I decided to run the Cinco De Miles 5 Miler in Huntington Beach the week before. That really isn’t that unusual, and I typically register last minute. I’ve wanted to do more races, but most of them are between 1.5-2 hours away. The OC Half Marathon was the same weekend, but I wasn’t really in the mood to run another half marathon.
The thing about Southern California is you can find several half marathons and 10ks each weekend, but finding 5ks is more challenging. Anyway, the Cinco De Miles t-shirt looked fun, so ultimately, I decided on that. After the Bakersfield fiasco last month, I didn’t have high hopes that the race would be well marked. It was small and there was also the OC half and marathon which took away from more participants. My only criteria for a “good race” was a well-marked course.
Before the Cinco De Miles 5 Miler:
I got to Huntington Beach the day before. It’s about a 2 hour drive. My spouse actually flew into LAX that Saturday so it made sense to pick him up and spend the day in Huntington Beach. My last race in Huntington Beach, the Surf City Half Marathon, was not my favorite for personal reasons (in fact, it was my least favorite) so I was looking for some redemention in the city. I picked up my bib, we ate a local greek place, and went to bed early.
The next day, we arrived to the Cinco De Miles 5 Miler race start around 7:30 for an 8:30 am start. It was fairly hot and slightly humid. I actually sweat through my clothing before the race started. At the start line, they had a 5k/10k sign and I wondered would I actually be doing a 10k? I really didn’t want too, but luckily it was just old signage.
Cinco De Miles 5 Miler:
Both the Cinco De Miles 5k and 5 miler started together. It was a simple out and back course. Some people might find it boring, but for someone who has had a lot of bad luck with getting lost on race courses or long racecourses over the last year, the simplicity was welcomed to me. It did make it hard to figure out who was racing which of the events.
The Cinco De Miles races started off very aburptly. All of a sudden with no warning, it was a go. I actually was unsure if that meant start but everyone started running so I did too. Immediately I found muself weaving around young kids and people running side by side. Truthfully I was concerned that someone would collide but luckily no one did. Like any local race, several younger kids took it out too fast in the first tenth of a mile and faded.
During the first mile of the Cinco De Miles 5 Miler, I found myself running with another woman. She passed me but I felt like I could keep up and hoped she was racing the 5 miller. It was fun to run with someone. I crossed the Cinco De Miles first mile in 6:42. It felt a lot harder than I hoped for that pace but I just treked on.
During the next mile of the Cinco De Miles 5 Miler, the 5kers turned around and I realized I was first woman overall. It became hard to push myself alone with no one around. There was some headwind going out and it felt more difficult to run as hard as I was. I ran the second mile at 6:52.
My goal for the Cinco De Miles 5 Miler was to run under 7 minute pace and I thought I would be able to do that if I felt good. I didn’t really feel great, mostly because I was uncompletely untapered and had upped my mileage. But I still wanted to run under 7 minutes. I knew after we turned around we would have a slight tailwind but it would also be hot.
We turned around right at 2.5. I thought I would feel a giagantic tailwind boost bur really I just felt hot. I began counting down the miles. 2.5 to go. 2 miles to go. I was hot and just wanted to be done. I crossed mile 3 in 7:05 and I knew it would be close to reach my goal of sub 7 min miles.
During the third mile of the Cinco De Miles 5 Miler, I found myself weaving around a lot more beach goers and surfers. There wasn’t a lot of note and I was running alone the entire rest of the way back.
Around mile 3.5, we met back up with the Cinco De Miles 5kers and the beach path became congested. I found myself weaving around people and it was hard to just run in a straight line. Since the race was a simple out and back, the straighter you ran, the less you ran but it was hard because there were just so many people on the path. I crossed mile 4 of the Cinco De Miles 5 miler at 7:06 and I knew I couldn’t fade too much if I wanted to run under 35 minutes. It felt like I cranked it into another gear, but I just maintained the same pace.
I gave myself multiple pep talks duriung the last mile of the Cinco De Miles 5 Miler. At that point, I just wanted to be done. I could see the finish line at the distance. I glanced at my watch with about .2 to go and it said 33:40. I gave it the rest of my energy and I crossed in 34:49.
Cinco De Miles 5 Miler Thoughts:
I would probably consider this my best race since my fall in November. I sound like a broken record, but my fall set me back more than I care to admit, and running has felt hard since (I didn’t run for about six weeks but still feel super guilty because nothing was “broken,” and it wans’t running related. I’m happy to have met my goal despite not feeling the best.
You can see Strava here and see more race recaps here.
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Questions for you:
Did you do a Cinco De Mayo themed race?
Do you have any goal races coming up?