Friday, February 24, 2012

Review: My First 10k!

It's almost been two weeks, so I'm a little late to this race review BUT since pictures were just posted two days ago I'll consider myself on time :)

I ran in the Prevention Mermaid Series San Diego 10k (they also had a 5k, half marathon, and mini mermaid run) on February 11th.  I love that it was right in my own backyard :)  The course went from the south end of Mission Bay park, out for a loop at Fiesta Island, and back.  I've run out there quite a bit since moving here so I was happy to be familiar with the course.

Note: Mermaid Series put on all-women run events! Part of their mission is "building a welcoming community that inspires women from all backgrounds to uncover and realize their full potential".  I can dig that!  That's one of the reasons I signed up, others being you get jewelry instead of medal and Alison Sweeney  (Biggest Loser host!) was going to be there, speaking AND running!
The day before the race they offered packet/bib pick-up at the Mission Bay Hilton from 3pm-7pm.  I got there a little after 3pm and there was a steady flow of people, but not crowded by any means.  It's a small-ish race and they were really well organized.  They had lines for each race and we received our bibs, a bag (with some Luna Bar Minis, sunscreen, Runners World, etc.), and then picked up our long-sleeve technical tees.  I was very impressed with the shirts.  I don't often run in a long-sleeve, but it will be nice when its cold out or to lounge in because I wear workout clothes more than normal clothes.
Long-sleeve tech tee and bib
I woke up around 6am and started with my race-day prep...checked the weather, had a small cup of coffee, hydrated, and ate some oatmeal and half a banana.  The oatmeal may have been a little too heavy and I think next time I'll stick to toast and pb. All in all, I was ready to go!
Pre-race mirror pic, looking fierce.
Before I knew it it was time to head down the hill.  I was running a little later than I wished, but good thing the drive is so short and there was plenty of parking.  I warmed up from my car to the start line about 0.5 mi away.  The halfers took off ~7:30am and I made it to the line with about 10 minutes to spare for the 7:45 10k start.  I stashed my sweatshirt and water bottle by a random tree and hoped for the best (didn't have time to go find the gear storage place). It was actually sprinkling a little, but was mostly just overcast and gloomy.  I was happy with my shirt and capris attire because when I'm running I sweat like a beast and actually get pretty warm, so no jackets for me!

Oh hey, there's Alison...
She spoke before the start and she was running the 10k too!

Anyways. Back to the race! We took off and I was feeling good.  I had to do a little weaving at the beginning but nothing too bad.  I didn't want to go out too fast, so I tried to make sure I was in control/  I really didn't know what to expect going into the race because I have never run this distance before.  I knew I wanted to practice for the half and keep my mile paces under 9:10 min/mi (my GOAL half marathon pace) and would be happier if they were closer to or under 9 min/mi.  The race felt pretty spread out, especially on Fiesta Island, basically between 1.5 - 4 miles I felt like I was running by myself although there were always runners in sight.  
As always, I'm a sight to behold when running. Haha. And these are the better ones...
I kept repeating positive mantras in my head and motivating myself along.  Once off the island, there was a little turn around and the race seemed a lot bigger because 5k-ers, 10k-ers, and half-ers all seemed to be merging.  The bigger crowd helped motivate me a little and I knew I was almost there.  Before I knew it, the finish was in sight and I hustled my tired ass in!
 Woo hoo! I did it! I finished and kept 8:50 min/mi pace...not too shabby for me!

I felt pretty good with the race and was able to load up on more goodies at the post-race expo.  They had a nice assortment of stuff to eat: bananas, oranges, muffins, luna bars, and zico coconut water in a variety of flavors (aka my new obsession). I wasn't too hungry but ate a banana and drank some water (stashing the other stuff for later) while I stretched and waited for results to post.  They also had a photo booth and a booth for manicures and massages! Talk about pampering :) I took my picture at the photo booth but skipped the other stuff.  I did buy myself a sweet shirt from the Mermaid Series booth. I blame it on the runner's high.
Finisher's necklace
Results finally posted and I was 37th/296 and I was 3rd in my age group (20-24)!  I didn't realize the age group thing, but it felt pretty good (even if there were only 13 people in my age group).  Sadly I just moved up an age group last weekend...guess I'll have to start getting faster!  Unfortunately they couldn't do age group awards for the 5k or 10k because there were some timing errors.  From what I gather some of the timing chips weren't scanned properly so they weren't matching up to the bibs, etc.  I briefly worried that I probably didn't get 3rd in my age group afterall.  It took about 4 days, but they got everything sorted out and finalized the results.  Of course I would be pissed if that happened to me, but on the bright side everything was worked out.  Guess what? Still 3rd!  They emailed to say they'll be mailing out age group awards this week! Can't wait to see what it is!
I should have jumped or something, oops.
Overall: great race, smaller race sizes (5k = 504, 10k = 296, Half = 179), all women, extremely well organized (minus the timing issue), fun expo, and just a fun and positive environment.  I definitely think I'll be participating in another Mermaid Series race in the future; gotta get more jewelry yo'! 

P.S. Alison Sweeney definitely beat me (53:24)! Go girl!


  1. Congrats, girl! First 10k, and an AG placing?! Awesome! Mermaid is a great race and the shirt and necklace this year are super cute

    1. Thanks! I was super surprised about placing, but I'll take it!