I had hoped to be under 43 minutes for the Santa Monica Classic 10k like last year, but that didn’t work out. The week leading up was busy. Honestly, I was pretty exhausted, and while I tried to get as much sleep as possible, that didn’t always work out. I signed up last weekend, knowing it might sell out but not knowing if I would be able to run.
Before the Santa Monica Classic 10k:
As mentioned, the week before was bu; even the Saturday before, I was helping plan a baby shower. On the day of the race, it was hot and humid. Not just California humid, but actually humid. The start temperature was well above 80 with 100% humidity. We just had a tropical storm pass by.
I woke up not feeling great. My stomach felt off, and I just didn’t feel good. It was really unsurprising. I was a little worried about my stomach not feeling good, but it seemed to calm down as the morning went on. We walked the mile from our hotel to the Santa Monica Classic 10k start. I was sweating before we even got to the start. Luckily during the walk, but stomach calmed down a bit. Was Cafe Rio the best idea before a 10k? Maybe not. Picking up my bib was easy and proved to be one of the more uneventful parts of the race.
The Santa Monica Classic 10k actually gives you your race shirt and medal after the race, so you have to “earn your shirt.” I guess?
Right before the race, my watch died. It’s a “me problem,” and I didn’t realize I needed to charge it. I warmed up about 3 miles, and as I was trying to get to the start, I realized what an issue it would be. The Santa Monica Classic 10k start was packed, and it was impossible actually to get to the right area. I asked a few people if I could go around them, and one lady even told me, “there is no room.” So I settled in a spot that did me no favors.
Santa Monica Classic 10k Race:
When the Santa Monica Classic 10k start went off, it was another 20 seconds before I crossed the start line. Then I couldn’t run at the beginning because it was so crowded. I walked for a good few seconds, that felt like minutes.
It was kind of disheartening knowing that the time was going and I was not running. But finally, I found some space to get running. For the first two miles, it was tough to go around people. I also forgot how big the race was, and it was packed for at least a mile. I just stayed to the left as much as possible. I didn’t feel great, but it was also hard to tell because I was going around people. I hit the first mile of the Santa Monica Classic 10k in 7:13. As I passed the first-mile marker, a line of people had already stopped taking selfies.
I seemed to find my groove more during the second mile. As we got to the second mile, we began catching Santa Monica Classic 5kers. On a narrow path, you had both 5k and 10kers. I don’t understand why races do this because it’s not fun for anyone. No one likes faster people crowding and passing, and faster people don’t enjoy weaving around people. I hit the second mile in 7:27 and thought my race was probably done. I actually contemplated just walking off the course.
The third mile went without notice. I ran a 7:53 and spent it weaving around people. Around 2.5, the 5kers turned around the path opened up a bit. By this point, it was hot. When the race started, it was 80+ degrees with 100% humidity. And it only got hotter.
The next mile of the Santa Monica Classic 10k goes uphill. I remember last year not knowing there was a large uphill portion. It feels never-ending, but you see other people going back down. I ran an 8:05 4th mile.
But what goes up must come down, and the next mile went downhill. I finally felt like I was getting my leg speed (which is much easier on a downhill section). I began passing people and not feeling terrible. My stride started opening up during the fourth mile, and I felt better.
During the last mile, I started passing even more people. I finally started to feel “decent.” I had momentum from the 4th downhill mile, and I was able to kick to the finish line. During the last mile, I passed at least five people…a really rare occurrence for me. I wish I had my watch because the last .2 was definitely under 6:30. I crossed in 46:08 and was the 13th woman overall.
Santa Monica Classic 10k Thoughts:
While not really what I wanted, I can’t complain. I ran faster in the Bra Run 14k a few weeks ago. I haven’t had the best luck with races in the past few months (like most people, it’s just hot and humid). When the weather is good, I don’t feel great.
I’m looking forward to running a race that showcases my fitness. But I had fun, and I can’t complain about that.
You can see Strava here (it was tagged from my husband’s watch, so not really sure how useful it is).
Questions for you:
Have you run the Santa Monica Classic 10k?
What’s the biggest race you’ve done?