[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 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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
The anthem played and the air horn blew… We were off!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.My 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.
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?