There’s just something about races. I am willing to bet that even people who despise running can find something to appreciate about a race day. The excitement in the air, the free goodies, the camaraderie of runners…it’s all so infectious!
Last weekend, a few of my best friends and I set out to complete the Carlsbad 5000 which is billed as the “World’s Fastest 5K”. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I think it’s because there have been a lot of world records set at this particular race?
It was the first race for two of my friends. Another one of my friends has done a 5K with me before, so there was a nice range in “experience levels” in terms of running in a race. I personally think that the environment of a race, while exciting, can be a little overwhelming at times, so I was glad that I could somewhat confidently navigate things based on what I’ve seen before. This was the first race I’ve participated in where packet pickup and the expo are not in the same place. I found that a little strange. Parking was also a little hectic because there was no designated place for event parking. You just parked anywhere in the “Village of Carlsbad”.
The race itself is broken up into a bunch of different races with different start times. Here’s what the schedule looked like for that day. They also offer a thing called the “All Day 25K” which basically means you do the course 5 times. I’m assuming you’d start at 7:00 AM and just keep doing each subsequent race. I feel like I’d get tired of doing the same course over and over again, but it’s not a bad way to spend the day if you choose to go that route. The course reminded me a LOT of running in Santa Barbara. There’s no better place to run than by the beach, I think.
All 4 of us started to run together, but we ended up splitting up part way through which I was sad about because I wanted to stay together, but I think that’s pretty common with running.
This was also the first time I have actually gone to the beer garden after a race and it was pretty fun to have a chance to just hang out in such an energetic atmosphere. We ended up getting free shirts there too, which was awesome. That reminds me: the shirts for this race were BEAUTIFUL! Not to mention, they obviously did a really nice job of ordering shirts and sizes because usually by the time I get to packet pickup, there are no longer any shirts in the size I indicated during registration. Since we waited until race day to pick up our packets and shirts, I had already accepted that I was not going to get a shirt that fit appropriately and I was completely surprised when I did. Yay! Finally a race shirt I can actually wear!
Afterwards we went to Souplantation. Maybe it’s been a long time since we’ve all been to Souplantation or maybe it was just this specific location, but it was really fancy! Relatively speaking, anyway. The decor had a more upscale feel. The trays were metal and there was a guy whose sole job seemed to be to line the trays with paper towels. In fact, he wouldn’t let me take a tray without a paper towel. The butter no longer came in those little paper condiment cups we’re so used to. They came in little metal cups. The soup bowls aren’t that iconic red plastic anymore. I can’t even describe what they look like now. Oh, and now the muffins are bigger and the cornbread comes in slices. Weird, but everything is still awesome so you won’t find me complaining! All in all, a great day 🙂
This race brought to light a really important idea: When running, it’s really important to keep it about yourself and not about other people. While it’s really nice sometimes to run with people who help push you to your limits, you sometimes reach a point where you’ve had enough and you really have to just do what you feel is comfortable and right. Yesterday, I tried to run with my boyfriend, who hasn’t run in about 2 years. I’ve tried to run with him before (about 2 years ago, obviously) to horrible results. I figured that since I’ve been training and he hasn’t, I’d probably be able to keep up with him now. No dice. I don’t know how they do it, but it seems like boys are always able to run faster than I do even when they’re not in shape. It’s a little frustrating, but I guess I just have to remember to run for myself and not to keep up with anyone. Lesson learned!