Sunday, May 26, 2013

Long Beach Mayor's 10.118 Mile Trophy Run Review, aka Long Beach City Manager's 10 Mile Trophy Run*

I woke up at 6:30am and before you knew it the Nun arrived.  We drove to the Long Beach Recreation Center on Magnolia Drive.  We picked up our numbers and t-shirts (Mediocre cotton).  I asked the volunteer if any of the course was on the boardwalk.  She asked, "What boardwalk?"  I was disappointed to find out it was still unfinished for beach season (Although judging by this weekend's weather, you'd think it was March), but honestly a little relieved we wouldn't be subject to the direct wind from the ocean.  There was just enough time to drop off the shirts in my car and use the bathroom.  I looked for Tova (my new running friend whom I met on Thursday), but did not see her in the crowd.  The Nun and I walked to the start on Park Avenue.  It was a chilly 52 degrees and windy.

A lovely woman dressed in a military uniform sang the National Anthem with veterans at her side holding flags.  Always a moving moment.  Alicia and I said goodbye until the finish line.  The one wheelchair participant started first, and then everyone else 30 seconds behind.  I hit mile 1 at 7:37 even though I was trying to start out at an 8 minute pace.  I didn't freak and just went with it.  Mile 2 was 16:22.  I tried to hang behind a chatty group of about 8 or 9 older men.  I didn't have my music so I figured I could be mildly entertained, if not distracted by their conversation.  I started to get pretty warm in my sports bra, Uniqlo tank top, turtle neck, and Lucky T-shirt.  I slipped my turtle neck off while keeping the t-shirt over it still on, not an easy feat while running.  After this little stunt, I lost contact with the group of chatty men.  We were running the first of many long stretches east on Broadway, one block north of the ocean.  I could see the topless pylons which used to support the boardwalk.  A sad sight.

I hit Mile 3 at 23:46 (I kind of wanted to stop running at this point and sit on the side of the road for a little while.  This feeling stayed with me throughout the rest of the race).  We turned around and ran another long stretch on West Olive heading back west.  Every time we headed west, the wind was against us.  I got to the 4 mile marker at 31:xx.  I think the 5 mile marker was MIA.  I got to 6 miles at 47:xx.  This was a nice surprise, faster than my fastest 10k.  I waited to hit 7 miles between 54 and 55 minutes.  I didn't see it until almost 57 minutes.  Odd.  We headed north and then east again on the same street where I parked my car.  At this point we could see the front runners running in the opposite direction on the other side of the road.  I hit Mile 9 at 1:12.  I knew if I wanted to beat my time of 1:20:02 I needed to hustle.  No fade (which is exactly what happened last year at this point).  The last quarter mile I was neck and neck with an older gentleman.  A man on the sidewalk shouted to me, "You can beat him!!!"  This was the little push that I needed.  I saw the clock in the distance read 1:19:xx.  I wanted to come in under 1:20 more than beat the guy next me.  I broke away and hit the mat at 1:19:57...or so I thought.

I grabbed the juiciest red delicious apple and orange Gatorade and headed back to my car to grab my phone.  I saw Tova had texted me what she was wearing.  I found her and Leah, whom she met racing to the finish.  Leah is also a marathoner.  She's hoping to run the Marine Corps Marathon this year.  I think Tova has an eye for really nice, cool, fellow runners.  Not surprising since she seems to be one of the friendliest, most outgoing people I have met (another one would be my neighbor, the one who introduced us).

Tova and Leah had some interesting news.  Apparently, the race was misdirected and wound up being longer than 10 miles.  It was 10.118 miles to be exact.  I think Tova told me to go grab my ticket over by the FLRRT van with the results.  I have never seen an individual ticket given out at a race, so I'm not quite sure what she was talking about.  I went to the van and saw they posted the results on the side.  They had me down as finishing at 1:20:00 exactly.  Um, I really thought I finished at 1:19:57.  I mean, a 5 second PR sounds so much faster than a 2 second PR, at least in my head.  They adjusted the pace to the true distance.  My pace was 7:55.  If the race had actually been 10 miles, my finish time would have been 1:19:10.  A 52 second PR is even better!  I finished 4th out of 32 in my age group, 16th out of 159 women, and 86th out of 384 total.

The Nun crossed the finish line a lot faster than I expected.  She looked great.  I was so proud of her since this was the farthest she had ever run.  We are ready for Stratton-Faxon, baby!

Tova, Me, Leah

The Nun and I

* changed the name of  the race to reflect the new distance.


  1. I feel honored to be mentioned in the blog and thank you for your compliments but did not feel that great on Sunday after the race. I felt discouraged, old, slow and definelty sore!! I was jealous of your time I admit, feeling like he person who shows up late at the party and missed all the fun ( your running with the fast crowd!) but that feeling was replaced by joy and pride for running that LONG race. Thanks , it was fun. -The Nun

    1. Sunday was a tough recovery, especially if you were doing lots of walking. I would think the lots of drinking vino at the vineyards would help numb the pain, though. Fun run with the nun. Until we meet again...

    2. Well the vino did help. Yesterday I rested (I guess cleaning can be called that) and today did my 3.2 mile loop in the evening. I felt good, even maybe a little faster than usual. I think I will start timing my run. Told my students today about the race in Sign Language, not an easy feat to do with a group of beginner signers. Tried to convey my feelings around the mile 6 marker. I think some got it. I have a few runners in my class. - The Nun

    3. If you want to increase your speed, try a little track workout too. It definitely helps.