Santa Monica Classic 10K
Whenever there’s a race on home turf, I’m always up for running it. No 3AM wake-up calls? I’m in. I did something like this race 2 years ago, but it was in October, similar course though. I really wanted to PR, but because of my foot issue, I was okay with getting under 50 minutes. Secretly, I would have loved to do 7 minute splits, but I’ve lost some speed since I stopped going to track workouts. Lately, I’ve been running 3 days on trails and 1 day on pavement with the rest of the week supplemented with x-training. I was praying that my foot wouldn’t act up during this race since the days leading up to the race, my foot hasn’t been cooperating. Not only do I have this foot problem to deal with, I’ve been taking a lot of spills on the trails lately. The worst one was last Monday when I was running the Santa Ynez trail, tripped over some rocks and went sprawling on both hands and knees across the rocks. My knees are already bad enough and falling banged them up even more. To make matters worse, the Saturday before this race (running on the same trail, different area) I tripped again and fell over to the side and almost rolled down the side of the canyon, but luckily a brush caught me. Scraped up the right shoulder, punctured a hole in my pants and developed some icky skin irritation on my back and arm. It seriously looks like I was mangled by a mountain lion. Lion 1 Me 0. I haven’t fallen this much on the trails before, and it got me thinking whether it’s the tricky surface, my clumsiness or the imbalance in my body. I think it partly has to do with the uneven surfaces when running on trails and having to be even more cautious, but also since my left foot is having problems, I’m not able to pick it up at the same speed as my right foot, causing my left foot to drag. Any thoughts? Say hello to my new friend: The Stick (don’t get any ideas)
In any case, with or without bruises, I still planned to do my best on Sunday. A little Neosporin and I was feeling pretty good race day. I woke up around 6AM with the start time at 8AM. Not having even looked at the map or the course, I parked where I normally park when I run in Santa Monica, the parking structure for 3rd St Promenade. I walked to the pier thinking the start line was nearby, but saw a water station, which made me immediately realize that I was at least a mile out from the start. Yup, the start was a lot further than I thought, good thing I decided to head out early for a nice warm-up walk.
The 5K started at 7:30AM, look at them go! Brian Livingston (in the neon green singlet) sometimes hosts great running workshops after our Niketown run in Beverly Hills every Thursday night. Very cool guy.
I met up with some friends who were also running the 10K and we headed to the start line. The gun went off and I cruised along, remembering this exact course 2 years ago. I remembered looking around at all the neat little shops in Santa Monica, back then I was living in Palos Verdes so the neighborhood was new to me. We headed down to Ocean, a road so familiar to me now as I’ve done countless training runs starting and ending on that street. I knew San Vicente was going to slow me down because of the gradual incline, so I tried to pick up my pace on Ocean. Surprisingly, the foot didn’t bother me at all during the entire race. Sometimes, it feels like the faster I run, the less I notice the pain? Good motivation to run faster right? I actually didn’t mind San Vicente that much, I had a lot of friends running the race and since they are all super fast, I was able to keep distracted by looking for them at the turn-around and shouting out words of encouragement. They were all flying down and ended with amazing times. Two of my friends placed 3rd and 4th overall in the entire 10K race. Crazy. The turn-around was at 11th street which came quicker than I thought and started to go back down. I was feeling really good by this time and thought I could PR. I couldn’t remember what my PR was since I haven’t ‘raced’ a 10K in so long, Chinatown Firecraker doesn’t count. We hit Ocean and I knew there was only 1.5 miles left, I picked things up, saw a couple of friends cheering on the sidelines and finished in 47:57 avg pace 7:39. Completely exhausted and sweaty, I knew I gave it my all given my injuries. The foot started acting up a little bit right after, so I tried to limp-walk it off. Eventually, it went away, but it’s definitely an inflamed nerve in my leg that will just go away on its own. The good thing about blogs is that you can easily go back through your race history and look up finish times. Turns out, my fastest 10K was at Long Beach 2 years ago by only 10 seconds.
10K race splits
Mile 1: 7:31
Mile 2: 7:51
Mile 3: 8:20
Mile 4: 8:08
Mile 5: 7:09
Mile 6: 7:10
Mile 7: 6:36 (last 0.20 sprint to the finish)
It was a great day for a run and made me remember how much fun 10K’s are. I’ve been doing so many long distance races that I completely forgot about the 10K distance. Sure you don’t get a fancy medal, unless you win, but it’s still a good distance where you “go all out” without having to worry too much about pacing yourself. Up next, 10K mud run at Camp Pendleton!