With the 2013 Brea 8K coming up on Sunday, February 24, I’m flashing back to my experience at last year’s race. To give you some context, I’d been running for 11 months at that point. I was 40 years young. I’d done a few 5Ks, a sprint triathlon, and an Olympic distance triathlon. I had just started training for my first half marathon, and I was recovering from a groin strain injury in my right leg.
I went to bed at 10 p.m. and got up at 6 a.m. to get ready to race. I left the house at 7:15 and got there at 7:30 for an 8 a.m. start time, cutting it a little close given the line at the porta potties! But I had time to make it to the start line with a few minutes to spare and I happened to meet up with my half marathon running coach Stephanie. She is so nice. She chided me for running the full 6 training miles yesterday and said I only should have done two. 🙂 She also coached me on how to protect my pulled groin muscle from further injury — she told me not to lengthen my stride when I went up the hills — to keep my stride quick and short and not overtax that muscle. Good advice. I felt great during and after the race.
There were 4,500 people registered for the race [2,853 finishers I found out later] and even though I stood with the 7-8 minute mile starters, there were tons of walkers and beginning runners who stood there too and should not have been there. I did a lot of passing for the first two miles of the race. Frustrating. I made a mistake trying to pass someone too, totally my fault but she made me feel bad about it. She was listening to her music and couldn’t hear me overtaking her on the right, and while it’s my duty to keep out of her way as I overtook her, I thought she knew I was there. My bad. I said, “Sorry, sorry!” and she said, “Yeah you better be sorry.” I didn’t feel quite so sorry after that!
The course starts on a straightaway and makes a loop through a business district by the Brea Mall but then turns into the suburban neighborhood. There were some slight hills but I would not call the course challenging (aside from the fact that an 8K is 4.97 miles of course!) There were plenty of spectators and some funny official race sponsor signs.
I was cheered on by Mike and the girls. They showed up to surprise me on their way to go skiing for the day. First they drove by right around mile 2, and then they pulled over and stood on the sidelines to cheer for me. That was so nice! Mike saw a couple of his co-workers too.
My chip time was 41:55 for a pace of 8:21 per mile and an average 7.17 miles per hour. Not bad for an injured, tired woman!
Place overall: 689 of 2853
Gender place: 181 of 1618
40-44 Female division place: 17
Of 40-year-old females: 5th of 39
Of females from my city: 1st of 8 (hey, I’ve got to celebrate my “victories” where I can get them!)
At the end of the race someone called my name and I turned around to see Mike’s co-worker Jennifer. He didn’t even know she was running the race so I was surprised to see her there and so very glad I remembered her name. 🙂 We enjoyed the post-race food — quite the spread of vendors. I had a banana, oranges, water, a slice of BJ’s pizza and a small Jamba Juice strawberry-banana smoothie. I started to get really cold as the sweat evaporated off my running shirt, and I took that as my cue to drag myself away from all the free finish line goodies and head home.
All in all it was a great experience and I’m glad I signed up for the race again this year! Who’s in it with me? If you’re interested in the 2013 Brea 8K, take advantage of the 10% off discount code from the Race Grader coupon code page (scroll down to the Brea 8K entry and create a free Race Grader account if you do not already have one)!