Race Recap

Race Recap: Firecracker 5K

Hello friends! Happy (long) weekend! I’m comin’ at ya with a race recap today.

Let’s start off with a picture of Daniel on his bike. My dad brought it down yesterday and Daniel is so excited!


Onto the race part … I mentioned it earlier this week, but the Ronald McDonald House Firecracker 5K in Pensacola was a last-minute addition to my schedule. The race became a topic of discussion amongst the Ragnar TN group this week (we have an ongoing Facebook messenger thread) and I jumped at the chance to do another race. It’s probably because I only did one race last month, but for whatever reason I was itching to do another one.

I really just love it. I love the race atmosphere and pushing myself to get the most out of myself on that day. If nothing else, you come away with a fairly accurate gauge of your fitness that can be used to plan out your workouts for the next few weeks. Not all races and going to be stellar, but I definitely think that you learn something and improve as a runner from every single race that you do.

I had done this race one time before, in 2013, so I was somewhat familiar with the course, etc. The race was in Pensacola and they actually had day of registration, which was very much appreciated!  For whatever reason, the Pensacola races rarely have day of registration, or packet pickup for that matter. I understand that for really big events (NYC, Chicago, Rock ‘N’ Roll races, etc.), but it really baffles me why they do that at smaller races. All of the local races in the Mobile area have day of registration and packet pickup, but Pensacola is a whole different ball game.

We live about 45 minutes away, so it really stinks to have to drive an hour and thirty minutes round-trip the day before the race to go get your packet and then to have to drive an hour and thirty minutes again the next day for the race. I got burned on this the last race that I did over there (they wouldn’t even let a family member take my ID and pick my bib up for me (I had to work Saturday because it was right at the end of tax season)) and apparently I’m still holding onto that a little bit. Cue Elsa & Anna and … LET IT GO.

Moving on! Young Daniel, Kenny, Daniel and I headed over to Pensacola this morning. We got there around 6:30 and we were easily able to register, get our packets and get in about 3 warm up miles in (2.75 + some strides). At 6:30 a.m. before we started our warm up, the temperature was 77 and the dew point was 74 (90% humidity). It was really sticky. We knew we were in for a tough race.

The race got started promptly at 7:30. My goal for the race was to be sub-19. I ran 19:05 a couple of weeks ago at Hot Trot and I was hoping that I could shave at least a few seconds off of that and get under 19 minutes. I ran the first mile with Steve and Young Daniel in 6:05. I felt pretty comfortable. We passed Valeria (the girl who was in first place) just after the first mile mark. I met her at another race this spring and she is so nice. It was fun to run with her today. She stayed right with us as we passed.

Steve started to pick it up a little bit … oh and he was wearing a dress, by the way.


He and Daniel were the ones that lost a bet to Ali during March Madness. Daniel paid his debt by wearing the British flag shorts during his first leg at Ragnar. Today was the day that Steve had to pay his debt by running in a dress. I don’t know how he did it, but he did it fast. So Steve picked it up some and I decided to try to hang with Steve for as long as I could. We came through the second mile in 5:57.

The funniest thing was that the three of us (the two leading women and Steve in his dress) basically stayed in a little clump for most of the remainder of the race. People were yelling stuff like, “Girl Power!” etc. as we passed. It was hilarious!

With about half a mile to go I started to fade a little bit and Valeria and Steve put a gap on me. I was just trying to hang on and not completely lose it at that point. My last mile was 6:12 and my total time was 18:53. I was 2nd female and 10th (ish) overall. My time was exactly what I wanted it to be, so I was very happy!

After the race we did a short mile and a half cool down and sat down on the curb to catch our breath.


We hung out for a little while in Seville Quarter and waited on the awards. They did the awards inside, which was nice because it was toasty outside.

Apparently I was super-duper excited about that medal. Ha.


Overall it was a fun race and we had a good time!

Just out of curiosity, I put the temperature and dew point into my spreadsheet when we got home and tried to see what sort of time it would predict in perfect conditions. Typically you use the spreadsheet to see how much you should slow your pace and time goals given the heat and humidity, but I wanted to kind of do that in reverse and see what my predicted 5K time would be using my heat adjusted pace. I have no idea how accurate this would be (I mean logically, it seems like it would work), but it puts me at 18:04.

Now I have my goal for the fall! Actually I already knew that my next big 5K goal is sub-18, but this at least gives me a glimmer of hope that it is somewhat within reach!


That’s it for today. Anyone else racing this holiday weekend?


7 thoughts on “Race Recap: Firecracker 5K”

  1. Congratulations on 2nd OA and meeting your time goal! Sub-19 in those conditions is amazing. Considering all the training you’ve been doing, running in a new place, and the conditions, I bet you can be sub-18 in a goal race in better conditions, easily. But you’re putting in the work now so you’ll see the results later. Your medal you got looks neat too!

    I can’t believe a 5K would ever not have race day sign up or expect people to pick their packet up the day before! I think every race should at least do day-of packet pick up. I can understand a half or full marathon not allowing race day sign ups, because of things like finisher’s medals and having enough, but not a 5K. Glad you got to run the race and it didn’t have so many obstacles like driving up there the day before!


    1. Thank you! It was definitely a hot race, but I was pleased with it. I think it is more of the day of packet pickup that I don’t understand. I get that the event organizers need to know how many runners there will be to order shirts, medals, etc., but I don’t see the harm in letting people get their packet the day of the race (in the case of a smaller local race). Not the big halfs and fulls obviously 🙂


  2. Huge congrats on the race, and I like the new blog background design. I absolutely think that heat and humidity can slow a 5K down by as much as 20 seconds per mile. If you keep at it, you are primed for that sub 18 come the fall. (I’d love a sub 20 at some point in my life!). Anyway, that’s amazing that he ran the race in a dress. And fast, too! LOL.


    1. Thank you! I was definitely pleased with it. I think you’ll get sub-20! I remember chasing that one down for quite a while. It’s a tough barrier to break, but keep at it and you’ll get there!


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