Surf N Santa 10 miler

This was the first year for the Surf N Santa 10 miler, and when I got the mailer in my mailbox about the race, it looked very enticing. I went back and forth about whether or not to sign up for the race, and finally decided to do so at the expo for the Wicked 10K back in October. I don’t regret my decision at all!

The “schwag,” as they call it, we get from J & A Racing (the people who plan the event) from each race just continues to get better and better! This year we didn’t get a technical shirt because they made windbreakers for us! They are these sleek, navy blue jackets with the Surf N Santa logo on them. They are really, really nice! I’ll talk more about the other goodies a little later.

The morning started at 5:15am for me, and it was pretty easy to get up and get going with my enthusiasm for the race! Murphy was even particularly perky this morning as I got around and ready to go. I checked the weather, and saw that it was a chilly 39 degrees outside, and was thankful for my choice of a long-sleeve wick-away shirt and a t-shirt over it. My choices for clothing today, however, did not include gloves, and I am sorry for that!

Rach and I warmed up inside the convention center, and stretched pretty much up to the point of the announcers calling everyone to the starting line. We got into corral 2, and waited our turn. It was chilly just standing there, and I was anxious to get going. When the clock hit 8, they let the first corral go, and my enthusiasm, paired with being chilly, kept me moving!

They finally let corral 2 move up to the start line, and soon enough, we were off! I didn’t really start warming up until mile 2, which is super unusual for me.  I usually warm up right away, and end up peeling off any layers I have on. Today was different. I warmed up just enough to get hot, and then started mile 3 on the boardwalk, just in time to be chilled by the icy wind blowing off the ocean. From that point forward, I was cold. And that temperature did not change from the moment we arrived at the convention center, til the moment we left! So add wind chill to that!

They changed the map course at the last minute on us, and made us do two loops on the boardwalk and on Atlantic this time. One was a big loop that took us down Atlantic to 1st St, then up the boardwalk to nearly 30th St. and back down to 19th St. The little loop wasn’t as long on the boardwalk, and looped us through some of the parking lot by the convention center. I was grateful for the volunteers holding signs, directing those of us still going to loop left for mile 7, and those finishing to stay right. Without these volunteers, it could’ve been serious chaos!

I ran the entire race today, and I say this with a huge smile on my face. I know that runners get better slowly, and with practice, and training, etc. However, my endurance has jumped greatly from what it was before. When I first started running for races instead of just running for myself, I would run til I was tired, walk some, run again, and so forth. Of course, my endurance increased over time, but I never really pushed my abilities past what my body told me it could handle.

The more races I complete, the more I push myself to run harder, to run faster, to run stronger. I see the increase in my ability to run longer and harder and to beat previous times for similar races in times that I never dreamed of. My PRs keep coming… and I am happy about this. Transitioning from a sprinter to a long distance runner was quite the task, but I did it, and I don’t regret any effort to get where I am today. Today’s race was no different. I ran the entire thing, and pushed extra hard during the final mile, including a full out sprint to the finish line!

I mentioned some other “schwag” we received previously. One of the coolest things we got was actually a pair of jingle bells to tie to our shoes. At first thought, I was hesitant to tie them to my shoelaces because I was concerned with how annoying it would be to hear all those bells ringing as we ran 10 miles today. I sucked it up and did it anyway. And now I am grateful for doing it anyway because I think that is the coolest sound I have ever heard as I ran all ten miles. Bells don’t always sound the same; so you can only imagine thousands of bells ringing today as each runner put one foot in front of the other. It was beautiful! It was one of those moments that you really had to be there to hear and appreciate.

I started this race and finished this race without knowing where I stood on time, except for my 5 mile split of 54:00 clock time (not chip time).  I was anxious to see my results and how they fared for the goal I had set for myself. My last half marathon was the Rock N Roll in September, and my 10 mile time had been 2:00:00 even. I wanted to beat that. I didn’t beat it. I killed it! My chip time for the race today was 1:46:32! WOOO-HOOOO! Wow! Can you imagine what my time would have been for a half marathon, if I’d only completed an additional 3.1 miles? I would’ve rocked my best time ever of 2:30! I’m pleased and happy about today’s race! Now on to some rest and down time, as I have another 8k tomorrow morning! Christmastown Dash 8K- here I come!

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