Santa Monica Venice Christmas 10K
Fact: 10Ks are scary and should not be done often.
As much as I love running, I do not love running short road races. Case in point: I haven’t run an official 10K in over two years, since the Santa Monica Classic in 2010 and my last 10K PR was 47:46 in Long Beach back in 2008 when I first started running. I could predict my marathon time better than I could in a 10K.
As weird as this may sound, I would much rather run for 6 hours than run for 6 miles. I am just not built for short fast distances. By the time my legs warm up, the race is 70% over. I have never run a 5K before and probably never will.
I debated back and forth signing up for this race the week before. I didn’t want to end my year with a big DNF from Ridgecrest, but I was also worried I would totally blow up in the 10K. I haven’t exactly been doing track workouts in the last year, so racing the 10K was a big question mark. My choices were to run long on Saturday and bandit the course or race the 10K and run after. Either way, I had to get in some mileage, racing or not. My friend, Sharon, pulled the trigger for me and signed me up the day before.
The night before the 10K was an unfamiliar experience for me. Do I carbo load? Did I need to bring GUs? water? Do I eat a normal breakfast? After a night of tossing and turning, I woke up surprisingly energetic and excited for the race.
The Santa Monica Venice 10K started right by the beach and winds through Venice with 2 short out and back sections before returning to the strand. I actually enjoyed the little out and back sections because I was able to see a lot of friends on the other side of the road, all in front of me and cheer them on as they passed by. The course is flat and fast and screams PR. I didn’t realize how many people there would be at the race, over 2,000 runners in the 10K! That is 1,900 more than I am normally used to in a race. I jammed myself somewhere in the middle of the start line because I couldn’t inch up any further without pissing off a lot of people. It was chip timing so my time wouldn’t count until I crossed the start line, but having to weave through SO many people in the beginning was annoying.
Once I crossed the Start line, I had to immediately start running on the sidewalk and grassy areas just to pass runners and walkers. The street was narrow and there wasn’t much wiggle room to squeeze by.
Mile 1 6:50
Mile 2 6:52
Mile 3 6:58
Mile 4 6:58
Mile 5 7:01
Mile 6 6:55 Totally was not expecting that last uphill right before the finish!
Last 0.20 miles 5:55
Finish: 42:30, 6:50 pace, 2nd in age group
Frankly, I don’t run enough 10Ks to even know what is a good time anymore. Everyone kept saying how great the time was, but I wouldn’t know any better. The miles felt pretty even effort and steady though I was glad to be done after the 10K, not sure how much longer I could have held that pace.
I wish the race would have caught a picture of me at the end. I had an immediate gag reflex right after I crossed the finish line and was about to puke in the bins they were throwing the timing chips in. Good thing I didn’t eat or drink anything on course or else that might not have been the prettiest race picture. Overall, I’m glad I signed up to run, it was a good gauge on my fitness and where I can improve. Good to know that trail running helps in the speed department as well.
Oh and after me and my friend Matt PR’ed in the 10K (he ran like a 38 minute 10K NBD), he dragged me out for another 12 miles for a total of 18 miles for the day. Damn ultra runners.