On Sunday I ran in my second 5k of the weekend (see my first recap here), the Shelter Island 5k. Normally, I don't like to do 5ks, preferring to spend my race money on half marathons and triathlons. I've been doing a few 5ks recently, but only because my 8 year old son has started to run and I like to do short races with him. But I haven't done a 5k on my own (sans son) in years. I changed my mind for this one, though. My cousin came out to visit from the east coast, and he just started running and doing 5ks. He really wanted to run a 5k in San Diego on his trip, so we both signed up. I also got two of my neighbors, who had never done a 5k or a race of any sort, to sign up.
With a 7:30 race time, we had to leave the house early. I always like to get to races with plenty of time to spare, in case of getting lost, traffic, etc, so we left the house at 6:00. It was daylight savings that day, so the early wake-up call didn't feel so bad. We easily found our destination, which was near the San Diego Airport, parked and went to the race site. We picked up our bibs, and then had a LOT of time to kill before the race started.
I had no real goals for the race. Usually my race times for a half marathon are at about 11:30 minute mile, maybe slower. On last week's 10k I had a 10:56 minute mile pace, which was fast for me. I didn't know what to expect out of myself on a 5k without my son to slow me down. I decided to play it by ear.
When the race started, there were a LOT of walkers in front of me. I had to do a lot of weaving to get around them, then kicked it into high gear to pass them. The "high gear" mode seemed easy for me, and I was shocked when I looked at my Garmin: a 9:40 pace. I NEVER run in the 9's....I'm always thrilled when my pace is in the 10 minute mile range! Half a mile later I looked down again----and it still said 9:40. What? Who was this speedy woman taking over my body?
The rest of the race my pace stayed in that range. Whenever I would look at my Garmin I would see anything between 9:20 and 9:50. I couldn't believe it! I was fast! I did have to take a few walk breaks, which I know is kind of sad for a 5k but I couldn't sustain that fast pace for 3.1 miles straight. The course was beautiful---into Point Loma, and around Shelter Island. The views of the water, boats and palm trees were gorgeous. I was glad I had chosen this race for my cousin, as he was impressed with the views.
With a final burst to the finish, I set a 5k PR with about a 10:06 average pace (which included the walk breaks). I was so happy and so proud! I'm used to running these shorter distances either with my son or my dog, and I guess if I were to run by myself I could get speedier. After the race I was able to collect my t-shirt (cotton, but nice) and goody bag. There was a champagne breakfast, but my cousin and his girlfriend (who cheered us on) didn't want to go. We decided to nix the shuttle back to the start, and walked the mile back to the car.
This was a very fun race for me. It was awesome doing it with my cousin and neighbors (who both had a blast as well) and I was thrilled to set such a great PR for myself, and discover an untapped speed.