Category Archives: 10K

La Palma 10K – 2017

July 4, 2017

Usually carpool with Dona McBride for this race, but she had already committed to go with someone else (though later, I saw her there and she had gone stag).  But, I just drove myself and parked in the usual spot behind the medical center and right next to the Community Park where the run starts.

I had registered several months ago for something like $30 including shirt and pancake breakfast (better than in person and paying twice that).  This is at least my 10th time running this race.  Don’t love the course but it’s a good smallish local race.

My knee has been bugging me for a while and it didn’t help that a few weeks ago two large bull mastiffs crashed into my legs when I wasn’t paying attention.  I am still running fairly stiffly to ameliorate the issue.

It also doesn’t help that there is no marine layer today and it is starting out HOT!  I don’t like running when it’s particularly hot; I just don’t.

I have on my AREC tank top and I am soaked through fairly quickly.  I take it easy (for me) and do 25:30 (or so) for the first 5K.  (The “or so” is due to the fact that we start 0.15 miles behind the 5K and don’t know precisely where the 5K mark is for the 10Kers.)

I definitely slow down on the second loop, walk just a little to feel better, but I still manage 27:05.  I wanted to be under 8:00/mile pace, but given my circumstances, I am well satisfied with that result.  Even better, I placed in 2nd my division, so I have a nice medal to show for my efforts.

Talked for a bit with a new AREC guy, Ray Hernandez.  He ran the 5K and is training for the Long Beach Half Marathon.  Hope he has some success (getting over a divorce after a long marriage).

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Bagel 10K – 2017

May 14, 2017

It’s Mother’s Day in Dallas, so of course, we are doing a Mother’s Day Race.  Think Riva ran this before, and it could be on the small side in terms of competitors.

I am just over a week past completing Wild Wild West 50K, so I don’t have any great expectations, but feel Dad has a great chance to place in the 5K and Riva will most certainly get a top 3 finish in F40 or Masters.

The course is a teensy bit hilly and it is muggy and hot out.  10K is going to be two loops, so I expect to do OK in the first half and not as good in the second half (probably walk a bit).  I have on my AREC shirt which doesn’t seem to fit very well.

We start out immediately downhill (and this is also the section of the race where you avoid kids going out too fast), so my first mile is 7:30, and then it’s a gentle flat and climb through a neighborhood, mostly shaded and I slow to 8:26.  The last 1.1 is a descent along a bike path, a small climb to the street we started on, and then an out-and-back section to make up the discrepancy between the 5K and 10K and back through the start.  8:28 on this section (25:10 for the first 5K+).

On the second half, I do run the downhill part, and jog/walk the uphill – 8:47.  The neighborhood and uphill slows me to 10:25, and then I try and press the last section.

I pass Myrrh and Dad in the middle of this section, along with a number of walkers in the 5K.  Mom and Riv are waiting for me at the finish line when I come though in 53:13 (not too bad in this heat).  They don’t have my time, though, and it gets busted up to 53:56 somehow.  I missed out of placing in my division (F40-49) by about a minute (but it would have been closer if they had my real time).  (When I see the chintzy awards, well, it’s not a big deal to miss out).

Riva runs 46:53 (below average for her, but she may be injured) and that it is good enough for 5th overall and the female winner of the race.

Myrrh and Dad come in around 57 minutes.  Dad would have been first place in the M80, but they decided to lump them in with the M70-79, too and he is only 5th.  (70+ is sometimes OK, but not when you have a separate race for 90 year olds!)

Afterwards, we get a nice bagel and cream cheese, and a truckload of Kind bars (two Kinds of Kind bars).

When I take off my AREC shirt, I realize I have been wearing a Women’s XL. No wonder it fit so badly.

LA Cancer Challenge 5K/10K – 2016

October 30, 2016

Different location (again!) for the Cancer Challenge.  Ironically, we are back to the location we started at in the mid-00s, UCLA.  For several years, the run had been on the property of the LA VA and last year, last minute, they decided that we could not run there and so did a random street location in Woodland Hills.

Despite being back to their roots, the parking situation is kind of a mess.  Decided to pay for parking (or my carpool pal did), but we kept getting directed to lots that weren’t open and then once we were parked, it was not particularly close to the check in or the start.

The conditions are very overcast and very muggy.  It looks like it’s going to rain.  Yuck.  10K is first and it starts on the intramural (artificial turf) field.  During the warm-up session (the ridiculous jumping jacks and other work-out stuff that some of these races provide), it does start to rain and there is some concern that the AstroTurf will be difficult to run on (i.e. slippery).  There is also some concern (for me) about the hilliness, speed bumps, etc.

The race starts and it’s a mad dash across the slippery turf, and then immediately uphill out of the field area and onto the street, a little bit of downhill and speed bumps galore.  The speed of the initial dash takes me through Mile 1 in 8:18 and 7:45, respectively.

Next is a steady climb up a hill, and then a dash back down the hill back into the general area that we started in, an out-and-back along the quad and then up a rather steep hill, some flat, and then down to the finish line (except we do the loop twice).  My 5K split is 25:05, and now I have to go through the circuit again.

The second go-round of the first mile is 150 seconds slower, mostly because I am walking the uphill sections.  But my second time on Mile 2 is 20 seconds faster because I ran a little harder on the downhill.

The last time (or 1.1) is about 45 seconds slower for a net time of 54:16… but I need to circle back around (since the start and finish are in different areas) and get ready for the 5K run.

It’s already raining on the field and several people are debating whether they will run or not.  (Might as well… you already paid for parking, the race, etc.  At the very least, you should walk it!)  Maybe everyone in my age group will opt out (usually not in a 5K though).

My goal is to do better than I have in the past, which is sort of a don’t walk/speed-walk goal.  I used to be able to do a back-to-back 7:00/mile 5K/10K, but I don’t have that speed anymore.

The ground is a bit wetter than before and there are loads more people.  First mile, 9:38, is in between what I ran for the first and fourth miles of the 10K.

Second mile is in the mid-8s and the last mile in 9:38 which is pretty similar to the first and second times, but not bad for a steep hill AND being at Mile 9 of two “sprint” races.

Alas, the drop-out rate was not even strong enough for me to place in the Top 10 of my division (much less top 3).  A good run for a worthy cause and an extra mile or so trying to find where the car was parked.

La Palma 4th of July 10K – 2016

July 4, 2016

Back again for another La Palma 4th of July 10K.  I would probably have a streak of 12 years, but one year, I ran a 15K with Mark and Michelle for free, but I do enjoy doing this local race.  I heard a rumor this year (don’t tell anybody) that this race might not continue.  The crowds look at big as usual, but I think there is starting to be a recession from people being excited about running (it ebbs and flows), so hopefully this race isn’t a casualty of this issue.

I used the GPS again, to see where I was at in the second half of the race, because being with everyone in the 5K tends to pull me along to a good first half time (and also it warms up on the second half).

My first lap (5K) was 24:23, close to my best runs for a 5K this year (within a minute or so), and so, on the second half, I did take some walking breaks.

Towards the end, I was passed by Nick Kincaid.  We usually finish close together, either with him finishing just behind me or passing me early enough that I can’t make up the stagger.  I did my best to stay within range of him and caught him right at the finish (timing showed we had identical times).

And, for the first time in a few years, I got an age group award.  My theory of being the youngest in my current age group holds up, I guess.

LA Cancer Challenge 5K/10K – 2015

October 25, 2015

Pretty much I have run the LA Cancer Challenge every year since 2004.  This is a special race, one of the few that is a cause that I will run for

The past couple of years I have had to be goaded into running, not because I don’t want to support the Hirshberg Foundation (for Pancreatic Cancer Research), but because it has traditionally been around a week post-Twin Peaks and I am usually not recovered from a 50K (or 52.5M as was the case last week) enough to walk a 5K.  (OK, honestly, I can walk a 5K, like at Boeing, but I hate to spend money on a race that I am just going to walk.)

Last year, my friend, Doug, offered to pay for my entry if I could show up to run. That was pretty effective guilt-tripping.  Yes, I will run.  No, you don’t have to fund me.  Support used to be a lot better for this race, but we are getting on ten years since Heather Stevens died, and also, the past few years, the race has been on the same day at the Rock’n’Roll LA Half Marathon.  I’m hoping in the future that either folks will get tired of the expensive RNR events… or that the races will be on different weekends.

Another twist this year was that they had to move the race very last minute.  The LA Veterans Administration location decided they could not host events that didn’t directly benefit Veterans.  (So I guess it will be a ghost town for a while.)

The new location is in Woodland Hills.  Arrgh.  The drive to the LA VA was pretty substantial, similar to my commute in 2000 to West LA (around 25 miles one way).  Well, Woodland Hills is another 15 miles away, so a really long drive for a good cause.

The semi-good news is that two of my reliable compadres, John Hunter and Steve Schatz are going to carpool up, and I can go with them (Richard Parker, too).  The bad-ish news about this is that they decided we needed to allow 2 hours to get up there.  Honestly, there is usually not much traffic on the 405 Freeway at 5:30am on a Sunday.

We arrived more than an hour before the race, which allowed us to leisurely stroll from the parking lot to get our bibs (shaped like pumpkins!) and shirts, stroll back to the car, take a little nap, hang out in the team area, and that left another 20 minutes before the race started.

Like previous Cancer Challenges, they start with the 10K and then do the 5K, and the course is a loop course.  I liked the course OK, except for a weird section where we passed an intersection, ran 10 yards, did a U-turn, and then made a right-hand turn at the intersection.  Not that I had any speed, but nothing like doing a bunch of tight turns when you are trying to run fast.

Early on in the 10K, I had some issues with breathing.  This usually happens when it is the first time I run post-ultra.  I just gutted through as best I could, throwing in walking breaks when needed.  I ended up running near the front of the pack (think the race was smaller this year) coming in 50th overall. (50:51)

Had a small break before the 5K.  Not really enough to recover.  And in the second race, my quad got really tight, as if I had been running downhill a lot.  At least I didn’t have to run two loops, but I got sick of this loop pretty quickly.

I was happy with my results.  Being able to manage 8:00 – 9:00 minute miles 8 days after an intensive ultramarathon (on a sprained ankle) is impressive in my book.

Probably my favorite moment was running into one of my hash friends.  People always ask me to take their picture because my bird’s-eye view has a slimming effect.  She asked if I could take her picture with the Start/Finish Line in the background.  I thought I did a good job until I saw it later on Facebook, and I had mistakenly cropped out the “S” of START.  (Swear I don’t think you’re a tart.)

Bimbo Global Energy 10K – 2015

September 27, 2015

This inaugural event offered a great deal – $6 to register and included a technical t-shirt (and a sandwich).

Because the run was in downtown Long Beach, I figured parking would be a mess, and decided I would just walk from my house and walk back (and get in a little reading, too).  I knew that would affect my time a little bit, because it is a 4-mile walk each way.

It was a warm day and pretty crowded.  I did my best to get up near the front just to avoid the bulk of the crowds.

There were two races, a 10K and a 3K (untimed, and no awards).  The 10K headed off in the direction of the Yardhouse and the 3K headed in the opposite direction, but started about 10 minutes later.  (This would create total havoc.)

We ran through the parking lot towards the Yardhouse and then did a loop on the boardwalk/parking lot loop.  Because I got a good jump, it was a little less crowded here, though you could see how crowded it was going to get for those behind us.

They marked the miles on the course in an odd manner – by how many miles (and also kilometers) left to go… so I can’t tell you my first mile time, only my first 1.2 mile time – 9:04 (which translates to 7:30, evidence of a fast start).

Just after we passed back by the start, we encountered the behemoth that was the 3K group.  They were mostly walking and filled the entire pedestrian path.  I opted to run along the bike path (to the great ire of cyclists – did you not see the crowds?) until I passed the 3K turnaround and then I basically had the pedestrian path to myself.

My second and third miles were in the 8:30 range and then I got overheated and ended up walking a goodly portion of each of the last 3 miles.  Fortunately, the majority of the 3K runners were done by the time I finished.

I would have loved to run at an 8:00 pace, but due to the heat, the warm-up, and running with a book and t-shirt in a bag on my back, I was happy with my 55:39 time.

After the race, I looked around (in vain) for my sandwich, but got a number of Bimbo products and a bunch of cans of coconut water.

Of note was the overall winner’s prize – a free entry to any of next year’s races (apparently held simultaneously).  With few exceptions, all were held in Spanish-speaking cities, and included Santiago, Chile; Madrid, Spain; Asuncion, Paraguay; and Beijing, China.  Airfare and hotel room included.  I wonder which event the winner chose.

After the race, I walked back home and was pretty tired… after all, I did a little over 14 miles!

La Palma 4th of July 10K – 2015

July 4, 2015

Back to La Palma for another 4th of July race.  Dona McBride and I carpooled.  It’s sort of like we know the drill – we switch off who drives and we always park at the Hospital parking lot that is adjacent to the local park (20 yard walk from the car).  No one else seems to know this trick.

If you register online, it’s the best deal (even with the credit card charge).  Registration included a technical t-shirt and $4.50 gets you a pancake breakfast ticket.  Plus, they always give out mugs or something cool to division leaders.

The negative side to this event – particularly the 10K – is that you start 0.15 miles behind everyone else… so you cannot hear the announcements (including the starting gun), you half-hear the National Anthem, and once you catch up with the 5K group, there are hordes of people impeding your forward motion (the walkers, the meanderers, and the minute-per-mile-slower-than-me people).

We see a few of the usual people that we always see at this race – Paul Browne, from TRH, that lives right around the corner; Gil Perez (AREC VP) sporting a Beach City Runners shirt, but an AREC hat (wanting bonus points for wearing the hat – wrong shirt, buddy!); and Nick Kincaid, another AREC guy, who has gotten faster over the years (I used to be able to beat him; now I can only ‘contain’ him.).

The 10K starters are listening for the distant gun so that they can air-horn us off, and immediately, I find myself trying to accelerate around the mopey folks in this field.  I have about 400 yards to formulate a strategy to get around the 5Kers.

One item in the negative column that I forgot about is that there are random Mile markers… some for the 10K on the first loop (but 5K markers) and one on the second loop.

That being said, I reach Mile 1.15 in 8:25, which is around a 7:39 pace.  Fast… for today.  It started out overcast, but I can’t see that continuing 25 minutes from now.

There are lots of people out here but after the first mile, I presume I have passed most of the slow types… but I may encounter some of them on the second loop.  I get to Mile 2 (yep, for the 10K) in 6:46… but as my last mile was actually 1.15, my pace here is 7:31.

There are a couple of water stations after Mile 2 – one close to Mile 2 and one about 500 yards from the end of the loop.  It is here that it begins to get crowded as some of faster 5Kers are gearing up for their finishing sprints.  As I pass by the start, I time through in 9:36 (back to 1.2, because this segment is 3.1+0.15 – 2 = 1.25) or 8:43/mile.

The positive point here is that the crowds have thinned out, but the negative is that I don’t really have anyone to run with because until I catch the walkers, I am caught out in ‘no-man’s-land.’

I do see people off in the distance (including Nick), and I try and use that as my motivation to go a bit faster (also I am not zigzagging around anyone).  I reach Mile 4.0 in 6:11 (7:58/mile), and then Mile 5.1 (the 10K 2M marker) in 8:49 (8:00/mile).

Now I begin to catch the walkers.  One of the people I spot is the former owner/coach of Team Runners High Jeff Tribole (now of Beach City Runners).  He is walking with a number of other people, very slowly.  I can be critical since my finishing time ends up about 6 minutes faster than my 80-year old dad walked last October… and I passed Jeff at Mile 2.5 (for him).

Jeff used to castigate me at track workouts that I should ‘run a little faster and talk a little less.’  I feel that you don’t really have the right to criticize me for this if you yourself are not ‘walking the walk.’  I have heard that Jeff used to be quite the runner, but in my 18+ years in Southern California, I have never seen him do more than a slow walk (yes, he had a heart attack 10 years ago, but even prior to that it was bark out the workout and then skulk off to watch the Lakers on TV).

It’s fun for me to give him a little jazz after all of the ‘helpful suggestions’ I endured over the years.  After I finished (in 48:32), I watched him ‘run across’ 10 minutes later, as if he and his group had been running the entire time.  I say we give him that, let him say that he was running 19 minutes per mile.

I was very happy with my time, considering that one week ago, I did a very special high mileage trail run in honor of my little sister’s 40th birthday.  I ran for 6 hours 27 minutes and 40 seconds at El Moro and Laguna Trails and covered 26.1 miles (my sister turned 40 on 6/27, hence the timing).

When it came to the awards ceremony, almost all of our group received an award… but I came in 6th… even though I was the 28th finisher overall.  Small race… too many 40-44 year olds!