Race Report: 2011 Florida Hospital Lady Track Shack 5k

Thursday, February 10, 2011
This was my first race event for 2011 and I couldn't have been more excited about doing it. The Lady Track Shack 5k was my first Track Shack race last year and I had such a great time and experience that doing that event got me into doing the local races as much as possible.
The difference this year was that I was a walker and not a runner/walker which was how I approached the 5k in 2010. Funny thing is, I did better time this year power walking than I did last year rotating the walking and running. I attribute that to being in slightly better shape and that fact that I'm now more accustomed to the races.
Since I was so looking forward to the event, when I woke up the Wednesday morning prior in a lot of pain in my right foot, I was concerned. Apparently, I had some tendinitis going on. I found myself limping at times both that day and the next. I prayed and did everything I could in hopes that the foot would be better before the race. I was very thankful that when I woke up Friday, it was about 80% better and I could walk without much pain. I was even happier and more thankful that by Friday evening and upon waking race morning that I felt even better. Nothing worse than being injured and not being able to do a race because of it (happened to me once last year with the back injury).
The weather on race morning was beautiful. It was in the mid-60s which felt great. I wore my No Excuses Wear, 'Shut Up and Sweat' t-shirt and black running pants. A number of ladies were wearing shorts and I came to the realization that I could have worn shorts myself or at least capris. In the end though, I was fairly comfortable, and that is what's important.
Start of the race ended up being a few minutes behind schedule, but not too bad. With almost 2,000 women doing the event, the beginning was a bottleneck. Definitely not like it was at the Turkey Trot in November thankfully though. Once I was able to get some space, I was able to really start moving into my fast power walking pace. I hit the first mile at under 14 minutes which shocked me, I was hauling some butt! I pretty much kept up that pacing through mile two which was nice.
My only real complaint with the route was that Winter Park has a lot of brick roads. This is not the friendliest surface for backs, legs and feet. I found myself thankful when we were back on regular black asphalt. About 2.5 miles or so in, there was an area where you pass side by side with the faster runners who are about a half mile or so ahead of you. It was at that point where I saw a friend, Kitzzy Aviles and we both waved at one another. Kitzzy is an extremely active gal who bikes just about everywhere in Orlando and runs her tail off to boot. It's always nice to see familiar faces during the racing events.
I finished the race at 44:41 which is my best time for a 5k ever. That means I PRed, despite the tendinitis that week! I was all smiles when I crossed that finish line. Every race, it still feels great to me. You need to celebrate your accomplishments in life. Set challenges and goals for yourself and get out there and do them. It's amazing how good you feel pushing yourself to do things that you never thought possible.
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