Even though I’ve been doing lots of treadmill training (and it showed in my last 5K), I was still so nervous going into this race. I knew that the hills that were added last year would still be there and those hills were the worst part of the race for me last year.
But I tried to stay positive. Lots of my new friends from my Tone It Up group were doing the race as well and we had plans to meet up before and after the race.
The day before the race, I went to go pick up my race number and other race things. I did meet up with one TIU friend, so that make the craziness of the expo a bit more fun. And as I always do, I took a selfie in my car with my race number.
With an early wake up time in the morning (4am), I made sure I put together my race bag the night before. I don’t think I’ve shared what’s in my race bag in the past, so here it is.
I attach my race number to the hip pack. In one pocket, I have my sunglasses, house/car keys, chapstick, and ID/money/credit card. In the other pocket, I have my headphones and phone (the phone isn’t in the picture since I used it to take a picture). I’m looking into upgrading to a race belt, but right now they are all too small for me.
As soon as my alarm went off at 4am, I was up and ready to go. I carpooled to the race with a TIU friend and we met a bunch of our other TIU friends near the start line.
A few minutes before the race was supposed to start, we split up to go into our corrals. There was 1 friend in a corral with me, so I got her to take a quick pre-race photo for me.
Since the race starts in waves and we were in corral 10, we had about 20 minutes between when the race started and when we actually started. By the time we got up to the start line, the sun was coming out.
My friend in my corral with me had planned to stick with me during the race. It was her first 5K and she wasn’t sure how fast she would go. But she was really fast! We were only together for the first half of a block and then I didn’t see her again until we met up at the finish line!
The race started pretty ok for me. The first part of the race has a slight decline and then you turn around and go up a slight hill. My hips were feeling it right away, but I kept on going. And I noticed that while I was getting passed a lot, I was also doing some of the passing.
I had set my phone to track my race time and it gave me a little notification when it claimed I had gone a mile (it’s a bit off so I was about 40 feet from the first mile marker). But even with the app being a bit off, my mile time was a lot faster than I expected it to be. I tried to not get too excited and kept focusing on the race.
Toward the halfway point of the race, there was the big hill of the race. This hill was one that I was swearing under my breath during last year. But this year there was a distinct different. I’m guessing it’s because of my treadmill training at Orangetheory. I’m used to doing crazy inclines on the treadmill without being allowed to slow down. So on the big hill, most walkers around me were slowing down but I was maintaining my pace (and passing them!).
Before I knew it, I was getting ready to take the final turn before the finish line. I grabbed my phone out of my bag so I could stop the clock on my phone to see my unofficial time. And I glanced at the phone and all I remembered was that it was saying 53 minutes and some number of seconds.
I crossed the finish line, stopped my clock on my phone, and something happened because the time was erased from my phone!
I couldn’t do anything to bring the time back on the app, so I knew I’d have to wait until the official times were posted. So I walked to where my group was meeting so we could take a post race photo.
And of course I needed a photo with my new race bling!
After taking our photos and chatting about how our races went, we went over to the timing board to see the official times. Everyone in my group had a PR! And when I looked at my time, I thought I was imagining things.
My time was 53:52.8! My time at the Hard Rock Cafe 5K (my previous PR) was 56:52.9! I can’t believe that I had a 3 minute improvement over the past few months! Honestly, I still can’t believe I did that.
My ultimate 5K goal is to get below a 16 minute mile. That’s the requirement for races at Disneyland. And while I don’t know if I will ever do a 10K or a half marathon, I’d love to do a 5K at Disneyland one day.
After we all celebrated our PRs, the TIU ladies and I went out to breakfast. I figured such an awesome race meant that I could splurge a little on breakfast.
Over breakfast, I just kept thinking how grateful I am that I have these awesome ladies in my life. They are such great motivators and I know that they will help push me to my next 5K goal. I’m hoping a bunch of them will do the Hard Rock Cafe 5K with me this fall.
And as soon as I got home, I had to add my latest addition to my medal wall.
My wall is starting to look full now, but I bet I can fit at least 4 or 5 more medals on there before I need to build an extension (or more likely, have my dad build an extension).
Overall, I’m so glad that I didn’t let my nerves get in the way of me having an amazing race. And now that I have my new PR in my head, I can focus on the steps I need to take to get another PR in the fall!