January 25, 2014
I had signed up for the Season’s 52 5.2k a couple of weeks before taking on the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World. So, I knew that I would be running Dopey, making a trip to California and running all three races of Tinker Bell weekend, and then coming back to Florida before running this race. What I didn’t plan on was being sick.
After getting back from California, I called the doctor’s office first thing Tuesday morning and they were able to squeeze me in. As I suspected, I had a sinus infection and bronchitis. Along with that, I also had laryngitis. My coworkers probably welcomed the laryngitis! The doc loaded me up with antibiotics and some cough syrup and told me to rest. In fact, I believe his exact words were “no exercise for a week”. That wasn’t going to work knowing I had a race on Saturday, but I also knew I couldn’t RACE the race; I’d have to take it easy.
I felt a lot better this morning when I got up even though I’m still stuffy and coughing. I hate cough syrup but I’m using it because it does help and all this coughing is just miserable. I still have a couple more days of antibiotics though.
It’s a cool morning (cold to me) so I know I’ll need to dress appropriately. I don’t own any running pants (only capris and skorts) so I dug out a pair of yoga style pants last night. They are comfortable but I’ve never run in them so I don’t know what to expect. I have walked in them for four or five miles before so I know they aren’t uncomfortable. To be on the safe side, I put some compression style shorts under them. I also put on a long sleeve tech tee. I don’t have any of those in my regular workout gear either so I opt to wear my Mickey marathon shirt from Dopey weekend. I also have a 1/2 zip pullover jacket that I plan to wear. I even dug out some gloves and a headband/ear warmer. I know I don’t feel 100% yet so I know I should do my best to keep myself warm.
I had all of my gear laid out last night so all I have to do is roll out of bed and get dressed. I’m generally a slow mover in the mornings but I know I have about an hour drive to get to the race so I do my best to keep myself moving. I also need to get some breakfast so I don’t have a lot of time for dilly-dallying.
I get out the door and stop by Dunkin Donuts. I love the egg and cheese wake-up wraps and they’re only $0.99; perfect, cheap breakfast in my opinion. I also stop by the Gate station and get a diet Coke. I’m not a coffee drinker so I need my caffeine to get me in gear this morning from something. I leave there and head towards Orlando; more specifically, Winter Park; for the run.
I’m not completely certain where I need to go so I planned some extra time in to be on the safe side. I got to the Winter Park area and still needed to figure out parking and get my packet. Parking was already a mess when I got there but I was able to find a spot on a side street that wasn’t far from the start/finish area. I made my way over to the area where the tents were setup with vendors and found packet pickup. This whole process was really quick. I’m relieved at the ease of it but still thankful I planned with a little extra time.
I headed back to my car to put my shirt and extra stuff away. While I was there, I pinned my bib to my jacket; I won’t be taking it off as I’m still cold with it on. Even though I know I’ll warm up some while I’m running, I plan to leave it on. I also put my gloves on. I wasn’t planning to run with them but my fingers feel like icicles. That isn’t likely to change with running.
Even though I’m there a little early, it isn’t long before the runners are being called to line up. There aren’t start corrals; it’s just one big crowd. But, there are signs posted with pace times and runners are asked to line up in the area of their projected pace. I stay ahead of the walker crowd but to the back of the 10+ minute mile crowd. I’ll run/walk and I know I won’t be fast since I am still not 100%.
The race starts and we’re off on a really nice course through the streets of Winter Park. Some of the race is on brick roads (sort of cobblestone like and tough to run on) but most of it is just regular paced roads. There are some really pretty houses and buildings along the course. Winter Park has a lot of older houses and buildings and there is a lot of character in them. It is a relatively flat course as well. If I had been feeling better this would have been a great run for a 5k personal record. I’m still pushing to break 30 minutes; my best so far is 33 minutes and change. With the cool weather and the flat course, I think I could have beat that if I was feeling good.
As we cross the finish line, every 52nd runner wins a Season’s 52 gift card. I was almost that person. I think I need to be one or two people behind me to have been the 52nd person. Bummer because Season’s 52 has really great food. If you’ve never been to one, definitely check it out. They use all seasonal and mostly local ingredients. The menu changes all the time based on the availability of produce and such. Additionally, everything on the menu is less than 500 calories so it’s also very healthy. They even have some delicious mini desserts.
I didn’t stick around too long after finishing. I was cold (even with my jacket and gloves on) and my nose was running pretty badly. I finished in just less than 42 minutes; not bad considering I haven’t exercised all week and I’m still getting over being sick (41:49 officially; however, my gun time and clock time are identical and I did NOT start at the front of the pack!).
Track Shack puts on great events. I highly recommend any of the races they produce. They are organized and the courses are generally really nice. They are all well supported with volunteers at water stops and such. The Season’s 52 race is one of those that I would do again. The course was pretty and the weather is great this time of year. It is a really nice run. The only down side, for me, is that it’s an hour drive to get here for a short race. I try to plan to do other things when I’m going to do a run like this (errands or shopping or meet friends) to sort of justify the longer drive for a short race. All in all, it’s a race I would definitely do again.
Season’s 52 by the dollars…
The nice thing about local races…not very expensive!