I hadn’t planned on signing up for a race in September because of Florida’s heat, but I just couldn’t pass up the offer. Someone posted about the Global Energy races in one of my runDisney Facebook groups and there was a coupon code making the race free! I hadn’t heard of this race, nor had I planned on racing so soon this season, but since it was free I thought that I would give it a shot. The race, put together by Bimbo Bakeries, was for either a 10k or 3k. It was run in 37 cities in 22 different countries all on the same day. The race has been run two years in a row, but this was the first time in Orlando. I chose to do the 10k.
Two days before the race I went downtown to pick up my packet at Orange Theory Fitness. The event merchandise I received was really nice and I was impressed! The race shirt was orange and blue, not my favorite color combination, but the material was a really soft tech material and the back of the shirt was a breathable mesh with all of the cities included in the race printed on it. I decided there that it would be the first time that I would wear the race shirt to the actual race. I also received a bag and a fitness towel. It was some of the best race swag that I have ever received!
The morning of the race I was a bit nervous. I wasn’t as well trained as I would have liked, the weather was warmer than any other race I had ever participated in, and I had injured myself. Two days before the race I had gotten up early and ran outside (I had been running most of my runs on the treadmill because of the weather). My mind started wandering and my legs seemed heavy and I didn’t notice a raised crack in the side walk. I fell on my hands, elbow and right hip. The force of the fall was so extreme that I hit my head on the pavement. Thankfully my headband protected my head from getting scraped up, but it did hurt and I was taken aback. I got up in pain and noticed the blood dripping down my elbow and hands. I walked the mile and a half back home to wash up.
So back to the morning of the race, I wan’t feeling my best. I woke up close to six, got ready, and then we headed to Festival Park were the race was held. There weren’t really parking signs so we got turned around heading to the parking lot. Once in line for parking it was pretty easy. We were able to park pretty close to the start line. As per my usual routine I waited around a bit and then headed to the porta potty line. Once out of there we made our way to the race starting area. Orange Theory lead a warm up that I participated in while Chris went to go get a spot near the start line. After the warm up we headed into the corral.
The corral for this race was just one big blocked off area at the starting line. There weren’t even pace markers so I just made my way near the front, but made sure there were people in front of me so I wasn’t first.
Shortly after that it was time for the race to start. I was feeling extremely nervous at that time, but I knew that I just had to try my best. The countdown started, then the air horn, and we were off. I was a little too excited at the start. Once I started running a huge smile came across my face and I remembered why I was doing this. I looked down at my watch and I was at a 6:30 pace, which ended up hurting me in the long run. I tried to slow down a bit and settle into the run.
The course went through downtown Orlando and on a lot of the same streets that the OUC Orlando Half Marathon goes through. Half of the race was on these downtown streets, a lot of which were brick roads. I made a conscious decision to make sure I didn’t trip on any rouge bricks.
At about mile two I starting questioning my choices in deciding to run. I had some thoughts about just stopping, but I am not a quitter so I tried my best to put those thoughts out of my head. The heat wasn’t too bad at the beginning as the sun was behind the buildings, but it heated up at the race went on.
A little after the half way point I past the road leading back to the finish line and ran on a sidewalk past an airport on the way to Lake Underhill. While heading towards the lake the winners of the race were passing us and heading back the other direction back to Festival Park and the finish line. I didn’t think I had that much more to run, but I was wrong. Once at the lake we went over a very long bridge and was told there was water at the other end. This was the first time that I have ever gotten water in a 10k before and I had the heat to thank for that. For some reason in my tired delusional state I thought that once we got our water we would turn around and head back the other direction. As it turns out we had to go around the entire lake which was about a 1.5 mile loop. I tried my best, but my legs just didn’t want to go any faster. I just focused on maintaining my pace and finishing.
Back on the sidewalk after the lake we passed runners that were just starting their journey around the lake. I felt for them because the sun was getting hotter by the minute. In no time at all, but in what felt like forever I was arriving at the six mile mark. Only .2 to go. I tried to speed up, but I don’t think I did. As I turned the corner that lead to the finish line I waved hi to Kim, one of my bosses from Track Shack. She was standing at the corner making sure the runners knew where to go.
As I raced towards the finish line I was told to stay to the left because the 3k finishers were on the right. I hurried over the finish line and did my fist pump as I was finally able to stop and catch my breadth. It was a nice feeling, but I started to feel a little sick not long after that. I vowed to improve my training so the next race would seem easier and I would feel stronger. I received my medal which was very nice and one of my biggest. It had the host city, Beijing, on the back. After that I went to get all of the refreshments which included some breakfast bars, water, a banana, and a huge orange. I opened the water and devoured it at once. There weren’t photographers at this race, so I had Chris take my finishing photo in front of the Orlando sign.
There were some tents around and I was able to get some more snacks and a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese. My bib had a coupon for a free sandwich from a food truck so we went to stand in that line as I ate my bagel. After I got my grilled cheese sandwich we walked around to see what the other booths were and then I wanted to leave. It was time for me to relax at home after a nice long shower.
I ended up finishing the race in 54:37 giving me an 8:49 minute per mile pace. It was my worst 10k time, but I was very proud of it considering the circumstances. I just have to train harder and go out stronger next time.