Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a fan of the Harry Potter Series, so when I saw a Mugglenet article on the Hogwarts Running Club, I just had to join. If you don’t know what the Hogwarts Running Club is then you can read my earlier post explaining it here. Today was my first event for the Hogwarts Running Club and my first ever virtual race: The Department of Mysteries 6.2442. The charity partner for this race is The Brotherhood Ride. They are a group of firefighters, police officers and EMTs in Florida who ride their bicycles to honor fallen heroes. The donations that they receive on these rides and the money from this event will be given to the families of those who gave their lives doing their jobs. It is a great cause and I am happy to be a part of it!
Last night I put my running outfit together so I would be ready to get out there and start running in the morning. I decided to wear my Minnie Mouse skirt because that was the only red bottom that I own and I had to represent Gryffindor! I originally wanted to get up at 7:00 am to try to beat some of this Florida heat, but I really wanted to run through this shady park that is not too far from here and it doesn’t open until 8:00. So I got up at 7:30, got dressed and fastened my bib to my shirt. I had my boyfriend take some early morning pictures of me in my racing clothes and some in my Gryffindor robe (his idea).
It was now time to hit the road! I went outside and before I left I took a selfie. The Hogwarts Running Club encouraged runners to do this on race day so this one is for them!
I jogged a bit out of the neighborhood and through the community gate as a warm-up before I started racing. When I got to the sidewalk, I made sure to start my charity miles app (Go Gryffindor!) and then my Nike app and I was off! Usually I don’t listen to music during a race because there is so much else going on, but because this is a virtual race and I was all alone, I needed my tunes. The beginning of the race felt great! There was even a slight breeze which felt nice. I must have really felt good because at half a mile the Nike app told me that it had been less that four minutes and I was averaging a 7:30 pace per mile. That was very encouraging. I was worried that I wouldn’t run at race pace because it was a virtual run and there was no finish line or crowds to motivate me. It felt nice that I could turn on race mode whenever I needed it. I couldn’t keep that pace up, but after a mile it had been 7:53, which is still great! The next mile felt good, but my pace slipped to 8:27. It was about here when I entered the park. The outside path that I normally take in this park is about 2 miles long. My plan was to run until my Nike app said I was at the half way mark, run a little more, and then turn around and run back home. For some reason I had in my head that I was not going to be in the park that long, that I was only going to be in there a mile instead of two. This kind of screwed up my mind because I could not wait to get to the half way point. Another thing I hadn’t considered is the fact that this park has quite a lot of hills. I had picked it for the shade, but I forgot about the hills. When I entered the park it was so hot out that I would much rather deal with hills.
Most of the third mile was downhill so I knew that the fourth mile would be tough. The third mile ended up having a 9:09 pace. It was the heat! At the halfway point I came to a park restroom with a water fountain. I don’t normally drink water during a run if it is less than an hour, but being as it was so hot outside, I had to stop. I took a couple sips from the fountain and then put my whole face in the water. It felt magnificent. After the glorious water in my face I turned back and ran the way I had come. As suspected the fourth mile was difficult, but surprisingly enough it wasn’t my worst mile. The end of mile four is one of my favorite parts of the park. The path is surrounded by trees! It is very beautiful, quiet and an excellent place to train. That fourth mile’s average pace was 9:03. I had picked up the speed because I knew it was only a little over two miles left!
Mile five felt tough, but I stayed with it and tried to increase my pace as I went. The pain is only temporary, right? I succeeded in that goal because my fifth mile average pace was 8:56. Yes! I was back on track! Then came the sixth mile. I tried to keep with it, but I was so hot and thirsty. The beginning of the sixth mile has a long stretch where there are no trees or buildings blocking the sun. I just tried to run as fast as I could so I could get back to the shade. I looked down at that point and noticed that my bib was falling off. It was starting to disintegrate from the sweat! I ripped it off the rest of the way and carried it in my hand. The second half of the sixth mile I took off into the shade. I was able to increase my speed and push though for an ending sixth mile pace of 8:43. Now it was just a sprint to the end! I went a little past the 10k mark to account for the extra .0442 that this race called for. My ending time was 6.23 miles in 54:11 with an average pace of 8:42. I was very happy with that time and proud of myself. My 10k PR is still 51:25, but that was not raced in the Florida heat; that was actually raced on one of the coldest days in Florida. I didn’t negative split today, but I believe that I truly did the best that I could in these conditions.
Oh, I forgot one more thing. For completing the race I am awarded with this beautiful medal!:
I will leave you with this awesome gif that Google sent me: