Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Race report: St. Patrick's Day 8K

Prerace. Sunny but cold!
Last weekend I ran the St. Patrick’s Day 8k. I ran the same race a year ago, when it was my first time at the distance (just a hair less than 5 miles.) The great thing about a new race distance is getting an automatic PR (personal record.) No matter how fast or slow you go, it will be your best for that distance. It can be a bit of a reality check when you run it for a second time, and realize it’s not as great as you thought it was.

Sleep running around mile 4.
A year ago, I ran at a 6:21 pace, five weeks before going sub-3 hours at Boston. This time, since I’m hoping to take 15-20 seconds/mile off that marathon time (I already took 9 seconds off at Chicago), I was hoping to run 15-20 seconds/mile faster for the 8k. Six minutes flat seemed a little nuts, so I aimed for 6:05. I hit the first mile a little fast (5:57) and slowed drastically for the next two (6:20, 6:21). I got a little boost coming through 5k when I realized I had beaten my 5k PR en route (with a 19:12, which shows how pathetic my PRs at shorter distances are.) At 3.5 miles, there was a turn around where I realized my place among women (13th; since the first 10 win money, this race gets some top local athletes), which kept me going a bit. Also the entire crowd seemed to be cheering incredibly loudly for some “Karina” girl who was right on my tail. I finished in 31:02 (6:15 pace), happily in front of the infamous Karina. BUT, since the overall results are based on chip time (with the time starting when you cross the start line) and not gun time (the time starting when the gun fires) she beat me and I wound up 14th, the same spot as last year. We were both clocked in 31:02 but she started a second behind me and finished in an overall time that must have been a tenth of a second (or less!) faster than me. Note: In the closing stages of a race, no matter how much you think you have on your competition, keep pushing. (Most overall awards, such as the top places that win prize money, are measured by gun time. They consider chip time for age group awards.) I also won 2nd in my age group. (The top ten winners don't count for age groups. Last year I won my age group but was 30 seconds slower.)

Both years, I trained through the race, meaning I didn’t take time off or taper leading up to race day. (In fact, my long run the day before was the same as 2011: 18 miles.) Because of this, I have to account for a time that’s not my best. In addition, I had been having stomach issues all weekend, which I’m attributing to work stress. Still, I was disappointed with this race. I feel like I should have improved more in the last year, especially given my ambitious marathon goals.

Swag and prizes. (The sweatshirt actually looks better here.)
Not pictured: the yummy cookies we devoured at the finish.
Regardless, I did win a gift certificate to Pacers Running store and a green sweatshirt. I don’t mean to sound unappreciative; I have to say the T-shirts they give out for this race are always pretty tasteful. But the prizes are pretty ugly (last year was a fleece vest with completely clashing colors.) I don’t know why the designer of the T-shirts doesn’t also design the sweatshirts. I think I can safely say this sweatshirt will be designated my ice bath sweatshirt. (Turn in to future posts for more about my relationship with ice baths.)

Dream big,

No comments :

Post a Comment