Onward to race #2 for the day. This race is actually really special to me because it is the first race my parents have ever attended. Arrived early at Baptist Hospital in Homestead, where the starting line was. I decided to be festive for this race and wear a santa hat, which I later realized was a dumb idea since it was over 80 degrees out and my head needs to breathe. About a mile into the race I just wanted to rip the hat off but kept it on for finish line photos. Convinced a friend from run club to run this race and ended up running it with him the whole time. We are used to running the same pace at run club so the goal was to stay with him and kick up the pace at the finish line. I talked most of the way, not that he could probably hear me as he was wearing headphones but still kept my mind from focusing on the pain of running so quickly. I even mentioned that we might actually place high in our age group when we were about a mile from the finish line. Well I set a new 5k PR that day and placed 1st in my age group. The first time ever being 1st! Plus we set a course record for our age groups as it was the first race on that course and the first year of this race. Never had I felt more high from racing than that moment, plus my parents and grandmother were there to see it happen. We got Christmas ornaments with the race info on it at the finish line. There was also free local craft beers but I did not partake in those this time, but I did have some pizza from The Big Cheese when I went into the YMCA for the awards ceremony afterwards. After carbing up and getting my medal I headed home to change and get ready to go out with some friends for a night of dancing. This race was dedicated to Angelika, who loves all things Christmas related.
Earlier this year, in February I did the RunWild 5k at ZooMiami so I knew this would be a fun race. Plus this time I was better prepared to race, mentally and physically than my 4th of July race.
I also got to use my Brooks Pure Connects to race for the first time, I had done some speed work in them beforehand so I knew they could handle a race. German came along with me for this race (we are pretty much neighbors) and we met up with Allie and my aunt. The weather was slightly cooler despite this race starting at 7:30am, but it probably had to do with the storm brewing overhead. At the sight of the rain clouds above us I put my phone in a plastic baggie (cheap way of waterproofing) just before the start. I brought a drawstring bag that I was hoping German or Allie would carry for me during the race with my camera and flip flops for afterwards. They did and used it to carry their stuff as well since they walked portions of this race.
Just before the race there was a moment of silence for those lost in September 11th and for the Boston Marathon bombing victims, a nice gesture to start a race. As soon as the race started the rain started falling and lasted for basically the first mile. Finally once it stopped the humidity came back but I pushed through my mind telling me that I could walk if I needed to. I did not walk at all during this race, I may have slowed down slightly but I did much better at this race than I had at the last Zoo Miami race and way better than the 4th of July race. As soon as I finished they gave us medals, which are very very nice and creative medals. Probably one of my favorite from this year actually. There were volunteers handing out icy cold towels and before he gave me one he asked “Are you a runner? You dont even look like you ran” I’m pretty sure he was kidding because I most likely had a very flushed red face afterwards. I walked around, got myself a banana, bottle of water and waited for Allie & German to finish. I was pretty sure they would finish about 8-10 minutes after me and I was right! Then we walked around and checked out the sponsor tents and took a pic by a finisher sign for the race. Picked up some buddy fruits and went to find the results. I was not sure how well I did but I knew that I did pretty well. I was 4th place in my age group so that was pretty satisfying. After walking around a little bit more we went back into the zoo and checked out the animals for a little while till we got tired. I changed out of my PureConnects and let my toes breathe a bit before walking around too much.