The Carlsbad 5000, the “World’s Fastest 5K”, celebrated its 25th anniversary this past weekend. This fast and scenic course was the perfect place to PR for my 5K. And what better place to PR in the 5K than the same city I PR’ed in the half marathon? Official results: 18:58, 6:06 min/mile; 122/1250 overall; 95th male. As happy as I was to break 19 and PR, I was not too pleased with the way I paced myself for this race: 5:47, 6:13, 6:29, :27. But overall, it was a fun experience. It was a really big turnout and some elite world class athletes running too.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the smallest local race down the street or a nationally televised race; I am going to be nervous about it. It’s just the way I am, I don’t think it matters how many more races I run. But we’ll just see if that ever does go away. So the night before, I was actually having nightmares about the race. The good thing is I don’t recall any of it. My race didn’t actually start until 11:30, so I definitely had the opportunity for a good night’s sleep, but that didn’t really happen. As I was brushing my teeth, I began to think to myself, ‘why the heck am I doing this? Why am I voluntarily putting myself through this?!’ However, I got over all the self-doubt, got dressed for my race and headed off.
Logistics & Brooks I.D.
Even though I spent way too much time the night before staring at maps figuring out how to get to the race, avoiding closed roads and finding parking, I still couldn’t find my way around come race morning. I went to the race expo to pick up my race bib but found out I had to get it at the registration table (thought that was just for day-of registrants…). I ran around multiple blocks to finally get my bib only to realize the expo was literally across the street! At least I got my warm-up in for the race. Before the race started, I actually found a couple of Brooks I.D. members (Jamie? and Jeremiah). Jamie had already run in his age group and he actually hung around during my race and cheered me on toward the end, which really helped. Jeremiah had done the All Day 25K, which means running 5-5K races for the day. That’s pretty intense.
It took a while for the race to actually start and as people were heading to the front, I realized how many younger people were running this race. There were markers for each group of runners, 5 min/mile, 6, 7, etc. A lot of those kids were hanging out at the 5 min/mile mark and I was wondering to myself, ‘are they really going to run that fast!?’ And then I realized it wasn’t that out of the ordinary. I mean I ran 5:50/6 min/mile back in high school, and I was one of the slower runners on my team! So even though I knew that these kids were legit, I still didn’t want them beating me. I mean, they were kids!! But I think that mentality really ruined any smart race strategy I could have used during this race.
The gun went off and like I said, I actually tried to hang with these kids. I know the first half mile was way faster than 5:47 pace, but I had already started falling back toward the end of that first mile. The 2nd and 3rd mile dragged along a lot slower, definitely not the way I wanted to run it. I mean, I ran positive splits! I’m wondering if tried I tried to run my mile 3 time first, then mile 2 and 1, would my overall time be significantly faster? And if not, hopefully I would not have been in as much pain as I was. The top 250 of each race/sex medaled and looking at last year’s times, I knew I was going to get one. These medals are probably one of the nicest ones I’ve received, even for a 5K. I don’t have any 5Ks planned in the future where I see myself breaking this PR, so it might have to stay at this time for a while. My next race, the La Jolla Half Marathon, is less than 2 weeks away. I’m hoping the pacing for that race goes a lot better than this one and similar to my Carlsbad Half PR.