I ended up leaving work early on Friday which got me home at 515 and enough time to head to the mall for package pickup. Traffic wasn't too bad but parking was a zoo at the mall! It took me like 10 min to find a spot-spring break crowds, close to dinner, furious 7 coming out and it being good Friday were probably the reasons.
Bib pickup was easy but it was a bit confusing with gift bags. One area was out of them and one wasn't and since the expo was mostly high schoolers(the race benefits local high schools), they were just as confused but I was able to get both of our bags.
I decided to grab dinner since it was 630 and I still have errands to run. I had a chipotle kids meal and can't recommend it enough. It comes with 2 tacos, your choice of meat, 2 sides, chips or fruit and a drink. I got Barbacoa, white rice, corn, and chips. Carb loading for the win! And only 5 bucks too. I was plenty full after but decided to treat myself with ritas since it is so close to the mall.
Afterwards, I went grocery shopping and to michaels to get stuff for Ralph's niece's easter basket. Got home and got all settled in and prepped for the race and was asleep around 1030.
We got up at 6:15 to head out by 7:00. Pretty uneventful morning getting ready and traffic wasn't too bad heading to the race. We were parked by 7:20. I woke up really thirsty so I decided to drink a ton of liquid and had to use the bathroom. We walked over to the start line and I asked where the restroom was and was told to go into the track. I decided to use that time as a warm up. Well I get halfway there and ask for directions and get directed back to the start! Ugh what a waste of time. The portos were behind the start line and hard to see but I was able to use the restroom with plenty of time.
They had the bugle guy play songs which was great and the crowd was pretty large-on the website it says they had almost 8000 people!
The corrals were self-seeding and a wave start with a rope in between that volunteers held up. Ralph had plans to go faster than me so I started between the 10-11 min mile and he started between 9-10. Or so we thought because we actually started at the same time! Not sure how because there was a rope in between us.
The start line was great for this race as it is through the actual santa Anita start gate. It was narrow so I decided to take my time through the gate as the starting gate was beyond that.
As I stated last week in my goals post, my goal was to run a 5k straight with only walking during the one water stop. I decided on walking there as i figured it would be crowded and hard to maneuver but also important to make sure I was getting water. I'm still getting over this cold and I've been drinking more water than usual.
I was amazed with how with the waves (about 2 min apart) people mostly were in the correct corral and how open the entire course was. There were a few times I got boxed in a bit but nothing too bad at all.
I took off a bit faster than I wanted so I spent time pulling back on speed. I figured I could turn it on later in the race. The weather was in the 50s so it was great racing weather but also the sun was definitely out so it was INSANELY bright.
Now for racing a 5k (which I have only done once!) is it just over so fast but I still had to be careful of starting off too fast.
Before I knew it we were in the Arboretum. Ralph and I had always talked about going so I was happy to see it. It was insanely gorgeous and I'm already planning on going back soon. Since I wasn't stopping, I don't have many pics but the area reminded me of Port Orleans: Riverside and Grand Floridian put together which is pretty random.
My first mile was 9:44 which is where I started to realize I could potentially PR if I can just hang on. There was a volunteer calling out splits which wasn't helpful at all since it was from when the Elites started.
The Arboretum had some slight hills and I could feel myself getting tired so I was trying to hold back. Right after the halfway point was a water stop as we exited the Arboretum to head back to the race track. I had a shot blok, walked there and kept going. They had a massive garbage bin which made clean up easy but people still threw their cups on the ground-crazy!
Mile 2 split was 10:00 which makes sense with the walking. I knew I had energy left and decided to push the pace with a few downhills.
Mile 3 came on the track and I ran it in 8:48! knew I only needed about another minute to finish and decided to push to not only see if I could go sub 30 but also PR! I gave it all I had for the final .15 (boo for weaving!) and ran it in 7:41!
New PR! :29:43! And I did it running a straight 5k! The speed work and core work I have been doing is paying off.
Not going to lie, I was ecstatic! I was not expecting that at all and am excited to see what I can do at the Angels Foundation 5k next weekend with intervals.
Ralph also PRed (it was his first raced 5k so automatic PR) with 27:16!
We got our medals (has a bottle opener on it!) and food (water, banana, oranges, Clif bars) and then also got chocolate milk and a free bag of gluten free pasta! We got to see the Sunset Strip half medal and get an update on parking. We visited the other booths and headed out to shower and relax before the Derby that afternoon.
We headed back to Santa Anita to see the Derby around 3pm. We got to see one horse race and then the actual Derby. The Santa Anita Derby is one of the last races before the Kentucky Derby and it was easily won by undefeated Dortmund-watch for him at the Kentucky Derby! We even won 3 dollars off of him (we only beat what we want to lose which was 5 bucks haha). It was a new experience for us and we both really enjoyed it. We got a free ticket to go back again later in the season so we plan on going with some friends and making a day out of it.
What was the last 5k you raced? Have you ever been to a horse race before?