Carlsbad 5000: PR Time (and Race Photo?!)

Let me first say: somewhere in the vast field of strewn garbage that is my Race Photos, there was actually a gem (by my standards).

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I liked it so much I considered buying it! That's crazy talk! And then I saw that the digital download is $22.95. Which is straight-up ridiculous.

(I should do some kind of market survey of other runners and find out what they would pay for an awesome race pic because it seems like no one I know has ever purchased one. It might show them they could actually make more money if they charged a little less - increased sales volume AND happier runners. I know I would have paid $10 for it – no more than that though).


So the race. I haven't even downloaded the splits from my Garmin which kind of tells you it was the tiniest little PR celebration in my mind.

I arrived near the start around 8:40am for a race start of 9:23am (women 30-39). I found parking, easily, near the train station which was my biggest and clearly unfounded worry. I did a mile and change of warm up, two strides, and then hit the porta potties (no toilet paper, thankfully, I didn't need to drop any kids off at the pool). Wandered over to the start and waited. As I waited, the picture dude came over (he was snapping pics all over) and here was my chance to actually compose myself and this was the outcome:

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When given all the chances possible to take a good photo, I will find a way to screw it up.

Shortly after, Nicole found me (how she did is amazing considering my height) a few minutes after another runner behind me randomly tapped me and wished me luck (which was really nice, I am still kind of struck by it - it was like saying "peace be with you" or something in church when you turn around to some stranger in the pew behind you).

We took off on-time (if not maybe 20 seconds before 9:23am), and within 20 yards, one girl goes down hard. Ouch. Look down at pace says 6:12, and Nicole is already saying we're going too fast. Aye aye, Captain. This was race #4 for her, each with only 15 minutes of rest (!!!). Who's ready for Ragnar? She would have fully kicked my ass in race #1, but smartly slowed it down and let me go and kill myself in the first mile.

Mile 1: 6:56

This mile was mostly downhill, so it felt pretty good. I mean, that was my first sub-7 mile in a race since high school. Seriously. We hit the turn and it was uphill into a headwind. 

Mile 2: 7:14 (? I think)

Mile 2 kind of broke me. I was gunning for 21:59 and I think had I not let myself get mentally beaten down by this mile, I might have pulled it off.
We got a little downhill and then turned back for the last stretch on the 101. And paid for the downhill with an uphill. This mile reminded me why I hate 5Ks. My legs didn’t want to do it anymore. I didn’t necessarily feel tired, breathing wise, by my legs just didn’t want to go any faster.

Mile 3: 7:13 (Going off memory here.)

Last .14: 51 (?  I am really that lazy that I don’t feel like hooking up my garmin to the computer - so I added the 3 previous splits up and subtracted from the total finish time).

Official finish time: 22:14

Garmin pace as 7:05, official 7:09 (or 7:10, I can’t remember).

My previous 5K PR was like 23:27, I think (on a course that was long). But, yeah, that 21:59 eluded me. I’m sure if I do some speedwork on the track and race the distance a few more times than like twice a year, I’ll probably drop under 22:00. But I truly dislike running 5Ks, so I’m not really sure I want to bother at this juncture.

I was happy to come in in first 250 to get the medal - which is your standard good quality medal that Competitor Group races provide. Considering I paid $30 for the race, got a nice medal and well-fitting tech-tee, it was a good deal. The food at the end, which was only a box of cascadia (?) cereal, was definitely week. But since it was just a 5K, it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Nicole and I then meandered around for a bit - she had 90 minutes before her last race where we were to meet up with Caitlin. I wanted to try to get in 15-16 miles (which didn’t happen) but I only managed to do 5 until I had to get back for the last race (which technically, I bandited. But I didn’t have my d-tag on, nor did I take a medal).

Likely you’ve already read Nicole’s or Caitlin’s recap, but suffice to say, Nicole and I decided, wordlessly actually, that we were going to pace Caitlin to a huge PR. She said 8-9 minute pace, which we took more like 8. Girlfriend killed it with 25 and change AND got a medal.

A little more than two weeks to Ragnar – ahhhhhhh!!! Ok, gotta go watch Pauly D’s new show. Yeah, Buddy!


  1. That picture is awesome! $22 for a picture is insane. I sometimes run around the back yard and make my daughter take my picture for free.

    Great time in your race!

    I watched Pauly's new show and the "yeah buddy" was out of control. His friends need to get their own catch phrases. It's like watching six Pauly Ds the entire time.

  2. I love that first picture. That might be the most bad ass picture I've ever seen from a race. I still wouldn't pay $22 for that.

    Congrats on the PR

    TWO freaking weeks. Terrified.

  3. Laughing out loud at the "peace be with you comment", have yet to finish reading the rest of the recap.

    1. I have no idea why that came into my mind. 9 years of Catholic school, where it was the funnest part of mass when you actually got to interact during the pedantic service, has clearly left it's mark!

  4. Okay, sorry. I had a giggle fit.

    Congrats on the PR and the great picture! That's a total win-win. I agree that the pictures should be cheaper, it makes me wonder how they stay in business and if the photographers are commission based at all.

    Thanks for the reminder that Ragnar is only two weeks away. This is when I totally freak out about being under trained.

  5. good for you! a pr is a pr, right?

    and i say splurge for the picture. you like it and it's irreplaceable.

  6. You do look so badass in that picture! If you use it as your blog header, that makes it worth the $23, right? That is so steep though. Sometimes they have sales down the road to try and get last minute people to buy...maybe you can all and ask if that may happen?

    Nice nice splits too, congrats on the race!

  7. That picture is awesome!! Why is it $22? Call and negotiate- I bet they will give you a deal.

    I need to DVR the new Pauly D show. Love him.

  8. Yay! Good race pictures are few and far between, so I'm glad you finally got one that you like!!! With the angle its at, it looks like it belongs in Runner's Magazine! I've only ordered 2 photos, and both were from my first half marathon. They were about $25 each for the digital download, which sucked, but the race itself meant a lot to me, so I really wanted the pics to scrapbook. (I ran a half marathon 3 months after foot surgery. It was painful. I told the paramedics on the course to have the black bag ready for me.) You're gonna kick bootay at Ragnar!!! Have fun!!! (And I'm totally expecting some interesting pictures, just fyi, lol)


  10. LOVE the race picture. Anyway, I have bought race photos a few times. But never for an outlandish price like that. There is a local company here that usually does FREE digital pictures as part of your registration fee. Another one that charges 99 cents for a digital download. I usually get those. I think the most I paid was for the ones I got from my Kauai half marathon, I think I paid around $20. FOR THREE PICTURES. Anyway, this is perfect timing because I was really liking one of the team Ragnar pictures and almost had a coronary when I saw $24.95 FOR A DIGITAL PICTURE. They are out of their minds.


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