Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day 5K Race Recap

Saturday morning I ran in the Oceanside Veterans Day 5K Race.

I normally don't do many 5Ks for time - normally they are fun runs (color runs, themed runs, or part of a larger challenge) - but when a friend told me about this one I just HAD to sign up. I mean it was in Oceanside, only cost me $13, and supports Veterans (we will save my thoughts on military, war, etc for another day!). The hubby was out of town on a Sasquatch Search (yup, they were bigfoot hunting!), so I was running solo at this event.

Flat Carlee laid out the night before. The only thing missing
was my royal blue jacket that I wore until the race started.

The race started at 8:11am (the race director wanted to bring awareness to the fact that Veterans Day is on 11/11 every year {and their first race was run on 11/11/11} so they start the race at 11 past the hour). Because it was a small event, everything was done on race day. Check-in started at 7am, so I left the house around 6:40am (if you don't know, I am the type that would rather be an hour early than cut it close).

I got over to Guajome Park (where the race was going to be held) a little before 7am. From the course map that I was sent, I parked near where I thought the starting line was (there was a $3 parking fee, so instead of parking in the lot I parked on the street a few hundred yards away from the entrance). I saw a bunch of cars driving around, all of which looked confused and lost.

I started walking over to where I thought the event was being held, but didn't see anything... Like no tents, no people, no signage, no nothing! A couple folks were driving through the park and asked me if I knew where the race was... Seems like we were all in the same boat... A guy (after a few minutes of wandering together we introduced ourselves... his name was Scott from Carlsbad and a super sweet guy) and his wife had also parked near me and were walking around lost. We started walking into the park a little further, thinking that the course had to be around there somewhere, so at least if we found the course we could track it back to the start/ finish.

At this point Scott's wife had to leave, so Scott and I were on our own trying to find the event. We finally found a sign that said "Mile 2". We figured we would walk towards what we thought was the finish line (thinking Mile 3.1 was closer than Mile 0). We walked for about a half mile and came across the next sign "5K Turn Around". Oh golly gee... We decided we would walk back towards the Mile 2 sign and then just head to the start from there. By this time it was already about 7:20am and we weren't sure we would be able to make it to the start, check in, and get ready before the beginning of the race if we continued to walk. We ended up running from Mile 2 back to the start - I guess that's what you consider a "warm up", right?!

We finally made it to the starting area around 7:45am (which is a little too close for comfort for me) and were able to check in, get our bibs and commemorative pins, and wait for the start of the race. (I did find the race director to let him know folks seemed to be lost, that we had parked on the other side of the park, and that areas of the race didn't seem to be well marked. He let me know they were aware of the lack of signage and had plenty of volunteers to line the course to direct the runners... they just weren't out there yet.)

Finally made it!

Since the starting line and finish line were the same spot (and about 2 miles from my car), I ended up just tying my jacket to one of the nearby trees since the temperatures had quickly started to rise. When I woke up for the race it was 46* and by the time we had finished it was already in the high 70s.

As the race director and other announcers welcomed us to the event I noticed a gentleman taking pictures. I was all dolled up in my red, white, and blue for Veterans Day and realized he took a photo of me. A few moments later the gentleman came over (turns out his name is Steve and is the managing editor of OSideNews) and asked me my name, where I was from, and why I decided to run this race. I let him know I was training for the Phoenix Marathon, that this was a local race for me and fit into my training schedule. He gave me his card so I stuck it in my SpiBelt.

Listening to the announcements pre-race.
Photo Credit: Steve Marcotte (OSideNews.com)

There weren't very many participants (I'd say probably 100 or so), so it was a pretty low-key start. There was a flag ceremony, a recording of the National Anthem, and then we sort of lined up at the starting line. We waited for 8:11am and then were off.

Photo Credit: Steve Marcotte (OSideNews.com)

To be honest, when I heard about the race I looked at the website. I noticed that there were results posted from the previous years. I looked at the results from 2013 and noticed there were only about 60 some runners and thought to myself "Maybe I might be able to place in my division with the smaller amount of runners".

My game plan was to try to stay as close as I could to the front pack. I knew my tempo runs I could keep a pace of around 7:30-7:45/mile for 5-6 miles so I was hoping I could do something near that for this race (I think for a road race I would have been able to go faster, but this was on trails of sand and gravel with hills... I needed to adjust my goals accordingly). I didn't tell anyone but Ryan what my goal time was, because I really didn't want to let myself (and others) down. Goal A: Sub-23. Goal B: Sub-25. Goal C: Sub 30. Goal D: Finish with a smile.

When we started off I knew there were 2 females ahead of me (and probably about 6 males). I wanted to keep the girls in my sights (and hopefully not let any more pass me). I didn't know their ages, but figured even if they were in my division I could still come in third if I stuck in my current place. I ended up running pretty close behind the girl in second place. She was running with her dad (she looked like she was in cross country). Around a half mile in he said that he needed to stop but she could keep this pace and cruise. I figured I'd try to stick with her for as long as I could, and if I had enough at the end I'd give her a run for her money.

I don't know if you can believe it or not, but by the end of the race
Photo Credit: Steve Marcotte (OSideNews.com)

Mile 1 - 7:38

I would have loved to be faster that first mile, but I needed to remind myself that I was running trails and I should be proud of what I was doing. We were running in a beautiful park (around a couple ponds), on a gorgeous day (the Santa Ana winds were blowing, so it was turning into a dry, warm morning), and I was doing something I loved.

I didn't take any pictures DURING the race, but on
the 2 mile jog back to my car I grabbed a couple
photos of the course

Mile 2 - 7:33

Less uphills during this mile, which was nice! I could tell my quads were getting a little tight from running a different terrain than I was used to. At this point I was still holding my same place in the race, but I could tell the leaders were pulling away.

One of the ponds you run around on the course

Mile 3 - 7:20

Come to find out the 5K turn around sign we had seen earlier in the morning was actually around mile 2.5. This meant there was a small amount of the course that you could see the runners coming at you (during this portion of the race I was cheering for everyone I saw and giving out high fives to the kids who were out on the course with their parents).

On the way back to the car there were ponies on the trail.
Thankfully they weren't out during the race, but there were
LARGE piles of pony poo you had to watch for!

I realized that I could start my kick and hopefully take a couple of them. I passed a couple runners (the girl that was in second and a couple military men {service men and women had different bibs so you could tell who they were}). I caught up to Scott and he told me I was looking strong and to finish stronger. I also saw Steve (the photographer with OsideNews). He yelled "Charge for Phoenix" when I passed him and I knew I had to give it my all.

Kicking it in at the end.
Photo Credit: Steve Marcotte (OSideNews.com)

I crossed the finish line officially at 22:26. My watch had the course just under 3 miles, but that might have been due to poor satellites in the park.

I got my bling, grabbed a picture, had a mini bottle of water, ate a banana and then stood at the finish line for about 15 minutes cheering in the other runners. I LOVE getting to spectate a race. I know how much having folks cheering for you can mean while you are running, so any time I can be that person for someone else I want to take advantage of it.

After getting to cheer in some fellow runners I knew I needed to head back to the car. Thankfully I had 8 miles on the calendar, so the 2 mile warm up, 3 mile race, and 2 mile cool down back to the car pretty much took care of that. And when I got back to the car I saw Scott again, so you know we had to take a quick picture together!

YOU ROCKED IT SCOTT! Maybe I'll see you at a runDisney
event soon if you run one with your co-worker!

Once I got home I looked for the "official" results. I wasn't sure my place overall, but knew I was the second female overall (just wasn't sure how many males finished before me or if the female that beat me was in my division or not).

CHECK IT OUT! I came in FIRST in my division (Females 30-39).


And FOURTH overall!


Not only that, but I was also featured in Steve's OSideNews article about the race! He even included a quote from me and a couple pictures in the article that I was in!

CHECK IT OUT! And I even got a Phoenix Marathon SHOUT OUT!

I would consider it QUITE the successful day! My first trail 5K, a nice shiny new PR, 4th place overall, 2nd female finisher, and 1st place in my division! Now it may NEVER happen again, so that just means I will have to live it up for now ;)

The bling and commemorative pin

Love that the logo has a face in the ribbon

Do you prefer large races? Have you ever placed in your division before? 

1 comment:

Scallywag said...

Well done :)

Ive never placed anywhere but I do like the smaller races.

Also nice new PB!