On a somewhat whim, we decided to go down for the Victory Lap 5k at Dockweiler Beach in Los Angeles. My goal for August is to race as much as possible, mostly shorter distances, and if I had it my way, I would probably only do 5ks. But that option isn’t always available. I digress.
Before the Victory Lap 5k:
Since we were already staying the night in LA from Saturday to Sunday for my husband’s mountain bike race, we decided to drive to LA on Saturday morning. That meant we woke up at 4:15 and left the house around 5 for the 8 am start. (It took us 90 minutes to get there). I had signed up the day before.
When we arrived around 7:20, I went to check in and noticed…I was the first one. I didn’t realize it would be “so small,” but I wasn’t that concerned. I changed and did a 2.5-mile warmup. It was hot and humid, but the weather felt significantly better than in the desert. My warmup felt good, and running in a change of scenery was nice. Right before the start, Theodora came up to me because she was racing too. It’s funny, I was going to text her the night before and ask if she was doing it because it was “so close to her” but I figured she wasn’t.
Victory Lap 5k:
We lined up, and the race started a few minutes late at 8:05. It seemed like no one wanted to be up front, but finally, a few people went up. A few men, a pregnant woman, and myself were at the front. The first mile left the parking lot and went slightly uphill. I predicted I was in about 21-minute shape and was hoping to run about that. (Faster is always nicer, but you must be realistic too). During the first mile of the Victory Lap 5k, two men passed me and never looked back. I found myself in third. I crossed the first mile in 6:42 and thought that’s exactly where I wanted to be. I also knew my endurance was not exactly there, so it would be a stretch for me to try and hold that. The path wasn’t closed off, so there were a few bikers and walkers, but it wasn’t crowded.
The next mile looped around, and we went by the start of the Victory Lap 5k around mile 1.5. I was starting to feel tired, but I told myself to keep going. I’ve often wondered if I actually had COVID in early May (not the flu) because breathing has felt difficult since. I took multiple COVID tests at home and at the doctor’s and was always negative, but I haven’t felt the same. Anyway, my breathing started to feel hard, and my legs felt like they couldn’t move any faster. I hit the second mile in 6:55.
The last mile of the Victory Lap 5k headed back towards the start. I felt two people gaining on me. When they passed, I noticed one person was the pregnant woman. I tried to keep up but couldn’t, and I thought, what a badass. I tried to keep up with them, but it felt challenging and at that point just wanted to finish.
I crossed the Victory Lap 5k in 21:08 and was 2nd woman 4th overall.
Victory Lap 5k Thoughts:
I would have loved to be faster, but I don’t think I have the endurance right now. Its goal is to continue to race 5ks until I get faster, and hopefully, sub 20 minutes feels “easy” again, which will take a lot more speed work and not having 30+ second positive splits. In all, I’m always happy for a weekend away from the desert.
You can see more race recaps here and Strava here.
Questions for you:
What is the smallest 5k race you’ve done?
What is your favorite distance to race?