Friday, December 23, 2016

Surf City, Here We Come: Ten Miler RR

"Two girls for every boy..."

For you youngsters, that's the opening line of the 1963 classic song Surf City. So I showed up with two girls. Three actually, if you count DW (and I guess I'd better!)

When Fivestarks said she was coming out to Cali for this race with her friend C, I figured I may as well run it, as well as covering my usual Cali Loop hosting duties. Never mind the two pikermis coming up in two and five weeks. So I figured it would be a good test of race pace since I hadn't raced longer than 10K since February.

I wanted to run 7:14 pace, to match my AGPR from last year's Cherry Blossom. But I thought that would be tough, and considered a B goal of under 1:14 or 7:24 pace. Plan was to go out close to 7:30 and work it down.

We had to get up before 5 to get down there, pick up the girls, park and pick up my bib. It all went smoothly until I turned my ankle on a curb 15 minutes before the start. Then my weak adductor failed to correct for it and I fell to the road. Nothing badly hurt but my pride, but the adductor flared up. Luckily I don't really need that muscle to run. And as I did my 3/4 mile warmup it seemed fine. This pic is during warmup. I can tell because I'm dry. Yes that's the ocean. The whole course was up and down Pacific Coast Highway with ocean views and palm trees.
I got back to the start and the national anthem had already started. i stood there looking annoyed. And then slipped into the front of the pack.
The race was much smaller than the February Surf City races. About 1,200 people. Pretty light up front though (I finished 53rd). I got out smooth and settled into about 7:40 pace. I saw the 7:30 pace group just ahead and slowly moved up on them.
There were maybe 12 people with the 7:30 pacer. Once I caught them, my momentum told me to pass, but I stopped myself, saying, No, this feels plenty hard for now. Long way to go. Let's just ride with them for a while. So I eased a bit and ran with the group. Felt comfortably hard.
Mile 1: 7:27
During mile two I was feeling frisky so I moved ahead of the group and tried to open up a gap. Because my goal was 7:20 or better, so I better get a move on, right? Well, the friskiness passed. Suddenly 7:30 felt plenty fast, and I couldn't gap the group. I heard them catching me. And passing me. Damn. So of course I decided to stick with them a little longer. Mile 2: 7:30

The next three miles were similar. I stayed with the group mostly, but occasionally got ahead, but not for long. 7:22 downhill, 7:29, 7:32. By now my race goal had changed to trying to stay under 7:30 and then hope for a strong finish. I found a few people to run with who were with the 7:30 group or moving ahead. This really helped me maintain momentum. We helped push each other. One woman had to be under 4 feet tall, but cruising right along with her mini strides. She eventually beat me by ten seconds but I chased her all the way back.

After the turn around the steady wind in my face disappeared, so I realized we must have a little tailwind now. It was overcast and damp - perfect weather. As we headed back, it became easier to keep the pace down and I finally ditched the pace group. 726, 722, 728 up the small hills of mile 8. I was working but not dying and started to pick up the pace for the finish.

The last two were flat to a little downhill, but it seemed like the pier at the finish seemed too far away. The mile markers were perfect on the way out, but on the way back they were way off or missing. I worked mile 9 hard at 7:19.
Now I was giving that last push in mile ten but I still couldn't see the finish. Where is it?

My watch said 9.9 before I saw it off in the distance. Oh hell.

Finished mile ten in 7:12 with a long way to go. Peeved, I just kept pushing and passed one more geezer who may have been in my AG. Finally the finish arrived at 10.26 miles. My last 1/4 was 6:41 pace, but my official finish was 1:15:51. I'm going with my Garmin which had me through 10 in 1:14:07 and at 7:24 pace for 10.26.

Sweet relief!
That was good for 5th AG, but only 3 got awards. Oh well. The finisher medal was awesome, with built in bottle opener. And the shirt is nice. And I got to hang out with these ladies.


A little disappointed with the time, but it was pretty close. Now I want to run the same pace for 13.1 in two weeks. Gotta have goals.

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