February 1, 2014
The Lady Track Shack 5k is another race in the Winter Park area. This one is a women’s race (as if the name didn’t give that one away) and proceeds from the race benefit women’s charities for breast cancer research. I had planned to sign up for this one online but missed the deadline. It was one that I wanted to do though for two reasons; first, I enjoyed the Season’s 52 5.2k that was in the Winter Park area. The course was great; scenic, flat, and overall an easy run. Second, the race shirt is a long-sleeved tech tee with thumb holes. I need long sleeve running gear and who doesn’t love thumb holes?! They really are great shirts for keeping your hands warmer during a run. Lastly, all the races produced by Track Shack are well managed and the charity partner is one that I definitely like to support since breast cancer runs in my family.
I have that same hour drive so I made sure that I put all my gear out last night. It is still colder out so I chose to wear the Minnie 10k shirt from WDW marathon weekend and some running capris. I grabbed a running jacket just in case I need it but I think I should be OK. I’m finally feeling about 95% better so I am actually looking forward to this run. My runs this week have been a little slower than I’d like but I know I have to build back up from being sick for the last couple of weeks.
I’m dressed and out the door pretty quickly because I have the drive. And, of course I have to stop by Dunkin to get my wake-up wraps. I also grab a soda from the Gate station; caffeine is necessary on these early mornings. The run doesn’t start in the same place as the Season’s 52 last weekend. It is in the same general area but this one starts and ends near a garden that I’ve never heard of. I have no idea about the parking situation and I will have to do registration when I get there so I planned for plenty of extra time.
I get to the area near Mead Garden and follow some other cars that are parking in a nearby office parking lot. I have no idea how far the race is from where I’m parked but the rest of the road is blocked off so I have no other options unless I want to keep driving around.
I follow other runners making their way down the street. It only took me about 5 minutes to walk to Mead Garden and find the registration area. I am able to register easily since I already completed a registration form and brought it with me. They only have extra large shirts left and I am OK with that so my total registration fee is $35. I get my packet and shirt and then head back to my car.
I sit in the car for a few minutes as I have quite a bit of time to kill since I planned in extra time. I’m always thankful for the extra time because I tend to get anxious when I’m cutting time to close to a race. I’d rather be early and relax a bit than be rushing and miss gun time (seriously, my worst race fear!).
I head back down the street to the start area just outside the garden. I line up near the 10+ minute per mile sign and strike up some conversation with some ladies around me who commented on my shirt. One of the other ladies had done Goofy that weekend and the girl next to me had just done her first half not too long ago. We chatted about various running events until the National Anthem was played. Then the gun sounded and we were off.
This course was also pretty nice. It was through more residential areas and had a large section of brick road (these are all over the Winter Park area). You really have to be careful on these because you can easily step wrong and roll an ankle or lose your footing. There were a lot of people outside their houses cheering for the ladies running (this race was entirely women; I don’t think I saw any men running). There were a lot of guys though cheering on their wives/girlfriends along the course though and that always makes me smile. It’s really nice to have a supportive significant other.
The last stretch of the race led runners into Mead Garden. I’ve never been through the garden so I don’t know what kind of garden it is. The finish line was just under some canopies of trees though. From there, runners made a bit of a u-turn into the vendor area where we could get some refreshments. There were some fresh strawberries that were so delicious (I LOVE strawberries). It was pretty crowded in this area though so I waited for my friend and then we left to go eat breakfast.
I finished this race in 37:05. Not a PR but still a good run. It felt good to run today. I knew it probably wouldn’t be a PR since I’m not quite back to 100% so I didn’t push myself too hard. I ran when I could and walked when I needed to. The course was really nice and mostly flat. With the exception of the brick road section, it was an easy run. There was even a bit of entertainment and quite a few cheering spectators along the way. I’d definitely do this one again.
Lady Track Shack in dollars…
Registration: $35 (day of pricing)
Until the next race….happy running.