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This was the second year I’ve participated in the Channel Islands 4th of July 10K (there’s also a 5K). Last year, I placed first in my age group (it’s a super small race), and I was out to defend my title.

Kidding. There are some amazingly fast girls in the county.

The race starts and ends in the Channel Islands harbor. This is awesome for the sole reason that it allowed me to wake up an hour before the race, eat a banana, drink a cup of coffee and a glass of watermelon Nuun (Can I tell you how much this stuff has changed my life???), and do a quick 1.5 mile warmup run to the start line.



The weather may have been gloomy, but I brought the pizazz in my super festiveness:



I picked up my bib, but had to make a mad dash back to the table with 2 minutes before the start because I forgot to pick up my timing chip. Woops!

Both the 10K and the 5K began at the same time and ran along the same course along the streets of Hollywood Beach, Mandalay Beach (5K turnaround point), and Oxnard Shores and back.

I’ve talked about my specialness when it comes to racing before, but for those of you who are new readers, racing is not something I do well. I can run a comfortable pace with no problem, but I really struggle with pushing myself to the max in a race out of fear that I won’t make it to the end. I always have some juice left in the tank.

My strategy for this 10K was to try to run even splits for the first half hovering around 7:30 (which I thought was fair. There was no science or data analysis behind this number. It was pretty randomly plucked from the back of my brain.) Then, for the second half, run negative splits.

Here’s what actually happened:

Avg Pace
Summary 45:34.2 6.24 7:18
1 7:26.6 1.00 7:27
2 7:15.8 1.00 7:16
3 7:24.9 1.00 7:25
4 7:16.4 1.00 7:16
5 7:14.7 1.00 7:15
6 7:12.5 1.00 7:13
7 1:43.4 0.24 7:06

I obsessed over my time for the first mile, making sure I was hovering around my goal pace, and then I settled into a comfortable pace for mile two. When my Garmin beeped for mile 2, I glanced at my time and did a little mental freak out. I was feeling good, but in my head, there was no way I could keep up that pace for the rest of the run, especially if I wanted negative splits. So, I consciously slowed it down for mile 3 out of fear. 

At the turnaround, I decided to just let go and run to enjoy the race. I didn’t check my times for the rest of the race, and it worked out pretty well!

My official time was 45:33.06!



It was good enough to be 1st in my age group! My prize was a $20 gift certificate to Tri Running in Camarillo!

The finish was standard: fruit, coffee, and milling about chatting with other runners about race goals.


My favorite thing about the race was that the race director knew a ton of the runners! At the awards ceremony, he shared little facts about all of the runners he knew, which made the race feel super home-towny!


Some notable runners in this race included the only other Pro Compression USA sock wearer, a 51-year old San Diego girl who won her age group in 44:40.9! Also, the top 2 5K dudes ran their race in 14:32.1 and 14:32.6! That’s so speedy!

After the race, I ran at a cool down pace to the end of the harbor and back to my mom’s house (3 miles), bringing my total miles for the day to 10.5.

BTW, have you seen this video! Dude runs 25mph!!!

I’m beginning to like 10Ks! It’s an easy way to get some speed work in without it being a chore!

After the race was an Independence Day parade followed by a street fair where the girls loaded up on all things good and tasty!

Oxnard berries:


and Italian ice:



At the end of the day, we walked back over to the harbor to watch the fireworks shot off from the Seabee base in Port Hueneme! How fitting is that!



How does your family celebrate Independence Day?

What is your favorite Italian ice flavor?

Mine is definitely watermelon. And lemon. Both of them.

What did you grill on the 4th?

My mom grilled wild salmon and stuffed portobellos. It was the best thing in the world.