Today I woke up very early and ran in the LA Cancer Challenge 10k benefiting the Hirshberg Foundation. I left the house at 6:30, picked up Ela and we walked over to the VA grounds for the race. It was so early we could see the sun rise. I was also coughing a lot because of being sick. Ick. I’ve never been in the VA Grounds despite seeing them almost every day so I was excited to finally see another part of my neighborhood.
I really liked the vibe of this race. First of all, because it was on the VA Grounds there weren’t any random people walking around. It was only race related people. There were also a lot of groups of family and friends wearing matching shirts and holding signs referencing people who had had pancreatic cancer.
One thing that bothers me, maybe I’m alone in this, is when people don’t line up by their actual expected mile time. There were FAR too many people at the 6:00 min mile and 7:00 min mile signs. I know its exciting to be near the front but it makes the first few miles a total mess.
The gun went off, it took a couple seconds to walk to the start line and we were off. As I mentioned yesterday, my main goal was to not kill myself in this race. I wanted to run a race I was proud of but I have a half marathon in two weeks so we didn’t need to win any awards here.
Mile 1-3: The course was a loop so the first loop was mile 1-3. I felt really good. The course was very hilly which was good because the half marathon will be very hilly. The first two miles were CRAZY packed. There were a lot of people who were running more slowly than where they lined up. I had chill music going for the first 2.5 miles. At one point I passed a women who was probably 70 running wearing a shirt that said “I’m running for my son”. I might have cried a little bit. Honestly, the first three miles were pretty similar which is why I’m lumping this review. There were some really sweet high school kids handing out water along the course and there were tons of aid stations. The last half mile before mile three was a hill. Mental note: mile 6 sign is on a hill. Ugh.
Mile 3: Mile three hit right after passing the finish line. I saw that I ran the 5k in 28 mins which is only one mins slower than my 5k time during my last 10k. As mentioned mile 3 was all hills. “So Fly Like A G6″ came on my ipod and I pushed through. As you might know, I was sick all week and was coughing on the walk over. On the course I was spitting phlegm the entire time and my nose was running but no tissues so I just kept going.
Mile 4: Mile 4 was all down hill. It felt a lot like mile 3. At this point I was thinking “only two miles, you got this!” I was feeling really good at this point. I might have thrown up in my mouth a little bit which sounds a lot worse than it felt. I was passed by some barefoot runners. I wondered how all the gravel on the course was treating their feet. I passed a photographer and posed for him. I hope it turned out well
Mile 5: Mile 5 was great. Again, I felt well rested and I knew I would be able to sprint to the finish. The course went along the 405 which wasn’t very scenic. I started passing people that I have been running alongside the whole time. More phlegm. The last oh, .2 of the 5th mile was on a hill but at least at that point you could kinda see the mile 6 sign.
Mile 6: Mile 6 was quick. Half of it was on a hill but then the course turns and you can see the finish line. I was able to sprint the last .1 mile. I finished the race in just over 56 mins.My first thought after finishing was that I really had to blow my nose.
Do I wish I ran it a little faster? Yeah. But you know what, I’m under the weather, didn’t run all week and I have a Half Marathon in two weeks. As Ela reminded me: “its about the Half, not the 10k”.
After the race we hit the post party! There were some awesome stands. We hit the Don Francesco’s coffee stand, a farming CSA stand, the Vitamin Water stand, the fruit stand and the bagel station!
So cute! We also saw another dog dressed up on our way out!
Overall, this was probably my favorite race despite this being my slowest race. It really meant a lot to me that I was able to run this race. Seeing the signs, being surrounded by a community and thinking about my friend and her Mom was really moving. It really meant a lot to me that I was able to run this race.