Monday, July 25, 2011


This is not a sub-60 10K time. As you can plainly see. And that is because of a few things. Not that I'm making excuses for my slowness, because if I was REALLY worried about a sub-60 10K time, I'd just train to run a 10K in, like, 50 minutes instead of 58:15 so that I'd have lots of room for error, but that brings me to my first asterisk.

*This wasn't a 10K.
Yeah, color me fucking surprised because the whole time I was signed up for and, therefore TRAINING for, this thing, I thought it was a 10K. It's not. It's a 6 miler.


So, then, in theory, it should have been that much easier to run it in less than an hour.

In theory.

**There were approximately 15,000 people running this race.

15,000 people crammed shoulder to shoulder into a narrow two lane road that runs 6 miles along the ocean between the Santa Cruz and Capitola wharfs.

15,000 people, of which at least 10,000 were not familiar with common race etiquette. Specifically, if you're a slow runner or walking or WALKING A GOD DAMNED DOUBLE STROLLER FOR GODSSAKE, walk on the right and let those faster than you (AKA everyone) pass by easily on the left.

Also, if you're a slow runner or walking or WALKING A GOD DAMNED DOUBLE STROLLER FOR GODSSAKE, don't line up with the 5 minute mile pace sign.

Look, I've said it before and it's going down again - just because you got to the race first doesn't mean you get to line up ahead of the elite runners at the starting line. This isn't first come first served - it's fastest runners go first, so that they don't have to crush you and your multiple-cup-holder-having strollermobile as they sprint to the 6 mile finish line in 26 minutes.

Don't believe me about the Supah Fastness? Go look.

Seriously, standing in front of these freaks of running nature could get you killed as you're sliced in half as they rocket toward the finish line.

Not that I am one of these fabulous freaks. I'm not. I'm your average run of the mill girl who goes out to a race and lines up with the 9 minute mile pace marker because she's fucking delusional to think that everyone ahead of the 9 minute mile pace marker is ready and equipped to go the distance in 8 minutes per mile or less and wouldn't want to be caught slowing down their mighty fastness.

It would appear that I'm in the minority here, though, since I spent the first two solid miles of this race weaving in and around people who were walking, pushing strollers, admiring costumes, adjusting tu-tus or just plain huffing slowly up and down the gently undulating hills ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE COURSE.

Which explains how, despite the 6 mile official distance of this race, I actually traveled 6.28 miles (per the Garmin), of which .28 miles were clearly spent traveling horizontally. Hooray.

***And that's the final asterisk in this ridiculous race report - this alleged "flat and fast course" was anything but flat and fast.

Now, I don't mind hills like I used to. Frankly, they're almost a relief since I know the other side will offer up a nice downhill so I can catch my breath, but don't tell people that it's flat if it's not, particularly if you don't offer up an elevation chart to support your obviously faulty claim.

Granted, I've driven this road before a few times, so I was aware that there were hills, but I bet at least...oh, I'm going to guess...5,000 or so out-of-towners had no idea of the undulations and then ended up being the psychos lurching up these unexpected rises in the ground when they appeared before them. Which would explain the shrieks I heard as I passed some folks going up the first hill.

It never gets old hearing people scream, "I thought this was FLAT. What are these HILLS?"

Yeah. It was a dark time for some.

And that whole "fast" business is probably only true if you signed up as an elite runner, which I did not for obvious slow ass reasons, because then you get a special orange bib and get to line up at the front and slay all who stand between you and the finish line.

The rest of us schmucks get to line up with our pace groups and spend 6 miles slugging it out with the other 14,800 or whatever people who don't qualify for a land speed record when their Nikes hit the pavement.

Though rather than shine a completely dim light on the whole event, I will say that I enjoyed myself in the sense that physically, I felt good and my legs felt strong. I got to trot along with a friend of mine (Hi Carol! You're a monster!), look at the ocean, get in a decent workout and sprint wildly down some gentle hills.

And at the finish line I got to wander around endlessly searching for the refreshments and my goodie bag that were one hundred miles away and down a steep grade on the fucking beach where I left them in lieu of a $1 bottle of water from a nice lady closer to the finish line. Seriously? No water at the finish line? Not an orange wedge for a thirsty runner? Lame.

And here I wanted to end on a high note.

Um...Jada and Bubba were waiting for me at the finish line! That was good. Also, there were balloon arches marking off each mile, which I loved.

So, there you have it - I'm happy with a race if there are balloons and a dog. Apparently, I should have signed up for the kid's registration and saved myself a few bucks.


  1. Hey Finny, have you ever thought of running Bloomsday? It is a 12k that is hosted in Spokane, WA. on the first Sunday in May every year. I actually live very near the course.

    The race is organized so there are multiple starting lines, and you are placed with your appropriate level of runners. Starting lines are released 5 minutes apart, giving time for the previous starting line to clear before unleashing the hordes of walkers, strollers, people in costumes, etc.

    Anyway, there are so many people that usually there is no place to pass people once the masses of joggers start the course. The walkers? You can forget about even crossing the road. Craziness. A solid line of people for 7.46 miles. It's an awesome sight to see.

    Oh, and hills? Bloomsday has Doomsday hill. .72 miles, rising 145 feet, 3.8 percent average grade; a 6.5 percent grade after a steep downhill.

    FUN. (I don't run/jog/walk Bloomsday. I watch it from a hill overlooking Doomsday. Neat stuff!)

  2. A. If you go do that Spokane race...let me know- I will drive over from Seattle. We could have a little team.

    B. I like your descriptions of races because that is exactly as one feels when racing between strollers .25 of stroller dodging...I get it my friend and share the loathing...isn't there always a 5K fun run for families- stick to your league people.

    C. Okay hills...I always feel like a total idiot running up hills and I have no idea why. Is it becuase I think I must look dumb? Is it because it feels a bit unatural. I always just want to start laughing- like really I did this to me?? Why me Why?

  3. Seems like all races are "flat and fast" when infact there a quiet a few hills. I have one coming up in September that is described that way and yet I know it has multiple hills and one brutal down hill. I don't get it. Oh wait, I do. They want you to sign up thinking it's an easy 5k or whatever, and then they kill you. Love it!

  4. To keep with the current format:
    A. That .28 miles going horizontally would have made me rip my hair out. MOTHER FUCKERS GET OUT OF THE WAY!
    B. Yeah. I just said "mother fuckers." Can you believe it?
    C. Miss you
    D. Proud of your finish!


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.