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Surf City USA 5K (Pacific Shoreline) - Run5k


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Huntington Beach, California
United States
Kinane Events
55F / 13C
Overcast
Total Time = 44m 38s
Overall Rank = 1971/2508
Age Group = F 30-34
Age Group Rank = 240/290
Pre-race routine:

This was the first race of my third season racing, so I want to take a quick look back at the first two seasons. My first season in 2007 was phenomenal. I came back from being extremely out of shape to doing two OW swims (earning a 1st and 2nd in my age groups), did my first 5k, rocked my first triathlon (including a PR for the swim that still holds), got a PR for the bike and run on my second tri that have since held, and raced on two very difficult courses but still finished. It was a great first season.

My second season didn't go as well. I had slacked in the off season so I hadn't gained any fitness. I didn't beat any of my 2007 PRs which was troubling. I also logged less hours of training in 2008 than in 2007, which was another problem. I did four tris: one with the coldest, scariest swim yet. Another had a humiliating bike course that was way over my head. One happened during a family crisis so it was amazing that I even raced it. The last should have been a cake walk, but I was winded and I didn't do well. I also found myself back at square one with respect to fearing ocean swims, which caused a lot of stress. I also did two 5ks. One was decent but I got early stage heat stroke during the other. I also had to pull out of three tris that I had paid for, for a variety of reasons. My season ended on a sour note as I walked away from the LA sprint tri right before it started. Bad season.

I realized in the fall that I was burnt out and took some much needed time off. Too much time off. I hesitated to even do a 5k today, but knew it would be a fun race and decided it was worth it, even if I sucked and had to walk some of it. I have done some recent run training, but nothing over a mile. In fact, I haven't run 3 miles since last July! So, you can see why I expected shoddy results at best today.

Now, on to this weekend. Yesterday was a great packet pick up day, for the most part. The expo was gigantic! I had fun looking around. I got all my stuff and even bought a wallet like thing that hooks onto my race belt, for holding my ID, money, phone, etc. At a tri, that would all be in my transition bag, but I'm never sure where to stash it during a run.

I met Lori (TriBabe2006) near the bridge for a BT lunch get together. Yanti (triaya) joined us. Jim (TriAgainJim) came over and introduced himself, but couldn't stay for lunch. Then a hung-over Faeron (faeron) rounded out the group! ;) We walked up to Main Street and after looking for a nonexistent Mexican restaurant, that was no doubt a victim of our downward spiraling economy, we went over to Baja Sharkeez. Had a super yummy lunch and had a blast trading racing stories (at least what we could hear when the girls at the next table weren't screaming!) :)

We headed back and I drove home. It was a gorgeous winter day that felt more like summer. I drove back up PCH with the top down and loving it. The only bummer of the day is that I got home and realized that my shirt didn't fit. I ordered up a size larger than normal, but they were tech shirts and it is just two tight to wear in public. Damn. I always love wearing it to work on Monday.

This morning I was up bright and early. I had my usual pre-race routine. I changed up my breakfast a bit, but felt kind of shaky. Need to go back to the tried and true. I figured a 5k day was better for experimenting than a tri. As always, I watched bad TV while stretching. Today it was "Parental Control" on MTV! I was out the door by 5am. I stopped for gas and ran in to use the restroom. The attendant was out of tokens and said I needed a quarter. I kid you not; I had used all my quarters the day before to feed a meter at packet pick up. Damn.

The drive down to Huntington was frustrating. I thought it would be a straight shot down PCH then a left on Yorktown to the Civic Center parking lot. I got to Warner and PCH was shut down for the race. They hadn't warned us about this. Crap. I drove up Warner then pulled over to double check the Thomas guide. I worked out a plan, but was immediately met with another road block. It kept happening. I contemplated calling Dolores or Faeron to see how they were getting through. I decided to go a little farther and finally found that Main was open.

I got to the Civic Center at about 5:30. This was designated as 5k and spectator parking. There were only a handful of cars there. This seemed odd for a race with thousands of participants. There were no shuttle or designated shuttle stops as I thought there would be. There were no people milling around. What the hell? I wasn't quite sure what to do. I knew we were on Main, but didn't know how far up. It hadn't looked too bad on the map, so I decided to start walking.

This quickly proved to be a bad idea. This section of Main is not lined with businesses like the downtown section. It was dark and lined with thick bushes. I walked for a while and realized I am a woman, in the dark, walking alone. What the hell was I thinking??? Right as I was contemplating turning back to the Civic Center, a car slowed down. The pessimist in me was picturing some psycho killer. Yes...I can get dramatic. Especially when sleep deprived and without adequate caffeine! The guy rolled a window down and said something to me. I decided to stop and see what he was saying as it seemed to be about the race. He said I should go to the Civic Center to catch the shuttle. Okay. So I walked back.

As I got back I noticed a shuttle stopped on the opposite side of Main, but nobody was on it or getting on it. There were now about 5 or 6 racers milling around in front of the center, so I joined them. There was also a woman who was volunteering and now the guy who had pulled his car over, who was also a volunteer (not an ax murderer as previously thought!) ;) A nice couple had wanted to go across the street to the shuttle, as that's where the map said the stop was. But the woman said not to and that a shuttle would come to get us. It didn't. It drove off.

45 minutes later, we stood and there was still no shuttle. Now I'm getting frustrated. First of all, I'm freezing my ass off. I was in running shorts, a tee shirt, and my arm warmers. I had the full body shivers going on. More and more people were lining up, to the tune of about 200 people. The woman was on the phone with someone and heard that there were three buses at Edison, but none at the civic center. It is now an hour before my race start time, so I'm pissed. So much for getting there early! It didn't help at all. To add to the frustration, we watched at least three shuttles drive right past the center without so much as slowing down.

Finally a bus turned into the parking lot and we were all cheering. It pulled right up in front of us, but its door was facing away from us. We wanted to cross the lane of parking lot to get on and the volunteer wouldn't let us. She said the bus was going to turn around. I kid you not...it took that bus driver 10 freaking minutes to turn around! Seriously...we were all ready to riot! As we're watching her drive up onto curbs, and nearly hit other cars, another bus pulls in. We cheer again and prepare to board it. The volunteer goes up to the bus driver and talks to him. He informs her that he's not picking up yet. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME! This was unbelievable. I now had concerns about making my race and definitely about having time to stretch and warm up.

The woman finally turned the bus around and we FINALLY got on. As we're sitting there waiting for her to leave, she leans her head out the window and starts asking the other bus driver for directions. She had no idea where the street was that she needed or how to get there. At this point, we were all so fed up.

We were finally on our way. She took two wrong turns and nearly hit a fire engine. She finally dropped us off at a hotel on PCH. The problem is that it was no where near the 5k start...more like a half mile or so away! Holy crap! It was now 30 minutes before the race start and I had a walk to do! Oh yeah...and after not having a quarter at the gas station earlier, I had to pee like Seabiscuit! I walked at a warm up pace for 10 minutes then found porta potties. Was never so happy to see those disgusting little boxes. Funny side note...As I went to go #1 the little wallet attachment thing of mine fell and I caught it. I had flashbacks to Faeron's story of an LA Tri Club member losing her key in a porta potty and having to try to fish it out with gloved hands! EEEEEEWWWWWWWW! I was lucky. It didn't go in. I'd have to be more careful.

I got to the start line and luckily still had 20 minutes. That was time, but not much, to warm up and stretch.
Event warmup:

I jogged up Main Street and saw a ton of 5kers and a few half mary runners arriving. I did about an eight minute jog. I also saw Rockin' Fig's office. Random. Been listening to him on KROQ for decades! I got back near the start and starting stretching. Then the marathoners were coming by, so we all watched and cheered...first the wheelchair racers, then the runners. I'm such a sap. I got misty eyed watching them all run by. I really hope to do a marathon someday.

I finished stretching and the announcer said we had ten minutes until race time. I was convinced I could find a restroom. I headed into a parking structure that I hadn't known about. I'll so park there if I ever do this race again. There were 2 bathrooms but about 20 people in line. I got in line but a few minutes later realized I was going to miss the race start if I stayed. I got back to the start and they were lining people up, but there were still a few minutes, so I sprinted to the porta johns, and am so glad I did.

I found my place toward the back of the group. There were pace signs and the slowest sign said "12 minute miles, walkers, and strollers". Yeah, I wish I was so speedy as to go 12 minute miles. So, I lined up in backish...but ahead of the dogs and strollers. I don't want to have to navigate around those. They began sending us off in waves. I was in the 5th or 6th wave. We finally took our place near the start and he began counting us down.
Run
  • 44m 38s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 14m 21s  min/mile
Comments:

I started out slow...partly to warm up and partly because we were in a freaking mob of people. The course was easy, wide and beautiful. It was a straight shot north on PCH away from Main Street, then back again passed Main to the finish line south of the pier. The weather was great. It was super foggy which rocks for running. I took it easy the first half mile. I heard someone yell my name and saw Todd (tcovert) standing on the median and waving to me. I can't believe he found me in that crowd. We had never met! Very cool! It was nice to hear words of encouragement.

At this point there was a mile 1 sign and the people behind me were all excited. I burst their bubble by letting them know it was the marathon sign, not ours.

About 7 or 8 minutes in I began speeding up a little. My legs felt good but I had no clue what my pace was. I have run anywhere from 14 minute to 20 minute miles. I'm what you would call a "slow runner". Ha! Actually, I am convinced that if you got everyone in southern California of my weight together and raced, I would be one of the fastest!

Speaking of which, there were a ton of people of all shapes and sizes, including a lot of people bigger than me. That is always nice. Plus, with so many walkers and so many people in general, I was never alone or feeling like I was at the BOP. It was a nice feeling. Somewhere at this point I was happy to see that there were aid stations, and many of them. At this point I also ditched my arm warmers and put them in my pockets. The cold, foggy air felt GREAT!

Then, I was SHOCKED! There was the 1-mile marker for our race and my watch said "14:52"! Holy crap! I've only once had an average less than 15 minute miles. I was on track for a PR. Man, did that light a fire under my ass! I sped up for a while, and then when it was too hard I'd slow up a bit. I continued this for a while and we made the turn around. On the way back it was nice to see so many people behind me. I have done 5ks where the people behind me could be counted on one hand. Not today!

Two things happened during this point in the race. Once, was that the lanes were smaller and since I ran the entire race, I was now trying to get around people who had gone out too hard in mile 1 and were walking mile 2. I was running in a zigzag trying to get around them. But, I'm not complaining. I'm usually the one getting passed. I was relishing passing all these people! Also, several women cheered me on. Many of them couldn't run or couldn't run for long and I got a lot of them cheering me on to keep running fast. It felt awesome!

The 2nd mile marker came and I had gone a 14:12 mile pace! Woo hoo! That is so blazing fast for me! I had a mile to go and was running as fast as I could handle. My legs were burning this last mile and I could really feel the lactic acid but I had to go sub 45 minutes. I just had to!

As I got close to Main I knew we were close to the finish line. The half marathoners were now going the other way, I tried to watch for Dolores, Faeron and Lori, but there were so many of them and watching for them broke my concentration. I had a PR to shatter, after all! I saw Todd again near the finish line. I sprinted my heart out and crossed in 44:48 according to watch. The official race time shows me at 44:38, so I'm going with their time! ;) There it was...my run PR!!! I couldn't believe I got it today. I was afraid I'd be too out of shape to run the full 5k, and never dreamed of my best time. My official average was 14:22 min miles. At Hermosa in 2007 it was 14:30. I felt like a freaking rock star!
What would you do differently?:

Honestly...nothing. I think I had a great race and played it well. I do wish I had run more this winter, but that didn't seem to stop me from getting a great time.
Post race
Warm down:

After crossing the finish line a volunteer handed me a medal. Totally cute surfboard medal. Love it! I kept walking and got a bottled water plus some food that I shoved in my pocket for the time being.

My legs just kept walking. They were so worn out that I felt like I couldn't and shouldn't stop. I like to cool down anyway, so I just kept walking. I got some water down, and then opened a package of beef newtons that they had given me. I hadn't brought my usual recovery drink, so this would have to do. I walked over to the post race party and it was great.

There was a surf band playing, which was a lot of fun. My dad was such a Beach Boys fan and surf music reminds me of him. I love it. I saw that Don Francisco's was there giving out free coffee. That is what I crave most after a race. I LOVED IT! I then saw that the Kiwanis were selling hotdogs! Hi best hot dog EVER! It was the perfect recovery food...it had protein, it had carbohydrates, it had cow lips, minute amounts of sawdust, and potential trace amount of rat feces. Gotta love hot dogs. I kid you not...that hot dog and coffee tasted like the best meal ever. I went out to the beach and just enjoyed the hell out of it.

I came back to the expo and went in the tent hoping to buy a shirt that fit. They were selling shirts, but they all said "marathon" or "half marathon" on them. That's misleading, so I didn't buy one. Of well...a race without a shirt. I'm such a race t-shirt whore. I love those things. I'm so bummed if I don't have one to show off!

I headed back through the expo and had my picture taken on this cool surfboard in a fake wave! Fun! At this point the beer garden opened. I couldn't leave without a complimentary beer, so I went in. Yes, my post race breakfast of champions: fig newtons, coffee, a hot dog, and beer. Ha! Love it! I was enjoying my amber when two really nice women struck up a conversation with me. I had a lot of fun talking to them.

As I was leaving the expo, the half mary runners were starting to come back. I had hoped to see everyone, but didn't know when to expect them. Oh well...I'll see them all another day! After that I walked much farther than I needed to and eventually found a shuttle to get back to the civic center. I came home, showered, napped, and then got online. I was feeling like this season was off to such a great start, that I went ahead and signed up for the Race on the Base Reverse Tri in 3 weeks. If my run is doing this well, then I'm ready to do a tri, since running is my weakness. I ended the day with a massage.... aaaaahhhhhh... :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I got a PR, so I'm not going to beat myself up here. But, as always, more consistent training and a lower body weight would both do wonders for my running time.

Event comments:

The only reason I gave this race a 4 rather than a 5 was because of the morning shuttle debaucle. That was just ridiculous. Otherwise, I think this was a great race. The course was beautiful and the atmosphere was a blast. I loved the expo and the beach party. I definitely plan to return to this race...hopefully someday for the half mary!


Profile Album


Last updated: 2008-12-12 12:00 AM
Running
00:44:38 | 03.11 miles | 14m 21s  min/mile
Age Group: 240/290
Overall: 1971/2508
Performance: Good
Mile 1 = 14:52; Mile 2 = 14:12; Mile 3 = 14:24; Mile .1 = 1:21
Course: Out and back on PCH heading North from Main St., turning around, going South on PCH past Main St. and south of the pier to the finish
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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2009-02-01 11:11 PM

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Master
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Long Beach, CA
Subject: Surf City USA 5K (Pacific Shoreline)


2009-02-02 1:03 AM
in reply to: #1940583

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Champion
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Northridge, California
Subject: RE: Surf City USA 5K (Pacific Shoreline)
Hooray for the PR...it was great to see you looking so energized at the homestretch!

Good luck with the tri!
2009-02-02 2:16 AM
in reply to: #1940583

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Melon Presser
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Subject: RE: Surf City USA 5K (Pacific Shoreline)

You don't just feel like a rockstar--YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR!!!!!

SUPER CONGRATS on an awesome, well-earned PR--especially after so much difficulty and heartbreak your last season.

And I was dying laughing about the hotdogs.

Here's another way you are like Lynne Cox ... you are also an excellent writer.

2009-02-02 3:28 AM
in reply to: #1940583

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Expert
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I'm a Tennessee girl living in SoCal.
Subject: RE: Surf City USA 5K (Pacific Shoreline)
Yay for PR's!!! Great race report, J!

I remember the shuttles for the 5k last year were also a mess. We also got dropped off behind some random hotel and had to walk the better part of a mile to get to the starting line. So, between getting to and from the shuttle added another couple of miles to the race distance. Hopefully they'll figure it out one of these years.

Aren't those little surfboard medals just the cutest?! I have mine from last year's race hanging in my cubicle at work.
2009-02-02 6:25 AM
in reply to: #1940583

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Veteran
134
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Lakewood, CA
Subject: RE: Surf City USA 5K (Pacific Shoreline)
It was nice meeting you on Saturday, congratulations on your PR!
2009-02-02 10:00 AM
in reply to: #1940583

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Master
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Vista, CA
Subject: RE: Surf City USA 5K (Pacific Shoreline)

Great way to start the season.  The third season is the charm, right??

Nice race report. What's next?



2009-02-02 12:18 PM
in reply to: #1940583

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Extreme Veteran
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Bend, OR
Subject: RE: Surf City USA 5K (Pacific Shoreline)
It's always great to start a season with a PR as it keeps you motivated to stay consistent with your training so that you can PR the next race.  Great job
2009-02-02 8:32 PM
in reply to: #1940583

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TinkerBeth
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Liverpool, New York
Gold member
Subject: RE: Surf City USA 5K (Pacific Shoreline)

Awesome RR and a wonderful start to the 2009 season! 

Congrats on your awesome pace!!!!

2009-02-02 10:41 PM
in reply to: #1940583

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Veteran
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1002525
Subject: RE: Surf City USA 5K (Pacific Shoreline)
Congratulations on a pr and the positive momentum! Great report!
2009-02-03 2:17 PM
in reply to: #1940583

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Regular
87
252525
Subject: RE: Surf City USA 5K (Pacific Shoreline)
Huge congratulations on the PR!!!  It's always nice to beat your expectations.  I looked out for you the first couple miles as we were starting but there were so many people that I didn't catch you, but I'm glad we got to meet up for lunch!  Sorry I was so blah the first half of the meal
2009-02-04 10:38 AM
in reply to: #1940583

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Master
2005
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Silverton, Oregon
Subject: RE: Surf City USA 5K (Pacific Shoreline)
Congratulations on the PR!!! Awesome start to the season!!!!


2009-02-04 3:21 PM
in reply to: #1940583

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: Surf City USA 5K (Pacific Shoreline)
Congratulations on a great race!  Well done. 
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