I love Saturday morning races.
I’ve been finding it really hard to motivate myself to run alone here in LA – especially for longer distances. It’s been hard without the community I had in NYC. I don’t know of many routes around me so I’m constantly running the same paths…alone. I’ve made a few friends via Twitter/mutual friends but A) it’s hard when LA is so huge and there’s not really any useful public transportation and B) it can be hard to find someone your own pace.
Because of this, I’ve been signing up for random races just to give myself a little boost of excitement. Jen actually told me about this one down the street from me. Sadly it ended up not working for her, but I decided to go ahead and run it myself anyway. It was only a couple miles away (same location as the last one) and I couldn’t resist!
That morning, I was seriously debating doing the 5K instead – I’ve been telling myself I need to put in some effort to try and PR in a 5K one of these days – but I really needed the motivation to run longer and figured I should get my money’s worth, mileage-wise.
The race was to support the Sean Brock Foundation, created to honor the USMC captain who was killed in Iraq. The goal for this foundation is to provide scholarships to support the families of fallen or wounded service members. They had a really nice presentation of the flag and the national anthem, and it made me teary-eyed thinking about everything the members of the military have done for our country. (I was so mad that some people didn’t even put their hand over their heart or pay attention during the national anthem.) There were people in uniform at each water station and I tried to thank them all each time I passed, but that even felt almost silly – a small thank you in passing isn’t nearly enough gratitude to show!
As for the race: it was pretty uneventful, but in a good way. We ran along the water and did a couple out-and-back little loops. Most people did the 5K but there were a lot of walkers so it was a fun atmosphere – lots of cheering for each other! I decided to start off at an easy pace and treat it like a tempo run. Around mile 3 I turned on some more upbeat jams and started thinking about the NYC Marathon, as usual. IT ALWAYS WORKS. Every time I start visualizing it energy just seeps into me. My pace noticeably improved and I was able to hold on to it. Still, by the last mile I was definitely ready to be done. For some reason I was thinking a 10K is 6.1 miles, I HAVE NO IDEA WHY. I realized my mistake at mile 6 and was cursing myself for being dumb…and then the course was actually about 6.3 instead of 6.2 so I was getting rage-y…but as soon as I crossed the finish line I felt fine again.
I was pleasantly surprised to see my splits. After some thought I started looking through all my old race results, unsure of my 10K PR. I don’t remember ever really “racing” a 10K so I knew it wasn’t anything crazy (my half PR is the same pace and it’s more than double the distance, obviously!).
It was in fact a PR! I feel like I paced it well and was very happy to see negative splits (+ the fairly even splits toward the end).
I just hope I can continue improving as I prepare for the NYC Marathon!
Ever randomly PRd without knowing? Do you have a great running community where you live? (DO YOU LIVE IN WEST LA AND WANT TO BE MY RUNNING BUDDY?!)