Fun at the Big Sur 5k

I know, this has been a sorry excuse for a blogging week. But such is life. However, hopefully my race recap will make up for that. As many of you know, I decided to downgrade from the Big Sur Marathon on April 28 to the 5k. And it was a good decision, even though I do want to run the full again one year.

The weekend began after I finished teaching my Women in American History course on Friday and headed down to the expo in Monterey. When I got to the Monterey Conference Center, I quickly picked up the bibs and t-shirts for Leslie and myself. Then I headed over to the San Francisco Marathon booth where I would work the rest of the afternoon with fellow SFM Ambassadors Elise and Chris. As I expected I had a great time hanging out with these two, even though Elise had to take off pretty soon after I arrived. Following the expo, I returned to Santa Cruz where Kevin and I had dinner with Elise and another SFM ambassador, Daniela. Such an SFM weekend!photo 1


Sunday morning rolled around and I headed to Leslie’s house. Since Leslie was bringing her German Pointer, Rosie, she had volunteered to drive. Before we knew it, Elise, Leslie, Rosie, and I were in Carmel. We found parking pretty quickly and headed toward the race area. I had a slightly odd plan for the day as my coach wanted me to use this race as an assessment of where I am and also get my long mileage in for the week. This meant a warm up of 2-3 miles, the race (3.1 miles) and a cool down of 3-4 miles. I planned to run two miles, pick up Leslie for her one mile warm up and then start the race. However, Leslie was worried the start would be packed and headed to the start line before I was done with my two miles (she was the smart one). I ran another half mile and then headed to the start. It wasn’t packed but the race ended up starting about 5 minutes early. I barely had stopped from the warm up when I was beginning the race and weaving through all the runners/walkers trying to get closer to the front.

I did not plan this race out well. The coach suggested I aim for my 10k PR pace (7:18-7:20) for the first two miles and then “race” the last 1.1 mile. Well, I started off good. Ok I was a little quick, but I was trying to get away from the pack. But within a few hundred feet (or so) we were climbing. I didn’t even both to check the course elevation – what was I thinking! The first mile was practically all up hill with a 7:26 pace. Hmm… not what I wanted but ok considering that climb. After that we dropped down to sea level on a short downhill and ran on a dirt path. It’s too bad it was foggy because it would have been a stunning view! But I couldn’t appreciate it because I  knew we’d have to climb back out of sea level and sure enough, heading into mile 3 that’s just what we did! I finished mile 2 at 7:33 and mile 3 at 7:34. Neither mile was a pace I wanted to run. I probably could have pushed more, especially in that last mile but I didn’t have it mentally. I crossed the finish line at 23:40.

Coming up to the finish

Coming up to the finish

Leslie and I handed off our medals to Elise, who happily traded them for Rosie, and we took off for our cool down. We ran part of it on the course and since we had such a pretty dog with us, everyone wanted to say hello. I ended up running a little over three miles for my cool down and it was time for coffee. Leslie had awesomely come in as the 2nd woman so after picking up our Starbucks we headed over to the awards. I thought I’d check to see how I did and found out I placed 2nd in my age group. We had missed our names being called but were able to pick up our additional medals. (Leslie also placed 1st in her age group!) We hung around for a bit and enjoyed a nice Shock Top from the Beer Tent.

photo 2

My 2 medals, one for finishing and one for AG placing


Shock Top!

Shock Top!

Overall, it was a fun morning and let’s face it, anytime I get to hang out with Elise and Leslie is good times in general. Big Sur always puts on a good event and while the course was harder than I expected, it was still a fun race!

Next up will be the relay at the Capitola Half Marathon (another assessment run and not real race).


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