Last weekend I ran the Surf City 10 miler for my 2nd year in a row! I love this race and its scenic ocean views down PCH in Huntington Beach, CA. You may be familiar with the course from the Surf City Marathon & Half Marathon that happens every February on Superbowl!
The 10-mile race course is basically the same course as the Half in February (only they add in an extra 3-mile loop for that to make up the extra mileage). It is a fun and fast out and back course!
The race was on Sunday, 10/15/17, so I headed to the expo on Saturday. It was a beautiful sunny and warm weekend!
I snuck in a few pictures while cruising the expo and grabbing my bib.
I also stumbled on this New Yorker on my way into the expo, he is always easy to find….if you know @peterpfischer then you know why! Peter and I have a habit of crushing expos and then carbs immediately after on pre-race days.
Can’t complain about an expo on the beach!
I loved the shirts they gave us this year (though I admittedly never wear them), some of my favorite colors right there! Anyone else a chronic race shirt hoarder?! Ugh, awful.
After the expo I laid out Flat Melissa! LOVED my tank from Gone For A Run and you can use my promo — Fitwithliss15 on their cute tanks and trucker hats for 15% off!
And yes, I ate that candy corn — and yes, I swear it helps my running!
Race morning was overcast, which is like talkin’ dirty to a runner! Yaaaaaaaaaaas!
I snapped a couple of pics cruising down PCH for my warm up.
Then, because race mornings don’t make you nervous enough, I looked down 15 minutes before the start and realized I had left my bib (with timing chip on it) in my car!
Thankfully, I was standing there chatting with Peter when I realized it, and he jogged over to the “Solutions” booth with me; they registered and issued me a new bib right there. OMG. Otherwise, I would have had to drop a 6-minute mile to my car and back to get mine, and that is not how I wanted to start off my race. Seriously awesome that they had that booth at the race, because the guy in front of me in line did the same thing.
Once the race was under way, I knew in Mile 1 this was going to be a strong race for me. Don’t you love when you can just feel it?! If you follow me on social media, you know that I am right in the thick of Marathon Training (it’s in 10 days actually), so I had no idea what to expect from this race. Tired legs, high mileage months, and a different type of speed work than you would do for shorter distances make it more difficult (in terms of hitting goals) to race shorter distances while training for 26.2.
Something that I believe really helped me is the way I have been doing my long runs during this training cycle, and treating them more as workouts. It helps break down the miles and not make that higher mileage seem so monotonous. For example; last year my goal on 18-20 mile runs was to simply go out and “don’t die.” This training cycle on those 18-20 mile runs I was focusing on doing anywhere from 7-12 (depending on the week) miles at MGP (marathon goal pace).
Going into this 10-mile race, I knew I needed 10 of those effort miles for my long run (of 20 miles that weekend). So I did a 1-mile warm up, then just talked myself through my 10 effort miles (the race), and then later ran 9 easier miles to round out 20 for the day. For some reason, breaking it down like that in my head just helps me.
This is a fast course along the beach — and it’s an out and back which I love. When I hit the turn-around point at 5 miles, I saw my friend Saige and yelled to cheer for her — seeing her looking strong gave me an extra kick. The “bring it home” feels had just clicked in, and I was ready to finish strong.
I was proud of how consistent my miles were staying each time my Garmin beeped and that was keeping me focused. I typically have a problem with going out faster and then slowing up some. Miles 7-8 of this course is a gradual up hill which slowed me a tad, but didn’t derail me. Here is a look at my mile splits to show you what I mean..
Last year I remember starting to struggle and slowing at mile 7, and surging back and forth with a guy running my pace, which helped me tremendously at that time. This year, when I hit that point I felt much stronger and I knew I was going to PR. I was able to come back with a 7:03 Mile 10 which was a big deal for me.
I came through that finish line with a huge smile on my face and a 4 minute PR at 1:11:38 over last years 1:15:57.
The first person I was saw Saige @runsaigerun (the one who I yelled for at the turn- around). We finally met in February this year when we both ran the Surf City Half, and this speedy beauty continues to be a constant source of motivation for me, I just adore her!
Finish lines are always fun because the work is done and it’s so good to see everyone and catch up.
I was so happy to see @kristelalliaume again who is involved in the event productions of the Surf City Races and such a sweetheart!
Another bonus of being in Huntington Beach is getting to see my friend Jodee. She ran the 10k and crushed a new PR that morning as well. Jodee and I met under non-running circumstances probably close to 7 years ago, and were pregnant at the same time — we have sons that are 2 weeks apart. I just love this girl and I’m so proud of her and all her running accomplishments. She’s been a constant source of support in my life since knowing her, and I’m forever thankful for our friendship.
We don’t get to see each other often enough, so we always make sure to celebrate!
The medals were a perfect matching accessory to our Mimosas!
The keychain I got for placing 3rd in my AG this year, which is exactly what I did last year, so that was a pleasant surprise.
Surf City always has such well-put together races and I am looking forward to the Surf City Half on Superbowl in February. It’s my current 13.1 PR course. Huntington Beach holds a special place in my heart, so it makes me happy to run PCH strong.
Who else ran this race, or is doing Surf City in February?