Miles for Moffitt is a race that I’ve had on my list to do for many years, but it just never really lined up in my race calendar. It falls pretty late in the season, and usually I’m done racing by this point. Since I have a half marathon this coming weekend, Miles for Moffitt landed in the perfect time for a little 10k tuneup before 13.1!
The race course is up at USF, so I had a quick 15-20 minute drive since there was no traffic. I had heard they start closing roads at 6:30, so I got into the parking lot right at 6:25am to make sure I didn’t have any issues before my 7:30am start time. I finished up my cup and coffee and then headed to the port-o-potties! With plenty of time to spare, I went and found a few friends to chat with a bit before heading out for my 2 mile warm up. I needed to get in a total of 8 miles, and since I tend to not complete mileage post race, I opted for a longer than usual warm up instead.
About a mile into the run, I knew it was going to be a tough race because I was already sweating a pretty good amount. That’s a Florida road race in May for you! I got back to the corral with plenty of time to spare, and lined up between the 7 and 8 minute corrals. I didn’t want to get stuck behind walkers, but I also didn’t want to go out too fast. I thought this would be the prefect spot to be. Once the clock hit 7:30am and we were off running, right on time!
We lucked out that the morning was a little on the overcast side. The course is all on the streets on the USF campus, so the sun could have been rough. There was also a nice breeze, so I was pretty thankful! As always, the first mile zoomed by in no time at all! There was water right at the first mile, but I opted to skip that one. There were still a lot of people around and I didn’t want to get caught up in the bottle neck of that first stop.
Once I came up on the mile 2 water station, I was more than ready for a sip! Unfortunately the cups they used were styrofoam, which is less than ideal. When you squeeze them to make an easy sip, they tend to split down the side. I was able to get a little bit of water, but it was honestly a bit of a pain! It was at this time that I could see a couple of other women in front of me, but I knew I was closing in on them fast. With the course being a large loop with multiple out and backs, it was pretty simple to see how many people were in front me. There was 1 other female. Just 1. I hadn’t planned to really push myself, but with this kind of placement, I felt like I had to keep my momentum!
Right around mile 4.5, I definitely started to feel the speed, but I knew I was almost done. On the back half of the course, there were a few hills that I was not expecting, so that proved to be even more challenging. I saw the first place female right before mile 5, and she was booking it. There was no way I was going to come even close to catching her, so I just held my ground and ran my race. I wasn’t going to let anyone pass me, but I wasn’t going to try and speed up anymore either.
The only good part about hills is that good ole saying – what goes up must come down. I took the last hill really strong and let my legs just carry me down at the end. Then, there was one long straight away and a little turn to the finish line. I tried to kick it in, but my legs just weren’t having it. I haven’t been doing many dedicated speed workouts (especially at paces below 7:30) so my pace felt a little foreign and I was super fatigued.
I crossed the finish line in 44:54 (per the race, not my watch), good enough for 1st place in my age group and the 2nd woman overall! I was really happy with this race! I feel like I have been in such a running rut for the past 6 months, and I really needed this as a confidence booster. Seeing a couple of my miles sub 7 was pretty exciting, especially because those miles really weren’t that taxing.
I am excited to run my half marathon next weekend in Cleveland, and then back off a little bit over the summer to build a solid base, as I start marathon training in September!
There is one part of this race that I really feel like I need to point out – the race itself was amazing – really, it was. But I had a big parking issue trying to leave. The parking lot I parked in was closed down completely post race, with zero heads up. All exits and entrances were blocked, so we all were stuck until the streets were clear. Honestly, this wasn’t my issue. When I asked the traffic cop what was up, he was an absolutely jerk. He actually started yelling and screaming at me when I asked him where I should go, and when the lot was going to open back up. After having such a great experience at the race, this completely soured my whole morning. Luckily, I was only sitting for about 30 minutes, when a very pleasant cop showed up to help us out of the lot, but I was shocked at how terrible the first man was treating me. It was as easy as having a quick conversation and letting us know logistics. Instead, he was hollering and letting us know the next person who asked him questions would be receiving a traffic violation. Seriously, it was awful. **End Rant**.
Anyhow, the Moffitt team put on a great, well planned race. I am torn as to whether I’ll run it again because of the parking fiasco, but the race itself was a lot of fun!