[My recent guide to Madrid is featured today on Suzy Guese’s weekly round-up of travel blog posts from around the web – check it out!]
Happy Fourth of July everyone! I started the holiday with a 10k in the Channel Islands/Oxnard area with my friend Hannes. I love running a race on the morning of 4th of July – I guess you could call it a tradition I have with myself. Two years ago I ran a 5k in Huntington Beach before parking it on the beach for the following 12 hours, and two years before that I ran a 10k in Pacific Palisades. I’m determined to make this an annual event now!
My friend Hannes and I have been running together for years – from high school cross country to runs through the Berkeley hills, and even the Madrid Half Marathon! We wanted a low-key, local race and the Harbor Run 10k met our needs. I was also stoked to race with my new Garmin watch and after this race I can definitely say it was worth the investment.
We headed to the course and got there around 7:15 for our 8:00 am “gun time” (actually an air horn, but the starting line was a strip of tape so what can you do?) We picked up our race bibs and T-shirt, stretched, went on a very short warm-up, and got as close to toe-ing the line as possible.
Both of our training wasn’t where we wished it had been – it’s been really hot here which has diminished our motivation to run outside, and the past 2 weeks before I came home from Madrid were super hot too (basically 95 degress around the clock, and with no AC inside it’s pretty brutal). Our goal for today was just to relax and run it as a tempo run, since we both thought impressive times weren’t going to happen. I adjusted my Garmin and uploaded a new playlist for the race. I disregarded the race director’s email stating that while headphones aren’t recommended, they’re allowed. If dogs and strollers are allowed, you better believe I’m wearing an iPod.
In typical fashion, Hannes and I underestimated ourselves, forgetting how flat and fast the course was. While the set-up was pretty bare-bones, the course’s lack of hills and proximity to the ocean were pretty hard to beat, and I realized as I peeked at the sea between beach-front homes that this was my first glimpse at the Pacific Ocean in awhile!
The negatives of the race were pretty minimal, but it was a little bit sad to basically have no one on the course cheering – even the traffic cops couldn’t muster up a “good job!” as we passed. The water availability was sparse, but it was a short race so it wasn’t a huge deal. The race was relatively small, too, meaning that I was stuck in no man’s land for a good amount of the race.
Thanks to my Garmin, I realized I was in pretty good shape for a PR as the race wore on. My previous personal record, 47:15 was set in May at the Carrera Liberty in Madrid. The Garmin is truly awesome – not only does it serve as a classic stopwatch, but it also displays your distance as well as your pace as you run. I could look down at my watch and gauge just how fast I was going at that very second. Here are my splits:
Mile 1: 6:55 (oh boy)
Mile 2: 7:06
Mile 3: 7:23
Mile 4: 7:35
Mile 5: 7:37
Mile 6: 7:41
10k Finish: 45:16
So I don’t exactly get points for negative splits, but a PR is a PR! Hannes beasted as well, clocking in a time of 41:19. We’re waiting for the official results to be posted, but I am pretty sure I was the 5th woman overall (but I’m not sure how large the field was – definitely not huge).
We stretched and limped back to the car before meeting my family at their second home, Starbucks, for some coffee. What better way to mark a national holiday and celebrate post-race?
How are you celebrating the 4th of July?