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!!


Jill said...

10k's are really tough, very hard to find a pace...they are hard to practice running for them. Great job on the race, you did great :). And that medal's really cool...I've never seen a medal for a 10k so I think that's pretty sweet! :)

Unknown said...

Thanks Jill - I felt pretty good about it all in all. The medal is sweet! I was happy to get it :)

Mandy said...

Great race! Crazy hills!

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

I'm glad I didn't know that a 10K is difficult to train for before I did mine! Seems like all you did was run when you were out there! Good for you!

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

I don't think I've done a 10K yet but damn the hills would have killed me to! Good job on getting it done!

nikki said...

those were some crazy hills!!! good for you jen the runner.... you are an amazing athlete! congrats on your awesome medal. xo

Molly said...

great race!!!! that hill is psycho.

Unknown said...

Thanks my friends for the comments! I feel pretty good about the 10K - especially since I didn't go into it with any particular training plan. I'd been training for the Surf City half so this was an afterthought.

TurboTurtle said...

Yee ha! Way to go, Jen!!! Great bling--you totally earned it on those hills. I totally love your attitude and how real you are.

Jason said...

Nice job my friend but don't worry about what you could have done b/c this is what you did do. The next race may have wind or rain or snow or be 110*.....there can always be something so just do what you did and race as hard as you can and leave it all out there.

Very cool medal by the way.

Suz and Allan said...

That is quite the hill! I really like the medal.

Anonymous said...

You did AWESOME! Super proud of you and your consistency lately. Great time... and I HATE hills.