April 18, 2010

SB Chardonnay 10 Miler (Race Report)

Yesterday I ran the SB Chardonnay 10 Miler, which also happens to have been my first official race last year while I was training with the Team. I was excited to run it again for several reasons. For one, I just love to race. In fact, it probably borders on an addiction : ) Secondly, it's a beautiful course, run mostly along the waterfront, and a good distance, too - a little less than a half, but still long enough to be somewhat challenging. Most importantly, I was excited to run it with my Team. For many, including my girls, it was their first real race, and seeing the excitement and anticipation in their faces at the start, and their huge smiles at the finish made me relive my first race all over again and reminded me how grateful I am to have running in my life. All the girls did wonderful and finished strong, too - I'm so, so, so proud of all of them : ) I also had a somewhat secret reason for being eager to run this race - I really wanted to beat my time from last year (1:44)! Well I did just that, and with 2 minutes to spare : )

The race didn't start until 8am, but we met up with the Team around 7:15ish. A teammate, Cher, had brought supplies to decorate safety pins to pin to our shoes, in memory of our Team leader Erin's cousin.  Kylie was diagnosed with Leukemia back in January at only 17 years old. She went into remission about a year ago, but unfortunately encountered some complications with her treatment recently, and passed away suddenly last week. While this is truly a sad story, it just proves that we still have a long way to go to find a cure. 17 is way too young.
For Kylie ♥

While we waited for the race to start we hit up the bathrooms, stretched, and took plenty of pics. Right before 8am we lined up at the start, Jordan and I trying to get as close as we could to the front since it wasn't chip timed. As we waited, we looked around and saw the chubbiest baby I've ever seen - he looked like a sumo baby! I don't know if it's PC or not to mention this, but I couldn't help it : / We also noticed a man with a jogger stroller in front of us. Instead of a baby or toddler in it, though, he had a child! I believe strollers were allowed in this race, but explicitly told to start AT THE BACK. Clearly, this man was an idiot, and as soon as we started, he practically ran over a woman, cut off several other runners, and didn't even pause to apologize! Not cool, dude. Watch out for runner karma.
The crowd beginning to gather!
Gamma Phis pre-race.
TNT tent!
Coach Dodge giving us a pep talk : )
Happy to be racing!
TEAM shot!
The standard GO TEAM!
My girls and I waiting to start : )
A bit crowded...
Sumo baby!
I set my Garmin for a 10:15 pace, knowing that to beat my previous time we would need sub 10:24. I didn't want to push Jordan though, so I made sure to check in with her the very so often to make sure she was ok. Although I wanted to meet my goal, I wanted her to enjoy this race and have fun even more. It took a little while to warm up, but by about mile 3 we found our stride. Our pace hovered between 10:00-10:30 over the next few miles, which also happened to include the few major hills of the course. Luckily though they were worse going out then coming back. As we neared mile 5, the lead runner passed us on his way back! Holy cow was that guy moving! He ended up finishing in like 50 minutes - insane. It was cool getting to see all the fast runners on their way back, though. That's one thing I really like about out-and-back courses.

I remember from last year that the last mile before the turnaround seemed to take forever. This time was no different! We kept rounding a corner, thinking it must be coming up, only to see the road ahead with no sign of the turnaround. We finally made it, only to turn and head back up a lovely incline. Around mile 6 we took a Gu and got some water at the aid station. I had only brought one Gu, so I wanted to space it more toward the end to give me an added boost toward the end. As we moved along we tackled the biggest hill of the course and charged up it. We were both pretty winded at the top, but had a nice long downhill to recover. We got our second wind from our Gu and before we knew it, we were back along the waterfront at East Beach on the home stretch.
 Mile 4ish. I hate when randoms ruin a pic : /
Around mile 6 and feeling good!
The home stretch!

Last year around mile 8, I kind of fell apart. I was running with a group of girls on the Team and having a lot of fun, but the pace was much faster than I had been running on my long runs up til then. While I felt great for most of the race, the last 2 miles were a rude awakening. So it was a funny feeling to hit 8 miles yesterday and feel great. Not only great, but ready to pick up the pace a bit and finish strong. I know I'm a much smarter and stronger runner now, but I kind of wanted to prove it to myself by setting a PR at this race. Jordan was a bit tired at this point, but I just kept reminding her how close we were and how great she was doing. I broke up the remaining distance with landmarks so it wouldn't feel as long. And I reminded her who we were running this for - Kylie, who will never get a chance to run among so many other things. That seemed to push us forward even faster. We finished mile 9 in 10:06 and kicked it up even more for the last mile dropping our pace to 9:34. We crossed the finish line with big smiles on our faces with an official finish time of 1:42:11.
Here we come!
Done and all smiles : )
My perfect running buddy : )
Me and Jenna, the fab photographer (currently nursing an injury).
Love her : )
Sorority pose! Haha.

Our Team continued to trickle in, and once we had all finished and fueled a bit on the free food, we took a little dip in the ocean! It was quite a fun little excursion and the cold water felt great on my legs and feet. I think we got a few "you're crazy" looks, but I could really care less. How can you not take advantage of having the ocean as a giant ice bath?! We hung around for a little bit after that, then I headed home to hurry and get ready for work. Although the icing helped with my muscles, a full day of work on my feet took it's toll. When I got home I barely made it to my bed before collapsing for a much needed nap!
A little timid at first...
Group shot!
We had to be careful not to get knocked over by the waves!
So cold!
Haha, it's dangerous to turn your back on waves!
Success! The perfect end to a race : )

p.s. Thanks to Jenna for all the wonderful photos! She was our unofficial race photographer : )


  1. Great job!! Love all the pics, looks like all you girls had a blast!

    I did a ten-miler last year around Thanksgiving time and that was basically my turning point with running too. I knew I wanted to do more. I can't wait to do the same race again and see how much I've improved! (hopefully!)

  2. Way to go! 10 mile races are the best and PR's are even better. Love that you have a smile on your face the ENTIRE time! So inspiring!

  3. Congrats on the 10 miler!! I just thought i'd tell you how jealous I am you get to go for a quick dip in the ocean after a successful race! Thats so awesome!! :)