Monday, December 10, 2012

Non-Racing Racing Weekend - Part 1

This past weekend, I was signed up for 3 races. I wasn’t sure if I was going to do any of them. I didn’t really want to do them. But I’d already paid the money for them and I wasn’t injured and there were no family commitments keeping me from doing them (my only 2 acceptable excuses for a DNS, Did Not Start) so I ran them. I don’t know if it was smart or put me in a worse place but they are done. On Saturday, I ran the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run 10K and 5K. It took me back to the place where I’d run the Summer Spectacular and ran myself into the ER. I’d hoped to run a 10K PR on Saturday to slay the dragon from that day and tie Santa Monica to good memories instead of bad. I’ve never done a Christmas run either so I was looking forward to the holiday spirit.

The only other 10K I’ve done is the San Dimas Turkey Trot 10K and that is with rolling hills and a little dirt. This would be my first 10K on a flat, road course and in cool weather so I was hoping to pull out a really good run there. It seemed like the perfect recipe for a PR. I’d planned on running the 5K after sensibly. Unless I felt really good. ;)

Well, at least that was my hope when I signed up for it. On Saturday, I woke up at 4am and got ready and left by 5 to get down to the race. I had to get there with enough time to get my shirt and bib and take the shirt back to the car and you never know about traffic in So Cal. Sure enough, one of the freeways I'd planned take had all lanes blocked by an accident and I had to take a different route and ended up getting lost twice on the way there. Even got turned around and was heading back towards home. Hey, it was foggy! But I was thisclose to just going back home. It was a whole lotta trouble for a 10K and a 5K.

But I eventually got there and got my shirt and bib.I had bought a Santa hat on Friday and I planned to wear that for the run but when I saw the shirt and how cute it was, I decided to wear it for the race. To put me more in the holiday fun spirit.
So I quickly changed and headed back to start and got there just as they were calling us to get in the corrals. I got in the start chute and checked out the costumes around. There were Santas and elves and reindeer and snowmen and a penguin. All the usual suspects. Very cute costumes. I really need to step it up for next year.

The race started at 7:30 and it started right on time. We took off thru the streets of Santa Monica and there were a couple of out and back sections so we got to see the fast guys and then got to see a lot more costumes which was cool. While running, I also saw a candy cane (which didn't look like an easy outfit to run in!) and a Rudolph and his 8 reindeer buddies pulling a sled with a Santa in it (also didn't look like an easy outfit to run in!). And lots of cute dogs and kids in strollers also dressed for the occasion. It was a lot of fun and helped pass the time.

I was just running easyish. I didn't wear my garmin so had no idea what my pace was. I had my watch but I didn't see any mile markers except at the 5K point and then for mile 6 so didn't really know how I was doing for most of it. I just remember I felt tired and I was ready for it to be over pretty much from when it started but just kept going. After what seemed like forever, we hit Venice Beach and there was just a mile and a half left to go. Venice is full of a lot of crazy people and a lot of street art. There wasn't too much of that yet because it was so early though. Then we had one tiny hill and then it was sweep into the finish. I finished my 5th 10K in 1:05 and change.

I tried not to think about what might have been but I have to say I was a little disappointed. And tired (after only 10K! Who is this person I've become?). And thirsty. So I headed over to the food and grabbed a water and a banana and looked around while I waited for the 5K to start at 9:15. I'll admit I looked at the results when they were posted and I felt like telling everyone around me "I didn't race that.". But I didn't.

Finally, they called us for the 5K start and I gotta tell you...I almost just went home. Why the heck was I running a 5K when I was tired already? There was no medal at the end. I already had the shirt. Why? But I got in the chute. Because that's what I do. I had a total sense of deja vu as I waited in there, looking at costumes, and listening to the Star Spangled banner. I felt like I'd done this already. Oh, wait...I had! Sorry. Couldn't resist. Anyway, we started off promptly at 9:15 and headed out back on to the course which was mostly the same except we didn't have to do 2 of the out and backs of course.

I wasn't any more tired than before and again I didn't have my garmin so I felt like I was running slower than I had in the 10K but this went by much more quickly. I don't know why. I finished this one in 32 minutes and change. Turns out I ran them consistently. The 10K was at a 10:32 pace and the 5K was at a 10:31 pace. Weird! So disappointing that I didn't have it in me to race them but also glad that I did them. I'd been wanting to do a double race like that and I think I could do good if I went into it rested and ready but this was not the year. You know what that means! Yep, I'm gonna have to go back next year and I'll do even better because now I know what the course is like and what to expect.

I seem to have a lot of unfinished business from this year. Sigh.

Anyway, when it was over, I walked back to the car and headed home. I had a busy day ahead...a 50th Anniversary party at 1 and then a 40th birthday party at 6:30. And I wanted to pick up my shirt and bib for Sunday's race. Which I did and during the walk to the expo, I thought "If I'm this tired after a measly 9.3 miles...with a rest in the am I going to get thru Sunday's half?".

I guess I would find out soon enough.


  1. Plus you have to go back for the cuuute shirt next year too! That shirt really is cute! Love the picture of you in the Santa hat. Do a lot of people do the double races like that for this one?

    1. Yes, there were quite a few there that did the double. I'd seen others around Twitter who have done them too. There's one in San Diego, I think, where they have 5 5Ks throughout the day and you can do 1 or all of them. That would be hard! I may have to look it up. ;)