Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Rock 'N' Roll Carlsbad 5000 (All Day 20K) Race Recap

Sunday morning I ran the Rock 'N' Roll Carlsbad 5000 (or, I guess I should say I ran it FOUR TIMES because I participated in the #AllDay20K option which had you run the 5K back-to-back in all four categories).

But I'm getting ahead of myself... Let's go back to the beginning. Saturday morning the hubby and I went up to Orange to run our #TeamSparkle Virtual 5K with one of the scheduled group runs {if you haven't read or at least scrolled through the recap and have a couple extra seconds, you can check it out HERE}.

Four of the six ladies who will be tackling this year's #Ragnar4Rett journey

I knew the Expo for the Carlsbad 5000 was only open until 1pm, so once we got home we ate a quick lunch, took showers and then jumped in the car to head over. (We live about 3 miles away, so technically we could have walked or biked, but since we were cutting it close on time and wanted to bring the pup we decided to just drive.)

Once our bibs were in hand, we made our way over to the shirt pick-up and through the Expo. (PS If you're expecting your normal Rock 'N' Roll Expo, this is not... It is more of a street fair type set up, with pop-up tents and booths in a parking lot that you can meander through (including my beloved {and local} PRO Compression). There are still a handful of vendors, but just a heads up that it is definitely not the same scale as other RnR races. And because we got there close to closing time there were already quite a few brands who had packed up and left for the day.)

The artist who designed the shirt graphics had it painted on the side of the building.
Obviously I HAD to get a picture in front of it with my bib!

Seeing as we had an early morning Saturday for the #TeamSparkle Group Run, it was pretty easy to hit the hay at a decent time - after I was sure to have everything I needed for the following morning that is.

My #FlatCarlee: Sacramento Stripe PRO socks, yellow Handful bra, white
Sparkle Athletic skirt
, gray tank, homemade heart hat (that reminded me of a
CareBear...), white and blue QALO silicone wedding bands, blue and yellow
Momentum Jewelry wraps
, yellow RoadID, my Garmin Forerunner 735XT,
and my Brooks Ghost with lightning bolt Shwings.

Because I was running the #AllDay20K, that meant I would need to be to the starting line for the first race (which was the Men's Master's Heat at 6:55am). My goal was to be up by 5:15am so I could be out the door by 6:15am, over to the race by 6:30am and to the start by 6:40am.

I love local races and not having to get up extra early to get to them
(I realize this looks early, but had I needed to drive somewhere other
than Carlsbad the alarms would have started MUCH earlier!)

As per usual, I was up before my first alarm, but that's alright. I checked the weather and it looked like it was going to be a perfect morning (but, let's be real, that is why we pay the big bucks to live here... almost every day is picture perfect!).

I was slightly nervous about parking, since it's only street parking, but thankfully it was still super chill around 6:30am when I showed up and found a spot about two blocks from the start (PS When the hubby came down closer to 10am for his wave, he snagged a spot right by my car, so at least the pair of us didn't have any issues with parking.).


I made my way over to the #AllDay20K lounge and was able to check my bag in the private area (super easy and convenient). I was stoked they had an area for us All-Day'ers to congregate at - it was even stocked with refreshments so we didn't have to grab them at the finish line after each race. (There were even private port o potties - SCORE!)

My game plan was to run the first race for me (I have done ZERO speed work since before my BQ race in October so I'm a little freaked out about trying to race #Ragnar4Rett this weekend and kind of wanted to gauge where my fitness level was at), the second race with friends, the third race for picture taking, and the fourth race with the hubby.

My Garmin Forerunner 735XT was ready for the day to start!

I knew the first race would be the coolest temperature wise, so I decided I would push the pace a bit but not overly kill my legs, seeing as I had three more races afterwards. I didn't look at my watch during the race, just tried to comfortably push myself the entire way. I told myself I would love to be under 24 minutes (averaging 7:30s or so) and I am happy to report that I was able to knock it out in sub 23 (which is within 30 seconds of my PR)!

After finishing, I made my way back to the "lounge", drank a bottle of water and waited for everyone else to show up. It sounded like it wasn't just me, but everyone was super excited with the way that the first race went.

Henry was even able to nab a barefoot PR!

For the second race, I asked Sarah if it'd be okay for me to tag along. She said it was totally fine and we agreed on a 9-9:30 pace for the second go-around. It was great getting able to chat with her (I had seen her a few weeks prior in Phoenix but you can never have too much friend time) and also take in the sights and sounds that Carlsbad has to offer.

Photo credit: Sarah

The funny thing is, the hubby and I run the majority of the course every weekend, so I am very familiar with where all the dips and turns come in. But even though we run it all the time, you can never get sick of the views!


When Sarah and I finished, we checked out our time and apparently we were over-achievers - finishing with an average pace of 8:40/ mile (and even beating Sarah's first race by 5 seconds).

Lots of friends were coming and going throughout the morning so it was hard snagging a picture with everyone, but I was able to get a shot before Ivie and AJ left to head back home for the morning (AJ ran in the first race and had to work at Disneyland that afternoon so Ivie ran the second race because they couldn't hang out too long).

The bling is great, the courses are challenging, but THE COMMUNITY
is what makes running AMAZEBALLS!

The rest of the crew made our way over to the starting area for the third race. I asked Linzie, Sarah, Megan and Sarah if I could tag along, knowing running with friends is always better than running alone. They welcomed me with open arms (runners are awesome like that). Due to the train schedule (I think that's what the hold up was), they had to delay the start of the third race by about 25 minutes. Thankfully we were able to entertain ourselves with selfies.

Floating heads are a MUST!

I swear, it was like deja vu... Same national anthem (FYI The signer knocked it out of the park each and every time!), same starting line, same countdown... but AMAZING nonetheless! It was all fun and games until the train track decided to jump out and bite Megan within the first .3 of the race... Yup, she took a tumble (not only was it super graceful, she had the ability to tuck and roll AND pause her Garmin mid-fall). Since it was within the first quarter mile or so of the race it was pretty congested, but thankfully we were able to get her to the side without being trampled. Once she was able to take a breath and assess out the situation, she realized she'd have some road rash, but everything else seemed okay.

Source@runmeganrun's Instagram account

Since Linzie ran a 50K trail race the prior weekend and Megan broke her streak of not falling during a road race, we decided the only goal for this 5K was to enjoy friends (with a secondary goal of no one else tipping over ;)).

Photo credit: Linzie

We made sure to cheer for our friends and fellow participants, thank the volunteers and spectators (which were awesome ALL MORNING LONG) and take in the scenery. I know this course is touted as the "World's Fastest 5K" due to all the World Records set here, but it is also one of the most beautiful (at least in my opinion)!

Make sure to take a second to thank the volunteers! They are there
out of the goodness of their hearts making your race day the best
it can be! They're often there before you arrive and after you leave!

Like I told my friends, I realize it's a rough life, but I will take one
for the team and live in this slum paradise ;) 

Even with the "pit stop" for Megan's fall, we were still able to knock out a respectable 5K time of 32 minutes. [PS She stopped by the medical tent after the race to get checked out, but aside from the cuts and bruises everything's a-ok!]

These three are AMAZING! If you don't know them, you should!

I guess I didn't mention it, but because I am lucky enough to be a part of the #RockNBlog crew, we receive a Global Tour Pass (which means we get free entry into any of the Rock 'N' Roll races for 2017) - but you know me, I'll ALWAYS #KeepItReal, no matter how my registration fee gets paid. With 100 of us bloggers, it's always a MUST to try and snag a group shot at the RnR events. Although it was difficult to get everyone together at one time (the problems with everyone being in different waves), we were still able to get a good chunk of us together for a photo after the third race.

The hubby made his way down before the fourth race so he could run with me. (Technically I would have been in the fourth wave had I not done the #AllDay20K because it was the men and women's 30-39 year old race.) I had asked him if he had a goal - saying I was fine either taking it easy or pushing the pace with him. He said he wanted to push it a little from the start to see how he felt, but that he would be fine if we needed to pull back and just take it easy.

I may have "helped" him pick out his gear so we were a little matchy-matchy.

Ryan's normal race pace is about 10 minutes/ mile. When he said we would push it I was assuming that meant maybe a 9 minute mile pace. Well, when my watch beeped at the first mile and we were running in the low 8's I knew this could either be a really good or really bad thing... Either he would be able to stick with the pace and snag a PR or he would blow up by mile 2 and we'd have to do a bit of walking at the end.

The hubby was looking on Instagram under the hashtag #Carlsbad5000 and said he saw us! To our surprise a runner near us had a friend spectating and posted some video. We're chugging along side of her so I thought I'd share it.

A post shared by Alyssa Marie Hustedt (@alyssahustedt) on

I knew Ryan was pushing his limits, but I tried my best to stay a couple steps ahead of him and keep my mouth closed except for a few encouraging words (when he gets in "the zone" he doesn't appreciate me chatting his ear off... he just wants to put his head down and go). I was surprised at how well he was doing, especially since it was getting warmer.

When we rounded the corner on Carlsbad Blvd and he saw the finish line he took off. (He is ALWAYS able to out kick me... although I have to imagine some of it has to do with the fact that he is 8 inches taller than me.) I was so proud to see him KILL IT (even if it's a little unfair that he beats me in the end)!

I ended up crossing right around 25:25 on my watch and knew he beat me by a couple seconds. Once the official results were posted we knew it... HE GOT A PR! (His previous one was 25:37 and he ran the Carlsbad 5000 in 25:19!)

So proud of this guy! Although now I think he may have been pulling my leg
this whole time, having me believe he is a 10 minute miler...

That was the PERFECT way to cap off my #AllDay20K race! And, if you know Ryan, you know the perfect way to cap off his PR was the BEER GARDEN ;) Pizza Port brewed two beers for the event and he had to give them a try!

And while we were chatting with friends and celebrating our accomplishments, we were able to watch the start of the elite men's and women's races from inside the beer garden (talk about convenient)!

Once the men went by, Ryan added his cups to the ever growing pyramid and we made our way to the Carlsbad sign. (I wanted to take my #MedalMonday picture there.) We got there just in time to see the guys coming in to finish.

I had taken a video of the guys coming around the corner towards the finish line,
but you could only see them for a split second (it reminded me of NASCAR), so this
is a screen grab of the winner flying by us on his way to the finish line.

After the elites finished, it was time to grab a picture and head out (we had an event to go to before heading home).

Since this was the first year for doing the #AllDay20K, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect (I figured I'd use it towards my #Ragnar4Rett training since I will have to run 6 times over the course of 24 hours). I have to say, I had a BLAST!

Overall, my thought is - if you aren't racing all four of the 5Ks, I think the 20K is definitely a doable distance (no matter your pace). The only issue that I noticed was with the medals. The #AllDay20K runners were supposed to get their bling from the lounge. Well, since the majority of us were finishing at the same time, the line to collect our medals was pretty long (also, they didn't have the official results from the last race, so had to guesstimate whether those folks were to receive the "Top 250" medal or a standard finisher medal). Other than that it was a great morning!

Always a pleasure to run and hang out with this lady! 

I really liked the shirts this year. The 5K'ers got the dark blue short sleeved shirts and the 20K'ers got the long sleeve royal blue shirts. And, guess what?! The back isn't covered with sponsors - WHOOO HOOOO!

I would definitely suggest putting this race on your calendar (whether it is the 5K or the #AllDay20K). And if you aren't from the area, why not make it a whole racecation?! I know the distance may be a little short for some folks to consider traveling for, but the area is WELL WORTH the trip!

Just in case you were interested in my official results, here they are.

PS If you register HERE by April 9th, it is only $25 for the 5K (and $70 for the #AllDay20K), so don't miss out!


Have you ever done back-to-back races?


ShanB said...

I did the Twin Lobster Challenge in Rockport, MA once (mainly because of the fun name). My friends convinced me to run the half marathon with them and when registering I saw the challenge - 1 mile race + the half. Wasn't really trained for the half, but what's one more mile? But although not back to back, I do love the Disney Dumbo Double Dare!

This all day 20k looks like a blast, hoping to be living closer to California soon so that I can start signing up for all the oceanfront races! Way to rock every 5k!

Unknown said...

What an interesting race concept - I've never heard of anything like it. My only "back-to-back" races were Dopey, and those were 24 hours apart ;). There's a local race here in Maryland that does a 5K then a Half Marathon I think - maybe I'll have to look into that!

San said...

How fun! Sounds - and looks - like you had the best time (and you always have the best race outfits!)