Even though every year the Lutz Independence Day Run is ridiculously hot, I always love this patriotic race. Apparently, my love for this small town 5K and wearing tutus to races has rubbed off on Allana.
I told Allana that I really wanted to PR this race and she was fine to run it with her friends: Matthew, Jared and Dylan.
We had tons of friends at the race, so no one would ever be alone. Lots of Suncoast Striders were there to support us too.
After all the usual pre-race photos and fun with friends, it was time to get serious. From the start, I was running about 7:30. I tried my best to maintain that pace until the first water station. My legs were burning, nagging and crying but I hung onto that pace like I was following behind the Boston Strong Suncoast Striders.
In past years, the residents in the community turn on sprinklers for the runners to cool us down under the hot 4th of July sun, however, this year lacked the usual spectator sprinklers. As much as I missed the sprinklers, the weather didn’t feel as hot as previous years.
Thankfully, the course was as flat as I remembered it. Funny enough, a woman remembered me from last year’s race, but I think it may have been the tutu she remembered. She reminisced about our chance meeting last year as she passed me.
Around the mile two mark, Larisa and Marie scooted by me. As they ran ahead, I spotted our other marathon mama, Daffodil, around the bend approaching in the opposite direction with her neighbor and her son, Sebastian. Shortly after Daffodil and Sebastian, I passed Mica, Faith, Allana, Matthew and Jared.
With only a mile left to go, I tried my best to keep my pace slightly under 9:00. Once I hit that last half mile, I pushed out an 800m sprint that my legs have learned to love.
I mentioned before about my Lutz Independence Day 5K a-ha moment. It was my running epiphany, so to speak. In the Lutz Independence Day Run, I learned to embrace the burning in my legs. I ignored my tired legs and just pushed myself to get that PR. I definitely earned a PR and surprisingly, I didn’t feel like I would vomit. So, maybe I can push a little harder next time.
Gun time 27:41
Chip Time 27:35
Ave Pace 8:56
Div Place 11/35
Overall Place 222/575
Allana did great too! She finished around her usual 5K time.
Gun Time 45:36
Chip Time 45:25
Ave Pace 14:43
Div Place 21/21
For me, the beauty of this particular PR is that I beat my time from the same race four years ago. And I did it in a tutu and a tiara while taking photos.