We took our usual route out to the Pacific Coast Highway via Malibu Canyon, driving through the Santa Monica Mountains for about 9 miles. I asked the hubby to take this pic because the clouds with the mountains and fog looked so beautiful.
We decided to park at the Santa Monica Pier and walk 3/4 mile to the start so we would be finishing near the car. We had plans to meet up with some Dailymile runners (one is a member of our Galloway training group) before and after the race.
|Walking the path from the pier to the race start. Always pimpin' DM!!|
Then I had to do it all over again (I think this is actually the 3rd or 4th time I've pinned the bib on now) due to the weather change while we were waiting for the 10K start. Oh yeah, the sun is out! The pillowy clouds are floating away. Let's go already so I can stop fussing with this stupid bib!
I had not raced for a 10K PR for over a year and half - and it was on this same course. That year, I ran the course under the Santa Monica/Lexus 5000 sponsorship which is later in the Fall season. I didn't really put it together that this SM Classic course was the same one I ran before until we were actually out on the course.
|Basking in the sun, waiting for the gun!|
The course really is beautiful. We ran through the streets of Santa Monica:
Headed back towards the SM Pier (that's the archway in the background). We made a right onto Ocean Ave from here.
As soon as you turn onto Ocean Ave heading North (just before mile 2), you're on a slow progressive hill that I didn't really feel until about mile 3. I always use a minimum of a 1% grade on the treadmill but that is to simulate road resistance primarily. I saw my pace dipping slightly towards 8:20, then 8:30, and I'm wondering if I'm pushing too hard. No Vera, you can do this. Push, push, push.
Just before mile 3, I am starting to feel the hill, my heart rate has increased slightly and I knew the San Vicente hill was coming just after mile 3. I decided to give myself a short break and backed off a little on my pace. We'd be turning around soon and I wanted to save whatever I had left for the last downhill miles of the race! We made the turnaround and I let loose. I ran the fastest mile I have ever knowingly run in my life between mile 5 and mile 6, clocking a 7:07 pace! WHAT?!? Thank you walk breaks and a long downhill finish!
Just as we ran up Ocean Ave, we ran back down it to the Finish that was at the Pier. The ocean is to the right. Isn't this a gorgeous ending to a race? Hubby snapped this pic because the speed limit sign was flashing 8 mph as some people were passing.
|In the home stretch|
|The Finishing Chute!|
In hindsight I'm thinking "if you'd just pushed a little harder, you would've broken the 50 minute mark!". Then again, I PR'd by almost 10 minutes without injuring myself, placed 13th in my age/gender group AND I have another milestone goal - break 50 minutes in my next 10K. Maybe even 48.5 min on a flat course!!
We met up with fellow Dailymilers, including a member of our Galloway group (Wendy, in the center).
Photo op at the top of archway to the Pier.
And of course a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains.
All in all, this race is awesome. It is extremely well organized, easy to find parking and your friends, a great course and a fun post-race expo on the pier.