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This race was my first 5K of this season and my first since December 2010! I’ve been mainly focusing on half marathons this season and have thrown in the smaller distances when convenient. Now I wouldn’t exactly call the timing of this race convenient for me but since it was sponsored by FitCrew, I went ahead and did it (aka I had no choice but to run it)! You see, I signed up for the  St Pete Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon back on 11-11-11 when they were having their $20 off promotion. Then just a couple weeks ago Niels (one of my CrossFit trainers) informed me that I would also be running the Saint Stephen’s Falcon Run 5K with the FitCrew team. The fact that I was running RNR the following day wasn’t a valid excuse since several of my fellow FitCrewers were as well!

So I adjusted my goals for the weekend and decided to go for a major PR in the 5K and offered to pace my friend Sherry to a sub-2 hour finish in the RNR Half Marathon. I’m so glad I did because I had a great time at both races! First let’s talk about the 5K!

The course was an out and back that started and ended at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School with a good portion of the race running along the water.

The course was beautiful but the pesky thing about running along the water is that there is often wind! Since a cold front was moving into the area it was especially windy that day and unfortunately it turned into a horrible head wind after the turn around.

Now my previous 5K PR was 25:55 back in December 2010 but since I’m much faster this season I really didn’t know what to pace. My overall goal was to keep my pace sub-8 but ultimately I wanted to break 24 minutes. A look at my splits confirms that I haven’t run a 5K in a loooong time!

Unsure of how to pace myself combined with the excitement of running a race, I went out way too fast on the first mile. Most of the second mile wasn’t horrible until we hit the turn around and obviously the third mile I was all but wishing for death.

See? {photo courtesy of Calista Rutledge}

My heart rate was pretty typical for a short race. High and continuously rising.

This was a super small race so I was pretty sure a lot of us FitCrewers would place in our age groups. I knew I was the third FitCrew girl to cross the finish line and that both the ladies before me weren’t in my age group. It turned out I was right! The large majority of us took home age group awards and I took home 1st place in my age group! Oh how I love small local races!

Me (pink) and Elisa (white), 1st and 2nd in our age group, both FitCrew girls! {photo courtesy of Calista Rutledge}

And of course a close-up of that sweet medal!

I wish I could have joined my FitCrew team for brunch but I had big plans to meet up with Jena and Sherry for the St Pete Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon Expo! Look out for that recap next!