me in the middle, just where I belong: somewhere between a tortoise and a hare!
Yesterday I ran the Carlsbad 5000. The race touts itself as "the World's Fastest 5K" and it is. There have been 16 world records set on this course. It's relatively flat (gradual hills both up and down that are small), most of it is run along 101, the weather is always great, and there's a slight downhill to the finish. At yesterday's race, there were 4 or 5 elite men finishing faster than 13:17. Holy cow! It's an amazing event that everyone from the first timer to the elite can participate in and have fun.
At this event, the runners are put into divisions by age and sex. Those are the people you run against. Not all thousands of runners, but only those in your specific division. For me, that meant running with the Masters Women this year (40+ year olds). Oh, but don't be thinking the older ladies can't run because let me tell you, they are wicked fast. It's unbelievable how speedy these women are. I find it very inspirational to toe the line with 55 year old women who can outrun me. Amazing!
My Masters race started at 8am. I picked up a friend and we headed down to the race start early. We ran a few blocks to warm up and then settled in towards the front of our race. We ended up being three women back from the start which was perfect. There's no running around slower people and there's also the excitement of being in the front of the race. About a 1/4 mile into the race I looked down at my Garmin and saw I was running a 6:33 pace. Holy smokes! That's way too fast so I backed it off a bit but continued to push it. I hit mile 2 in 14:22. I knew this was fast for me but kept telling myself to hang in there, the finish is around the corner, it's a downhill finish, you got this, etc. The last mile was tough though because of the pace and I must have slowed a bit because I crossed the finish line in 22:50. However, this is a shiny new PR for me -- by a full minute!
My friend came in steps behind me and together we walked through the finisher's chute and then on over to the beer garden. Yes, my race started at 8am. Yes, I was having a beer by 8:30am. Every finisher gets two free beers from a local (awesome!) brewery. In the past I've been in a later race start (30-39 year old women) and by the time I was done at 11am, the beer garden would already be packed and the line to get in too long. That's not the case when you run the 8am race so I was going to enjoy it for once! I had my two beers while chatting with friends and other people who had run that morning.
Fantastic event and a fantastic day yesterday. Many friends also walked away with new PRs and some fast times! Definitely a favorite race of mine!!