Wednesday, March 8, 2017

When in Florida....Sombrero Beach Run 10K




Any ideas on what happens when there is a BIG birthday looming? 

Well, in my little corner of the universe, the husband plans a surprise trip to a warmer climate. Oh, and he may also find a race for the both of us to do in the area. 

Enter the Sombrero Beach Run. Now in its 11th year, this event benefited the Keys Area Interdenominational Resources organization (KAIR). KAIR is a non-profit that maintains a food pantry and provides emergency services for those in need in the Florida Keyes area.The husband and I ran the 10K, but there also was a 5K. Really adventurous runners could run both, ending the morning with a 15K in total distance. The 10K began at 8:00 and the 5K started at 9:00.

A beautiful sunrise
The temps were typical for Florida (mid-70's), but very windy! Holy Turbulence, Batman! The Iowa wind (that I'm accustomed to) has nothing over the wind we experienced in Marathon (yes, that's the name of the town where the race took place, iconic huh!). We also had plenty of that beautiful Florida sunshine!
Can you say, WIND?
We had been staying in Key West (the southernmost tip of not just Florida, but the continental United States). There are several small islands (nicknamed the Florida Keyes) and all are connected by a single, 2-lane highway. Even though the traffic was sparse at 5:45, we didn't know if there would be any potential delays en route to Marathon (approx. to 50 miles in distance). We'd been advised to allow for delays (and the posted speed limit is 45 ), so we got an early start on our morning.

Fortunately, the traffic moved smoothly, and we arrived in Marathon around 7:00, giving us plenty of time to get our race packets and relax before the race began.

Ready to run in Marathon
I like running 10K races, but they do throw me for a loop in guessing how much fuel (if any) I may need. I had eaten a granola bar on the drive and drank some water, but was tempted to slam a gel to be safe. In the end, I passed on the gel. Six miles are no big whoop, even in the potentially hot weather.

The route started out, heading east, along Sombrero Beach Drive. Most of the first two miles were straight into the 24-mph wind. Although the wind was fierce, it did feel good in the heat of the sunshine.

The route turned north, and we headed into a residential area for the next mile or so. It was nice to be out of the wind, but it did feel hot! The husband and I high-5'd each other as we crossed paths (near the 3-mile mark for him and the 3.5 mark for myself). Eventually, the route looped around and returned back to Sombrero Beach, this time heading west (back towards to where we'd started).

The final two miles to the finish line were hot! I am always amazed at how forceful a headwind feels, and when you change directions...it's like the wind disappears. The tailwind felt completely MIA, and the heat of the morning sun was strong. I walked briefly through the water stations, and actually felt a little light-headed at the final station (near the 5-mile mark).

I crossed the finish line with a time of 57:17 (official time was 57:22 due to the shot gun start). Definitely not a PR, but considering I had some major wind to battle for nearly half of the race (and walked a few times through the water stations), I'm good with it. Also, although the heat doesn't bother me, it had been a few months since I've actually run in it. My Garmin showed my first mile was actually my fastest one (8:24 pace, into the wind!), so it's no wonder why the final couple of miles felt a little tough.

That's all she wrote (and ran)
I wound up placing fourth in my age group (out of 11), and 29th over all (out of 90 total runners). Not bad. The hubby? Well, he hasn't been running through the winter, nor has he been training for a 10K distance. His goal was to run the entire race without any walk breaks...and he succeeded.

There's the hubby!
I thought this event was a lot of fun, and seemed well-organized. We received cotton shirts (with cool graphics) and fanny packs with some goodies inside (fruit bars, raisins, and lotion).

They also had numerous silent auction items, and lots of door prizes. We didn't stick around very long after finishing, but did grab a few snacks and took a few pics before hitting the road and heading back to Key West.

I should also mention that we didn't just run in the Sombrero Beach Run....

I ran a few miles the next morning (back in Key West)...
the Sunday morning sunrise
We both ran a short shake-out run on Monday morning on MacDill AFB...



Look closely...you can see some of the Tampa skyline in the upper photo
...and we took in the sights of Key West




We saw the southernmost landmark (upper left) and also the iconic Embracing Peace sculpture...and we may have done our own imitation of it (above)
So, that's what happened while on a surprise trip to Florida. The hubby did give me the heads-up to pack my running gear, and he did tell me the temps would be warm....I would have majorly over-packed otherwise. Things could be worse, right? 

Have you ever been whisked away on a surprise trip? Do you take along your running gear on trips? Ever done a surprise race (that somebody else registered you for)?

I'm linking this with the following awesome linkups:

Suzie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner

Nicole and Annmarie and Jen for the Wild Wednesday Workout




34 comments:

  1. Look at you crushing your vacay race! Looks like the perfect way to celebrate your 39th birthday :)

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    1. Well...it's actually my 29th birthday....;-)

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  2. I love that you were able to fit in a race while on vacation! :)

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  3. My husband would never be so spontaneous! Lucky you! What a great way to celebrate your milestone birthday!

    Nice job on that hot, humid 10k.

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    1. The spontaneous thing is not usually my hubby's comfort zone, but he pulled this adventure off without a hitch ;-)

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  4. What a great surprise vacation! I've never been on a "surprise" trip. I'm usually the one who plans the trips for my family.

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    1. The surprise aspect was a bit unnerving, but also exciting!

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  5. Oh how fun! I wish my hubby would plan something like that. Key West and that race looked so great!!!

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    1. Key West was beautiful! I've been to Florida many times, but this was my first time seeing the Keyes.

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  6. I so love this, especially the pic of you guys in front of the sculpture! I'm so glad you had fun. And a great pace, too! Nice job!!

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  7. How sweet that your husband set up the trip for your birthday! Congrats on a great race! When I ran in Disney a couple of weeks ago that was my first time racing in the Florida heat/humidity...it's no joke!

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    1. Amazingly it didn't feel that humid, but definitely warmer than Iowa.

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  8. Yeah, Alex would never do this! I love it!

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    1. Ha! I was told about this surprise trip a month ago...and I asked if there was a race LOL Lo and behold, he found one!

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  9. That was super sweet of the hubby! Mine likes to plan trips but would never sign me up for a race! It is definitely warming up down here- I am glad you had a good time! Party on birthday girl!

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    1. I thought the weather was great (except for that crazy wind). I love the warm weather!

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  10. What an exciting birthday gift! Congrats to both of you on your race finishes (especially considering the high winds!) and to you for being 4th in your age group!

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  11. This is so awesome!

    I'm not one for surprise trips - I'm way too much of an OCD, type A planner. I wouldn't be able to handle it LOL. However, your husband did so well!

    Coastal wind is no joke. And it's been incredibly windy over the last few weeks. I'm not a huge fan.

    I'm glad you had such a wonderful time and a great running experience. I always take my running clothes on trips any longer than 3 days - running is a great way to explore new areas.

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    1. Agreed! I'd rather explore the sights in my running shoes than be cooped up in a gym ;-)

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  12. Loving running and racing on vacation, so fun! I am headed to Chicago next weekend and plan on at least getting in a run while I am there, if not a race!

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    1. Next weekend? Like on the 18th? There's the Wintrust Lakefront...a 10-miler or a 5K! I'm doing the 10-mile race.

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  13. Awww congrats to both of you! No PR maybe, but still plenty strong in those temps and wind. What a sweet way to celebrate your birthday!

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  14. Wow! That sounds like so much fun for a vacation, I loved following the pictures on Instagram too :-)

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  15. Yay for surprise trips to paradise!!! Its been so much fun seeing all of your vacation pics. I was so confused when I first saw your race pic on IG because I know that you don't live in a warm weather climate. But then it all made sense. :)

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    1. HA ha! I was in a tank and shorts a few times recently, but that's all ended (winter has returned BRRRRR)

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  16. Congrats on a great race and time Kimberly!

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  17. What a cool way to take a little vacay - congrats on your finish with the wind and all! Looks beautiful there.

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  18. This looks awesome! Whenever I go on vacation I always look for local races but have yet to have time to do one. Maybe this summer!

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