Race Recap: The House Next Door 5K

I participated in the third annual House Next Door Family 5K at Gemini Springs in DeBary. The race benefits The House Next Door charity.

Training & Goals
I'm still slowly (very slowly) easing back into running following a chronic Achilles issue that resulted in a loss of fitness and increase in weight over the last year or so. My knees have been hurting a lot lately so I probably am going to need some help with them. My Achilles still feels weak but it seems that doing the stretching and strengthening exercises keeps the lingering pain away.

I had pretty low expectations for this race. I planned to run/walk at :90/:45 which is what I'd been doing for the last couple of training runs. I've also been working on trying to midfoot to forefoot strike, which my knees like a lot. So I was hoping to do this for the entire race, too.

Race Day: March 7, 2020
I rode my bike over to Gemini Springs on race morning. I was so cold when I left the house that I turned around to fetch a hat and a jacket before setting off again. I got my packet, parked my bike, and then stood around in my hat and three top layers until about 5 minutes before race time. It was about 50°F with 54% humidity and bright sunny skies when the race began at 8AM.


Mile 1: 13:07

The course was a simple out-and-back on the Spring-to-spring trail, part of my local running route when I run from home. This race used the OK-Corral pavilion in the back of the dog park as the start/finish, so we were out on the trail right from the mats.


Mile 2: 12:50
There was one water stop at the turn-around. I felt like I was struggling some but I managed to keep up my intervals, with a slight adjustment for the water stop and turn-around.

Mile 3+: 12:32, 1:30
It was nice to see one of the park's Bald Eagles perched on a utility pole above the path on the way back to the finish line. I was able to keep up my intervals for the whole race. I had a good forefoot strike rhythm going for the first two miles but had to switch it up a bit for the last mile as my feet and calves started to feel tight. Pretty happy with the negative splits even though I'm still so slow.


After the Race

There was an ample spread of fruit and water at the finish line. A few vendors and sponsers were out with promo freebies. Before the award ceremony, a drum corps of youngsters performed for the crowd.

Recommendation
This was a really small race, with just 148 participants. Course support was pretty good, with volunteers spread out on the trail to cheer us on -- unexpected during a race with no need for course pointers. The one water stop was good and ready to serve the runners. I love running the beautiful Spring-to-spring trail. And it's a great local cause. Recommended especially for locals.

Chip time: 39:57 (been keeping it under 40 so far this year when I've tried)
Placement details: 12/23 in AG, 76/148 overall
Race Amenities: Cotton unisex t-shirt, pretty nice custom medal
Cost: $33.75

Report written March 8, 2020

Addendum 9/28/22: I gave this shirt away (Goodwill) in September 2022

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