Monday, April 8, 2019

Carlsbad 5000 Race Recap

As I blissfully slept in on Saturday morning with the very rare occasion of not having an alarm, I couldn't believe that I was going to run the iconic Carlsbad 5000 the next day. As a Southern California runner, April is the beginning of all the springtime race madness and Carlsbad is definitely at the top of the list. When I watched the coverage and read the articles last year, I knew I wanted to be part of the action this time. 





We had a relaxing day with a lot of family time and I was able to settle into bed by 8 PM. I fell asleep closer to 9 PM and set my alarm for 3:50 AM. Jerold and I were on the road early (I had a banana and english muffin for breakfast) and arrived in Carlsbad by 6:45 AM. It was such an easy one hour and forty minute drive, I fell asleep during part of it (grateful for Jerold driving), and we were able to see a stunning sunrise. Carlsbad is a beautiful little beach town and the race made sure everything was laid out so easily for the runners. I was able to jog and grab my bib (Ashley, one of the race executives recognized me and we were able to chat for a moment - everyone was so friendly!), go to the bathroom and start my warm up in no time. I did a dynamic warm up and then ran an easy two miles with the last minute pretty quick to get my legs going. Then it was time to get to the starting line.



It was pretty cool to start with so many amazing masters women - I loved having a entire race just for us and then we were off. 




I wanted to not sprint out, but stay controlled. First mile 6:06. 
This first mile split was perfect and right where I needed to be, I just needed to hold that pace, but it wasn't happening today. I felt low on energy, my legs didn't have any pep and running fast felt hard. On days like that, you just gotta keep pushing and fight for things to turn around. Second mile 6:20. I kept playing mental games with myself that I only had one mile left to push - one mile! One mile is nothing and yet sometimes it feels like forever. 6:33. Really bummed about this, but I just didn't have it yesterday. I was competing a little back and forth with another woman and I remembered that once you pass someone, pass them with confidence - blow by them and never think about it again. They won't answer and you never look back. Well, I did that - I passed her strong and at the very end she caught me and in that moment, I did something that I never do - I didn't fight for it. I felt so mad at myself for not having the best race, that I didn't fight for that spot. When my watch beeped at the three mile mark at 19 minutes, instead of giving absolutely everything, I let myself wallow in the fact that I had less than ideal race.
19:46 final time. 



Coach's plan was 18:40 - 19:20 and based on the workouts I've thrown down the last few months, I know I can do that + he never gives me paces out of my reach. 





Anyway, I learned a ton, it's back to training and I can't wait to tackle this distance again! The great thing about 5ks is that the recovery is fast and you can always do another one.





If you're thinking about coming to the San Diego area for this race, or are in town next year, you should definitely put this on your agenda. Here are the reasons why:

1. Beautiful location
I've done many races in Carlsbad and it never disappoints. You really feel like you are on vacation here - gorgeous weather, quaint restaurants and beautiful beaches. Carlsbad 5000 took full advantage of the location and put everything in the center of town, which made it so easy to access and comfortable for the runners.

2. Great course
The race course is pretty flat and lined with spectators and ends with a down hill. Be ready to fight and gain spots in the downhill finish.

3. Ideal weather
The women's masters race started at 7:55 AM and I didn't even need my sunglasses. Perfect, cool morning weather.

4. Friendly people
Everyone that worked at the event that I met was super professional and friendly - from getting your bib, to picking up your race shirt.

5. Zero lines
Again, my race started early, but I immediately got into a porta potty - no lines for anything, easy to find everything.

6. Great competition
This is a great race to test yourself among some of the best runners around. 
If you can, stay all day and see the elite runners compete at noon. We had to get home very quickly for our kids, but it turned out to be an epic showdown!

7. Food, Drink and of course - music!
It's only a 5k and yet they provided bananas, full bottles of Gatorade, water and other food. Music was playing everywhere and runners were in a happy mood. A perfect way to start Sunday.





You can easily make the Carlsbad 5000 a racecation, especially since it is right around spring break for many people. Stay in Carlsbad or head into the heart of San Diego for a great vacation!

We don't let races define us. Learn, grow, move forward. 



I'm back to training this week and onward we go.

Do Awesome things.

xo,
Natalie











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