2020 Manhattan Beach 10K (Virtual)

manhattan beach 10k manhattan beach pier

Hello, is this thing on? Remember when I used to write about running here? Well, I have an actual race recap for you today! I ran the Manhattan Beach 10K yesterday (virtually)—it’s my fave race I’ve found in California so far. (Last year’s recap here.)

manhattan beach 10k manhattan beach pier

Ugh, I haven’t been in the running shape I’ve wanted to be in for a while, and I’ve had a hard time, to be honest, sticking to it and putting in the work, so duh, I’m not going to miraculously get back there. But this race was important to me, so I’ve been working hard.

Meggie, Gillian and I wanted to make this as close to the race experience as we could, so we met up roughly near the start near the wood chip trail/greenbelt/Veterans Parkway/whatever you call it, and Meggie and I did a little warmup jog. We were planning on running the wood chip trail, but as nice as the trail feels versus the road, it’s harder if you’re used to solely road running! The actual MB10K route has a lot of turns, so we decided to nix that and run our own route—running down Valley Drive through Manhattan Beach, Hermosa and to Redondo, before turning towards the ocean on Herondo and running up the Strand.


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My objective was to walk as little as possible but also not beat myself up if I needed to.

And I definitely started out too fast—just like a real race! I went out in a 9:48, wondering why things were feeling a little hard from the get-go. Foolishly I thought maybe I'm just feeling really good! Ah how quickly we forget. I brought up the back of our pack, and I just tried to keep Meggie in my sight. She was looking awesome, steady and strong, and I aimed to just be like Meggie. I tried to just settle into what felt good and like I could hang onto it for a while. I didn't walk until after three miles, which felt awesome. Six weeks ago, I was running 3:00 on, walking 1:00, so I was happy to run without stopping for a while. Even though it wasn't a "real" race, running on part of the course and feeling strong made it feel like as much of a real race to me as possible, and I felt really happy.

The back half of the course? Not so much. I definitely walked more, but I would set a point in the distance, like a street pole, and tell myself to run to there, no compromising with myself. At a few points, I told myself I could slow my run but not walk, channeling my 2013 NYCM energy. The greenway has some rolling hills, which I actually really liked, because what goes up must come down, so getting to the Strand and knowing I wouldn't have any downhill was actually a little harder.

I'd really wanted to pick up my pace a little in the second half, but...that did not happen. I walked a good amount of mile 4, a little discouraged I still had 2 miles ahead of me, but once I hit 5, I just wanted to be done with the damn thing. I tried to run as strong as possible (feeling about an 8/10 on a rate of perceived exertion) but I couldn't sustain it for very long. But I just tried to keep reminding myself I was happy I was out there doing it and how lucky I was to be able to run along the beach. (Though I'd be lying if I said I weren't jealous of the people sitting on the beach or sitting outside on their terraces on the Strand with their coffee.) My ketamine doc is running for a local office in the South Bay, and I saw one of her campaign signs and also felt grateful for my mental health being in a much better place.

When I finally hit 6.2 on my watch, I immediately ground to a stop. HI I'M DONE.

Since it'd been a while since I'd run 6.2, I felt really happy and proud of myself for finishing the Manhattan Beach 10K — ESPECIALLY since the weather was SUPER HUMID. (hi am I back in NY??)

While you can run it anywhere, I think the draw is feeling some sense of community and tradition with the race, so if you're local and still want a taste of it, you can run it from now until October 13.

Time: 1:05:27 / Pace: 10:33

Tech question: anyone else with an Apple Watch not getting the map data from their workouts? I'm a little nervous to try this wipe-everything "fix."

COVID-wise, I ran with a buff to cover my face and kept it down until I saw someone. (It appears there are conflicting studies on its efficacy, though I didn't realize that yesterday.)

3 comments on “2020 Manhattan Beach 10K (Virtual)

  1. Christina

    Great job! I’ve been following you for years, love to see a race recap! No judgment, just curious – do you pause your watch when you walk or let it run? It doesn’t matter but I always wonder about how other people “calculate” their runs bc I’m always undecided.

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      It depends. Sometimes—and I know the argument with that is that the race clock doesn’t stop for walking, but hey, sometimes it feels good for the ego to see those slightly faster times. If I have to stop at a light, I do always stop it though.

      For this, since I was trying to take it seriously as a “race,” I didn’t stop it at all, even when I got stuck at a few lights—so my actual time is probably at least a minute or so faster.

  2. katy

    You did great!!! I wonder how many of those beach dwellers looked at YOU with jealousy? Yeah, maybe none but you still did IT!

    Non related question: Are you still loving your Peloton? Starting to get some mean Peloton FOMO but having a hard time taking the plunge $$$ blahhh, money!


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