I ran the Manhattan Beach 10K last year, and I can’t find a recap for itâ€”did I really not write one? If so, that’s a shame, because I love this race.
As I walked down to my car yesterday, I already felt such a sense of belonging. Having run this race two years in a row makes me feel like I have a tradition in my new home.
I was treated to this beautiful sunrise upon getting out of my car, and I was lucky to only have a short walk to the start and bib pickup. (I was nervous about the parking situation but it was super smooth.) I allowed so much time for pickup, but it took literally 30 seconds.
Meggie met up a few minutes later, and we ended up running together the whole time. She’s a doctor and one of my smartest friends, so she’s just so interesting to talk to, so we chatted the entire time and the race flew by!
The course is a little hillyâ€”lots of rollers, but Manhattan Beach is pretty hilly, so, to be expected. I love the course, though. It mostly runs on Ardmore and Valley, a greenway maybe about a mile east of the beach.
I remember running the first half with my friend Jen last year and letting her go ahead of me once we reached the top of that incline on mile 3, and I was dying. This time, Meggie and I ran all the hills, and I was really proud of myself for that. We walked maybe two or three times, but not for longer than 15-30 seconds, and starting running never felt hard afterwards (which is not alway the case after starting to walk again!)
Although I go to the beach nearly daily now (!), it will never get old to me, and the race takes an AGGRESSIVE downhill turn at mile 5 to get down to the beach, and you run on the strand for the last mile-ish, with the pier in view. My therapist is bicoastal, and when she’s in town, we do our sessions on the pier, so it’s a special and healing place to me now.
The strand is fun to run on because it’s on the beach, of course, but it’s fun to look at all the gorgeous houses there. Last year, I remember more people out cheering for us, but maybe Meggie and I were too deep in conversation for me to remember.
The Manhattan Beach 10K has such a great hometown feel, and yesterday was the 42nd running of it, so it’s a well-oiled machine now.
We finished in 1:04:17, which was only 10 seconds slower than I ran last year! (10:20 pace) Years ago, I would have considered that so slow for myself, but yesterday I was so happy for it. I felt really strong the entire time, and I haven’t felt strong running in a really long time, so I was so #endorphinwasted.
There was a little expo afterwards, and I got this really good Koia protein drink with almond milk. I’m not usually a protein drink person, but this hit the spot. It’s all plant protein, which I like because I’m allergic to whey. (Insert no whey joke here :))
We found a teenage girl to take our photo after, and they are EXPERTS at taking good photos.
Afterwards, we all went for brunch at Superba Food & Bread in Manhattan Beach, and we just had a really good time geeking out about running and talking about the Alberto Salazar scandal and other running gossip.
Afterwards, Meggie and I went to get our nails done in that same little shopping center, and it just felt like such a great little morning with friends.
I had plans to meet up with a friend afterwards to take a walk, and I was BEAT. I’m so not a napper, but I went home and passed the eff out for a little bit, and it was glorious. My friend and I walked for probably about four miles, and it was also so much fun. This is only the second time we’ve hung out, but we have a ton in common, so it felt like I was hanging out with an old friend.
32,000 steps later, I was so, so beat and so happy to get home to my couch and ordering takeout tacos.
Yesterday was a perfect day that made me feel really part of a community in my new home after I’d been feeling a little lonely recently. Can I bottle up yesterday? I also ran four miles with another friend this morning, and I am just so happy right now. I’m sitting at my kitchen table writing this staring out at the ocean, the Santa Monica Pier and the mountains, and I feel very lucky right now.