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St Patrick’s Day 8k Race Report

After too many raceless weekends to count (or, like, three, same thing), it was FINALLY a race weekend!


My preparation to head back to the races with the St Patrick’s Day 8k on Sunday was pretty much of textbook perfection.

First, I made sure to completely deprive myself of sleep. This was quite easy to do thanks to having a friend in town for a conference who is rather fond of showing up on my doorstep and forcing me to put on real clothes, grab my ID and wallet, and join her on her mission to identify new and exciting adventures in the greater DC area.


I’m happy to report, many adventures were found, at the low cost of several hours of sleep. Couple 5 straight days of adventures with other varieties of fun that got in the way of my normal 9pm bed time, and I was not exactly well rested this weekend.

Secondly, I ran 19 miles the day before the race…and it wasn’t pretty. My stubbornness to wear anything but shorts, in the wake of a week filled with running skirts and tanks, backfired as my legs were never really able to warm up in the “feels like 27 degree” weather with terrible and chilling winds. It got done, but my quadriceps were pretty over the effort, and the blustery weather, by approximately Mile 4.


Add a high (for me) mileage week to the mix and my legs were closer to rotten than fresh heading into race day.

Third, my fueling strategy this weekend was just super.


Super bubbly.


Personally, I think the orange juice in mimosas + fruit filled pitchers of sangria=great carbs. But the clinical trial confirming my hypothesis is still in early stages of research.


So, for aforementioned reasons 1, 2, 3 and probably a few others, my expectations when I showed up at the start line yesterday were not incredibly high.


My one goal was to run a tempo effort so I could at least get a good speed workout out of the race.


While I’m happy with the mileage I’ve built up to post-injury, my speed training has been lacking. And you know what is fast approaching? A little thing I like to call my Goal Marathon. While it’s still TBD if this race will be on April 29th in Eugene, Oregon or May 27th in Burlington, Vermont, I would really like for it to be the Huge Eug option. And if I want to actually hit my goal on April 29th, I should probably incorporate some speed work into these last seven weeks of training. I hear it’s helpful, and maybe even critically necessary, for achieving goal times.

So, my race plan was to do 5 miles (or 4.96, the super logical, 8k race distance) at tempo pace, which should be around 7 minute miles.When the gun went off, with Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party” blaring in my ear, I settled into a sub 7 minute pace (Yes, Jason, a race IS my kinda party, thanks for providing the perfect soundtrack.)

Mile 1-6:35

Arguably too sub 7. When I saw my first split beep at me after mile 1, I backed it off to try and hit a speed a little closer to my target pace.

Mile 2-6:44

Better, Em. Could still use some work. Luckily, my 19 miles of long running were about to help me out with that. 

At this point in the race, my legs felt fan-effing-tastic. But 13 minutes into a 5 mile race? I should hope they were not ready to fall off. However, somewhere in the next mile is where my legs began to feel just how well rested, properly fueled, and not at all fatigued from a higher running mileage they were.

Mile 3-6:54

The fun thing about the St Patrick’s Day 8k is the amount of out and backs that allow you to see your friends/the other 8,000 runners (approximately doing the race. The super annoying thing about the St Patrick’s Day 8k is the amount of out and backs that force you to do something in the range of 30-35 sharp turns or complete turnarounds over 8 kilometers. While I love my new, clownlike running shoes (still, more to come), my agility in them is not exactly enviable. Each of these 30 to 35 turns would look a little like: Emily runs hard to cone, Emily comes to complete stop at cone while trying to pivot, Emily curses cone while trying to get momentum going again and hopelessly failing. Not awesome, 8k race organizers.

The last two miles stayed in my target range…they just took a little extra oomph to remain there.

Mile 4-6:46

Mile 5-6:50

Total time: 33:56

Pace: 6:45

Tempo run success. One workout closer to that Spring Goal Marathon I’m lusting after on a daily basis.


And the lovely thing about an 8,000 person 8k? Many, many friends to spot before, during, and after the race. Melody, HTC teammate and ready to kill it at Boston next month, was one of my favorite finds at the finish line.


I chased my 8 kilometers of racing with 8 hours of brunching. There may or may not have been the passing around of a laptop to register for an international marathon at approximately hour 6 of the brunching. If this is what happens when I hang out with fellow runners during weekend one of four straight race weekends, I can’t wait to see what week four will bring.

Happy Monday, fellow lovers of all things sweaty! Who raced this weekend? Who ran long? Who else got peer pressured into an insanely awesome and slightly crazy race registration?

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20 Responses to St Patrick’s Day 8k Race Report

  1. Wow!! You rocked this thing, way to go!!!

    I love your race preparation strategies :)

  2. You had a great race and it was nice seeing you at the finish line.

  3. Holy hell, you rocked that race. And I love your outfit, especially the socks.

  4. You ran 60 freaking miles this week???!!! Whoa. Amazing. And nice race, so speedy, look at all those 6’s and those killer socks. WHICH INTERNATIONAL MARATHON???!!!

  5. Wow, sweet pace & mileage this week! I went into a race search rampage after reading this, but haven’t registered for any (poor college student status). I have a list of international marathons I really wanna run someday – London Marathon is on the top!

    • How do you get into the London Marathon? I’ve been trying to figure this out for a while…

      • Either the lottery – which opens right after the race – or by purchasing a place (and hotel and flights) with a running travel agency.

  6. I was happily cheering runners at the St. Patty’s 8K and served as Spectator Chef (SC) for runner friends. On the menu: homemade corned beef hash with poached eggs and chocolate chip pancakes. SC eats twice as much as the runners, of course.

    Great job yesterday!

  7. Wow! What a week you had….. And a great run to finish it off. Nice work.

  8. is that a mimosa in a pitcher?! amazing. how have i not found out abou this before?

    dude, eugene should be so on if you’re killing sub 7 pace!

  9. You ran a GREAT and speedy race. I LOVED seeing you 2 times in 3 days. We seriously need to do that more often. I’d prefer over mimosas or sangria but a run would do, too :) Congrats again – and thanks for snapping a pic!!

  10. Ahhh – the suspense!! When do we get to know which fabulous international race you’ll be rocking?!?!

    I raced this weekend too – a 5 miler – and I think I even managed to PR (mostly just because I’ve only run one other race that distance not pacing a friend) The running might have been only mediocre but the leprechaun inspired flair was stellar! :)

  11. Wow, you are so fast! Like crazy fast! I ran my first-ever double-digit run (exactly 10 miles) this weekend in prep for my first half! I know it doesn’t seem long to those who run 60 mile weeks, BUT I was super proud :)

  12. Love the race outfit, especially the skirt and i don’t usually like running skirts. ps- nice speed! and after a 19 miler, even more impressive.

  13. Congrats on a speedy run! Holy cow you are fast, and after such a busy weekend AND 19 miles the day before!!!! You will kill that PR you are looking for at this rate.
    I ran the 8k as well and it was lots of fun. I did up the green shirt and some fake shamrock tattoos and was ready to go. I have never done an 8k before (weird distance) but I ran it in what I think is pretty good time for me. A couple years ago I did a 4.7 mile race in like 12:43’s and did this one in 9:48’s so woo-hoo! Long run is a 13 miler today.
    I can’t wait to hear what international race you are planning on, so exciting!!!

  14. Ran a 5km this past weekend…the course was long 6.2km. Oh well, had fun meeting up friends – those are the best! And like you, a “paid” tempo training run. Good job on your run!

  15. I finnnnnally raced (a 5K) this weekend! I was so happy to be back, I was smiling the entire time. I’m excited to hear which international marathon you signed up for!

  16. […] Like any good race geek, I immediately plugged Sunday’s race results into my boy McMillan’s running calculator to see how he would predict my potential for racing a […]

  17. Great to see you back out racing (and so fast already!!) Congrats on your race and I did get some pics of you, sorry if they are a little blurry, my camera was being a jerk):

    I’ll be spectating/picture taking at National (ER, USA), so look for the cutest dog! :)

  18. […] I tempo ran the St Patricks Day 8k after running 19 miles the day […]