Tuesday, June 21, 2016

We Run the Grove 10k: a race recap

On June 12th I ran We Run the Grove. It's a small race that starts and ends at the Grove shopping centre. This was my first LA race and even though I only had one goal (finish under 60 minutes) I was still nervous and got there an hour early. I stood in line for about 3 minutes for packet pickup. They gave out race shirts and since I had taken an Uber I had no place to put mine. So I improvised:

With my bib and shirt in place, I began to wander through the place. it's an open air mall with a fountain in the middle. At one point I asked a security guard where the restrooms were and she directed me to the lobby. I'm not sure if it was for a movie theatre or a hotel, but it was sooo fancy. There were rows of crystals hanging on the walls, a cluster of glass butterflies, and there was a Rolls Royce parked in the middle. Also, it was hands down the nicest race bathroom I've ever used.

After a lot of wandering I started to follow the crowd to what I assumed must be the starting area. About 5 minutes later the race director came running over in a panic to loudly declare:

We slowly ambled back to the packet pickup area.

This was a small race to raise money for MS research. We had a celebrity representative and I was pretty excited to have recognized her.

No, no I didn't actually do that.

I was cool as a cucumber.

She totally didn't see me though so it was okay.

Once the talk was done, the race director asked all the 10k runners to raise our hands. A smattering of us throughout the crowd raised our hands. She then followed up immediately with:

I jumped into action with a rousing:

I quickly started weaving through the still-waiting half marathoners, while trying to start my watch and shove my phone into my belt, and slide the card with the course map into my sleeve.

Since this was an open course (i.e. the roads were not closed to traffic) we had to deal with stop lights and cars. At one point there was someone waving us through an intersection but the light turned red so I stopped. The guy behind me gave a frustrated huff and ran around me through the light. I must have been off the sidewalk because this happened:

Yelling at me to hurry tends to make my brain stop sending movement signals to my body.

Eventually though I was prompted to start running again, at which point a guy making a left leaned on his horn and stopped to yell at me for going through the intersection.

He was right, of course. I shouldn't have crossed at all.

The race continued through some lovely neighbourhoods in the Beverly Hills area, and I even got to chat with a local.

The chat continued.

He wanted more information.

I didn't actually say that.

I really wanted to meet my time goal so I said something to the effect of:

And I continued on my way.

I finished the race and only almost went with the half marathoners once. My unofficial time (because there was no official timing) was 58:19 and well within my goal of under 60 minutes! All but my first mile were well under 10:00 pace, and if I can run around 9:00 miles for 13.1 miles then I'll achieve my sub 2 hour goal. I've been told more times than I can count that this is a very doable goal, but somehow I just haven't been able to reach it yet. Maybe I'll try for a fall race, say, the Rock 'n' Roll LA.

Who wants to join me?


Thursday, June 9, 2016

I Joined Cardio Run Camp and I Love it!

Like I said a couple of weeks ago, my comfort zone is small and I've only been here since mid-February. So it took me some time to force interactions with people beyond:

Oh, although I did go on a couple of job interviews right away and I met up with Gigi for lunch!

Thanks to Pickleope's suggestion, I went onto meetup.com and I found the Athleta Cardio Run Camp. It had 2 very important factors that made me decide to try it:

Number 1:

Number 2:

When I got to the store I made a little awkward small talk and then we started our run.

We ran from the store down to the beach (you can feel bad for me now) and stopped at different spots along the boardwalk to do our workouts. They included super fun things like lots of push ups, tricep dips,  jump squats and lunges.

Our coach was Brittney and she was friendly and motivating. So I went back the next week. There were some new faces, including Bari. It turned out we had some things in common.

Such as:

And also:


Turns out we're both Sweat Pink ambassadors too.

The following week Sandra came to class. She is also a speech pathologist, who used to live in Austin and volunteered at the school where I first worked. What a small world!

Anyway, there are always lots of groups working out on the beach, like a kids' boxing class, personal training groups, and Navy candidates. Since we always see the same people, Brittney came up with an idea:

We did, of course, because Brittney is persistent but she also made it funish. She has promised us that we will have more workouts with them in the future.

One day we were midway through our workout when Brittney asked us to play a fun game:

I love games.


Often we do wall sits as our last super fun activity before running back. Brittney has started asking questions to help distract us some from the fatigue. We share our favourite foods, what one food we would have on a desert island (fries for me), and which superhero you would be. Bari went first:

She did, in fact, mean Mystique.

Making new friends is cool.

If you are willing to go to Santa Monica on Sunday mornings you should definitely join us!


If you could be any superhero who would you be?


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