Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

So close, yet so far – Carlsbad 5000 Race Report

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Carlsbad 5000 as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro(ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own. 

Going into this race, I had all of the typical jitters. I hadn’t had any really good runs this week and I was still recovering from last week’s race. I still had some tightness in my calves during my shake out run so I decided to join some friends at a spa day. I have no idea whether this was a good idea or not, but I spent a good hour and a half alternating between a dry and salt sauna room. LOL. I made sure to drink lots of water and I tried stretching out my legs a bit in the dry sauna.

The revelation I got from this experience was that I need to stretch. A LOT. God, I was hoping I’d never have to pick it up, but I think I will have to start doing yoga if I want to keep running and getting faster.

Anyway, Saturday went and I called it an early night at 8 pm. LOL. My race didn’t even start until 9:10 am, but the more sleep the better. 🙂 I’m not getting any younger, am I? 🙂 I woke up got to the race around 7:45 am. My race was at 9:10 am, but since I had to pick up my bib, I decided to get there a little earlier. Parking wasn’t too terrible. I parked maybe 4 or 5 blocks away and easily made my way to the start line where the bib pick-up was. If you time it just right, try arriving 30 or 40 minutes after the wave before yours and you may be able to get a spot from someone who just ran and is leaving. IMG_5514

Also, if you live in San Diego and Carlsbad is a bit of a drive for you, pick your bib up the morning of the race. There are still vendors at the expo so you’re not missing anything if you don’t show up on Saturday for bib pick-up.

This 5k race is different in that it breaks up the divisions into 6 different start times. For the 30-39 year olds, the start time was at 9:10 am and the time will sometimes change based on the train schedule. You don’t want to start a race and then get stopped by a train, do you? I don’t. Despite them adjusting for the train schedule, there are times that you can get stopped by a train so my advice is to run fast until you pass the tracks. There are also no corrals in this race. There are min/mile signs and everyone essentially self selects into their pace group.

I started out at a 6:45 min/mile and was able to find a nice clear path fairly quickly. Unfortunately, because I started out so quickly, I was having issues regulating my breathing and my pace quickly dropped to a 7:30 min/mile. This wasn’t bad, but because my breathing was getting very irregular, my calves started tightening up. I tried my very best to keep going since it was a short distance, but I couldn’t maintain. I clocked my first mile at 7:15, my second at 7:47, and my final mile at 8:29. I clocked in unofficially at 24:27, which is about 45 seconds shy of my personal record set at last year’s race. I keep checking Athlinks for my official results, but they’re not up yet so I can’t claim them just yet. Since I clocked it with my Garmin, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t anywhere close to PRing. I’m disappointed, but hey, I got a great view of the ocean along my route. I kept forgetting to look up during the course, but when other runner friends called out my name along the course, it reminded me to enjoy the process. 🙂

Speaking of friends, I ran into quite a few of them.

IMG_5523TLDR? I didn’t PR, but I still had a ton of fun connecting with my runner friends. Now, to prepare for my very first Ragnar Relay and the Big Sur 21 miler!

Question for you – How did your weekend go? Did you have a chill weekend? 



My name is Mai and I am a recent PhD graduate. :) When not hard at work, I can be found training for a race, traveling the world, or talking about Disneyland. Come join me on my journey and help me navigate this world. :)

21 thoughts on “So close, yet so far – Carlsbad 5000 Race Report

  1. That sounds like a fun race. I’ve never done a race where you start in age groups. I think that would be really fun as you’d have a good chance to see how you compare with others at the time. It sounds like we have a similar 5k PR – mine’s 23:40 (although I’m a long way off that at the moment!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Omg, my PR is 23:47!!! If we’re ever running the same race, let’s start out together. 🙂 haha Running in age groups is definitely a unique experience. There are people who are also doing the 20k all day race so they’re mixed in with our age group too. I’d definitely recommend you try it one year. It’s a really festive race.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great job! The 30-39 AG is a tough one competitively (I saw your IG post). And like it or not, yoga makes a huge difference for runners. Once I started going to a yoga class, I saw a huge decrease in running injuries and even little aches and pains that popped up prior to doing yoga.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I think I will have to definitely start yoga. I used to be able to touch my toes, but I can’t anymore!!! It’s so much effort trying to touch them. haha On another note, have you been to Japan? I can’t remember. I’m going there in July and wanted to pick your brain if you’ve been.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You went to bed earlier than I did and my race started at the crack of dawn! Congrats on your race, I still think that’s speedy fast!! Yes, this is a very tough AG. It get’s even worse when they narrow it to 35-39, I’ve given up on AG placing and not just because I seem to be getting slower- everyone else is getting faster! That said, I think I want to run Carlsbad next year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you thank you! LOL. I need a lot of sleep to function. 😛 Thankfully I’ve been able to sleep with fewer nerves than when I first started racing. Yeah, I don’t think I’ll place any time soon unless I do a really small race and even then, my chances are slim. haha 🙂 You should definitely run Carlsbad. It’s such a fun experience and before you know it, you’ll be done with the race. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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