By 6:30 I was ready to go, woke up my friends with a morning greeting and received sleepy "good luck's" in return. I chuckled gratefully out the door.
When I arrived at the beach parking lot sunrise was at it's finest.
I stretched and walked over to the registration tables to pick up my number and T-Shirt. I was happy they had the right size for me. I really liked the long sleeve cotton shirt.
The morning was chilly and I wasn't sure if the weather would warm up enough for me to not need some sort of sweater so I put off pinning on my number and decided to power walk/jog the beach strip while I waited for 8:00 a.m. and the start of the race.
This wasn't the road we would be running on but the road crossing the actual beach.
Me early in the morning as I power walk the beach in wait for the main event.
By this time I wasn't very nervous and I was happy seeing people coming, meeting, greeting and registering. Although I didn't recognize anyone I had a lot of fun watching all the different kinds of people; different ages, different sizes, different nationalities, people with dogs, people with strollers, pregnant, wrinkled, short, long, athletic and not.. etc. All this people watching kept me from getting angsty but I couldn't help taking this picture of the infamous finish line. LOL
"I will be crossing you soon enough my friend, and it will be glorious!"
By 7:45 a.m. the parking area was packed. There were hundreds of people there waiting for the start of the 5k and/or waiting for the 5k to commence so they could get ready for the 10k.
By this time my family showed up and I was excited.
Mom and Grandma there to support.. and hold my camera!
Soon after meeting up with family I had to leave to the start of the race up the hill from the finish line
Heading toward the start of the race. You can see the start by the tent on top of the hill.
I decided to hang in the middle of the giant crowd and to the right. From my experience in my last race I knew now that there would be a lot of people passing me in the beginning and I didn't want to be in the way. I also didn't want a lot of people in my way as I knew I would slowly (but surely) start to pass others as time progressed.
The race was a big loop along the main road above the beach. It was a little bit of a tease because looping back I could see the finish line coming closer but I had to do a long round-a-bout and then run down a ramp before heading toward the actual finish.
By the time we rounded and headed down the hill the man that I had been keeping track of and eventually catching up to, fell behind me as I picked up my pace for the last half mile. I started keeping step with this awesome and fluorescent-ly dressed woman by the time I saw my family cheering me on near the last stretch.
Go Elina Go!
Right after zooming past my cheerleading squad I spotted the 3 mile marker and knew it was time to start gunning it. By this time I was speaking my simple mantra out loud "Keep going." Breath "Keep going." Breath "Go." Breath "Go." Breath "Go." Let me tell you it helped!
I start to pick up the pace the second I see the 3 mile marker in yellow.
Crossing the finish
I look at my time and my mother comes running up to me yelling the number; "34 minutes and 20 seconds Elina!" I beat my race time by 1 minute and 10 seconds. I happily yet tiredly rejoice
As I'm hugging my dad we're asked to pose for their website, so we do.
We spend some time going around the booths and looking up the up coming spring races and then I spot the result sheets. So I go and find my name.
-I finished 173rd in a race of I don't know how many.
- I finished in 18th place in my age division
-I crossed the finish line at 00:34:21
-My pace was 00:11:04 which the best time I've had...ever!
I put on my race shirt and take one last accomplished picture by the beach before we head out and meet up with friends for lunch in West Hollywood. What a great day!
I did it!
You can too.