Redondo Beach Superbowl 10k

Redondo Beach Superbowl 10k

Feb 17

I raced for the first time this season on Superbowl Sunday, and what a race it was!  I FINALLY cracked the 50:00 mark for a 10k, something I haven’t done in over 15 years!  Despite being able to run a 40:00 back in the day, I consider the 49:11 I ran at this race a PR for me.   I consider my cross country days a different lifetime, and anything I did back then doesn’t count IMO.

It was a beautiful morning for a race.  I met up with a few of my TNT teammates: Yvonne, Holly, Riz, and Riz’s sister Clare. We had a 7 mile run on the schedule as part of our Ironteam training, and a 10k was close enough in length that we all decided to race instead.

The start of the race was a bit of a cluster-fuck as usual.  There wasn’t much real-estate to get moving, so it was a little hard to get going.  After about a block of bobbing and weaving I was finally able to settle in to my pace.  I felt really good for the first 2 times, cruising along and feeling cautiously optimistic about coming in under 50.  I knew that its always miles 3-5 of a 10k that are a grind though, so I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

I started to feel the usual burn of a 10k around mile 3, but I had made a decision before the race that turned out to be a game changer for me, and that was to run with music.  I’ve gotten so accustomed to training with music because of Ironman training that I forget what a shot of adrenaline it can provide……in this case, it was Skrillex’s “Bangarang” that made the difference for me.  This tracked kicked in at the PERFECT time, and any doubts I had about sub 50:00 were completely banished from my brain.  I didn’t get comfortable, as my pace was close enough to 50:00 that I was constantly doing the math in my mind to see if I was on track.

Around mile 4 I saw one of the funnier things I’ve seen in a race before……at the race start we saw a group of people dressed as Salmon.  At mile 4 we saw them running the course…..backwards.  They ran the entire race in reverse to “swim upstream”.  So effing clever and hilarious!

The most noticeable difference between this year and year’s past was the hill at the end of mile 5.  There’s a super-short but steep climb that heads up from the Redondo Beach Pier up to Catalina Ave., and when I’ve done this race in the past that hill as consistently destroyed me. This year was different.  I powered past the majority of people on the hill, some walking, some slowing down to a near-walk….when I got to the top I was winded, but there was an aid station so I slammed some water and got back to it.  The rest of the race from this point on was all downhill so I was able to pick my pace back up.  I knew I was on the fringe of 50:00 but I knew if I picked it up I had it locked.  I turned the final corner, saw the finish line, looked at my time, and knew that I had finally done it.  I was smiling from ear to ear!

The race after-party was fun as always…..there were a ton of people in costumes, and I got to meet Mr. Fong who at 80 years old competes in various triathlon championships across the globe as an age grouper.

Finishing sub 50:00 means so much to me after what I’ve been thru physically with my knee, back, weight, and otherwise.  It shows that with a little hard work and dedication, its possible to overcome life’s inevitable obstacles.  And I feel like I’m just getting started….I’ve got 45:00 and beyond in my sights.  I  feel like I can be fast again….I’m not fast yet, but it can happen, I KNOW IT.