After my failed attempt at a final triathlon in October, I decided that I should at least end the year's "racing" season with a good 10K. I first ran the Surf City (aka Huntington Beach) run 3 years ago, as I was coming back to running and when it was a 5 mile run. Then, two years a go, I managed to hit a new 10K PR. Not a shocker there since it is a flat and fast course, but I still remember that my overall time totally surprised me. So, I'd been fairly content to let it sit as my PR until this year when I had a few decent 10K runs but never felt that I really went "all out". So, that was kind of my goal for this race.
With that in mind, I was actually more nervous than I would be on a typical race day, so when we drove south this early morning and hit fog, I started to freak out just a little. Fortunately, we arrived with a decent cushion for me - 30 minutes to pick up the packet and take care of other business. It was a perfect morning to run, temps in the 60's and cloudy but not rainy. When I picked up my packet, I was much relieved that I had selected a unisex t-shirt because the women's specific was HOT PINK. I do not wear hot pink. I realize that the pink ribbon shows support for cancer victims and understand that, but pink is not my thing, and hot pink is definitely not my thing. I would have given it away immediately. Instead, I have a really obnoxious yellow shirt - think gatorade yellow on steroids.
Anyway, the race? Well, I hoped to make one more pit stop before the race, but as 7:30 approached, I nixed that idea and lined up, placing myself quite near the front. While it's a super fast course, it's not huge and doesn't seem to appeal to tons of super crazy competitive types, so the start is pretty calm and people seem to stand back from the timing mat. Right around 7:30, they announced "On your mark, get set, go!" and we took off. I thought that I had started my Garmin but then about half a mile into the race I saw that it was still on 00:00. Nice. So, I ended up starting the Garmin at mile 1 so that I would at least know my splits for the next 5 miles. The race was fairly uneventful - flat, flat, flat and it felt fast. I held really consistent splits, pretty much at 7:30 the entire way, although according to the Garmin I had a few faster splits. But it also said that I ran longer than 6.2 (or 5.2, since that was my marker) - so who knows. I am, however, always amazed at how people must not do hill training - there was one teeny hill and then an incline during the second half of the race, and people definitely slowed down quite a bit. Why go out fast and not hold your pace? I will never understand that, but then again, I'm the queen of starting slow and finishing faster. Whatever works for you, I guess? I did have enough in the tank to push it at the end - at mile 4.5, I passed one woman, but told myself to not be too greedy and go too hard too soon, although I knew that she wouldn't catch me (based on her breathing, which was way too heavy, she wasn't speeding up). I thought that I crossed the finish line right around at 47:00 but was looking at the 10 mile start. So, the official time gave me sub 47 which was my goal going into the race - nice! Not sure if I gave it absolutely everything I could, but it was great to feel that I'd accomplished something before 9:00 am on a Sunday morning!
Not an awesome race for photos, but that's okay - I like that I appear to be flying in the first one! Although my shoulders/arms - what am I doing there? Michael took that photo as he was wrangling the dogs from eating vomit that was on the sidewalk. Amazing that he got a photo at all.
Oh, and the other weird thing about the race - I swear I smelled pot (the MJ) when I was around mile 4. If it were Venice Beach, I would expect that, but I was somewhat surprised. Maybe it was just wishful thinking/smelling? As for the medal - it's a wooden surf board which is kind of fun and sort of fits in with the pot smell!
The icing on the cake, sort of, is that I ended up 2nd in my age group - which makes me laugh because it was the same as last time, even though I've moved up an age group. I briefly wanted to stay for the awards ceremony, since I've never received anything at a race, but my impatience got the best of me and we left before they started giving away medals and other prizes. I figured that I already had my medal and my PR, so what more did I really need?