I guess this will be the first year since 2013 that I did not run at least 12 races. It was some personal goal I made up when I first started running in order to make the whole experience of running in races and writing recaps an enjoyable one.
In my quest to become a more competitive runner (particularly marathoner), my goals have shifted in focus, and I guess that reflects in the frequency I write up these race recaps. I still enjoy writing them though—it’s just taken me forever due to the fact I’m still way behind on my posting schedule!
It was my first time running the New Balance L.A. Dodgers Foundation 10K, and race day was definitely before World Series fever. I was excited to get back into the racing mindset, and the timing, theme, and setting of this race seemed perfect.
Since the race start was at Dodger’s Stadium early on a Sunday morning, and I was still over in Santa Monica, the best thing for me to do to get there on time was to Uber. I wasn’t expecting to have my ear talked off, but there was a passenger already in the car. Despite it being 4:30am, he had a lot of energy and would not. Stop. Talking.
I honestly wanted to close my eyes and try to get any amount of sleep possible, but I wasn’t successful. I did eventually get to one of the Dodger Stadium entrances, and got out immediately.
It was still dark outside, and I hoped that by walking close to some of the vendors setting up, I’d be able to snag a pre-race bar or two.
Fortunately, KIND bar had read my mind, as their booth was readily handing out bars to people passing by.
I was also able to snack on some sample pieces of Lenny and Larry’s cookies since Vitamin Shoppe also had a tent set up, and they were serving up cookie pieces in small cups.
Soon after, people begain to line up at the start and I found my place in the beginning of the pack. I did my best to pace myself at the start, but I did start off pretty fast, going at 7:19/mi. I blame the horde of anxious runners around me!
I did stabilize my pace around mile 1, after getting past the first steep hill. From that point on, I hovered around an 8:00-8:12/mi pace.
I soon realized that this course would not go down as one of my favorites. There were too many surprising hills, gravel-coated roads, twists, and turns. There were a number of steep inclines followed by fast downhills. It balanced out my pace, but it was a beating on my legs—especially since it was my first race running with a forefoot-based form.
I found myself having to push physically and mentally by the time we hit mile 5. The last mile had to be the most boring in design ever. We were literally running around a parking lot…
But I did finish at an average pace of 8:17/mi!
Ultimately, I found it a straightforward, but challenging course with unnecessary add-on. I mean, why did there have to be hills??
I grabbed an apple from a table positioned near the post-race walk path, and guzzled down a bottle of aloe water.
I later learned that I ended up placing third in my age division, and so I was given two free tickets to a Dodger’s game—next year, haha! Even though I’ve never been a big sports fan, having the chance to go to a game for free sounded like an opportunity that would be a shame to miss out on.
After walking around the race area for a bit, I walked out of the stadium towards Chinatown station. My next stop was a light brunch in Pasadena, Urth Caffe style.
Urth is probably now considered an LA staple, and after visiting a number of their locations over the years, I was surprised that I waited this long to go to the one in Pasadena. But going post-race was the perfect reason to go.
One thing I’ve learned is that there will always be crowds. That’s why the local chain has been around this long…
But I came prepared knowing what to get: the Italia Tiramisu, and a chai latte.
I was seated in the front outside, and slowly dug into the tiramisu while I waited for my latte to come out. But unlike the Matcha and Earl Grey tiramisus I’ve had in the past, I found the dark chocolate shavings and strong coffee flavor of the Italia Tiramisu not in my favor.
The latte was warm, but lacked flavor. Where was the chai? Even with the lack of flavor, I can’t deny that overall it was a satisfying post-race treat!