My third 5K of 2013 was a doozy! In fact, it almost didn’t happen at all. Because of traveling and health complications in the family, I got a little sidetracked from my health and fitness goals, and almost let my race-a-month resolution fall by the wayside.
Luckily for me, I had a friend who wanted to do the races with me, who I certainly wasn’t going to let down!
I had told her about my resolution before my first 5K, and she was eager to join me in my quest! We’d originally mapped out potential races for March, and on a whim I dropped her a text to see if she was still interested earlier in the month. She jumped right on board and texted me repeatedly to remind me/follow up on our status with the races.
Which is how I ended up at the Anaheim Angels 5K on March 30, 2013.
Unfortunately, because so much of it was planned at the last minute, I ended up not only not getting that day off of work, but closing the night before! Which of course meant I wasn’t off until 11:30 pm. Thankfully, my friend let me crash on her couch, so I wouldn’t have to drive down the morning of, but that still meant getting to Anaheim around 12:15 am! On top of this, we had to wake up early to pick up our bibs at registration because we couldn’t make it the day before; and my friend had to work at 10 am the morning of!
Busy, busy, busy!
Nevertheless, we got ourselves out of bed, practically inhaled some peanut buttered toast and water, and were off to the race!
We ended up getting there early which meant we had plenty of time to get ourselves set up, hit the bathrooms, and check out the awesome view of the empty stadium!
Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t find any merch to buy; so if I want to keep up my goal of wearing something from each race at each of my races, I’ll have to just leave the nifty little shoe tag they gave us to track our times with on my shoe!
Finally, we lined up at the starting line, listened to the National Anthem (though I was a little embarrassed – I couldn’t find the flag anywhere), and heard a little mini-speech about what a great job their team was going to do this year.
We had just enough time to put our headphones in, set up our run-tracking apps for timing ourselves, and get going!
We agreed to run separately and meet up at the finish line, since she’s a much more experienced runner than I am and has very different goals. Running the entire race alone was a new experience for me, and I had very mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I was able to listen to my music without feeling like I was being rude, which meant I could amp myself up to my power songs and push myself that way. On the other, I was lacking the distraction of having another person running next to me, and the race ended up feeling a lot like my usual solo runs.
Because I’d taken a hiatus from running, I didn’t have particularly high expectations for myself. After signing up for the race I did a few test runs; my first went abominably and I ended up having to walk almost the whole thing, and my second went alright but I still ended up at a 14:24 mins/mile pace. My goal for the race was to come in under a 14 min/mile average.
I worried about meeting my goal the whole time. When I’d have to take a short walking break, I’d fret that I was sacrificing too much time for comfort. (I kept reminding myself though, that I was working off very little sleep and while reaching my goals was important, it wasn’t something I could afford to injure myself over.)
I was pretty confident that I was coming in close to my goal time as I reached the final stretch of the race: the leg that took us through the actual stadium. We entered the field and traveled from First to Home, and then back out toward Third. This is where the bottleneck happened. Because the race was full of Angels fans, everyone wanted to stop and take pictures of themselves and their kids on the field and in the dugout. I started to worry that the congestion was going to cost me my goal, and kicked it into high gear for the last tiny piece before the finish line!
I made a beeline to where they were handing out water bottles and then looped back to find my friend and compare our times.
It turned out that she’d smashed her goal! She was shooting for around 9-10 mins/mile and came in under 8! But then came the dreaded question: How did I do?
I pulled out my phone to look at the damage:
I was thrilled to see that not only had I come in under a 14 min/mile like I’d wanted to, I’d made it under a 13 min/mile! We were both incredibly pleased with our success! We stopped at a tent to grab some awesome reusable bags, some cute baseball themed pens, and some food before high-tailing it back to her house so she could shower and get ready for work before dropping me off at my car.
All in all, a great race! Even with all of the craziness.
Fun Fact: 2/3 of my races so far this year have taken place at baseball stadiums! The Color Run – Los Angeles took place at Dodgers Stadium!