The Carlsbad 5000 is my follow-up race to the LA Marathon and running a 5K in cool temperatures by the beach is a walk in the park compared to the pouring rain that we had to endure at the marathon. So there was very little pressure (if any) coming into the race (although I did spend the whole night tossing and turning for some reason..) Results: 19:08 (6:04, 6:17, 6:15, :30); AG: 38/645; OA: 114/1242. It’s not that much off of last year’s PR performance (18:58). But even better is the way I was able to hold back at the beginning to make sure I wasn’t burnt out toward the end of the race. Compare last year’s splits: 5:47, 6:13, 6:29, :27.
The race was broken down into quite a few divisions, which makes things a lot more organized, however my race (29 & Under) wasn’t until 11:30AM! That would have been bad if it were a hot day, but the weather was quite nice. It also let me sleep in a little bit longer than usual, which was definitely OK with me. I actually had time to warm-up (only 1 mile, oh well) and stretch! It always freaks me out when you are standing in the 6-minute pace area of the starting line, but you’re not actually at the front (crazy 5-min/mile runners!)
The gun went off and after darting around a few runners, I was able to get into my own running pace fairly quickly. I learned my lesson from last year and let all the other faster/younger runners take off ahead of me. There were points in the first mile where I was running faster than I should have (sub-5, 5:40-ish, etc.) But my goal was to run about 6:30 and see what I had left for the rest of the race. By holding back just a little at the beginning, I was actually able to pick up the pace at random times at mile 2 and 3. I did start to run out of gas at the very ended (while breathing ridiculously hard), but what helped was the short straight-away/finishing stretch. Being able to see the finish line up ahead is very motivating and makes you want to get to it as soon as possible!
I didn’t have much time to enjoy the post-race festivities because I was helping Brooks run a Fit Clinic at the local REI (outdoor gear & apparel store). It was fun hanging out with the Brooks GURUs and just talking shop about running for a couple of hours. I actually ran more there (for like 30 seconds) to have my gait analyzed. Looking at the Brooks Racer ST 5 to use as a racing flat for upcoming races. Speaking of races, I have a trail half marathon coming up in 2 weeks. Also at the expo, I officially signed up for the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon in June. Still thinking about finding another race in May to fill the gap. I could probably go a month without a race, but I’d rather not if I had the choice..