I am beginning to become quite the coffee addict. This is bad. I made it through 25 years of life never drinking coffee. Grad school + crazy hectic schedule = Coffee addict Julia. It doesn't help that there are so many yummy flavors out right now, like Eggnog, Pumpkin Spice, Gingerbread, etc. Did you know that of all the places to get coffee, 7-11 has one of the most BOMB coffees? For only 99cents! Seriously. I'm not even kidding. The 7-11 Pumpkin Spice Latte is amazingly awesome.
But coffee is not the main focus of this post. It's just powered by it. :)
That's right. 2 full marathons, 5 Half Marathons, and 10Ks and a 15K, but never a 5K. I was always scared of the 5K. Why? Because it's such a short race; you have to start fast, go fast, and finish fast. There is not room for error, for rest, for a break. I always thought "I'm not fast enough for a good 5K race." It scared me, so I stayed away from it.
Until yesterday. I swallowed my fear and geared up for my first 5K ever!
The race I did was the Pyramid Run 5K at the CSULB campus. (for full disclosure; I received a comped entry into the race bcs of internship related reasons. Hey, if my "work" involves running races, I can't complain!)
It started at 9:oo AM, so I arrived at 8:10ish, after getting the above mentioned awesome pumpkin spice latte from 7-11. The place was already buzzing with pre-race jitters and energy.
I really didn't prepare too much for this race. I kinda-sorta stretched, went potty, took some photos/video clips for my internship, and just kind of walked around. A couple of minutes before the race I got in line by the starting line, in the 21:42 pace group.
Yeah. This 5K had pacing services! The college XC team provided several pacing groups for different finishing times. I thought this was SUCH an awesome service, considering it is a pretty small race (only a couple hundred participants). A huge thanks to the XC team for coming out and showing support like that!
Before I knew it the gun went off, and I took off running. The weather was good, and I got into a groove right behind the pace group. From the video below, I understood this to be a relatively flat course....
I have become SUCH a pansy when it comes to hills, after moving away from Santa Barbara. It is so flat where I run now, that even the littlest hill just kills me!
So when there was a hill at mile 1, I kind of freaked out. I was already pushing the pace, and I didn't expect there to be a hill. I pushed as hard as I could though, and tried not to get the pace leaders get too far away.
Just after the crest of the hill, a couple who was running passed me. They were maybe jus a second or so faster than me per mile, so I hung onto their heels for the majority of the remainder of the race.
After the big hill at mile 1, there was a half hill, and all the rest was either downhill or flat. Thank goodness. I really tried to pick up my pace on the downhills and gain some momentum. Right around mile 2, I got passed by a much elderly gentleman. I'm always so amazed to see these kick-ass Masters runners. Talk about motivation, right? He was lightning fast!
I was still really pushing the pace and clinging onto the couple in front of me. I never looked at my time or my pace, because knowing these things would have psyched me out. I just kept running as fast as I could.
Before I knew it, we were approaching the finish line. I dug deep and picked up my pace. This was a LOT harder than it sounds, because I was already giving it my all. I really didn't have much left in me to "sprint to the finish line." However, I passed the couple I was clinging onto, and dashed to the finish.
And that my friends, was how my first 5K went. Short and sweet.
Official time: 22:36, 7:17 pace.
Not quite the time I was hoping for, but it was my first 5K, and I'll take it.
And I was so busy doing things for my internship after the race that I barely noticed that..... I placed again!
1st place AG, 9th overall female!
Woohoo! I got a medal! :) very exciting stuff T-shirt and medal.
The post-run refreshments were great as well. Bananas, apples, sliced oranges, Cytomax, Muscle Milk Bars, and they were giving out free water/sport bottles. Score!
Overall, I thought it was a well organized event. They even had a kids fun mile run too! It was sooooo adorable to see the tiny little kids get all jazzed about running. Future stars in the making! For a small 5k race, they had chip time, pacing services, free parking, cash prizes to the overall winners, raffle prizes, and good refreshments. I was quite impressed! I've been to races that cost a whole lot money that did not provide these things. And hey, did I mention I podiumed? haha. I know. I'm bragging. So sue me ;)
After the race, I went on a 35 mile bike ride. It was one of the most miserable rides ever. It. Was. So. Effing. Windy. No matter what direction I was heading, it was incredibly windy. WTF. How can it be windy in all four directions? Ughhhrrr. But I figured, if I can't train for hills (for Vineman Half Ironman!!!!!!!!!omgomgomg), at least wind riding will make me a slightly tougher rider. Right? Right? Please tell me I didn't go through all that for nothing! haha.
Anyways. I'm not officially training for Vineman yet, but I am going to try to ramp up my riding mileage slowly but surely. The bike is where I can use all the help I can get. If you have ANY bike advice, about hills, bike maintenance, aerobars, shoes, nutrition, ANYTHING! please feel free to advise. I could use it desperately. Thanks! :)
So wow, this is getting long. Hope you all have a fantastic week!