Last Saturday, I ran the Surfing Madonna 10k. It’s the largest beach run in the country and by beach run I do mean BEACH run. As in, in the sand. Wait no, let’s start at the beginning. Okay, not the very beginning. That’s already covered here. I ran the Surfing Madonna 10k for my proof of time race for the Princess Half Marathon.
The race began at 12:30 PM on Saturday because it needed to be low-tide for the run. The good: sleeping in. The bad: midday full sun, no clouds. My friend and I met for coffee mid-morning (I take mine bulletproof) and then drove on to the race. We got excellent parking because we got there super early. We were worried about the parking situation and the pre-race emails indicated that race day pick-up could have long lines. Since packet pick-up started two days before the race, we heeded the warnings. Truth be told, it was a total breeze and not really necessary.
We wandered around and enjoyed a nice 10-minute free massage from one of the sponsors. It was a long and increasingly hot wait for the start at that point. We were both eager to get started.
The race began promptly at 12:30 PM and both the 10k runners and the 10-mile runners were off. Let me take a moment to say I am SO glad I changed my mind about doing the 10-mile race.
Mile 1: Mile 1 was EXCELLENT. I had the exhilaration of the start and the sand was nice and hard-packed. I wrapped up the first mile in just under 11 minutes which was barely ahead of my goal pace. It was exciting and didn’t feel like I had rushed out too fast either. I had decided to do intervals based on my weekly runs and training, but I wanted to push myself a little harder since it was a race and expected I would be able to do so. Instead of my regular 2.5 minute run and one minute walk cycle, I did a three minute run and 45 second walk cycle. Nike+ Pace: 10:54.
Mile 2: I fell into my stride and knew I was falling behind my pace, but it was warm and I was trying to be smart. The first aid station was a lifesaver – I poured the water over my head and felt a rush of cold, but by the time it reached my face it was hot already. Nike+ Pace: 11:57.
Mile 3: This is where it started to get tough. The heat was seriously getting to me, but I was sticking to my intervals even if my running was slower and my walking was slower. I was thrilled to hit the turn around point. Nike+ Pace: 12:36.
Mile 4: I managed to pick up the pace after the half way point. I knew I just needed to get back where I started. I was still well behind my goal pace, but it was faster than mile 3 had been. Nike+ Pace: 12:19. Caught on camera by my friend during this mile.
Mile 5: Seriously. Hit. A. Wall. It was so, so hot. Between the 80 degree temperature and the direct sun beating on me, I was having a tough time. I started to walk part of my run cycle. More of the same. I remember passing the 5k turn around and thinking I only had a mile and a half to go. I could do this! Totally capable! More water on my head. More walking. I was basically ignoring my intervals at that point. Nike+ Pace: 12:59.
Mile 6-6.2: Totally brutal. Why was I not done yet when I only had a mile and a half to go?! I saw the finish line and couldn’t even bring myself to run the whole rest of the distance because I was so hot and exhausted. The worst part?! It turns out it WAS NOT a mile and a half to go. I had to run PAST the finish line .2 miles to hit the 6th mile and then run BACK to complete the race. It’s one thing to pass a mile marker/turn around toward the finish early in the race, but in an out and back type race, passing the finish line for so close to the end is just absolutely brutal. Now, maybe if I’d read the course map better I would have realized that it wasn’t just the 10 mile peeps continuing on, but even if I knew, that would have had the same impact at the time. Nike+ Pace: 13:00.
Official Finish Time: 01:16:20 / 12:17 Pace.
My goal was 01:09ish (I wanted between an 11 and 11:09 pace). So, I was well behind my preferred pace for my proof of time. I’m still glad I did it as it’ll still bump me up. I submitted it and my estimated time for Princess is 02:48 which is about 13 minutes behind my goal time and 6 minutes behind my personal best. I know that this race wasn’t indicative of my best, but I know I have work to do if I truly am going PR and PR by as much as I’d like. Also, it was still an improvement over August so if anything it’s proof that running actually helps (or maybe it was the flatter course, but we’re going with the former). ;)
I’m still proud of my finish especially with the sand and the heat and the midday direct sun. I know that I might have made it better had I not gone to Disneyland the day before with the walking of many steps and the drinks and the getting home late, but I don’t regret going (obviously).
After I finished, I waited for my friend to finish by drinking TONS of water and having a couple sponsor snacks (Nuttzo!!!!!!). Once my friend finished, we headed back to the car and off to claim our free post-race beers. As it turned out, the beer was not great, so we went somewhere else and treated ourselves with something delicious.
It wasn’t this one – apparently I didn’t get a real picture of that one and only got a snapchat. I did have THIS one later that evening though and it was AMAZING. Seriously, go find this one.
Any races for you lately?