On Sunday, I headed down to the Finish the Ride 5k in Santa Clarita. Why Ride? Why not run? The Finish the Ride also had several bike distances as well as a 10k. So it was primarily a ride. It’s funny; I didn’t plan to do multiple 5ks in a weekend but I found that one and decided to run. I am someone who really enjoys racing. If I could race every day of the week and not get injured and be financially responsible, I probably would. The lack of races is something I’ve struggled with during the pandemic.
Anyway, Santa Clarita is about an hour fifteen from my house. While that seems far, most things are 45 minutes including the first town over. So 1:15 isn’t that bad anymore. I arrived at the Finish the Ride 5k around 7:45, signed up, and did a 3-mile warm-up. I watched the bikers go off and then got in line.
Both the Finish the Ride 5k and 10k went off together with the 10k just going longer. I think they should have had different bibs because it got confusing where the 5k turn-off was. Anyway, the race started at 8:30. I found myself around 6th place between the 5k and 10kers. It was a relatively small race but not the smallest. Between the two races, my guess was the total finishers were around 200 people.
Several people passed me during the first mile. I wasn’t paying attention to my watch as I just wanted to run the best I could for the day. The Finish the Ride 5k went along the local bike path. I liked it for the day but could see how it might get congested in bigger races. The bike path wasn’t entirely flat and the total elevation for the 5k was around 100. I hit the first mile in 6:13. I was reasonably surprised since it was faster than all of my miles the day before.
During the second mile of the Finish the Ride 5k, we ran up some small climbs. My legs began to feel the race before and I didn’t feel great. I passed one woman and found myself as the first female overall. I could see two males who I knew were running the 10k in front. I didn’t know about the other male in front of me but really I didn’t care much. I hit the turnaround in 9:57 and had hope that I could break 20 minutes. I don’t know why I thought that because I was fading fast.
I hit the second mile in 6:34. I just kept powering through. It felt like the third mile was neverending and I knew the woman behind me was catching up. I thought it would be fun to win for women so I just focused on finishing. As got closer to the finish line, I noticed no one was turning towards the finish. I thought I should go this way since it was going to be about 3.1 miles. When I did go that way, someone said “you’re going the wrong way”. I just thought: well, it is what it is, that’s a future me problem. It turned out I was just the first finisher for the 5k and I did go the right way. I crossed the Finish the Ride 5k finish line in 20:11.
While 20:11, is not a PR, I’m happy with my effort. I’ve gotten in some of the best shape of my life by racing my way to fitness and it’s one of the more enjoyable things to me. I plan to run as many 5ks as I can and go from there. You can also find my run on Strava.
Questions for you:
Have you ever won a race?
Do you enjoy back-to-back races?