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?



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