Flanigan's Rockin' Rib Run 10K Race Report

Today, I raced the Flanigan's Rockin' Rib Run 10K in Davie, Florida.

It's been forever since I have raced a 10K, so why the hell did I decide to run one now?  I don't even know the answer to that, but it happened.  The race has been ongoing for the last five years, but I have been running the Space Coast Marathon in the last five years so I never thought of racing a 10K the week before a marathon.  Who knew it would be this much fun?

I had forgotten this race was around until I saw the race post sponsored by FB on my news feed.  All I read was Flanigan's ribs and beer and I was hooked.  But first, I checked to see if the weather would be at least OK (we are normally hot still in November and the last four years have not been kind to us), and it looked like the morning of the race would be in the high 60s so I registered before it would sell out (it does every year).  It cost $45 at the time I registered and it included a pre-race backpack, pictured here:

full of goodies, including the bib, race shirt, a bottle of water, and plastic bottle for water, three beer holders, a Flanigan's cup (we get those all the time at Flanigan's for dinner and it's a nice one to have), normal race stuff, a can of Red Bull, a $10 gift card and a One Drink free coin for Flanigan's, and more.  The race included a finisher's medal, Flanigan's ribs (among the best I've ever had) and their own Pale Ale.  Flanigan's is a local seafood and ribs restaurant with lots of locations between West Palm Beach and Miami and one of our favorite places to hang out.  The ambience is more like a pub and they serve great food and drinks to boot.  Website here.  The medal is the Flanigan's logo. If you are ever in the tri county area here, I recommend you check them out.

Going back to the race, I moved runs around to be able to run this race today, with a last long run before Space Coast scheduled for Friday. Unfortunately, I woke up with a migraine on Friday and I was only able to run 7, so this week has been lowish on mileage, but that might have helped with today's performance.

My PR for the the 10K distance is unattainable.  It was in my pre-asthma days and it's fast.  51:20 and I finished 4th women overall at the Doral Corporate Run way back then.  It was probably the best race of my life apart from my marathon PR years ago.  A race where you cruise through a huge PR and the best time you could ever think to achieve.  Who knew I would never see that again?  But I digress.  Anyway, apart from that PR, I have run a couple of 10Ks in 53 something, 56 something, and the rest just around or more than an hour.  Last time I ran less than 57 minutes in a 10K was in 2011.

It's almost eleven months since my knee surgery and I finally feel like I'm getting faster.  The speedwork and the miles are going well and the knee has stopped aching every time I push it.  I have been doing heavy weights to help the knee get as stronger as it can, and I have started running again at Orange Theory (I took a break from their TM after my patella came off place during a session there).  Overall, I think I am finally on track for the knee to be 100%.  Knock on wood, right?

So, considering all that, I thought 57 minutes wasn't too far out there as a goal, but I really didn't think I could run it.  Also, for some reason I thought that meant 9mm and I put into my head that I could run 9mm in a 10K again, of course.  But that sounded so fast!  I really thought I would start at that pace and just crash and burn.  But I also had nothing to prove or lose so, my plan emerged.  Balls out and crash or else.

I went to bed earlier, still feeling the remnants of the migraine, but by 2:30am I was awake.  My alarm was to go off at 5:15am so I could be in Davie by 6am and I was fully awake way before then, ugh.  That's what I get for going to bed before my normal bedtime.  Anyway, I was out the door by 5:40am and drove to Davie (a 25 minute drive), got a parking spot and headed to the potta potties.  Since the package pickup had to be done days before the race I was all ready to go.  I had eaten two Krispy Kreme donuts and drank a Mtn Dew on the way in (my pre-race breakfast of champions), so all I needed was a 2-3 mile warmup.  I only had time for 0.80 miles of easy running before we headed to the start of the race.  Soon enough, the anthem was sung, and 7am started and boom, we are set to go.  The announcer welcomed Michael Wardian to the race and I was like OMG!  There goes my chance of winning, lol.  And a new mission emerged to meet Michael post race.

And we are off!  Immediately, I started jogging because there were a lot of slower people ahead of me and the road was narrow.  I thought I was too far forward for the pace I wanted but these people were way off their pace guess for sure.  Anyway, at least it kept my pace in check.  It was 64F and 62 dewpoint, also known as one of the few cold mornings in Winter in FL, as often seen as a unicorn.  62 dewpoint is low for us...until you need to race, after which it feels like you're breathing through a straw while burning in the gates of hell.  Oh, well, I need the practice for the afterlife anyway.

Mile 1 felt good even though I was running in the 9:10-9:20 range.  The sun was fully out there and there was no shade as we headed inside the Vista View park.  That trail has a bit of little ups and downs but nothing major.  Lap: 9:04mm.

So, all of a sudden, I pass Mile 1 and the pace gets into the 8s. All I could think of was that it was too early to go balls all out and why the hell was the TomTom telling me I was running something like 8:40s.  I am not that fast!  Well, it thought I was because I crossed the Mile 2 marker just after it lapped.  Lap: 8:51mm.

Mile 3 brought my mind game.  And when I mean mind game, I mean, the game went out the window and my mind said, why don't you slow down now, you're going to die.  Or, you can't keep up 4 more miles of this, just quit.  Here is a calf cramp that pinged you just so you slow down.  Come on!  You know you wanna.  The whole mile was like that.  I couldn't even concentrate on the music in my ears or the people around me.  All I wanted was to stop, slow down, or just quit trying.  But the legs refused and when the lap came I was like hmmm.  Lap: 8:59mm.

Just before passing the Mile 3 marker, I saw the winner heading back to finish and boy those guys looked fast!  I kept watching until I saw Michael Wardian who was among the Top 20 at that time (he finished 20th but first Master).  All I could think was those guys wouldn't have stand a chance had Michael not run a 50 miler the day before, LOL.  Those guys and the two girls that passed me then were so fast, I was surprised I didn't see fire bursting behind them.  They were an inspiration.

At the Mile 3.1 I looked and saw I ran less than 28 minutes for the 5K, a post-surgery PR and something I have not done in years as well.  That PR is even more unattainable than the 10K one since it was 24:02, but that's a story for another race, I guess....

By the time I hit the turnaround at Mile 4 I was surprised I had not burst on fire.  It must have been around 70F by then and why does FL has no shade anywhere was my thought?  I was still struggling and thinking there is no way I can keep this shit up.  An older gentleman ran by my side and he asked me if I was OK and the only thing I could expel was a yes and nothing else.  I was afraid of passing out if I tried to say something else.  I wanted to puke (never have had that feeling before), I had a side stitch and my last KK donut was still in my stomach.  I regret everything by now.  LOL.  But here I was, lapping another mile.  Lap: 8:54mm.

When we did the turn around I slowed down.  The sun was in front of me and I could barely see ahead of me it was so bright.  I was like this is it!  I'll start crashing now!  But it never came.  I slowed down a bit, yes, but nothing major.  I could see the finish just as I passed the last water station and I forgot to take a water cup. Lap: 9:02mm.

Oh, FFS, the finish is right there, can't I just jump the fence and be done with it?  Why do I have to turn left and there must be something else after that because that will be 5.40 so the distance does not make sense!  Oh, the thoughts I start in my mind when I am dying.  At least my last two reggaeton songs popped up to brighten my day.  The ones that make me fly.  Well, I think I flew but nothing very fast.  Lap: 8:59mm.

As I head to the finish, I had nothing left.  I think I was zig zagging even.  The sun was brutal.  Then the older gentleman was there again and he said: I have been chasing you since we started and there is no way I'm going to pass you, so pull out and MOVE!  I was like I have nothing left!  He said, come one, you can't let me beat you!  So, I kept moving and at some point I did pass him (it was a blur). He must have made me move for sure because the last 0.27 were at 8:42mm and I crossed the finish in 56:16, OMG!

I can't believe I ran that fast!  It's been 6 years since I have and 10Ks are hard! I really couldn't believe it.  The older gentleman came by me to congratulate me and I asked him if I could take a picture of us since he was so inspirational:

And that's all sweat on my face, sheesh.

When I was done, I met a couple of friends that had run, and went to the after party to get the ribs and the beer. So nice after the race:

And remember my new mission of meeting Michael Wardian?  I did!  And he is as nice and sweet as I thought he would be. :)

Very happy with this race. I hate short distances because I suck at them (I suck at marathons but at least running for 5 hours is fun for me), but I had fun with this one.  Where else can you get so much for a race fee?  And look at that huge medal.  Maybe if I bring the medal to Flanigan's I can get free ribs?  Hmmm.


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