Last weekend the fam and me packed up and headed to Carlsbad for what turned out to be one of the funniest races I have done. For those of you that haven't done Carlsbad 5000 I highly recommend it. While I am not sure I agree with it being called the fastest 5k (to me a race with two 180 turns is not the fastest) it is pretty fast and SO much fun. The streets are lined with people and if you have someone there to watch you it is great. Standing in one spot my family got to see me three times, which turned out to be just what I needed!
First let me explain what it was like to travel to a race for the first time with my kids. It went something like this. Everyone was super happy at the airport riding the bus, taking escalators, eating ChickDonalds (McDonalds to those of you not in my house) and than we had to wait for our flight to take off. This started the first of many meltdowns to come over the next 6 days. Long story short we finally got to our hotel and got our room fixed in time for us to hit the bed at 2am. Not exactly the normal day of relaxing I like to do before a race. The next morning everyone woke up pretty well as they were looking forward to Legoland, but by the time we got to the race they were already wanting to know when we could leave. Once we got everything in order I went for my warm up and left Kevin, my cousin and the boys in charge of my bag and flats with the strict instructions of being back to the meeting point in exactly 24 minutes. I later learned that is pretty stressful when you are trying to lug two kids through a large crowd to Starbucks and back, but he did a great job and got me off to the race in time.
I went into the race knowing I had been hitting my workouts the last week great and could hit 16:35ish on a perfect day but as always the main objective was to better my time from last year and of course win :) At first I was pretty disappointed to not get into the elite race, I felt like getting to run in a pack of runners would definitely pull me to my best time, but I also knew I needed to suck it up and just run.
I got to the starting line and felt pretty ready to go.......the gun went off and immediately I was trapped. What the heck? The women to my right decided that they needed to make a b line to the left side of the road for the turn that was still a quarter mile away. In my typical panic mode I did a little jostling and made my way in front of the ladies as my heal was clipped. The next few seconds felt like slow motion, I thought for sure I was going down. Luckily I caught myself and settled in to my pace. About two seconds later this girl goes FLYING by me. My first thought of course is stick to her stay close. Which I did until the 400 mark when I realized we were going faster than I wanted to be going this early. So I went with plan B keep on my own pace and keep her in your sights. As she crossed mile 1 I saw she was at 5:04 and I came across right on schedule for me 5:11. Hitting my mark calmed me a little and I came to terms with the fact that the girl in front of me looked strong and I was probably going to lose. I'm not saying I gave up its more I came to terms with the fact that if I could just hold my same distance behind her she would pull me to a faster time. Unfortunately when I got to mile two I was the same distance behind her and she was slowing because I hit 5:31. So back to freak out mode! This is where I made a big mistake. There was a high school boy in my race for some reason and at mile 2 he caught up to and passed me. Looking back I should have just latched on to him and gone. I did use his energy and at a little over 2 1/2 miles I caught up to the girl in first place and pushed to the finish for a 8 second win in 16:52. I than had some mixed emotions, my time was so slow but I was able to pull myself together and get the win,it was 15 seconds faster than my time from last year and I defended my win from last year. So I am a two time Carlsbad 5000 champion, even if it is of the old lady 30-39 race :) Than I saw my kids and decided I had to be happy. Chase and Tripp have never gone to a big race with me and they were so pumped up. Chase was so excited he cam running up to the gate saying "Mommy you did so good, I didn't think you were going to win"
At Carlsbad they do the awards ceremony for each race about ten minutes after the top three cross. Chase and Tripp asked me if they could come up with me to get my award and of course I said yes. It was the cutest thing EVER. They immediately took the award from me and Tripp wouldn't put it down or get out of the picture. The photographer wasn't too happy about it but they were so cute! I wasn't about to tell them they couldn't be there. As any parent that is a runner knows, your kids and spouse have to sacrifice a lot of time with you for you to follow your dream. If being in the pictures at the awards ceremony was what they wanted I would let them have all the glory, they deserve it WAY more than I do.
Little did I know making it through the race was nothing. The next four days I spent quality time with my family in Legoland and Seaworld. And let me tell you that was way more taxing on my body than racing :)