I love this race. Aside from my first love, the half marathon, a 10 mile race is a perfect distance. It’s not the all out sprint of a 5k or a 10k but you can still put in some work to run fast. Running fast is not something that comes naturally to me. I didn’t run cross country in HS, I started running to get in shape for HS Lacrosse. My dad taught me to be a long distance runner, slow steady pace for a long period of time. Getting faster for long distances is one of my year end goals, and I knew this race would be a great one to see where I was at and what I could do if I actually “raced.” We first ran this race last fall, I run the 10 miler and BF runs the 10k. We used to live in Huntington Beach so it was a hometown race for us, it’s small so the competition is fun and we can get breakfast on Main Street after we cross the finish line! BF said he definitely wanted to do it again and so we signed up for a second go around.
The day before the race we headed to the HB City Hall to pick up our bibs, we were in and out pretty quickly and then headed out to Claremont, where I went to grad school, for a Halloween party at one of my girlfriend’s house. Apparently meatball, pita chips and mini snickers are prefect night before race food for me because the next day I had one of the best races of my life!
We got to the race around 6:30, it started at 7 and we thought it started at Main Street like it had the year before. Apparently we were wrong. There is some construction going on in HB and the course had changed slightly, including starting about ¾ of mile farther down than we thought. As we walked to the start line BF and I wondered where all the people were?? We soon found out as I started running to the start line to because the race was going to start without me! I got there as the gun went off, but I took about 20 seconds to catch my breath, stretch out my calves, and center myself before I hopped into place behind the hordes of people.
I started my Garmin as I crossed over the timing bars and off I went. I wanted to run this race fast, I haven’t ever tried to push myself and I knew I could do it this race, it was only 10 miles! I hit mile 1 at 8:27 pace and couldn’t believe it, I didn’t even feel like I was working that hard! It was a cool grey day, perfect for running and I was in a groove. With each mile I surprised myself with how strong I felt. The 5 miles out on PCH are rolling hills, and I was consistently running under 8:45. I NEVER run this fast I thought, I couldn’t believe it! I hit mile 5 and the turn around point and kept cruising. At mile 7 you have to run up a pretty decent hill (Seapoint for those OC folks who know the area!) and at the top I let myself take a short walk break and sip some water, I also saw BF cruise by mile 4 of the 10k, though he didn’t hear me, he was in a zone! I think this was my slowest mile at 8:52 pace, I was still feeling awesome. I pumped up my music and focused on doing some “work” for the last three miles. As I got closer and closer to the finish I pushed myself to reach down deep. I also caught up to a girl who had passed me earlier in the race, and for some reason I felt the sudden urge of “I have to beat you.” I kicked it up a notch and realized I was running about 8:20 pace Britney Spears new some “Work B****” pumped into my ears. My favorite speed work song, I played it three times as I cruised to the finish line. I was passing people left and right and knew I could sprint the last quarter mile. I crossed the line at 1:25:34, feeling like I was going to puke, but knowing I had actually “raced” today! I can’t remember the last time I ran sub-9 miles for a race, now I’m jonesing to do it for a half-marathon, maybe even a full?!
I felt so awesome for the rest of the day, and really felt like I probably could have run a half marathon that fast no problem. I hadn’t had a PR in I can’t even remember when, running most of my races with the excuse of a “training run” but today I had RACED, and I could feel the difference, I earned my 10-miler PR and it wasn’t even as hard as I thought it would be! (Fun Fact: BF also PR’d in his 10k race!)
This race boosted my confidence majorly. I feel ready for my next marathon, the Santa Clarita Marathon in just 1 week! This race showed me that I need to work on “racing” and not just running. Slowly but surely I think I’ll get there! The best part about racing also, is the faster you run, the faster you’re done!