Good afternoon everyone. [edited to add: sorry to everyone who read that with a question mark. Post race = poor editing. Who do I think I am, Zoolander?] How was your morning? Mine was stellar!
I woke up this morning at the crack of dawn to run the Santa Monica 5000 10k! The alarm went off at 6:00 am (although in anticipation I woke up before it) and I rolled out of bed. I stretched out a little and then contemplated what pants I should wear for the race. Its been cool in LA the past few days and Santa Monica tends to be pretty chilly and foggy in the morning. After checking my phone and realizing it was only in the mid 50’s I made the executive decision to wear leggings, and I am glad that I did because it was in the mid to low 50’s for the entire race.
Getting ready this morning was super easy because I laid all of my things out last night so all I had to do was get dressed and grab a bag.
Ela and I drove to Santa Monica and parked near the finish which gave us about a mile long walk slash jog to warm up. It felt really good to stretch my legs a little bit before the race. I was very excited after we parked the car and walked over. There were people all over. I love seeing other runners!
We got to the starting area, went to the bathroom and dropped the bags. We gave ourselves about an hour to prepare which was the prefect amount of time. It was nice not to feel rushed before the start. We even had time for a little photo shoot.
It was freezing at this point.
We made our way over to the starting line and stood by the 10 min mile marker. I was really excited and my adrenaline was starting to pump! The race went off right on time.
Mile 1: Mile one was awesome (isn’t it always?) We were running along Main Street in Santa Monica which has shops. I ran, listened to Cee-Lo and window shopped. Because I had jogged a little to warm up my legs felt awesome. I was really enjoying listening to my music and feeling no pain! I ran past Ela and I was on my own.
Mile 2: I passed the mile one sign and started in on mile 2. I started to feel a little bit hot but not too bad. For a second I worried that I shouldn’t have worn leggings. My legs still felt strong. I started to fall in behind a lady in a florescent green pull over who I followed for the entire race. At the end of mile 2 was the first water station. I’ve never negotiated a water station before and let me tell you, I was a hot mess. I ran through the station spilling water all over the K Swiss rep who was handing it out. Drinking water while running at you race pace is a poor choice! It was not satisfying. Also at the end of mile two you passed the finish line, which is a cruel joke.
Mile 3: I checked my time on my ipod when I passed the mile three sign and I was at 26 mins which is around my 5k time. Knowing that I was maintaining my 5k time made me feel good and nervous. For a second I regretted starting so fast and worried that my time would plummet in the second half. My legs were starting to get a little tired but I no longer felt hot. I was still trailing the same women which was good.
At this time the elite runners had looped around and were running by me. I saw a bunch of men go by and then I saw the lead women. I whooped it up a little bit when I saw her and I was pretty excited. You can take the girl out of Simmons, but you can’t take the woman pride out of the girl. Seeing her pushed me to run a little harder.
I also passed another water station. This time I walked through it and I was much less of a hot mess. Water station success! The course turned on San Vicente and I realized that the people who had already looped around appeared to be running down hill. I knew what that meant! My legs were starting to feel the running but I dug in and ran up hill.
Mile 4: Mile 4 occurred at the San Vicente turn around at 11th street. After the long uphill I was pretty tired but after the course turned it went down hill which was awesome! It gave me the kick that I needed to keep going. I pulled in front of the women in the florescent pull over.
Mile 5: As I passed the mile 5 sign I got excited and picked up my pace a bit. I was being passed by a bunch of people. I was running with a man who looked over at me and said, “we don’t like them anyways. Don’t worry the Kenyan is still behind us”. He made me laugh and it was exactly what I needed. By the beginning of mile 5 I was tired and was feeling a bit nauseous. This guy helped me push through the final full mile. I could see the finish line in the distance and there were people cheering on the sidelines. I gave one of them a thumbs up (cause I’m a nerd like that).
Mile 6-6.2: I saw the mile 6 sign and wanted to start sprinting to the finish but the finish sign appeared to be really far off but before I knew it I was approching a photographer and I could see the chip time rug thing. I elongated my strides and sprinted to the finish!
My overall time was 54:05 which was 6 mins faster than the goal that I set for myself. I’m still waiting to see what my average mile pace was but I assume it was slightly under 9 mins. I am really happy with my time. I pushed my self really hard and I feel really good about how I finished.
Ela finished shortly after I did. We had our chips ripped off and walked around to regain our breaths. We headed to the Santa Monica pier which has a post race party. The post race party had some food but to be honest I didn’t really want to eat anything. My nausea had passed but I wasn’t hungry yet. I did manage to stalk the zico man for a recovery beverage. We drank zico and stretched out in the grass.
I’ve never been so happy to drink a zico! Unflavored is my favorite and it tasted like the best thing ever. Ela and I walked around Santa Monica place for a little bit to keep out legs loose. It was really, really cold at this point and we just wanted to get back to Westwood. So we drove home, showered and went out for post race treats which included a non fat vanilla ice latte from Coffee Bean which my other favorite recovery drink 😉 and a bagel with cream cheese! Nom Nom Nom! I love second breakfast!
Overall it was a good race. I ran pretty hard and in the future I am going to try to alter my running playlist so that I don’t have any of my “fast songs” playing for the first two miles. I figure that I could conserve energy and then go all out in the final two miles but the fact that my 5k time was about half of my 10k time seems like a good thing to me. I’m pretty proud of the fact that I maintained my pace in the second half. There is nothing like the high of finishing a race. I can’t wait to run another one!