The Ponce Inlet 5K to benefit Operation Changing Lives (a nonprofit organization that funds reconstructive surgery for kids with cleft lip/palate) started and ended at the historic Ponce Inlet Lighthouse.
There were at least 3 other races in the immediate vicinity on Saturday morning, so it was cool that this event drew 285 runners in only its 4th year!
We all gathered at Lighthouse Park and picked up our race packets and got ready to go. This race was in lieu of my scheduled bike/run brick, but Pam said that she was cool with me subbing in a 5K or a 10K for my “optional” (for her, not me) Saturday workout. She suggested that it would be “okay with her” if I wanted to ride my bike to the race and back. Since it was only a 4 mile round trip, that seemed like a fine idea to me.
I packed my sneakers and my toys for the toy drive in a back pack and off I went. I discovered right away that I DO NOT like biking with a backpack. I like to stay aero (it’s more comfortable for my back) and getting down on the aerobars while wearing a hoodie and a backpack is just – well, STUPID!!
The race itself was a straight shot up Peninsula Drive with a turn around at about the 1.5 mile mark, then a detour onto a gravel road to add a little distance and then back to the finish line.
The start horn sounded and was able to start running within about 10 seconds. I felt really good – no pain in my ankles, shins, or knees. I had my favorite spin playlist on and I just ran. I would tuck behind someone who I thought was going about the right pace, but soon got impatient and passed – I did that over and over again.
At the turnaround, I settled into my intervals – 2 minutes of running/30 seconds of brisk walking. It was great. The 30 seconds gave me just enough time to breathe for a second and then I would run the 2 minutes hard.
Before I knew it, it was over. My goal was to run it in under 26 minutes. I crossed under the finish line at 26:00, so I was just a little bit bummed for a moment. However, when they posted the results, my GUN time was 26:00, but my chip time was 25:46!!! I met my goal by 14 seconds!! 8:19 average per mile! YAY ME!!
When all was said and done, I placed 4th out of 26 women in my 45-49 year age group, #12 out of 191 women total, and #39 out of 285 total participants, male and female. Not so shabby for a first non-triathlon 5K.
I even got an award!
I biked home feeling very satisfied with my morning and excited to run that race again next year – with my son!