|Morning view of the city from my balcony|
I was wide awake, so I got up and made some coffee. It was the first time I've actually LIKED the coffee that was provided with the hotel room! They had K-cups of some sort of espresso. It wasn't quite as good as my coffee at home, but it saved me a stop at Starbucks before the race.
I ate half a bagel (they were huuuge!) with cream cheese and walked the half-mile to the race start. I considered my brisk walk my warmup and did some stretching before the start of the race. The grass was wet, so that limited my stretching somewhat, but I don't usually do much stretching anyway. It basically just gives me something to do pre-race other than stand around.
|I'd never seen a chip like this! Apparently they're common out there, I had the same kind the next day.|
The race started and finished in the same place in NTC Park. The race was all on trails or sidewalks. Because of the wet grass, it was a little treacherous right at the start heading onto the sidewalk. I saw one guy slip and totally biff it. He was okay, though. He got right back up and kept going. Except for one short pass underneath a bridge, the trails were all in great condition.
My previous 5K PR was 27:44 and was from 2004. I wanted to beat that, but knowing I had 2 more races that weekend, didn't want to completely wear myself out. My plan was to run the first 2 miles around 9-minute pace and speed up for the last mile. My plan worked perfectly.
Mile 1: 8:49
Mile 2: 8:55
Mile 3: 8:34
Extra 0.1: 39 seconds (7:25 pace)
With about 3/4 of a mile to go, I passed an older guy who said, "I'll follow you, take me on in." He fell in about 6 feet behind me. I yelled, "C'mon!", and he said he was coming. He encouraged me from that 6 feet behind "Nice pace!", "You're doing great, beautiful!" until I started to struggle a little to hold the pace and he passed me. I tried to go with him. I sped up, but wasn't able to quite keep up with him. I crossed the line in 26:58, a new PR!
I found him at the water station and thanked him for helping me get that PR. He thanked me for keeping his pace up for the last little bit. After a little conversation, I discovered that he was 75 years old and would also be running the Silver Strand Half-Marathon on Sunday. We wished each other luck and went our separate ways.
|Youth Naval Cadets formed a finish line chute and handed out dog-tag style finisher medals.|
I hung around the finish to cheer for the rest of the finishers, including a girl I had spoken with at the start line who was running her very first race. After checking the final results, I jogged back to the hotel to get some breakfast.
There was a cafe in the hotel that served Starbucks so I headed there for some grub. I had a caramel latte and a monstrous egg, feta & spinach wrap. It was delicious. It was still cloudy but was 60-some degrees so I ate on the patio.
|My HUUUUGE breakfast burrito|
After my shower, the sun came out so I brought my book, water and some pillows out onto my balcony and laid down to read with my feet up. Since I didn't eat breakfast until after 10AM, I just snacked on my grocery store goodies in lieu of lunch.
|Laying with my feet up for recovery purposes.|
|Hotel water glasses are so small, I had to double-fist it all day!|
|I bought this book specifically as inspiration for this trip. I highly recommend it!|
Since I had only snacked for lunch, I was hungry for supper early. I walked over to Oggi's Pizza and Brewery for supper. I had the "Marathon" flatbread pizza, chosen partly for it's name, but mostly because it looked good. Um, ok, so all pizza looks good, what can I say? They brew their own beer and I had a California Gold Blonde Ale (I think that's what it was called). The waiter said it was a lot like a Stella Artois. It was similar and very good.
|Beer! (Screenshot from Oggi's website)|
I walked back to the hotel to find that one of the GOTRIbal ladies had called while I was out. I called her back and we decided to meet up and she could get supper and I'd have a drink or dessert.
I met Cherie at Joao's. (Again, for me this is a HUGE step out of my comfort zone.) She was super nice and we had a lot in common to talk about. While she had supper, I had a margarita and garlic shrimp taco for "dessert"- I could smell them when I walked in and they just smelled too good to pass up. I'm actually don't have that much of a sweet tooth and often will have another helping of something at supper rather than dessert. Anyway, I had a great time meeting Cherie. That meet-up going well made me more confident in planning to meet a couple other people later in the weekend.
I had another 5K coming up the next morning so I needed to get to bed early. I went back to the hotel about 8pm, watched some TV, rolled my legs and went to bed.
Up next- The Slow: San Diego Day Two, Girls On The Go 5K