This past Saturday was 5K #7, the first annual Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood 5K.
But before I talk about the 5K, I want to come clean about something on here. I’ve been posting about 5Ks for a while now, but I’ve never discussed my times on here. I’ve only mentioned if I got a better time than I did previously. That’s because I’ve been embarrassed about how long it takes me to do a 5K. I have lots of friends who do 5Ks and they talk about how they want to get under 30 minutes or 25 minutes.
Well, I’ve been dreaming about getting a 5K under 1 hour. I haven’t had a 5K under an hour in a very long time (possibly 4 or 5 years). Most of my 5Ks this year have been around 1:01 or 1:02, so I’ve been close (5K #6 was at 1:03:15 with all the hills).
Now that I’ve come clean about my race times, back to my race recap!
I had signed up for this race a while ago because it sounded fun and had almost of the same race course as the Hollywood Half 5K (which I really enjoyed). But the week before the race, I noticed in an email that they had sent to me that there was a 18 minute mile pace requirement! Based on my past 5Ks, I’m closer to a 20.5 minute or 21 minute mile. I’ve seen the sweeper vans pick people up from the course on other races, but it’s never happened to me before. But now I was terrified that I was going to be disqualified due to my slow time at this race. I tried to forget about it, but I was seriously having nightmares about it.
On Friday after work, I went down to Hollywood and Highland to pick up my race number and shirt from the Hard Rock Cafe. I had a chance to talk to one of the race organizers, and she reassured me that they would not have a sweeper van coming to pick up slow racers. I didn’t have to worry about the 18 minute mile pace time. As long as I could finish within 2 hours I was ok.
I was much happier after hearing that and was starting to get excited again for the race.
The race had a 7am start time, plus I needed to give myself enough time to drive over and park, so I was planning on getting up pretty early (at least for me). I was terrified that I was going to oversleep, so my alarm looked like this.
Fortunately, when the 5:00am alarm went off, I jumped out of bed. I was still a bit nervous for the race, but I kept reminding myself that I didn’t have to worry about pace time.
I drove to Hollywood and Highland again for the race while it was still very dark out. But many of the buildings on Hollywood Blvd. were lit up so that was pretty cool.
I got a pre-race photo (I look so red because I am illuminated from the Hard Rock Cafe sign).
And before I knew it, we were lining up at the start line to start the race. Just before the start gun went off, the sun started to come up.
It was actually really nice! A majority of the racers were runners, so pretty much everyone was either in front of me or passed me as some point. Since the race was an out and back one, I watched people as they flew past me headed toward the finish line (the guy who got 1st in this race did it in under 15 minutes).
I focused on keeping a steady pace and not stressing about my time. I was so focused that I actually missed seeing the 1 mile marker! I like to check my time around then just to get an idea of my pace. But when I saw the turn around point, I checked my time. And shockingly, I was on pace to be at just under an hour!
I didn’t want to get too excited, but I focused on maintaining the pace that I had done the first half with. I just paid attention to my music and kept putting one foot in front of the other.
All of the sudden, I thought I saw the finish line coming up ahead of me. I checked my watch out of curiosity, and I was still on pace to be under an hour! Somehow, I sped up in the last part (maybe because of the excitement), and I crossed the finish line. The official clock was somewhere in the range of 59 minutes, so I knew I had done it in under an hour for sure. My watch said 58:34, but I wanted to seem my official time.
First, I had to get my super awesome medal.
Best medal I’ve ever gotten!
Finally, I headed over to the board with all the official times on it. And when I found my name, I knew that my time was amazing!
I did this 5K in 58:32! That’s almost 5 minutes faster than the 5K I had done 6 days earlier!
I’m still in shock that I got my 5K under an hour! I have another 5K this upcoming Sunday, but since it’s the weSPARK walk with the crazy hill, I’m not too focused on what my time will be (I’m still hoping to get closer to my fundraising goal if any of you can donate a dollar or two).
I was so prepared to be disqualified for this race and it ended up being the best race I’ve done in a very long time! I’m so happy that this was a positive experience and I plan on doing this race again next year!
5K #7 is done!