thought I had read it was chip-timed when I signed up. Indeed my bib was chipless though, so I guessed I misread the situation. A few minutes later the emcee corrected himself and said we'd be passing a timing mat at the start and finish of the race. Then I was really, really confused. How would they record our times? In all of my prior timed races, the chip was affixed to the bib. I found the race director, Jennifer, and asked her how it was supposed to work, and she pointed at my shoe. Huh? Oh no, I didn't get my shoe tag at packet pickup! I was paying attention at pickup, I swear, but no one offered me my tag at the time. I felt like an idiot as we ran over to the pickup tables and found my tag. There weren't any zip ties so I laced it through my shoelace and trotted back to the starting area in time for the national anthem. It was 54°F and partly cloudy at the start.

Mile 1: 10:06
Since I was late to the starting area I wound up far back in the pack, but I didn't mind. The airhorn blew and we were off. Leaving the school grounds, we had to cross a major road before hitting the bike path. Traffic was stopped for us. Somewhere before the M1 marker we passed a dead cat on the side of the road. I had seen it biking there earlier in the week. The next time I biked the path, vultures had taken care of it.

Mile 2: 10:33
Right around M1 we turned into a neighborhood for a little jog before heading back to the bike path and running towards the turn-around at Thornby Park.

Mile 3+: 10:22, 1:33
As I approached the street crossing heading back to the school, I saw that officers were letting some cars through, and stopping some runners. I was a bit bummed as I was heading for a PR. Lucky for me I was just slow enough (haha!) to miss stopping as the officers halted traffic again to let runners through. As I raced to the finish line, the race director came tearing out, apologizing to us for being stopped. She was going to yell at the traffic cops. For this race I ran 5:1 intervals (run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute). I skipped my last walk break and "sprinted" at the finish for another PR.

Chip time: 32:20 (1:14 PR)
Placement details: 10th in age, 107th overall out of 274 finishers
Race Amenities:
Swag included a long sleeve ladies tech shirt and a finisher medal for all.
Cost: $25.00 (registered by post; no fee)

Report written March 9, 2016
Featured photo (c) Almost There Photography

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