This past Saturday was the Hollywood Half 5K. It’s my 4th year doing this race, and it’s one of my favorites! Even though there are some little hills during the race, it’s relatively flat so that’s a nice thing to have. Plus, they have the best race medals!
I shared with my friends that I would be doing this race and gave people some discount codes, but I really didn’t know who else would be doing the race. So I figured that I’d be doing this one solo and I was ok with that.
On Friday before race day, it was raining. I checked the weather and it was supposed to rain for the 1 hour I knew I’d be doing the race the next day so I was in a bit of a bad mood as I drove to Hollywood to pick up my race number. Rain isn’t fun for me and I know that I hate doing 5Ks in the rain. My mood was improved a bit when I got a meter that had time still left on it right outside the pickup location, but I was still feeling a bit angry so there is no smiling photo of me with my race number.
I was able to get to bed by 9pm since I had to wake up at 4am and was just hoping that there wouldn’t be rain in the morning. As soon as I woke up, I checked the weather. It was still saying rain between 6 and 7am (the race started at 6am) so I planned my outfit accordingly. I wore a thinner shirt so if it got wet it wouldn’t feel so heavy and made sure I had a plastic bag with me to put my phone in for protection. The drive over to the start line had moments of pouring rain, but as I got to the parking lot at the start the rain was just a mist. By the time I parked and got onto Hollywood Blvd, the rain was done!
I walked a couple of times from the start line to back where my corral was to keep my muscles warm because I knew I’d be waiting a while to start. And of course, I had to do a pre-race selfie.
I was in the second to last corral, but because the race started late and they were releasing corrals 3 minutes apart, they ended up putting the last 4 or 5 corrals together in a lump (we still didn’t start until after 6:30am when we were told everyone needed to start before 6:15am). I didn’t get a countdown to the start, but since I rarely get that I didn’t miss it too much.
As it’s been the past few years, the start was a slight downhill down a side street and back up the hill to where the start was before heading down Hollywood Blvd. The rain from the night before left the streets pretty slick and I had some moments when my foot slipped, but I was going strong. I was feeling pretty good until about 10 minutes in. Then my shin splints started acting up a bit and since I forgot to do my race tracker on my phone I had no clue how fast I was going. So I started to feel a bit upset again because I had no clue if I was doing well or really horribly. I got really into my head with the negative thoughts until walking past where the finish line was on the other side (the race is an out and back race but the start and finish are about a mile apart).
Right at the finish line area, I saw someone running out toward me. I looked over and it was my friend Jonathan from Orangetheory! I had given him a hard time the other day how I supported him at the marathon and how he’s never supported me at a race. I knew it was an early race (unlike the marathon where I was able to go in the late morning) and that it was a short race so it wasn’t a big deal. But I guess he felt bad because he was out there super early in the morning to cheer me on!
This was actually the first time that anyone has come to cheer me on for a race who wasn’t doing the race themselves. This was such an awesome surprise and I couldn’t believe that he had done it!
Even though Jonathan only had a short time left on his meter, he hung out and walked with me for a while. He even walked with me up the big hill that I hate on this race. It really meant a lot to me that he walked with me (he’s a pretty amazing runner and has won races in the past) and it was nice to have company on the big hill. At the top of the hill, he turned around to run back to his car. But the time that he walked with me really did reinvigorate me and I was feeling pretty awesome when I passed the mile 2 marker.
The turnaround point for the 5K is probably at 2.5 miles of the race, so I was close to it after doing the big hill. Just before I got to the turnaround, I saw someone running at me who had already turned around shouting my name. It was my friend Jordan! I had told her about the race before and she mentioned that she might do the 10K, but I had no idea that she ended up signing up! We gave each other a big hug and she ran toward the finish line as I walked to the turnaround and was on my way to the finish line myself.
The last portion of the race went ok. Again, I had no clue if I was killing it with my time or going really slow, so I just focused on having a good race day. And my day was going so much better between seeing my friends and the fact that it wasn’t raining! As soon as I turned onto Vine to cross the finish line, I decided to run the last little bit just because. I’m sure my official race photos will look cooler with me running compared to walking, but I really did it just to prove to myself that running isn’t impossible.
As soon as I got my medal, I looked for Jordan to thank her for cheering me up and helping to make my race day better.
We walked together over to the timing board to see how we did, but there must have been an issue with it because nobody was bringing over updated sheets. Jordan had to leave and while I stuck it out a little longer, I had to get home to get ready. But on the way out I saw the timing company’s trailer and I nicely asked one of the guys in there if they could look up my time for me. It ended up being one of my slower times, but I discovered later that the race was really 3.19 miles and not 3.1. So I’m thinking if it was really 3.1 miles I would have been pretty close to my last 5K time.
While this was a slower race for me, it really was one of the better race days. I was able to do the race without dealing with the rain (it was pouring after I left on the way home) and I had people cheering me on that I wasn’t expecting. As much as I shouldn’t focus on race times, I know that I will. But it’s nice that my memories of this race won’t be my time but will be the smiling faces I got to see that day.