Sunday, April 13, 2014

Shark's Tooth 10k

What a perfect race to "end" the season! I've been looking forward to this 10k since I signed up for the 22.4 Challenge; this was the last of a set of three races in the Sarasota area (the others were the Frosty 5k and the LWR Half). My parents' Hanukkah gift to me was the entry fee for these races.

Anyway, this week my runs were tough. My calves felt tight and my legs were exhausted from T25 and coaching tumbling. (I am not a gymnast; I'm helping Elizabeth coach elementary school kids, and my role is to teach them squats, walking lunges, and different about a leg workout.)

Then I came down with a UTI, which meant I'd have to run this race on antibiotics. I've done that before and remembered it being particularly brutal. So my race plan for Saturday was to take it easy and enjoy the race.
Pre-race! The coolest part of the Challenge was that my bib number was the same for all three races.
Saturday we were late getting to the venue - the race started at the airport and then cut through some beachy areas. I actually got out of the car while Matt was in line to park, about a quarter mile from the start, and ran to the front because traffic was moving so slowly. I got my bib just in time, made it to the porta-potties with 10 minutes before the start, and snapped a quick picture.
And we're off!
It's nice to run a race once in awhile that Matt doesn't run with me. It means I get photos immediately!
This was my tattoo's race debut; it was covered up still for last month's 5k.
My legs felt incredibly fresh after taking Thursday and Friday off. I used the first two miles to test how my body would feel while on medication. (I took an Immodium with breakfast, too, because we all know what antibiotics can do to your bowels.) I felt like I had to pee for those first twenty minutes, and was scoping out possible bushes in case the feeling didn't abate.
The morning was absolutely gorgeous.
I decided immediately to switch from music to the Savage LoveCast to pick myself up, and that totally helped and took my mind off any discomfort.
As we ran down the path, the ocean was visible through some of the access points.
By mile 3, we were on a much more beautiful route, and I fell into a slow-and-steady pace. (I may or may not have accidentally lost my footing while taking photos...I definitely wandered into some soft sand and made some new friends as the runners around me all laughed at with me.)
Some of our route was packed shells; this was my favorite part of the run.
I'm so impressed with myself for these steady pictures; I was running while snapping them!
From mile 4.5 to 6 we were on a straight path that ran beside a gorgeous lake; the last quarter mile was back to the starting line at the airport. The majority of the race was beautiful, and I know I'll run it again. We were lucky to have mild weather because none of the route was shaded. Somehow another cold front was in store, even though it's April and that's unheard of here, and the temperature was in the mid-60s for the entire race.
I spotted Matt right before the finish.
I started far back because I planned not to "race" this one. Adjusted time was 1:04:57.
The center is a shark's tooth that spins. So cool!
Afterward, I met up with Sean, who just so happened to be running this race as well, and who garnered a new PR on this one (47:46!), and some of Matt's childhood friends who we literally ran into (haha) totally unexpectedly.
Check out our matching compression gear!
We went to Venice Beach, which is famous for the abundance of sharks' teeth that wash up there (hence the name of the race and the medal). Not having the proper tools, we only found three bitty ones.
This year the Challenge forwent (is that the past tense of forgo?) special medals and gave out personalized tech shirts in addition to the race's tech shirts. The footprint on the back is made of all the participants' names.
Teeth from itty bitty sharkies.
We saw a cardinal - my favorite bird, besides Archie - on the boardwalk, and the color was just too perfect not to get a picture of.
Then I enjoyed some gluten free Pei Wei while Matt paddled a bit. I also got a little too much sun; my arms and legs are still painfully sore. Oops.
Having taken it easy, recovery was easy. My body held up well despite the antibiotics and UTI, probably because it wasn't too hot out; the easy pace helped. My final time was 1:04:57, which perfectly matches my easy long-run pace. I placed 364/760 overall, 201/503 women, and 21/41 AG. This is a far cry from my 10k PR, but all things considered, I'm very happy and loved this race. I'll be back next year to run it for real.



  1. Congrats on finishing the challenge! It seems like just yesterday you were just starting it. Where does the time go?!

    The 10K medal is really pretty!

    1. Thanks! And yeah, the medal is super cute! I'll definitely do the race again...maybe just for that haha.

  2. I adore race recaps!
    Awesome job Ali!
    What a beautiful race!

  3. Congrats on your race Ali! Sorry to hear about the UTI :( I'm currently battling a nasty head cold the week before Boston. I have a steroid nasal spray so I'm wondering if that will mess up my body. :S Those itty bitty shark teeth are super cool! Your medal is gorgeous as well.

    1. Ugh, I hope your cold goes away quickly!! I feel like I always get sick around taper-time.

  4. What beautiful race pictures! You did an awesome job- I can't believe you ran with a UTI. I used to get those and they were killer. I love that you were listening to the Savage Lovecast thought. :) I swear he is the only person in the world who can shock me anymore.

    1. I get them all the time :o( I'm super careful too, but bacteria just seems to love me.

      Sometimes I like to guess what Savage is going to say as I'm listening to the calls. I've gotten pretty good at it!

  5. Ohhhh no! I am so sorry you have a UTI. I've had about 7 gazillion of those. So many that my mom took me to UCSF when I was 8 to make sure I didn't have bladder cancer. You are a beast for running with one! Congratulations on finishing the challenge. You are amazing.

    1. I never, ever got them as a kid, but I get them ALL the time now. I freaking hate it. So inconvenient!

  6. Amazing race! Sorry about the UTI - major props to you for running the race still :)