Friday, October 14, 2011

Hometown fair Manhattan beach 10k 2011

The Manhattan Beach 10k was once the only short race I ran all year back then I really looked forward to it.

 Until last year I had only ran one 5k ever in my life and the only 10k's I ran were Manhattan and Redondo.  Of late I've been able to get into a lot of races for free and have already ran 15 this year of 10k or shorter. As a result they are becoming less fun.

Running short distances is really starting to mess with my mind. Do I taper?
It seems silly for such short distances but if I want to have a chance at winning I should be at my best, right.
 Training on the beach is what keeps me sane and it pains me to take a few days off.

Should I do speed work?
Probably but I aint in no hurry.

Should I listen to the fantom aches and pains  my body? On a normal run I don't find my groove until about the 90 minute mark and if running slow it can take over 2 hours, it's only then that I really feel 100 %. If I listened to every nuance of aggravation I'd become a hypochondriac.

I felt honored to wear the #1 bib.

For last few months my body has pretty much sucked at going fast .  I was the defending champ (that blog post is a much better read) at the race which drew over 3,500 finishers. This year I really had no desire to race for my own accolades. My 9 year old nephew Thomas was running in his 2nd 10k ever and I really wanted  to run with him so he could have some company.
 (maybe next year )

In 2010 the response I got from the citizens on the sideline was mix between astonishment and disbelief that some dude in sandal's was winning.
This time I had the support of the community behind me  (Something that really touches my heart) and if I didn't run I felt like I would be letting them down.  In many people's eyes I was the favorite to win but I new otherwise. (doh) I am much better at playing the role of the under dog.  I didn't real think I had a chance last year either.  I guess I'll  give it my best shot and let the cards fall where they may.
I woke up early race day morning made a smoothie and headed over to my moms house to meet up with my sister and nephews 
3 days before the race my nephew Lucas age 7 decided he wanted to run too.  He had never run over 3 miles and if wants to try and go farther than ever before, I was more than happy to sign him up.  My sister decided to stick with Lucas while Thomas and I ran at our own pace.
We got to the starting line with about 20 minutes to spare.  After chit-chatting with a bunch of random friends and aquaintences I gave my nephews a hug wished them good luck and told them I would be there waiting for them at the finishline.

I take my hat off like a good boy.
 I jumped out fast got in the lead for a few moments.

In case you think this looks like a lot of people starting the race.  The run has two starts, one on Ardmore and one on valley.  All the fast dudes stat on Ardmore.
From the Beach Reporter
By the time we reached the 1/2 mile mark it was clear my best efforts would most likely not be enough
The dude in the yellow I think he's a 21 year old collegiate runner jumped out in front. Never to relinquish the lead.
I got 2 words of notoriety from the Easy Reader

Last year only my friends and family were on the sidelines cheering for me.  (everyone else thought I was a freak).  This year people new the freak was and were rooting for me
 During the first mile I heard at least 10 chants of "Go Pat Go!" and I saw my buddy Tony as well as my Step mother.

I ran the first mile in 5:04 and was already in in about 5th place 7 or so seconds behind the leader.
That pace was too fast for me to keep up with on this day and I started to slow rather quickly running the 2nd mile in 5:18

During mile three I was passed by my ex roommates Husband. (small world) It seems my brain was limiting my ability to go all out.  Last year I suffered an injury that took me out of running for 3 months.  I can no longer afford to run recklessly  and finished the 3rd mile in 5:38 (Maybe my nephew will end up passing me)

During mile four I saw my mom on the sidelines twice as I ran down Ardmore then back up valley.  I gave her a wave and smile. She was disappointed I wasn't in the lead but she new how aggravating the injury was for me last year. mile four was finished in 5:29

By this time it didn't even feel like a race.  Let's hope I can a least hang on an beat the first place woman.  Mile 5 I finished in 5:49 (If I keep slowing down at this rate I probably won't)

Alright time for the home stretch.  Down the final mile along the strand I got a bunch of cheers.  For the entire race I was amazed at how support I got.  Thank you to everyone who had my back.  My performance may have been sub par but encouragement I got helped keep a smile on my face. I ran the final mile in 5:38. 

The winner later told me that he was intimidated by my sandal's before race started. When I jumped out in front to an early lead he decided he needed to take charge and try and hold on.  
(which he did pretty easily)

After I had finished I was met by my body old buddies from pre-school  yes pre-school Dilg left and Tony right .  Tony and I did quick round of collecting race shwag before heading backe to catch more friends finish and eventually my family.

Next up my good Firend Kate Nutting (the bride) of another friend I've had since I was a rug rat. She joined our group to root on nephew's and sister.

More important than the results of the race is the comradery it inspires.
Who really cares what happens in the race (said begrudgingly with a good bit of honesty) It's nice to see old friends and awesome to share the morning with my family.

It was my nephew Thomas's 2nd 10k ever and his first one in MB10k. I headed back about a 1/4 mile from the pier so that I could watch him finish.  After a little while he came moseying along.  When he saw me cheering he busted out into a fast run.  His smile was huge and couldn't resist jumping out on the course to join him.

Way to go Thomas!
It's proven fact that if you run with flames on your shoes and your hands pointed down it's impossible to go slow?
Just before the finish line I headed off to the sideline.
A keen eye will notice me in the background looking like I'm about to eat some asphalt.

About 10 minute's later it was time for my other nephew to finish the race.
Way to go Lucas!
He had no idea what he was getting into.  My sister later told me he was done within the first mile.  Together they walked, ran and skipped their way to the finish line. He was exhausted but he finished and I was proud.

My nephews had soccer games in the afternoon and wanted to go play around at the fair first.  My mom picked us up at the pier we cleaned up at her house and were back in less than an hour.
I've been coming to this fair all my life and it's beautiful to see my nephews having fun the way I once did
All the kid's were jealous of Thomas's Luna Sandals tattoo.
Guess who's nephews were the only 2 kids doing the obstacle course Barefoot?
If you guessed me you were correct.
(what a freaking genius you are, time to pat yourself on the back.)
Water balloon toss
I love them to death but they make a horrible team in an event like this.  Lucas is a really hard thrower and Thomas is a horrible catcher.  They didn't last very long.

My Sister and I also make a horrible team (or so I thought).  We entered the adult division. Eventually we were so far apart my sister had to throw over hand with all her mite.  The water balloon divided into two segments, looking more like a bolas by the time it reached me.  I tried to catch each side with one hand at the same time, my timing needed to be precise but was a little off and ended up soaked with water finishing in second place.  I think my sister was the real winner not only did she stay dry she got to nail her brother with a water balloon.  We also won a free pizza for our efforts.(which I'd gladly trade to soak my sister with another balloon.)

Once the kids bailed I headed over to the adult playground
 I've been comming here since I was old enough to pretend I was 21
The weather was beautiful and I garnished a handful of free drink tickets from a booster.
(good thing I'm not in the NCAA)
What I learned in the beer Garden?
I am pretty damn spoiled by the Stone Breweries. The fizzy yellow beer at the beer garden would suffice while eating food but drinking just to get drunk isn't all that great. Eventually I switched to wine which was a smart/ dangerous solution when then filled my 16oz cup to the top.

Posing with one the best female runners/drinkers in the south bay.
All in all it was pretty good day the weather was beautiful and it was nice to see a bunch of friends.
The next day I came back to check the official results.  I ended up 3rd in my age division and 9th overall.  This year had some of the fastest times in last decade.  For the last few years my sister and I have fared decently in the brother sister division but this year we were a few spots out of placing.

I was a little bummed until I found out my nephew's scored tenth in the Brother /Brother division. Pretty awesome considering they are 7 and 9 years old competing against dudes of all ages.  I was very stoked to  give them their metals later in the week.

For at least 10 of last 14 years I have competed in the ping pong tournament against my good buddy Radke. (I think I play pong about 2 twice a year) Although I rarely see my friend we always seem make it to the fair.  He has maybe 7 wins out 14 years and I think I have 3. Well this year he kicked my butt, but I did win another pizza.  We also competed in the adult obstacle course in which I won lunch at some bar and he won a couple rounds golf.  We decided to share are spoils and had a good Tuesday afternoon.
(where I kicked his butt on the linx)

The Hometown fair and it's 10k have been part of my life as long as long as I can remember.  I'll be back next year.
My best is yet to come!!!

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