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Fort DeSoto Inaugural 15k Race, St. Petersburg, FL

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FL,United States

Member Since:

Feb 08, 2015



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

Certified course PR's:

Mile: 4:28.0 (Florida, Jan 2020)

5K: 15:12 (FL, Jan. 2020)

10K: 31:44 (FL, Feb. 2020)

15K: 49:03 (FL, Feb. 2020)

1/2 Marathon: 1:10:34 (FL, Feb. 2020)

Marathon: 2:26:57 (WA, July 2019)

100k (63.7 miles, trail): 9:11:00 (FL, Jan. 2019)


I started running in 2010 and have (mostly) kept it a habit ever since!  

Russian champion tries Crocs, commits to racing a marathon in them

Nikolay Chavkin in the video below did 3x1000, first two in Adidas carbon-fiber models, the last one in Crocs. Surprised by the result (2:52, 2:52, 2:50) with the fastest interval done in Crocs, he committed to racing a marathon in Crocs if the video gets 42K likes and 195 comments (for 42 km 195 m, the marathon distance). Nikolay's current marathon PR is 2:14:00. The video was created by a Russian sporting goods store chain. Their moto is "more sports - brighter life", which we think is wonderful, and also deserves a Like. If you want to see a fast marathon in Crocs, go to the video and click the Like button. And make sure to share it with your friends.

Miles:This week: 33.20 Month: 149.22 Year: 2008.62
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Race: Fort DeSoto Inaugural 15k Race, St. Petersburg, FL (9.321 Miles) 00:50:44, Place overall: 1, Place in age division: 1
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Inaugural Fort DeSoto 15k Race.  Finish: 50:44 (5:27 pace)

This was an interesting race.  The course was an out and back at the beach (on the paved trail) in DeSoto national park.  The day was windy, cloudy, rainy, and in the upper 70s.  Fortunately, the wind was mostly on the side of us- but incredibly constant.

I had really wanted to be successful in this race, as it was the first race I had ever been given (comped) as a runner, so I didn’t want to let the race director down or make him feel like he wasted his entry on me.  However, I have been quite sick the entire last week, and still running while doing some unintentional tapering.  This all culminated to a couple of very interesting circumstances.  Due to the training, sickness, and lack of hard miles recently, I certainly was worried about the outcome.  I was hoping that a best-case scenario would have me around 52 minutes to 52:30.  Man was I wrong.

At the start line, I just felt awesome.  Body-wise, I was sore and still coughing, but my mind-set couldn’t have been better.  I saw friends/runners that I rarely got to run races with, and just shot the shit with them at the start line.  I had no worries and I didn’t even realize the race was going on until the announcer shouted out “1 minute!” to which I barely noticed.  Even with 10 seconds to go, I didn’t even have a desire to scoot up closer to the line and started a row back.  The next 5 miles clicked off with the same attitude. 

I sat on to two incredibly good runners for those miles- Chris McCaffrey and Kevin Collmar- who both finished in the top 10 at Gasparilla this year in the 15k, and just let them dictate the pace.  I didn’t even look at my watch the first mile.  I had honestly hoped to do 5:35 pace, but, I figured if I blew up, I blew up- I wasn’t expecting a great race anyway.  I just relaxed, and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of DeSoto while talking to Chris every once in a while.  Mile 5 into mile 6 was the real turning point.  It had dropped to really just Chris and myself, and we were still talking a bit, and had just passed a Winnebago that was cooking bacon, which we both made jokes about stopping, eating, and hating them for their choice of location (and food prep), but then something interesting happened: it started raining.  It had been windy the whole way and sprinkling, but then it really started to pour.  In the distance, we were running into one of the most incredible double rainbows I’d ever seen and I just felt euphoric.  I felt how good it was to be a runner.  I felt the endorphins.  Racing is incredibly fun, however in that moment, it felt like just another fun training run alone.  It just felt- to speak plainly- fun.  Not surprisingly, we both must have had the same insight and we dropped the pace to 5:20 for the next two miles in the pouring rain. 

My shoes were soaked.  I didn’t care.  I was landing in puddles- I didn’t mind.  I was weaving around runners headed towards the turn-around, but I reveled in that.  I couldn’t see well in the rain- I loved it.  It seemed everyone in the race in the reverse direction was cheering on Chris (I think he must’ve had his entire run group in this race, seriously) and commending him on waiting to make his move or just approving/applauding his effort.  That didn’t deter me, I loved it.  I felt such a bond to runners and to running in this race it was unbelievable.  From there on, I just ran.  Each mile clicked by and I just kept pushing.  Every single one of them was sub 5:35, and every single one of them ended with me knowing I could give more. 

By the end of mile 7 Chris had dropped off, as I stopped hearing his footfalls.  I had raced him once before, and the same thing happened with about 2 miles to go, just to have him almost nick me at the finish line with a sprint out of nowhere before I held him off by less than a second, so I knew letting up was not an option- so I pushed hard.  Miles 8-9 were tough, but I honestly was on cloud nine.  I started catching the 5k runners, and that just kept me going. I spent the last 0.3 looking back over my shoulder looking to see if Chris was turning on the after-burners, but couldn’t see him- but I thought maybe he was just getting mixed in with the 5k runners, so I kept pushing, but made sure to hold on to my sprint in case I needed it.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to use it and crossed the finish line feeling taxed, but incredible.

I honestly can say this was the best race I have ever had.  With any other weather, any other lead runners, any other time, and any other build-up week, I don’t think this race would have ever fallen into place like it did today.  Without Chris and Kevin there, I don’t think I would have been successful at all today.  What a race and what an experience.

5:25, 5:30, 5:33, 5:29, 5:32, 5:22, 5:21, 5:26, 5:24, Finish- 1:42


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PM: Some interestingfun, sore miles with Tyler and Cory in Safety Harbor.  Fun story- "stepped" into a giant hole hidden on a goat path we were running at in the woods that was big enough to engulf my leg down past my knee.  I somehow did a somersault by bouncing off my other foot onto my shoulder, rolled, and jumped right back up onto my feet.  For something that could have been disasterous on multiple levels, it really must've been an incredible sight to behold.  It definitely made the next couple miles a little bit more sore however.

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PM: Track Workout with Cory, Tyler, and Alvaro who was nice enough to grace us with his presence.  

Workout was: Warmup, then 15 x 400 with stop rest after each.  1:30 rest between items 1 & 2, 1:20 between 2 & 3, 1:10 between 3 & 4, 1:00 between items 5-10.  Then start deducting 10 seconds per item ending with 0:10 between the last two items.  Cooldown.

Felt sore from Sunday, but I knew I could hit the times I wanted, so I just tried to keep form and work on staying relaxed.  All the splits were in between 1:20-1:15 for the first 5 items, then in between 1:16-1:12 for the last 10 items.  It was supposed to only be 14, but, I became delirious at one point and wanted to add an extra one I guess- which caused much complaining, but oh well, we did it.

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PM: seriously late run-10pm. Busy day...

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AM: 6+miles at track in safety harbor. Did two prediction run 400s without a watch fast followed by six 300s at around 5k pace. Nailed the second prediction run: called 59 seconds and ran it in 59.08. First one I called 1:15 and got 1:12.50, so that could be better.

PM: 10 mile run with Cory then a little more at practice.

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PM: shake out run, then gym- shoulders, chest, tris (with dips)

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AM: run group. I was hosting today, definitely had a lot of fun. Then did 5+ miles afterwards. Still feel sore from Thursday, but it's no big deal.

Tomorrow I will be running another 15k, this time in Clearwater/Safety Harbor. This is the most annoying race ever. Parking sucks, logistics suck, bathrooms are non-existent, the course is all on trail and swerves all over the place, it's a double loop, it's not marked well, and the worst part is that it ends on a 180 turn into a park where almost all runners should be pushing it in to the finish. Needless to say, I could care less about the time I run for tomorrow and have literally no plan for the race. There's a big party afterwards though at my friend Dow's place which is walking distance from the finish which makes it worth it.

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