First of all… Happy Memorial Day! While you were all sleeping in, I ran the Laguna Hills Memorial Day 5k and it was awesome. I have some amazing relatives who live in Orange County here in Southern California. It’s always nice to know that I can escape from all the madness in LA and go relax in beautiful Laguna Niguel. I spent the weekend in Laguna relaxing and even did a really nice pre-race run on the beach on Sunday. Then Monday morning rolled around and it was time to race! I was really excited for this 5k because I actually trained a little bit beforehand.
The Laguna Hills Memorial Day 5k/10k/half has been around for 16 years and benefits the United States Marine Corps; specifically the Dark Horse Battalion. I was happy to sign up for this race because I have alot of relatives who served in the armed forces. BUT I do have a cousin who is in the Marines right now and I so wish he could have run with me! See below for pic… I didn’t have that many expectations of myself but I was hoping to get my time down to somewhere around 35mins. I hadn’t been training for my previous 5k so I knew I could beat that time.
Anyways! Let’s get to the race…
This was the first 5k I’ve run that has been a 5k, a 10k and a half marathon all at once. They had everyone start at the same time and place and we were PACKED into the starting shoot. At least they had markers for the different paces so everyone was with people running around the same times. As soon as the clock hit 7am, we were off!
Mile 1- The first mile is always interesting because that’s when everyone is trying to get around people and find the right pace. I felt pretty good and my legs felt strong. This mile was also very flat which was a nice start. I saw the first mile marker and thought, ‘wow that was quick’ and I looked down at my watch and it said 9:03…. WHAT. WHOA WHOA WHOA. I just ran a 9 minute mile? And I don’t feel tired? What!? It was awesome. It really felt effortless. It also probably helped that it was pretty much flat BUT I was still really happy.
Mile 2- I tried to keep my pace from the first mile but knew I still had a ways to go so I made sure I wasn’t pushing too hard only to burn out at the end. The 2:10 pacers for the half marathon were a few strides ahead of me so I knew if I stuck with them my pace would remain the same. This second mile went throughout a retirement community. The streets were lined with elderly people (some were veterans) with sleigh bells and cow bells who were cheering us on. How awesome is that? All of these people got up at 7am to cheer on a bunch of strangers running around their neighborhood. It was so fun to watch their reactions. I’m sure we were all incredibly entertaining.
Mile 3- THE HILL. At first I thought I missed the 2 mile marker because it felt like forever since the last one. But no! I saw the marker, turned the corner and saw a nice loooong decline. It was nice especially since the sun was starting to come out and I was getting warm. This went on for at least .3 miles. Then…. I turned another corner and there was the uphill. UGHHHHH. I remember whispering to myself ‘crappppp’. It was a long gradual incline. So long that I couldn’t see where it started to flatten out. So, I leaned in and locked it in. I didn’t stop either! It was a long hill but I kept telling myself that I’ve come this far, I’m not going to stop. AND the 2:10 half marathon pacers were still in sight. Eventually the hill did come to and end and it flattened out to the finish line. I guess THE HILL wasn’t as bad as it looked.
I peeked at my watch at the finish and it said 30:30. WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Did I just run a 5k in 30 mins??? This is WAY beyond what I expected. As I said before, I was always a sprinter and never really tried distance running so in my book, this is HUGE and I beat my PR by 4 minutes. Really really happy with this. I can’t wait for the next one!
Today’s advice: Don’t be afraid to test your strength.