A few weeks ago, fellow San Diego blogger Kate was giving away 2 entires to the Fit Foodie 5k in downtown San Diego. Since I love fitness and food, when I saw the giveaway I quickly googled the race and was happy to see that it fell on a Saturday (so I could still do my long run the next day) and was far enough out from the marathon to be safe to run. I figured, what the heck, I’ll throw my name in the hat and if I get in, I’ll use it as a training run.
Well, I won the entry (thanks Kate and the folks at the Fit Foodie 5k!)! I rearranged my training schedule this week so that my tempo run was on Wednesday and that the 5k would take place of the ladder intervals I was supposed to do. I went about my training this week as normal, including a 10 mile run and Pilates class on Friday. Going into the race, my expectations were that it would be a good training run and that I’d just have to see what my legs had in store for me after 4 consecutive weeks of 50+ mileage.
The event started at 8 a.m. with a group stretch followed by the start of the 5k at 8:30 a.m. I had to pick up my packet and I wanted to get in a 3 mile warm-up run before, so I arrived downtown around 7 a.m., found a free metered spot (meter turned on at 10), ran over to the harbor, got my bib quickly, and went for the rest of my warm-up run. By the time I made it back, went to the bathroom, and took a Gu, it was time for the group stretch. The stretch was led by Kristin McGee, a beautiful celebrity trainer and Health magazine contributor and was very yoga based. It was really great!
I started near the front of the race and looked for Kate but didn’t see her anywhere. I didn’t wear headphones to listen to music but did notice that almost everyone around me was wearing them! Before we knew it, the race had started and I was running. I forgot to turn my Garmin off auto-pause so it took a few seconds to register I was running and my watch was behind the whole race. I decided not to look at my watch too much and run by feel anyway. The last 2 5ks I have run I went out WAY too fast and ended up really hurting at the end. So instead of getting caught up in that, I just ran what felt hard, but comfortable. I was really happy but also a bit worried when my Garmin clicked off a 6:57 min/mile average on the first mile but I was still feeling pretty good so I went with it.
The course had quite a few turns and one big U-turn on the path near Seaport Village. This is where I saw Kate who yelled my name and waved at me. She is still recovering from the NY Marathon (where she PRed and BQed!) so she wasn’t running for time. After we passed Seaport Village we turned onto Embarcadero Marina Park North, which was another small loop. A couple girls were breathing heavily down my neck and I could tell I was working less hard than them which I figured meant I wasn’t totally going to burn out. Once we exited Embarcadero Marina Park North, we ran down the sidewalk that lines the harbor again on a thin strip of sidewalk because the other side of the sidewalk was full of 5k runners who were behind us. I even heard one of them say to their friend “Those people are already coming back!?”
The final loop was on Embarcadero Park South and it wound around quite a bit before we exited. I was happy that I hadn’t crashed and burned yet and that my pace was still really solid. Once I exited the Embarcadero, it was just a short while longer down a long, wide stretch of sidewalk toward the finish line. I dug in deep, closed my eyes at times, and ran as hard as I could. Right at the end a girl that I had passed earlier came up behind me and flew by me but I couldn’t catch her. She did help inspire me to push it hard to the end though and I saw the time on the clock was under 22 minutes when I crossed the finish line. At first, I couldn’t really believe it but my Garmin confirmed the truth. I had PRed! I wasn’t sure by how much until I found the results – new 5K PR – 21:41, 6:59 min/mile average, 5th in my age group (30-39) and 9th woman overall. When I got home and looked up my former PR (which was from the FCA 5k I ran in April), I realized it was a 54 second PR!
As soon as the race was over I saw Kate as well as three other San Diego healthy living bloggers who I’d never met before. We hung out and chatted for a bit and then Kate, her girlfriend Brittany and I started to scope out the different vendors. Given the name, you had to know the Fit Foodie 5k was going to have great food. We started with the finishers goodie bag which had a bunch of bars in it and made our way from station to station, picking up generous free samples, tasting food and juices (my favorite was probably the mini acai bowls, complete with banana slices and granola!) and getting to know each other more. Kate and I read each other’s blogs but we’ve never met in person so it’s always funny to have a conversation with someone who you’ve really never met but you feel like you already know. She has been so encouraging during this training cycle as I get ready for CIM and it was great to get even more positive feedback from her on that as well!
Other than the time PR, I was really happy with this race because of the way I handled the pain on the course. I embraced it and didn’t dread it. I told myself when it hurt that it was going to hurt at CIM but that I needed to push through. I paced myself correctly, pushed myself when it was time, and came out successful.
Coach – put me in, I’m ready! This was yet another confidence booster that I’m ready for that BQ. Even McMillan’s pace calculator agrees (saying I can run a 3:31 marathon based on this time). All that stands between me and CIM is one last 20+ mile run tomorrow and then three weeks of taper. I can’t wait to race!
Have you ever surprised yourself with a PR?