DAY BEFORE RACE
We both worked and came home and made pasta for dinner (hilarity ensued. I forced my boyfriend to cook and he doesn't like to read directions all the time) and I worked on one of my papers while stretching and I was in bed by 9:30. One mistake I made while prepping for this race was testing my intervals on Thursday. I went out and stayed way too fast so my legs were pretty tired. I was able to roll and stretch them out pretty well but I got in bed about 30 min later than I had hoped.
We got up at 5:10 and got ready and were out the door at Starbucks by 6:10. I ended up making my tea with breakfast pretty strong and got a coffee but only had a bit of it as I was getting jittery.
We didn't hit much traffic and got to the stadium pretty easy even though I missed our original exit as the signs from the 5 in that area confuse me (why have different names for the same exit?). We were parked by 7. That gave us time to walk over, get our bibs and shirts,exchange our vouchers and head back to the car.
Bib pickup was pretty busy. You had to search for your number and then go get in the correct line then get your Tshirt (which they did not have a small! It's annoying to register for a race in September and not get the shirt size you ordered). I wish they had sent out bib numbers ahead of time but The area to find your bib was a zoo! I got my bib right away and it was fast because they had an electronic waiver! Nothing to print out or sign, it was on my bib that I had signed it so just ID check and hand over of the bib.
With this race, we got a free voucher for the game that night but we couldn't go so on the walk back we decided to use it for the game after the Disneyland half! We could redeem it after we finished running.
We got ready in the parking lot (which for me took forever so next time I need to have my belt ready to go) and walked over to the stadium to use real restroom. The lines were pretty long but we both got through quickly and were able to jog and stretch over to the start.
After the restroom issue we headed to the corral. There was no self seeding just a big open space and we ended up in corral 2. We decided to get as close to the front as possible and in front of any strollers or big groups as best as we could.
They had speakers but no one could hear anything to the point we barely heard the National Anthem start! Corral 1 went off and we walked to the start line and had about a 8 min wait until we got to go.
The race course started in the parking lot then some up and down on streets around the stadium before running through Angels stadium and to the finish line.
I started off too fast (averaging a 7:24 pace-what?) to try and get ahead of the crowd and slowed down from there. I tried to stay on the sidewalk so I could be out of the way to do my intervals but also to try not to have to weave between people.
My first mile was about 8:40 pace and by that point we had caught up
To the end of wave one and it was a lot of weaving. I tried to stay to the side and it helped a lot.
The sun was out in full force and it was getting warmer. The water stop was moved from the map until almost mile 2. I took a few extra 10 sec walk breaks because my calves were pretty stiff but kept on. I saw Ralph and we high fives (it's our thing when we run together. We prefer different routes at the rose bowl so when we cross we always high five).
We entered the parking lot (the opposite way that you exit during DL half and Avengers) and it was our water stop. Yay! I got a full cup of water and drank it down. I even splashed a little on my face to keep me cool and kept going. It was a bit after mile 2 and I was pretty tired at this point and was still bobbing and weaving but had past most of the walkers at this point. Even with my coffee, I was still feel tired but knew I just needed to push a bit more.
There was a second mini water stop (seriously a gulp) and decided to take it and proceeded to choke. FAIL! I had to walk a few seconds to make sure I wasn't going to throw up.
As we turned into the stadium I saw we were merging with the Fun Run and knew I was in trouble. It was a ton of kids and as soon as we headed down into the stadium I had to slow down from the merging. I knew my sub 28:00 was probably in jeopardy but I decided to keep pushing through as best as I could.
I walked coming out of the stadium (Cool sight but not as cool as the DL half when it's filled with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts!) and walked up the incline before knowing it was just around the stadium to the finish. I took one final short walk break (5 sec) then ran as hard and as fast as I could.
Finish time: 28:08! New PR!
Not going to lie my first instinct was sadness. I wanted that sub 28 and definitely could have gone 8 sec faster of it wasn't for the crazy weaving on the course and the merging with the fun run. Honestly self-seeding would have fixed that. And it would have helped if I hadn't choked on water-Ha!
But then it clicked-I just ran a PR that was over 90 SECONDS faster than the week before and the main thing that changed was me doing hard intervals (2:35 to :25). I also ran my fastest mile ever (8:40) and for that I am so proud!
Yes this course was also flatter than Santa Anita but I'm assuming that allowed for maybe an extra minute at most.
My boyfriend also PRed (26:21) but he was more impressed with the difference intervals make (it's still a bit of a non-believer) and is finally starting to believe everything I've been telling him.
Since we finished pretty early, we were able to walk around to all of the booths and get free food samples and coupons. Before we headed back to the car, we redeemed our vouchers for tickets after the Disneyland Half (we will be down there already so why not?) and walked around a bit and stretched. The traffic leaving took awhile but we made it out in one piece.
- A great value! I paid 30 bucks with a discount code from the DL half, we got a shirt, medal and a voucher for a free game.
- This race was super fun and pretty well organized.
- I loved the online waiver and bib pickup was a breeze.
- The medal and shirt are cute.
- Not having the shirt sizes people ordered was annoying. Hopefully they can have a more accurate count for next year.
- Self seeded corrals that go off in waves would help ALOT and would keep people from being too crowded or weaving. (Model it after the Santa Anita 5k and that race had more people!)
- Have more restrooms open. The lines were a bit long in the stadium.
- More projection on the mic for the stage. You couldn't hear anything unless you were right next to it.
- I personally would leave a bit earlier from my house and get down there quicker. I think being in Wave 1 would have helped immensely.
Anyone else ever run the Angels 5k? When is your next 5k race?