So let me take you back to the beginning of the month. I signed up for the Cardiff Kook 10k, because I'm trying to run more 10ks, and I already know I really like this one. I didn't have any goals in mind, especially since I haven't run a race for time in months, and a 10k in even longer. I figured this would give me a good benchmark for what I needed to do to get my sub - hour goal. I'd run it nice and easy, and just see how I felt.
I'm currently training for a half marathon, and the weekend of the race fell on my 8 mile run. I'm really trying to train smarter for this half, so I didn't want to blow off my schedule this early on. I parked a mile from the start line and ran a nice, easy mile into Encinitas.
I hung out for a little bit, waiting for the race to start, before self-seeding myself toward the rear of the pack. And then we were off.
There's so much I love about this race, and the first half is so nice, scenic, and downhill. At the first mile, my Nike app informed me I was well under a 10 minute mile. I thought about pulling back a bit, but I wasn't pushing it, so I just let it ride.
I got a similar notification at mile 2. At this point I figured I might as well take advantage of all this downhill, because I'd definitely be slowing down as I headed back, uphill.
It was a gorgeous day, the perfect weather for running. And as I passed the Cardiff Kook, I spotted a friend and her kids. I knew this meant her husband was running the course, and I spent the next mile looking for him to pass me on his way back. Which he did shortly before mile 3.
At mile 3 and 4 I was still consistently under a 10 minute mile, and ready to head into the hills of mile 5.
Mile 5 found me unexpectedly at 50 minutes, and I thought, "could I possibly run the next 1.2 miles in less than 10 minutes? Might as well try!" And I kicked it into high gear.
The good news is I ran the next mile in under 10 minutes. I hit 6 miles at 59:53. At that point I knew I wasn't going to get the last .2 in 7 seconds.
I hit the finish at 1:01:52. Which is 39 seconds faster than last year! Making it my new PR, and not too shabby for a benchmark run.
I grabbed a ton of water, then ran back to my car, taking time to appreciate the costumes of the 5k runners.
There was a group of women walking together with pinwheels and bubbles and I hope my friends and I do the same at their age.
I really do like this race. It's such a great course, and not as long as the Encinitas half, which runs the same route. The course is challenging without being hard. And of course, you can't beat those views.