The Bonita 5000 5K Race is the 2nd race of my ‘season’ and I finished at 20:05 at 6:29 pace, 74th out of 387, and 9th in my age group. Looking at the finishing time, you can say that it was a pretty good run. But if you read on, you’ll see that I probably could have run a lot smarter and faster! So the last few workouts that I’ve ran before this race have not been that great. I would start off ok, but after each mile, I would just feel really tired and not be able to keep up the pace. I was afraid that I would come into this race and not run as fast as I was able to to run in the UCSD Grove Run 5K. And the fact that it was a 30 minute drive to this race would have made it even more disappointing to not run well. But I guess that didn’t really happen since I improved my time by about 15 seconds, and again, it probably could have been faster if I were a smarter runner..
So the Bonita 5000 5K Race was being run for its 25th year, which is one of the reasons why I was drawn to this race, among other things. The race description said it was fast and flat which is a change from the last race I ran which was quite hilly. Because the previous race was hilly, I thought that I would have run a lot faster today than I did since it was a flat course. Again, I could have.
So I warmed up and stretched like normal and felt pretty good so far. This race was a lot bigger than the previous one and it was pretty packed up at the starting line, but I was able to get a good position at about the 3rd or 4th row. Looking at the other runners in this race, I noticed a wide variety of runners: young high schoolers, older people and many more. With any race, there are going to be some studs in there and today was no different. I just wasn’t sure how tough the other runners that I would be racing against were going to be. So we got started and I got a pretty good start and wasn’t boxed in or anything. I remember in my last race, I got a good start but slowed down to go to a more comfortable pace within the first 100 meters. This time, I don’t think I slowed down (if I did at all) to a pace that I would be able to keep for the whole race. What happened was that I ran a 5:55 first mile! If you look at the one time I ran a mile on the track all out, I hit a 6:01. That just shows how much I improved and how fast I started off in this race. But all runners should know, if you start off too fast, nothing good will come from it.
What happened after that fast first mile was that my split for mile 2 and 3 dropped significantly. I don’t even want to say it, but will: 6:38, 6:58. I ran positive splits!! So I wore headphones during the race, but did not play any music so that I could ‘focus’ and not get distracted from the music. I think if I update my iPod and put some more inspirational songs, it’ll actually help during a race. Anyways, it was like I had earplugs on and I could hear myself breathing the whole time. And I know when you run a race you’re a lot more tired than you are during a regular workout, but I could hear myself breathing a lot and very hard. I was pretty tired at mile 2 and definitely at mile 3. If I only slowed down during that first mile, I would have had more energy during the rest of the race and actually put up a fight when others were passing me (which happened often!).
So there were some things that I noticed after running this race. First, there was this young kid with the beginnings of a Mohawk that really didn’t want to beat me. But he did pass me a little after the first mile and we sort of went back and forth throughout the race, but I’m going to have to say that I passed him for the last time right before the finish, which I was happy about. There were a couple of women who picked me off during the race but what surprised me a little were the older runners. Looking at the 5K race results, there were quite a few older runners that ran very fast times. I was very impressed with that, hoping that when I get that old, I’ll still be able to run that competitively and even beat the younger runners (which happened to me today!) I finished in front of one of those older runners and as we were waiting in the finishing shoot to give our bibs, he told me ‘good job’ which I did the same and also shook his hand. Runners seem to have the best sportsmanship in my mind.
Despite the fast start and dumb running, I was still pleased with the overall time, considering the poor workouts I had before that. For the next race, possibly the 32nd Annual Scripps Ranch 10K (a distance I’ve never raced before), I will have to try harder to hold back in that first mile, even though I will want to try and keep up with the rest of the other runners up ahead very badly. I just need to get it in my head that it will benefit me and my overall race time to run a smart race.