Tuesday, February 14, 2012

LA Firecracker "Year of The Dragon" race recap

Well I'm back in the dirty Jerz and reunited with my family. I missed my husband and son tremendously so it's great to be home.

Before flying back East on Monday, I participated in the LA Firecracker 'Year of The Dragon' 10K on Sunday.

I was pretty excited about this race, it sounded cool, starting in China Town and running up to Dodger Stadium.
view of Dodger Stadium
Now I was warned prior to the race that it was a little hilly. Eh. No sweat. I'm from Jersey. I am used to hills. Bring them on.

Me and Ang - I got a new green shirt for the occasion

This was my very first timed 10K. 10K is a tricky little race - I mean in a 5K you kinda run balls to the wall, it's 'only' 3 miles and I can suck it up and run as fast as I can for that… And then for 13.1, so much of that is about pacing.  So what to do in a 10K?  What to do in a 10K where the first 2 miles are uphill?

Well. If you're me, you start off too fast and run as hard as you can until you feel like you're gonna die. Uphill

I don't know why I did that but that was my strategy.


The first two miles were not just hilly, they were entirely up steep hills. The hill felt like it was never going to end. Many around me walked, I pushed and ran and ran until I finally had to white flag it for a minute and walk, and then I ran and walked again. Boo.

Hill - OMFG when will it end?


When I tucked a gu in my race belt I thought I was being dramatic. "It's only a 10K" I thought. "I'll never use it" i believed. As I reached 2.5 miles and I was starting to feel spent, I was happy I had it and took it. It gave me the 2nd wind I needed.

I have to say, these hills sucked so bad that I cursed like a sailor for a good portion of it - I had to dig deep. I vacillated between hating the world and telling myself to suck it up, "you are training for awesome." The other thing that was annoying was the pavement was cracked and jacked the whole time so you had to be careful of footing in addition to booking up hill.

My legs were burning - I even had cramps in my glutes. A literal pain in the ass.

If the first 2 miles were hell, the next 2 miles were glorious - mostly down hill. It felt so good, letting gravity help pull you forward after all that work.  I thought the hills were behind us until what we came upon what I've affectionately called, "WTF mountain." Now, "WTF mountain" wasn't really a mountain but it was enough of a steep hill for me to literally growl WTF? when I saw it. I was not happy to see it but up and over it I went.

Finally, the finish line was in sight and I turned up the engine as much as i could and raced past several people to finish strong.

well earned
Final time: 1:02:44 - about a 10:08 mile 49th out of 161 in my age group.  All in all I'm super happy about this time. I could only imagine how much better I would've done if only the first 2 miles weren't uphill and if I hadn't walked twice. This time far exceeded my expectation.  :)

While I swore to myself I would never do this one again, I have to tell ya - I really would. It was fun.


Personal photo's courtesy of Angela's Facebook page ;) Thanks, Ang!!

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