The Santa Monica Classic

[Originally Published 05.21.2013]

Last month my Twitter/FB/IG friend, Marie, invited me to run the Santa Monica Classic with her. She signed up for the 5k but I was feeling bold and signed up for the 10k. I actually signed up for the 10k right after I finished running my first 5k a couple of weeks ago.

The day before the race I made the drive from OC to LA to pick up my race packet at FrontRunners.IMG_4489

 

The night before, I laid out everything I needed so I wouldn’t forget anything: my shirt and shorts from Ink-n-Burn, my Injinji compression socks, my knee straps, my Garmin, Hammer Gel, and Amphipod water bottle…

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It was an early wake up for me on the morning of the race. I got up at 4 am and was hoping to get out the door by 5. I had no idea what kind of traffic, road closures or parking issues to expect so I wanted to get there early. I fueled up with Shakeology.

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My wife and kids wanted to come along… I got them up at 4:30 so we were on the road by 5:20. They napped in the car as I navigated my way around the road closures and found a parking spot at the pier where the race was going to finish. We were there early… about 6:30 and the 10k didn’t start until 8 am. So we walked around and enjoyed the scenery.

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The starting line was a pretty good distance from the pier so I parted from my family and did my warm-up jog towards the start. The 5k started at 7:30 so I kept an eye out for my friend Marie. I finally met her about 5 minutes before her race.

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Once the 5k runners took off, the nerves set it. I had to go to the restroom. I started to doubt myself… I was thinking that maybe I should have signed up for the 5k instead. But, there was no turning back now.

I had a goal. I wanted to finish the 10k. I wanted to finish the 10k in under an hour.

I stretched. I consumed my Hammer Gel. I took my place in the corral.IMG_4508 IMG_4526 IMG_4525

The anthem played and the air horn blew… We were off!

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The start was a little slow… there were so many people. Eventually, the crowd broke up a little and I was able to find a good steady pace. The first couple of miles were painless but I was trying to stay aware of my pace so I didn’t wear myself out too soon. Mile 3 was great, running along Ocean Ave… the palm trees and the water.

IMG_4538 IMG_4539 Probably the toughest part of the race route was the hill we had to climb to reach the turn around at Mile 4. As tough as it was, I didn’t want to stop to take a break. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.IMG_4541

I finally made the turn and it was all down hill to the Mile 5 check point! I was feeling great! I still had energy… sadly my iPhone didn’t. It died and unfortunately my RunKeeper stats were now void. Thankfully I had my Garmin on me. Here are the last pics I took before my iPhone died on me.

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At the Mile 5 checkpoint I was still feeling good. I could see the Santa Monica Pier in the horizon. I thought to myself that I could start to pick up the pace for this last mile… I was trying to run at a 7:30 min/pace. I started passing a few people but unfortunately I was only able to keep that pace up for about .6 of the mile. I ran out of steam and started to feel some pain in my abdomen… stupid rookie mistake, I guess. When I slowed down, I still able to maintain a 9:30 pace.

I saw the finish line and pushed myself to go faster. I tried looking around for my wife and kids but I couldn’t find them in the crowd. I finished! As I ran through the finish line I was given my finisher’s shades.

I pulled out my Mophie external battery for my phone, took some pics, and called my family.

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I was stoked! I reached my goal! I finished the 10k in under an hour. My chip time was 56:51.1 with an average pace of 9:10. Out of over 1500 runners, I came in 594th… I’ll take it!

After the race, I met up with my family and we went to the expo to pick up my shirt. I considered getting a massage but the line was too long.IMG_4582My family and I took our time to relax and enjoy the scenery at the pier. We even met up with Marie and her family at the Coffee Bean at Pacific Park.IMG_4558 IMG_4565 IMG_4566 IMG_4567

It was a great morning! I’m looking forward to my next race… I have my sights on the Long Beach 1/2 Marathon in October.

How was your weekend? Did you compete? How was it?

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