Santa-Monica Venice Christmas Run 10K 2016 Race Review

I’m going to be that annoying person who says they’ve been too busy to blog. It’s true though! I have 3 draft blog posts that were never published. I’d start writing but with my computer open I would watch my growing inbox and feel guilty about not responding and not being productive. So yes, I’ve been too busy to blog, but definitely not too busy to run. Running makes me a better principal. Sometimes it clears my mind, and sometimes I use a run to reflect and build an action plan in my mind. Anyways, the annual Santa-Monica Venice Christmas Run was my reason to get back into blogging. This was my 6th year in a row running the race, and I’ve always said it’s my favorite (non-marathon) race. With a 1st place finish out of about 1400 women, even more reason to love the event. Because I’ve got lots to do tonight, my goal is to finish this post in 20 minutes. Here we go. Don’t judge the typos 🙂

Ellen, Anna, and I at the start of the race. FullSizeRender_2.jpg

Yup, I love this race. Hard not to smile with all the Christmas spirit, costumes, and running on the beach. I never go into this race stressed or with a crazy goal. Yes, I always want to PR but that’s mostly because I rarely run 10Ks. I also don’t train specifically for 10Ks, so I can’t be too upset if I don’t PR.

This photo was taken just after the first mile. I was in 3rd place and 1st place was quite a ways ahead of me. Considering I’d just clocked a 6:11 mile, I didn’t think there was much of a chance of working my way up, so I just smiled and thought to myself it would be nice to have a top 3 day. 50086408_race_0.8425811077171016.display.jpg

Yeah, not all of my photos turned out as well…


The race wasn’t really too eventful. Around mile 1.5/2 I caught 1 and 2, and made it to 1st place. Turns out they started too fast. I ran pretty consistently between 6:18-6:22. This course has a bunch of turn arounds which is annoying for pacing, but great for seeing friends. I got to see Peter, Ellen, Anna, and Bri several times on the course. By mile 4 I knew unless something went terribly wrong I’d win the race. My pace was feeling hard, but not impossible, so I kinda just held it. I didn’t have huge motivation to dig really deep. I felt content and soaked in all the energy from the runners and spectators. My official time was 39:40.FullSizeRender_3.jpg

Finish line smiles.


I made friends with the second place finisher. Hoping to get together for a run sometime soon! Here we are with our big ole box of chocolates that we got at the awards ceremony.FullSizeRender.jpgAnd here is the original running crew. Ellen and Bri. So many miles spent together 🙂



Post-race Ellen, Anna (the other Anna) and I went to Gjusta for brunch and Brent got back from after a week away in England that evening.

The next day was a recovery run and some yoga at Athleta in Santa Monica. They gave us gratitude notes and there was a dog in our class. Gotta love LA!



OK, all out of time. Thinking of running this race next year?


  • Flat course
  • Free photos
  • Long sleeve shirts and medals
  • Lots of bathrooms
  • Lots of parking options both free if you’re willing to walk from neighborhoods and lots if you want to be right by the finish or start
  • Beach running
  • Big race with 10,000 runners doing both the 10K and the 5K making for a fun atmosphere


  • Turns are kinda annoying in the 10K if you are really trying to go fast, but I personally like seeing the other runners so I think it’s worth it
  • Start and finish about a mile away
  • Less freebies this year 😦

On the Road Again

Merry Christmas from Oklahoma!  I’m currently passing the time as we drive back from Tulsa to Dallas. Nothing to kill the time like blogging on your iPhone 🙂 Monday Brent and I flew into Dallas from LA. My usual stomach of steel has been failing me as a principal at an elementary school. I didn’t get it as bad this time around, but Sunday during my run my stomach started to feel a little queezy. I thought it was all the wine I had at a Christmas party on Saturday night, but turns out 4 EQ3 staff members spent the weekend with the stomach flu. Luckily my appetite was back to normal by Christmas! Corn casserole, where have you been all my life? Creamed corn, butter, and ritz cracker. Genius idea!Tuesday we spent some time with Brent’s Grandma in Mesquite, Texas. Check out Brent’s grandfather on the right. Looks JUST like Brent.   And the Lowry brothers as little kiddos. When in Dallas we always hit up the Blue Mesa Grill for Tex-Mex. Love those sweet potato chips.    Wednesday morning we drove up to Oklahoma City to spend time with Brent’s dad and his wife Cary. As part of their tradition we had Japanese Hibachi on Christmas Eve. And played lots of Mexican train.   Brent and Ross doing some thoughtful last minute shopping.I’ve been able to keep up with my plan Michelle wrote for me this week! Did the most mentally challenging interval workout with a bunch of 200s on Wednesday (my legs were not designed to sprint), did a few easy miles in Dallas, and ran long-ish here in Oklahoma around Lake Hefner (not named after Hugh) Here I am listening to Serial on my Christmas run around the lake. Michelle rewrote my plan for the week after my Sunday stomach incident and took off some of the mileage. It’s nice having someone help with the training plan when life happens.   On the way out of Tulsa we stopped by Carmichael’s for some brittle and pecan so. The pecans smell so fresh when you walk into the store.    And here we are “visiting” as the Okies and Texans say, with cousin Kristina and her two kiddos. Yup, we’re smack in the middle of America.  We’ll be back in Dallas in about 4 hours. Hoping to sneak in an easy 5 miler this evening. I go a little crazy sitting for this many hours. Tomorrow will be the Christmas celebration with the Winkler side of the family, then it’s Cancun on Monday morning!  


Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run 10K 2015

Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run, you’re one of my favorites. This was my fifth year running this race. I was just a baby 25 year old the first time Alaina and I signed up to run! With a course change, and the 5K and 10K starting at the same time, I was a little skeptical, but Christmas Run, you did it again. Good times, great weather, and incredible freebies.Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 11.02.40 AM.png

Check out a few photos from over the years 🙂

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I’m finally back in running business. I started my first week of intentional workouts, rather than random three and four milers. I love running with a purpose, and having goals for specific workouts. I went back to the track on Tuesday for the first time in nearly 2 months.

This morning I met Peter and his friend about a mile from the start. We jogged over to avoid paying for parking and met Ellen there. I ran into Bri running with Team Nutribullet. Marta was there but I didn’t see her at the start. She took the race easier and ran with a friend.

I started the race towards the front, and about a half a mile in looked down and saw I was running a 6:30 pace. It felt good. I wondered if I’d crash and burn, but didn’t really care because I didn’t have a goal and you can crash and burn at a 10K and end with a decent time. The miles just kinda kept going and I was still feeling happy. I finished in 41:07, nearly a minute PR. Apparently the combination watchless running for a month after a marthon and beer + tacos for dinner the night before a 10K is the way to go. Peter ran in 43ish minutes and Ellen ran EXACTLY 45 minutes and got third in her age group!

Free massages!IMG_2759.JPG

I think I’ve got snacks covered for a while. Alaina, the skinny pops are yours.



  • Fast course and cool temps in December
  • Running on the beach path
  • Everyone in LA runs this race and everyone is happy and in the Christmas spirit!
  • T-Shirts, medals, and free photos
  • Flushing bathrooms on the beach
  • Corral starting


  • Start and finish about a mile away…although it gave me an opportunity to warm-up and cool down
  • 10K and 5K start at the same time so you can’t do the double run anymore