You know those moments when everything is going perfectly and all you can think about is that you couldn’t have set up whatever it is that you’re doing better than it is right now? How this event literally could not have been more perfect if it were written in a story? That’s how Saturday’s Best Damn Race 10k was for me- I was running negative splits, thinking about how awesome the weather was and how on plan I was for my 10k PR when- WHAM! I’m flat on the ground, my elbow skinned, knee bruised, and no idea how I even got there. My best guess is that a rogue cobblestone tripped me up, but I didn’t see it. At that moment, I was more pissed off that I inevitably lost time on that fall than the fact that I fell in the first place. There were a lot of nice runners next to me- about 5 or 6 people stopped to help me up and make sure I was OK. I got right back up and kept running though, still managing to clock an under-11 minute mile for mile 5. And I still managed an overall PR, although not the one I’d been expecting. But let me go back to the beginning to recap this race all the way through.
By 6 am Saturday morning I was on site at the Best Damn Race Orlando at Lake Eola park, ready to go, checked in and wandering the expo checking out merchandise. Sometimes being at a race by myself is a bit intimidating because there’s no one to talk to- everyone seems to have friends, partners, significant others there to chat with them pre-race, and, let’s be honest, I feel a little weird intruding on those conversations. This time I saw two fellow runners from Sarasota, and a fellow Skirt ambassador, Jenna, pre-race. They were running the half so we went to take a pic by the BDR sign before I made my way over to the start line for the 10k.
It really felt like no time at all between lining up at the start line and the beginning of the race. My race plan was to run the first two miles conservatively, the second two miles around tempo pace and the last two miles to really push the pace. The first two miles were all on cobblestone and they went pretty smoothly…I felt good and was running a pretty comfortable pace. I couldn’t have planned this if I tried, but my first two mile splits both came in at exactly 11:00 pace.
Mile 3 was pretty boring; instead of the pretty tree lined streets of houses bordering the parks, we ran up by one of the main roads where there was a shopping center. I kind of checked out here and just focused on my run. I was approaching the mile 4 marker when we were back on the cobblestone and the fall happened. I was literally just past the mile 4 marker when I fell. My splits had been good for miles 3 and 4 and I was really proud of myself for my awesome pacing. I’m not sure what exactly happened, but I felt my toe kick something which is what tripped me, so I’m going to assume it was the cobblestone. As I said above, I was really upset that it messed up my time, but I got back up and kept running. About ten feet down the road another runner tripped on the cobblestone as well. I think the city needs to re-pave those roads.
At this point, I kept telling myself to keep going because I wasn’t that far from the finish. My body had so much adrenaline going through it that I barely noticed the scrape and it’s stinging, so it wasn’t slowing me down any, but after the fall I wasn’t really feeling the whole running thing anymore. I was determined not to let the stupid cobblestone steal my PR though! I kept up a pretty good pace for mile 5, but came in at 10:55 because of the fall. I stuck with my race plan for the remainder of the race and clocked a 10:23 mile for mile 6- my best for the race. When I saw the finish line and passed the mile 6 marker, I gave it all I had. I crossed the finish line running an 8:11 pace! Never in my life have I run that fast during an event- all the speedwork I’ve been doing must be paying off 😉
After finishing the race, I went to the medical tent to get my arm treated and then wandered around the festival area getting food, coffee and stretching. I met up with one of my Instagram followers, Johanna, and we went to take a picture by the Best Damn Race sign. After that I hung out for a few more minutes, but since I didn’t have anyone to spend time with I stopped by the corner Starbucks to get a drink and then made my way back to the friends’ house I was staying at to shower and change.
Best Damn Race puts on a really good event. I like the fact that it’s a smaller, local race and every time I’ve run it it’s been well organized and fun. The expo is pretty good for a smaller event and the locations they hold the races are typically pretty picturesque and good courses. I’m NOT a fan of the cobblestone (obviously!) but overall it’s a good course. I LOVED the medals this year! The pink flamingo is cute and may be half the reason I decided to sign up for this event!
I’m really happy I decided to do the 10k. The first half of spring race season has been full of goal setting and goal crushing! I’ve PR’d the half and 10k distance and run my first competitive OCR event. This girl is on fire….! (Admit it you just sang that in your head too 😉).
How has your spring racing season been so far? What goal races do you have? How do you deal with setbacks during a race?