And here we are, the last of our 5 races in March. The shortest & the fastest, the Carlsbad 5000.
It’s been a few years since we ran this one, we ran back in 2016, last year we just came over to see some friends and watch the elites.
We don’t run a lot of 5ks, mostly because they are so expensive for only 3.1 miles. This year, I believe we registered on National Running Day for about $25, which is a lot more reasonable than the $50 they charge if you wait until a month or so before the race.
Carlsbad 5000 is unique in that they have different races for different age groups. They have Masters Men, Masters Women, 30 – 39 and then 20 – 29 and walkers. There are also men & women’s elite races too.
This year I was in a new age group, Masters Women so my race time was 7:55a. Sean was in the next group, 30 – 39 at 9:15a. I really wanted to run in my own age group so I made him get up early to drive up to Carlsbad around 6:15am. It takes approx. 45 minutes to get to Carlsbad & then you have to find parking, etc.
We were running a touch late so Sean dropped me off near the finish. I left my bag with him but still had on my track pants and sweatshirt. I found the race bibs, note that they are not next to the shirts, but instead near the start line.
I got my bib, used the bathroom and then waited for Sean. I ran into Mick, from #Run619, we chatted for a bit and then I found Smitha & Kristina. We got a few photos, saw a few other friends and then Sean got there so I could give him my clothes.
My goal was to try and PR. My previous official 5k PR was 26:45 and I knew I could beat that. By how much would remain to be seen. I always start out way too fast in 5ks. You would think I would learn but most likely since I run approx. one 5k every two years, I always forget, lol.
Anyways, Kristina & I were going to start together and see what happened. Neither of us had any idea what our bodies were capable of at that point.
The tough part about this race is that they just line everyone up together, it’s an honor start so you just pick a mile pace and then line up. I spent a good portion of the first quarter mile weaving in and out of other runners.
I finally settled in and just was giving it all I had. I made the first turn and was just trying to keep my breathing even. Smitha yelled out to me & I waved back. All I kept thinking is my new mantra, I believe in you, I can do this and just kept chugging along.
We made the last turn & I remember looking at my watch, I could do an 11 minute mile and still PR, of course I didn’t want to slow down that much, but I struggled that last mile. Just get to the Carlsbad sign & then you’re in the home stretch I kept thinking.
Finally I made it to the Carlsbad sign & made the turn towards to the finish. I saw a photographer over by the rail road tracks, I tried to smile but I was breathing too hard.
By the time I saw Sean, I was giving it all I had to get to that finish line. And there it was! I crossed the line in an unofficial 24:55! a PR by almost 1m50s!
And then Kristina was just a few seconds behind me, having run a much smarter, negative split race.
We caught our breath, got some water and some photos. A few of our friends came up so we got more photos and then it was time for me to get changed so we could wait for Sean to start.
Sean had a fantastic race, he finished in a blazing 20:32, pretty amazing considering he has been nursing a foot injury and not doing much in the way of speed work.
We got some coffee & then went to watch the elites. Interestingly, they started in the same spot as us this year, after doing a different loop course for the last few years. Doing the same course as us, isn’t quite as exciting for the fans because you don’t get to see them as often.
I felt like we had an interesting mix this year. Both the fields were very small, under 10 people in each race and there were no Africans in either race. I’m not sure if they were running other events or if they changed how the elite program worked now that Ironman bought Rock ‘n Roll but it was interesting & somehow not quite as exciting.
While 5ks aren’t really on our radar often, it is fun to do one every now and again to test yourself. Seeing as I’ve now gone under 25 minutes, I’d really like to try and see what I could do if I really put my mind to it.
We hit up one of our favorite vegan restaurants, Trilogy in La Jolla, to fuel up after the race & had a great day! It’s funny, after all the longer runs, it felt weird to not be tired & sore after the race, lol.