It’s been a beautiful weekend in Southern California. The sun smiled down, the ocean rolled along and the Carlsbad 5000 went off without a hitch.
Yesterday I drove up to Carlsbad to grab my bib and meander around the expo. I spotted the FlipBelt booth out of the corner of my eye, bee-lined for it and ended up buying a belt in their “neon punch” color. A FlipBelt is basically an attractive looking fanny pack or running belt, to hold keys, cards, phones, etc. I like the sneakiness of the product, in that it simply looks like part of my running shorts. I might cock a skeptical glance if I saw a guy wearing one, but for women they’re perfect. If you haven’t heard of the company, go check them out.
I didn’t run yesterday, but after the expo I went to a local garden to volunteer with office peers. I dug a lot of holes and helped set up a grapevine. Pathetically, I have blisters on my palms from using a shovel for about an hour—it’s a strange feeling to have blisters on a body part other than my feet.
To ease the blister pain I went to happy hour with the roommate. Happy hour turned into a walking tour of all the craft beer bars within a mile or so of our house. I had some Pliny The Elder, Sculpin IPA and Hess IPA. I was feeling pretty silly, but managed to get myself in bed early, drink excess amounts of water and wake up feeling fine.
Now on to the good stuff. Race day.
Today was defined by Garmin troubles. I woke up to a breakfast of left over pizza and coffee. Maybe not the best meal for race morning, but I didn’t feel a negative effect from it. Driving down my block I realized I left my Garmin at home and ran back to get it!
At the race start, about ten minutes before the race, I realized I had again left my Garmin in the car. Luckily, my parking spot was a mere two minute run from the start line and I was able to squeak in a warm-up jog to go get it.
I didn’t do as well as I wanted in the race itself, running a 21-flat which averages to a 6:45 pace. I would have been happy with this time, if I hadn’t busted out three miles in 21 minutes at the end of a seven mile tempo run on Thursday. In hindsight, I did place 37 out of 933 women, so that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Additionally, it was the first time since high school that I’ve raced something shorter than 13.1! Running short distances is hard, man.
Bonus points to the race organizers for giving out medals that double as bottle openers.
After the race I planned to head back out for 16 miles because I technically had a 19-miler planned for the day. After a good 20 or 30 minutes of running I looked at my wrist only to realize my Garmin had died. Well, fuck it—those were my exact thoughts. Instead I ran combined of about 2 hours after my race, taking stops to watch both elite races. I have no idea how far or fast I ran.
Now on to the impressive stuff.
Both the men and the women smoked the course. I positioned myself to see the runners at around mile marker, the two-mile marker and the final stretch down Carlsbad Village Drive. I’m still blown away by the times—the first male runner came in at 13:13, Bernard Lagat broke an 18-year old American record with a 13:19 (did I mention he is 39?) and the first woman ran a 15:06!
In sum, the day was a success by all parties involved.