April 1, 2013

Honda Grand Prix Of St. Petersburg 5K, March 22, 2013: race recap

I may have a mentioned a time or 50 that I don't like 5Ks. So since I feel this way, I ran another one. I'm either a sucker for punishment or hope that one of these will change my mind.

Perhaps the latter happened. Shocking, I know.

This one did have a better chance since my dad was running it, too as his first-ever 5K (or race of any kind).

This race was on a Friday night at 6:15 p.m. I like the idea of a night race, but my first experience with an evening race wasn't great. 

This one wasn't shaping up to be either. My dad and I spent all day at a spring training game (in Dunedin, spring home of the Toronto Blue Jays). What? You say a baseball game is only about three hours? Yeah, they are. But, we get there when the gates open (10:30 a.m. in this case), watch batting practice (and try to get balls hit or thrown in the stands), watch the game, stay after the game to watch the players leave (and try to get autographs). That ends up being an all-day affair. In the sun. 

We did bring a cooler of water in the car, so we could hydrate on our drive home. It's hard to hydrate properly when you're at a place that charges $3.50 for a bottle of water.

By the time we got home, changed, watched the end of a disastrous Kansas State NCAA tournament game and left, we had 45 minutes before the race started (and about a 15-minute drive ... normally). Of course, we ran into traffic. We made it with about 20 minutes to spare and needed to pick up a timing chip and go to a port-a-potty.

The timing chip was a breeze. The port-a-potty, not so much.

Yes, there are four port-a-potties. That's it. For a race of 500+ people. Not cool.

We waited in line for 15 minutes, and basically walked out of the port-a-potty and started running. 
Port-a-potty line photo

My dad's plan: running and walking intervals.

My plan: see what I could do. I hadn't run a 5K since September, and I thought I was faster, but I wasn't sure.

I was worried I started off too fast. But, I kept it up for the first mile.

They turn downtown St. Petersburg into an Indy car track for a few days, and the 5K course is actually partially on the Honda Grand Prix track. 

I'm not into racing, but this was pretty cool. The cars had just stopped running for the day, so we saw cars, drivers and pit crews along the course. 

About halfway throughout the course, there was a water stop. At this point, I was still at the pace that I initially thought was too fast. Even though I was working hard, I felt like it was manageable for the rest of the race.

The course is an out-and back, and as I came up to the finish, I tried to push it to the end. I was flirting with a time I didn't even think was possible at this point in my running career.

I love this photo because I look like I'm really running (and I'm
wearing bunny ears).

As I crossed the finish line, stopped my watch and looked at it, I was amazed.

 An under-30-minute 5K is a long-term running goal of mine. I had no idea I could be this close to it already.

Of course, I then wondered why I couldn't have been 11 seconds faster to meet that. And when I saw my official chip time of 30:09, I wondered why I couldn't have been 10 seconds faster.

But, it was still a 3:11 personal record. Not too shabby.

It was fun cheering my dad to the finish, and he met his goal of under 45 minutes.

As soon as he was done, he asked: "Why did I pay $25 to run 3.1 miles?" Shortly after, though, he said he'd do it again. He liked the camaraderie and how the course made the time fly by.

After the race, we grabbed pasta and meatballs and Sea Dog Brewery beer (yum) and met up with my running buddy, Lori and her husband, Chris, who came out to the race.

It was a really fun night (and yes, I'm saying this when a 5K was involved). And, you can bet I'll be running more 5Ks to get that under 30-minute time.


  1. It is so neat that you ran a 5K with your dad! Great time - you will break 30:00 in no time!

  2. We ran this race too! It was so much fun! That's a great time! You'll sub 30 before you know it.

  3. So much fun with Dad! I was sad we were out of town for this fun race on the track! You can definitely sub 30, you've got it in you!

  4. That is definitely not a good potty situation! Way to go on the time... I say you'll be sub-30 very very very soon!! :)

  5. Woah awesome job! Being 11 seconds off is a little frustrating but 30:10 is a great time and must have felt great. Congrats!

  6. Yayyyyyy!!! Congratulations on having such a great race!! I've done a race with my dad and brother before and loved it and then did another with my mom. Running with family members is the best :)

  7. Amazing job!! Sub 30 will be yours and SOON!

  8. When I was younger, I loved 5ks. And when I say younger, I mean like 10 years old. Why did I like them? Probably because I got a free tshirt. Other than that, I'm pretty sure I despised them. But they are never too bad when you walk--which I always did. Would I sign up for one if I started getting back into running? Probably. Would I regret? Most likely. But would I do a second one after? There's a fairly good chance. I tend to get over things quick and forget how much I didn't like it.

  9. Amazing time!!!! I bet you get a sub 30 your next 5K.

  10. Way to go, Papa Turtle! And fabulous job, Jina! Now that you have enjoyed a 5k, would you come run one with me, who is intimidated by half marathons to the point I've never done one? Or we could compromise and find a nice 10k.

    1. Of course! I will run any distance with you. Well, except a marathon. I'm not ready for that ... maybe ever.


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