Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Santa Monica 5000 - 10K

I totally forgot I had registered for the Santa Monica 5000 10k until I got an email with “race day information”. When I saw the date on the message I realized that I was registered for another race the same day..major registration fail! I decided to run Santa Monica anyway since I hadn’t run it before. I always like to try new races and most of the course went down the LA Marathon finish line stretch. I wanted to see what it felt like running down San Vicente and Ocean without rain and hail hitting my face!

The night before Penny sent me a text letting me know that she was going to join me at the race. I was excited to have someone there with me because lately my running has been beyond horrible…actually embarrassing would be a much better word for it. This summer has been a struggle to get my running shoes on and go out for any miles. I was hoping this race would give me that “spark” that I once had for running. This time of year is especially hard to get any running in with my hectic schedule. For those of you that have been keeping up with my blog you know that once a year during the months of September and October I’m a makeup artist at one of the largest Halloween events in California, Knott’s Berry Farms Halloween Haunt. For 25 nights my fingernails have permanent cream paint in them, prosthetic glue ends up in my hair, and fake blood on my clothes. Not to mention the lack of sleep that takes place between real job and fun making monsters job…so sleepy all the time! But I was determined to get my butt up in the morning and run this 10k. My gear was laid out and my alarm was set!

Sunday morning I met Penny at a park and ride so we could drive into Santa Monica together. She still had to register and I needed to pick up my goody bag, so we decide to get an early start meeting at 6am. The only way I can explain any race day or plans with Penny would be an episode of Laverne & Shirley. There are always laughs and lots of shenanigans that take place between the two of us.

When we got to the start line I actually had butterflies in my tummy. I knew this wasn’t going to go very well but I was willing to give it my all and run my little tushy off. We were finally on our way and I could feel my breathing was all off. I couldn’t take a nice deep breath like I normally can, and my legs wanted to stop by mile 2. I had 4 more miles to go and my body was like “Um what the hell are you doing” I looked at my pace and I was so disappointed, I was at 12 min miles and I could feel myself getting slower. Penny was trying to stay with me, but I knew I was holding her back so I told her to just go. She’s been do so well with her running and I didn’t think it was fair for me to ask her to stay with me. She also has Long Beach Half next weekend so she needed this run. I did a lot of thinking as I did a slow run walk past miles 3 & 5. I told myself that this non running business was OVER. I need to get back on the running train and get back on NOW. I had to push myself through a 10k..how sad! I once ran a full marathon and now I’m barely making it through a 10k…this was my lesson and it was learned!

When I hit the turn around I realized that it was a downhill, so I used that to my advantage and sped up a little. I made sure to keep it steady so when I hit the flatter area I wouldn’t be winded. I past up a few people that had past me up and I was actually enjoying the run. I had beat myself up earlier over how bad this race was going, but then I realize that moment that feeling I was having of running with my music pumping, the wind hitting me, and my legs feeling great was what this was all about. I told myself that this week I was going to start up again. Doesn’t matter if I do 2 or 3 miles a day, the bottom line is I’m doing something. I need to get my pace back, I don’t want to see 12 or 13 has my pace average. Funny how a little thing like a 10k can make you ponder so much, but it’s a good thing.

I saw the finish line in the distance and I was having major LA Marathon flashbacks. The last time I was running down this stretch I could barely see anything because of the weather. My dad was next to me telling me that “we’re almost done” and I remember thinking I just finished 26.2 miles! It brought the biggest smile to my face and I was proud of myself all over again. I hit the 10k finish with not the best time in the world but you know..its another finish for me.

After this weekend I decided that I need to do a few more small races the next few weeks, then come November 1st after all this Halloween madness is over I’ll up my mileage. I have a Rock N Roll Las Vegas in December and I need to be ready for it. I think this little plan will work for me. Starting off my small races will be the Run Forest Run 5k in Long Beach. I usually run the Half Marathon there but scheduling and lack of running has me at the 5k…see you all there!!!