St Patrick’s Day 8k Race Report
|March 12, 2012||Posted by Emily under Uncategorized|
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
Total time: 33:56
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?