This is my second time doing the Cinco De Miles 5 miler in Huntington Beach. Last year, it was my last race before getting the flu. I felt like I was *finally* getting back into shape and improving my fitness. I remember a sub-7-minute average was my goal last time, and I barely squeaked by. This year was kind of the same. My “a” goal was to be under 7-minute miles. I haven’t done that since last year’s race, so it was a stretch.
Before the Cinco De Miles 5 miler:
I avoided most Los Angeles traffic and got to my hotel relatively early. It was a long week, and I fell asleep and slept for about 10 hours. It was needed. I arrived at the race around 7:45 and did a 20-minute warmup for the 8:30 start. I lined up in the corral with my good friends Brittany and Ben, and we started relatively on time.
Cinco De Miles 5 miler Race:
One of the issues with the Cinco De Miles 5 miler is the start line isn’t that big, and the start was so congested. I was worried I might hit someone. This year we had a slight tailwind going out and a slight headwind coming back. It wasn’t terrible, and the headwind helped cool you because it was hot!
During the first mile, I focused on feeling relaxed. Last year I remembered the previous mile hurting, and I wanted to avoid that. That never really happened. I ran the first mile of the Cinco De Miles 5 miler in 6:41. Becasue the 5k/5 mile start together, it was pretty crowded. That was good for me because I enjoy having people to push with. I also had no idea who was doing the five milers and who was doing the 5k.
Because it was a small race, they had a small water station at mile 1 where you could grab water yourself. I grabbed some and threw it in the trashcan.
The next mile was more interesting. The 5kers peeled off, and I realized I was in the first place for women. How cool. I ran a 6:49 and worried it might be a nice regression like it was last year. (narrator: it was).
As we approached the turnaround, I noticed it was slightly further down from last year. Not really a big deal since it was a cheap and low-key five-miler. As we turned around, I felt the headwind and headed back. My friend Brittany was in second, and Ben was running well. Seeing other runners, especially friends, always motivates me. I might be in the minority, but I enjoy out-and-back races.
I hit mile 3 at 6:55. I began feeling fatigued but kept telling myself just 2 miles to go. We met back up the next mile of the Cinco De Miles 5 miler with the 5kers. Because the path is narrow, you are weaving around them. There probably isn’t a way to fix that since it’s on a small narrow boardwalk path, but it’s unpleasant. I ran a 7:04 mile 4, and it began to feel hard.
For the next mile, I just focused on pushing. It felt like the race was neverending and “hard.” But I was focusing on finishing and knew I could run under a 7-minute pace. It was slightly over 5 miles, as expected, and I could still run a 34:49.
Cinco De Miles 5 miler Thoughts:
I’m happy with this. I haven’t run this fast+hard since last year, so it’s nice to know I’m finally progressing. Plus, even with a slightly longer course, I was 2 seconds faster than last year.
I’m looking forward to working on some top-end speed this summer and hopefully running under 20 minutes again for the 5k.
Questions for you:
Are you a fan of out-and-back races?
Did you do anything for Cinco De Mayo?