Carmel Valley 5k (18:40)

As most people know, we got stuck in San Diego for an extra few days.  Since we were stuck on a weekend, we looked for another local race.  After Pring at the Carlsbad half and spending the next week enjoying steep hikes and runs, neither of us had any race goals.  Until the day before we didn’t even know we would be racing again.

San Diego is also much hillier than where I live in NJ, so all of my runs were on a much different terrain.  I loved it though!

I knew the race wouldn’t be another PR but who cares?  I enjoy running and thought it would be fun to do another race.

We got to the race a lot later than we had hoped and we had to cut the warmup short.  We got around 2.5 miles and quickly ran to the start.

To my surprise, they had self-seeded, corrals with rope dividers.  There were over 1000 racers and luckily I found a spot near the front.  Before the race started, they let the corral ropes down and all of a sudden 20 young children headed to the very front.  HA, I guess the ropes defeated the purpose.

The race started at 7:30 and we were off.  The course immediately went uphill and then back into a dirt trail.  It was a gorgeous view.  I passed two women and found myself as first female overall.

There were a few cracks in the trail but nothing to prevent speed or footing.  We passed the first-mile marker just under 5 minutes.  I thought to myself, “wow I have gotten so fast these days”.  I knew the mile marker was not in the correct spot… My Garmin beeped about 40 seconds later.  I did run my run my fastest mile in about two years (5:39).

The second mile began rolling hills as well as uphills.  It reminded me a lot of the mile hill repeats I have been running back home.  It was one of the hardest miles I’ve run in a while.

By the end of the mile, my quads were screaming.  I heard a woman coming up behind me.  She made it seem effortless as I’m about to vomit on the side of the road.  I hit the second mile in 6:19.  I thought: hopefully I can, at least, maintain that pace.

The last mile was a lot less stressful.  I just focused on the end.  My quads and muscles were tired.  The 5k is a funny distance, you feel great, and then you feel awful.

It’s all of the pain, and lactic acid of a longer event compressed into the final mile, every single time.  I was extremely tired but focused on the finish line.  I could see my husband as well as several people including the women in the finish shoot and I thought, “why can’t that be me”.  Luckily it wasn’t too far off.  I ran the last mile in 6:07.

From Instagram
From Instagram

I finished in 18:40 and second women overall.  I was pleasantly surprised since unlike my PR, the race wasn’t in optimal conditions. I’m glad we signed up for the race and enjoyed another California race.

Questions for you:
Is your area hilly?
Have you ever gotten stranded somewhere because of a storm?

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  1. My area is pretty hilly. In order to get to an area where I won’t be stopped by stoplights every few feet, I had to start every long run with a 3 mile climb. It’s only steep for the first mile or so, but it’s still uphill for a while after that. At least it makes the final miles of my long runs more bearable!

  2. My area is pancake flat. I don’t mind races with hills, but I also would prefer to know there will be hills so I can prepare myself! I got stuck in Oregon a few years ago when we got a huge ice storm at home. The airport we were flying into (Denver) was open and flights were coming in/out, but the interstate to get home was closed so they let us move our flights. I won’t complain about spending extra time in Oregon rather than at home during an ice storm!

  3. My area is fairly flat, but I think hill training is so important! I try to drive to an area with more hills, but it’s a bit out of the way. I have never been stranded due to a storm but it sounds fun– for a day! 🙂

  4. I once drove through a horrific storm with my now Wife in the French Alps. We couldn’t see the front of the car, thunder/lightning/ the rain was really bad and it was a single track road with a sheer drop to one side so we decided to pull over in the next village.
    The only place open was a bar so we went inside and bought coffee. There were 4 other patrons who we got talking to, I don’t think they got passers by very often, maybe we were their chance to hear news from yonder. We managed to converse in terrible French and bits of English, we call it Franglais over here.
    Anyway, it turned out that one of them (the hard-as-nails chap sporting a Sony Walkman on his belt) had just been released from prison that day for assault on the Gendarmes. They promised us that if we stayed they could get rid of the family who ran the bakery and install us as the new owners by the morning. We were pretty terrified at this point, fight-or-flight in full mode and we took the first opportunity we could to get out of there! Better to chance our luck on the ridiculously dangerous road!

  5. Even though Seattle is super hilly, most of the running trails on the Eastside are false flats with just a few speed bumps unless you go trail running. Congrats on another great race!

  6. That a great race you ran,well done hollie.
    The only hills I know of is in haddenfield
    The 6.5 evening run.
    I didn’t get stranded but I had an 7 hour layover in Denver.boring ..
    Happy running

  7. Chicago = SO NOT HILLY. >:O

    Texas = hilly.:)

    I haven’t ever been stranded because of a storm. I love that you took advantage of the sitch!

  8. Congrats Hollie – that’s awesome!!
    Calgary is pretty dang flat, but we’re 3000 ft above sea level, so I like to choose goal races at sea level because it just feels easier to run harder and faster, though they’re usually hillier than where I train.

  9. You are on fire, my friend. Cracking that 19 min mark over and OVER! So inspiring.

    It is pretty hilly in the Lehigh Valley. A good mix of terrain. For flat runs, I need to go to rail trails. Otherwise my runs are generally rolling hills!

  10. Gah! The pain train of the 5K is REAL and you ride it like a pro!! Nice job Hollie 🙂

  11. great time with all those hills. when i was in san fran and saw people running i was in serious awe. its pretty flat where i am, i could not imagine running those crazy hills day in and day out.

  12. Jeez, an 18:40 5k is so impressive, especially since you had just run a half marathon! This sounds like it was my type of vacation 🙂 I can’t wait to get out to run some races in California, it sounds beautiful out there.

  13. Way to make the most of those few extra days in San Diego! Aside from a few hills in Central Park, NYC is relatively flat.

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