Surf N Santa 10 Miler (1:10.46)

Surf N Santa 10 Miler (1:10.46)

The Surf N Santa has since been shortened to a 5-mile race on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Now it’s the Surf N Santa 5 Miler presented by Bon Secours in Motion. Plus there is the Holiday Lights Merry Mile. Packet Pickup is easy at the Virginia Beach Convention Center and The Post Race party at the Surf N Santa has Samuel Adams.  Any race by J&A is well put together and I like the holiday themed Surf N Santa. 

I woke up Saturday morning, ready to run the Surf N Santa. The only starting line I had run across lately was the virtual one on the elliptical.  I wasn’t excited for the Surf N Santa, nor was I excited for the amount of pain I knew I would feel during the race.  I had run one 10 mile run since the marathon and barely made it through.  Barely.   The reason I was excited for this race what that it signifies I  am ready to start a new training cycle.

So when I woke up and saw it was pouring rain I was more than thrilled. I mean, who doesn’t love racing in 40 degree pouring rain?  I actually didn’t care, either way, I was just happy the Surf N Santa wasn’t canceled.

I got to the Virginia Beach Convention Center an hour early and had no interest in going back outside or warming up.  After the New York City Marathon, I haven’t been running much (the only other 10 miles I did was a couple of weeks ago.  I felt like death and it ended up with a pulled muscle).  I didn’t want to push my luck.  I also wasn’t overly concerned with my time and wanted to keep warm instead.  In the convention center, I had the honor to meet David (one of the co-founders of Runchat on twitter!)…After basically meeting an internet celebrity, I decided I should probably delayer and head to the Surf N Santa starting line.


When Surf N Santa started, it was overwhelming.  Since the 10 miler and 5k shared a start, there were a lot of people around.  I tried to remind myself not to take it out quickly because I do not have endurance right now. It would hurt.  That was unnecessary.

Mile 1 of the Surf N Santa hurt.  Mile 2 also hurt.  Mile 3 of the Surf N Santa 10 miler and 5k wrapped back around the center (for the 5kers to finish) and I debated doing the 5k…but I didn’t.  I saw the leaders going the opposite way and just pushed on.  (In summary miles 1-3 were thinking why on earth did I think this was a good idea).

Miles 3 and 4 of the Surf N Santa were just spent thinking about how mile 5 was on the boardwalk and going to be windy.  The race went 37 blocks on the boardwalk going into the 30 mph wind (in the rain).  I knew the weather would be miserable because it was cold, raining and I’m not in shape.  It wasn’t a surprise when it was miserable.  I don’t have a great turn of events or story about how I pushed through at the Surf N Santa.  It seemed like the longest part of the Surf N Santa and I just put my head down and went.

Around mile 6 of the Surf N Santa, my hat blew off, but I was lucky a kind gentleman from behind me picked it up and passed it to me.  I cannot thank him off for that or I would have been running off to the beach trying to catch the darn thing.  We ended up running the rest of the Surf N Santa together for the rest of the race, which was nice.

For all the wind we saw in the previous miles, we saw no backwind going in the opposite direction for miles 8 and 9 of the Surf N Santa because the buildings blocked it.

At mile 9 of the Surf N Santa, I realized I was hovering around a 7-minute pace so I decided to just pain train it as hard as I could to finish.  It was stupid because I should have realized I do not have the endurance to pain train an entire mile.  I should have started surging at 9.5.  Regardless mile 10 of the Surf N Santa was the worst mile but when I ran into the convention center, my spirits were lifted.

I don't normally race in hats either but it keeps rain out of my eyes. (I wear contacts)
I don’t usually race in hats either, but it keeps rain out of my eyes. (I wear contacts)

The Surf N Santa finished inside of the Virginia Beach Convention Center, which I thought was pretty cool.

All in all, the Surf N Santa was a great race and I’m happy I drove back to do it.  I always appreciate all J&A Races and I think Jerry and Amy do a great job. The Surf N Santa is no exception and a well put together and fun race. It gave me more motivation to start consistently training again.  Was I expecting a PR at the Surf N Santa?  No of course not.

I wouldn’t expect a PR in that weather if I was training.  I expected to finish the Surf N Santa and have a great time. I love J&A races in VA Beach because they are always a lot of fun and always worth the drive down.  (YAY for Shamrock in March!).

 I finished 8th female overall at the Surf N Santa and 1st in my age group.  (Which the 20-24 age group had less competition then most)

Also this is the first race ever I have worn shorts (Oiselle Rogas). I left my runderwear at home in Jersey but I didn’t get chafing and it wasn’t a big deal.  (though I still prefer runderwear).

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.

Questions for you:

What is your least favorite racing conditions?  Have you run the Surf N Santa? 

Dad and I have determined we hate the wind.

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  1. I seriously have to wear a hat when it rains or else I hate the run. so weird because I refuse to wear a hat any other time but weather makes it so necessary. way to kill this race even after not much training. way to go!

  2. I can’t stand running in heavy rain and high winds. Light rain is fine. Up to moderate wind I can stand, but I can’t tolerate high winds. I did a half with 30 mph winds at your face and for the first time I just quit running right in the middle.

  3. Looks like an awesome race coming off your marathon, Hollie! I can imagine how painful it was to push though.
    I hate wind. I bitch and complain the entire run. My very first 20miler was in horrendous wind. and a wisconsin winter. I was so defeated but did it!

  4. You look super cute in that picture actually!!! I absolutely loathe running in rain if it is under 70 degrees. Above, it serves to kind of cool you off, under it is just annoying and cold!

  5. That hoodie looks cozy. I’m sorry you had to take it off. 🙁
    Great job on the race. Last time I raced when it was raining, my shoes were sponges at the end. Miserable.

  6. Windy conditions are my worst nightmare, by far. Every damn race I’ve run this year has been windy, pretty much. Sun, rain…heck, even a light dusting of snow is preferable to wind, because for some reason the wind makes my already atrocious form completely go to shit, and thus put even more pressure on my already angry hips. And what is the deal with the wind being against you, but no corresponding wind appearing behind you even when you make a complete 180 turn? It makes no sense.

    Great time – I wish I could run a 10 mile race in that time in ideal conditions, let alone with minimal training and the added challenge of the wind and rain. I always run in a hat and shorts! It’s impossible to see in the rain without a hat and let’s just say I do NOT have the legs for runderwear.

    1. I feel like I remember reading that you had a lot of windy races. They are seriously awful. I think wind and rain at a 30-40 degree temperature is the worst.

      I actually thought of you wearing the hat! I was like Jess looks awesome when she runs in a hat and never falls off (that I knew of…I can do it!)

      1. I’m flattered 🙂 I’m sorry you had trouble in terms of losing your hat though! I’ve never had one fly off during a race, because the hat is actually integral to me being able to race at all. To elaborate: I use the hat like blinkers, to block off a bit of my peripheral vision and thus become slightly less aware of and panicked by the crowds of people around me. If I lost my hat, I’d really struggle not to panic while running, so I end up half cutting off the circulation to my head by wearing it extremely tight…I actually end up with what looks like some kind of labotomy scar going on straight across my forehead for hours after I’ve removed the hat. So, I’ve never lost one during a race, but I have had to chase after my hat many times during training runs (even now I get scared about going out to run, and the hat helps with the agoraphobic aspect of that). You really suit one though, even if it did prove to be a bit of a hinderance!


  7. Congrats!
    I have to agree with you that wind is the worst. I skipped a 5K race last weekend because we had a -40C windchill warning. Cold + wind = not happening.

  8. Congrats Hollie! Toughing in out in the rain is one thing, but wind? I will agree with you and your dad, wind is the worst. When I rowed I would seriously prefer non-stop pouring rain over wind any day of the week.

  9. I hate wind. Hate high heat. High humidity. Basically I will probably complain if it is not 50-60 with a nice breeze 🙂
    Good job on the race though – I probably would have stayed in bed! running a 15K this Saturday and know I will not be too excited with the weather!

  10. I think this always comes out wrong, but it’s still motivating to know that you feel miserable on runs too! I still picture good runners just going out and running like it’s no big deal all of the time! You still did awesome though! I’m sure it’ll be nice to start a new training cycle 🙂

    1. LOL no part of that race felt fun or enjoyable. I totally get what you mean though…I’m always like…are elite runners feeling good during every run?

  11. I can’t speak for racing conditions, but I’m a WIMP when it comes to bad running conditions in general. Rain, snow, too hot, too cold — nay — which is sad because I just got back into running right before the weather turned nasty… and now I’m out there snowboarding in that nasty weather 😆 Oh fails…

  12. I love rocking hats when the weather is questionable, and I always wear my lucky visor during the run portion of triathlons. It’s like my security blanket; I need to have it with me, lol. Also, I am so stealing the phrase “pain training.” That’s a good mantra for the last mile of a race. And like we’ve talked about, no one is in peak fitness right now, so you’re not alone–even though you still kicked butt and won your/our AG!

  13. Congrats on the AG with minimal training!

    I agree with you, wind is the worst, followed by freezing temps IMO.

  14. I’m glad you were happy with this race (despite the weather!) and that you’re ready for a new training cycle!!

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