I signed up for the Run Seal Beach 10K just 2 weeks ago. I had resolved not to do any more races until my marathon after my poor performance at Surf City, but I've wanted to run this race for a few years and went for it.
I have to admit, I wasn't looking forward to this race with a 20 miler scheduled on Sunday, but I realized any opportunity to run is something I shouldn't take for granted - so I psyched myself up a little too much. I was so nervous the morning of. The night before, I posted on my Instagram that I was "hoping to place in my age group." Once you put something like that out there, there's more motivation, but also a little fear of disappointment.
We got to the race site, which was just 2-3 miles from my house, around 6:45 that morning to pick up my bib at the community center. Then Ricky and I walked part of the course near the finish line to determine where we would meet up afterwards. We finally headed back to the start and Ricky left me to find a spot to take some pictures. I waited in line at the porto potties and got to meet one of my readers, Cong! It was pretty cool to meet someone who follows you and knows your story. I was bummed I had left Ricky and missed a photo opt with Cong. He just ran the LA Marathon last weekend and said he had a great time and was still recovering. Finally I made it into the bathroom and then over to the start.
The first wave was under 8 min/mile. I was definitely going to have to do that to place in my age group. I got up in the front and tried to figure out the best route to get ahead since I was 4 people deep. Runners were supposed to go right with walkers on the left. Once the race started, I made my way to the very far right to go into our first left turn and caught site of Ricky right away so he could snap this cool photo.
Once we made the first turn, there were far fewer people. I hit 6:33 on my first mile. Mile 2 started going uphill just a bit and I got 6:53. Mile 3 was 6:51! Holy cow! And then I got a cramp. Unlike a half marathon or a longer distance, at this point I just told myself, you're half-way done so let's push it. I kept the next 3 miles just above 7 minutes (7:01, 7:05, 7:12). My final .2 was 6:55.
I finally crossed the finish line, which was also the 5K finish line. There were tons of people and I felt like I was going to vomit. Some guy came up and wrote my bib number on a clipboard and I found Ricky. After catching my breath and grabbing some water and Clif Bars, Ricky and I just walked around. The race ends on Main Street in Seal Beach, right across from the pier.
We mosied around for a bit and then saw they were giving away top finisher prizes. I hadn't looked at my official time, but knew there were only a few girls who finished in front of me and thought we could wait around for my age group to see if I placed. I finished 37th overall, 9th female overall, and 2nd in my age group (25-29). So happy with my results. Aside from that, this was a personal record. I thought I would never get under 45 minutes on the 10K, and am so pleased to have accomplished that.
A very special thank you to everyone on Instagram for the support the night before the race. It made me much more confident knowing I had everyone's encouragement and kind words.