What a race it was. I signed up for this event back in the end of July, long before I ever considered running Des Moines. It wasn't until recently that I realized that the two events were on back to back weekends. Running a 10k the weekend before a marathon probably isn't the wisest choice based on conventional training wisdom but that's the way it goes some times.
I originally signed up for this event with the hopes of bettering my 10K time. My only 10K was run late last year, again just a week before a marathon. By then my right hip was already in a bad state. That 10K was on rolling hills in Temecula and my 55:45 time there was pretty indicative of my training and physical condition at the time. Back in July when I registered for the SM10000, my training was going pretty well. The Santa Monica 5000/10000 has some pretty slick marketing and they promised the "fastest road race in Santa Monica." The clincher was the race t-shirt designed by Ed Hardy Sport. My wife signed up as well to walk the 5K, so we made an event of it.
We got up at 5:00 a.m. and left the house by 5:45. We got to Santa Monica around 6:30 and parked, for free, near the finish line. The start and finish were about a mile apart. We walked down to the starting line to get our bib and chip and had plenty of time to mill around before the race start. The 5K started at 7:30. Once Lisa had passed the starting line I jumped in with her and walked about a 1/4 mile with her before heading back to the start of the 10K.
My race started at 8:00 after the kids 2.5K. My goal for the race was to run 8:30 pace to achieve a finish time around 53:00. This seemed like a good idea in light of the marathon and would be a solid improvement on my 10K time.
I started off a little too far back in the pack and worked my way through the starting line crowd for a Mile 1 time of 8:25. We ran down Main St. in Santa Monica but I didn't see much. My second mile came in at 8:11. I settled in to a rhythm after that and Mile 3 and 4 were 8:24 and 8:25. Those two miles were a consistently gentle uphill. At the 4 mile mark made a u-turn and headed back down the hill to the finish line at the pier.
Mile 5 came at 7:41. When I saw the time I actually said out loud, "Oh, crap!" I hadn't meant to run that fast. I didn't need to run that fast to be assured of a PR. But at that point with the PR pretty much assured unless I completely fell apart I just decided to give it all I could and see how much of an improvement I could really make. I knew that I might pay for it next weekend, but I had the take the chance. I kept right on pushing the pace and passing a few folks and ran mile 6 in 7:25. At that point the finish line was clearly in view and I could hear the announcer urging runners on to get in before 50:00. I gave it all I had for those last two tenths. When I crossed the line, the clock read 50:12. My watch, which I started when I crossed the start and finish mats, read 49:53:47. The race was chipped timed so once the official results are posted I will update the time and post it over there on the side bar. At any rate I made a significant improvement in my 10K PR and had a heck of a fun time doing it. (By the way, Lisa walked the 5K in about 50:00.) **Official results are in at 49:52.2!
We hung around the post race events for a bit and then headed out to find some breakfast. We ended up at Norms, locally renowned for be opening 24/7 365 days a year. The hotcakes, scrambled eggs and bacon hit the spot. Now I will take it easy for the next 6 days and see what happens in Des Moines.