On Saturday, January 3rd I ran my first race of 2015 at the New Year’s Race in DTLA. I jumped on the New Year’s Race bandwagon late in the game since a bunch of people from my DTLA Running crew were participating and I had a serious case of FOMO. A lot of them decided to run the half marathon, but I am nowhere near 13.1-ready right now so I opted for the 6.2 mile distance.
(Fun fact: I signed up to run the 13.1 two years ago with my BFF Jenn, but I ended up bailing on her when I got invited to a wedding that same night. As it turns out, the course was a beast and that may be Jenn’s first and last 13.1. But who am I kidding, she’s friends with me so I’ll get her to do another one).
ANYWAY. Things I would not suggest doing prior to racing 6.2 miles:
- going wine tasting
- wearing shorts in the coldest LA weather we get
- not charging your iPod shuffle
- not looking at the course map at all
- not checking gear so you are freezing at the finish line
Despite those small bobbles, it was a fantastic race experience and set the tone for lots of miles and PRs in the year ahead with my running peeps.
We met up about an hour prior to the start for photos, selfies (I think 2014 was the year of the GoPro/Selfie Stick, and I don’t hate it), and pre-race encouragement. I had no goals for this race (again, out of running shape), and I have no fast-twitch muscle fiber so I didn’t plan to run fast, oh, and this course is a hilly beast. (Turn-around point is the entrance to Dodger Stadium).
Here are the only photos in which my eyes are open. Not sure how I managed to blink in photos taken at night with no flash, but I digress.
I ran into Linzie of Sharp Endurance at the start as well as Andrea Barber! She humored us with a photo.
My plan was to hang with my buddy Andres who was running the half — we are similar in pace so I thought that would be no problem since I was running half the distance he was. Easier said than done).
The race started and I went out too fast (what else is new), but got into a little bit of a rhythm. My Garmin got a little messed up going through a tunnel, but I think the first two miles were (relatively flat and thus) sub-7. I slowed down on the third mile, heading toward Elysian Park, where Andres passed me. I train on this course a lot, though, so I liked the fact that even though the course was challenging, I knew where I was in relation to the finish the entire time.
As we headed toward the turn-around, I noticed there were three women ahead of me who were running the 10k. I remember thinking “Sweet, if you pass one of them, you’ll make the podium.” I also remember thinking “You have NO KICK so you need to do it sooner rather than later.”
As I headed down the hill coming out of Dodger Stadium, I saw the woman who was in 3rd intentionally cut-off the woman who was in 2nd and she passed her. I assume it was intentional because (a) there was no one else around and (b) the woman who was cut-off had to visibly change her stride to accommodate this woman. I was maybe 50 yards back at this point and said, out loud to know one in particular “Oh my god.” What made this whole thing even crazier was that I recognized the woman who did the cutting off through healthy living blogs/social media.
Caution: SUPER attractive photos ahead.
Don’t say I didn’t warn ya. Anddd that was a Taylor Swift reference. #WHOAMI?
As I headed back toward the finish at Grand Park, the 10k course converged with the 5k, making it harder for me to spot these two women. By the time there was less than a mile left to go, the woman who had done the cutting off was now in 3rd, but still a solid portion ahead of me. With less than a quarter mile to go, I realize I had a little bit left in me, and she was not picking up her stride. I passed her in the last 100 m or so — something that literally never happens.
I finished in 45:30, 7:23 pace per mile. I was the third woman, and 2nd in my age group. (997 total participants). The story behind getting 3rd made it even sweeter, and one of my running buddies (Abel) dubbed me a “10k vigilante.”
After the race, I kept the Angel City beer garden warm for my friends who were running the 13.1. Great idea in theory, but pro tip: if you’re a girl alone at a post-race beer garden, dudes will come hit on you. Wearing shorts and having good taste in beer probably didn’t help, but whatever. Finally my DTLA Running crew showed up and we talked about the race, shared our experiences, and obviously staged photos for the ‘Gram.
Looking forward to more races this year, I have a few goals, but nothing too TOO crazy. I want to specate the heck outta the LA Marathon (for my mom and for DTLA Running and because I am in a wedding the night before), run Ojai Mountains to Beach (ideally in 3:34:xx because Boston), and run a few halves. The New Year’s Race was a great kick-off, and next year I will probably run the half so I can run inside Dodger Stadium and lessen any remaining FOMO feelings.
Happy Running in 2015! What are your goals?