The first race of 2015 is in the books. I had heard really good things about Best Damn Race (BDR) from some Tampa runner friends so when I saw they were coming to Jacksonville for the first time, I knew I needed to check things out. I like the way they do their pricing. They increase as the number of people registered increases not when a specific calendar date rolls around. I got the 10k for $30 + $3 processing fee. Pretty good deal!
BDR was held downtown at Metropolitan Park which is across the street from where the Jaguars play so ample parking was available. I got downtown a little past 6 am so I could pick up my packet, have ample time to warm up and get to the start at 7:00. It was a very chilly morning (for us Floridians!) so I had on my Lululemon thermal long sleeve running shirt and a zip down mid weight jacket along with Under Armour running tights and a fleece headband. I was able to stay in my car for about a half hour because I got my packet so quickly and still use the restroom and get in a good warm up before going to the corral.
There were pace signs up to help guide people appropriately which was great but the faster times weren’t very crowded so they moved us up and I started just a couple of rows deep. The horn sounded and we took off. I love running in the cold as I have an easier time keeping my heart rate down and my body just responds better. I felt pretty good the first mile which I clocked at 8:37.
Now, I haven’t been doing any speed work recently, I have been doing slower runs at a zone 2 to 3 heart rate meaning I’m running between 10:00-11:00/mile. When I saw 8:37 I figured there was no way I was going to hold that for another 5 miles.
My second mile included a on ramp to the highway I wasn’t expecting but even with that slow down, I had a 9:00 mile so I thought ok if I can keep it here I’ll be really solid. My third mile was good as I knew the turn around was coming and I came in at 9:11.
Here’s where things literally went down hill. After the third mile, several things happened:
1. I got too warm and had no way to cool down as my bib and chip were pinned to my zip down jacket
2. My stomach started to get gassy (sorry for the TMI)
3. Eventually, my energy level dropped
The fourth and fifth miles were not pretty as my pace went up by a minute each, 9:50, 9:58 respectively. My heart rate was too much during mile 5 and since I couldn’t cool down, I had to walk for a couple of seconds to calm things down. By the start of the sixth, I could see the damn stadium but yet it felt so far away! I hop scotched with this older couple the last mile and as I tried to dig deeper they pulled away. Ugh! Worst feeling ever.
The sixth mile came in at 9:12 but boy did that pace feel so different than the earlier ones. I finally got to the last .2 of the race and onto the field at Metropolitan Park, happy to be finished.
Overall time: 57:56
9th/29 Age Group
9:20 average pace, 177 average heart rate
Overall, this was a great early season, educational race. I learned or was reminded of several key things:
- Even though you’re freezing your ass off at the start line, you will warm up and need to be able to either shed layers or be comfortable.
- Take gas pills before the race.
- Hydrate better the day before.
- Don’t start out like you’re running a 5k when its a 10k.
- Be realistic in your expectations of your capabilities.
My 10k PR is currently 55:00. I haven’t been training enough to deserve a PR right now but you better believe I would love to break 55:00 this season.
The after race party was pretty good as they had Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and donut holes, free photography on the course and afterwards, a food tent, a gigantic Red Bull truck playing music and an endless supply of Sugar Free Red Bull which I gladly accepted. I eventually started to feel the real chill in the air and decided to head home only to stay under several layers for about 2 hours before I finally warmed up! Overall, I’m very pleased with BDR and look forward to racing with them again.