I originally signed up for this event because my son’s lacrosse team is doing the one mile “fun run” to support an organization that one of the coaches is involved with. My friend and I thought we could cajole our boys into doing the Race For A Cause 8K, but they didn’t think that running 5 miles before a 2 hour lacrosse practice made much sense. Then we found out last week that my son has a stress fracture in his pelvis that he’s been trying to hide for a few months (because he didn’t want to miss the spring or summer lacrosse seasons), so he couldn’t participate at all. 🙁
Coming the week after the Army Ten Miler, I didn’t really have any goals for this event, and really approached it as a “fun” run. On the other hand, the promise of a flat course and a relatively short distance had me thinking that I could do pretty well.
That was until I let my son have some friends spend the night after a Saturday night concert. Although they left the event at 11:45, between parking lot gridlock and beltway construction they didn’t get home until nearly 1:00. By the time I set them up with some pizza, chips and soda, and made sure that they were settled in for the night, it was nearly 2:00 am!
It seems that lack of sleep does not affect my race day habit of waking up before my alarm, although I only beat it by a few minutes. I took a shower, got dressed, and laced up my new running shoes.
(Mizuno Wave Inspire 7)
I wished I had bought some bagels for breakfast, but I opted for my favorite oatmeal combination.
(No Starbucks Christmas Blend yet, but the Yukon Blend is pretty good!)
It was chilly, but after getting so warm at the Army Ten Miler last weekend there was no question that I was going to wear a short-sleeved t-shirt.
It ended up feeling like perfect running weather and only my hands were a bit cold at the start.
Any race is going to seem small after the 30,000-runner Army Ten Miler, but this one was very much a community event. There were lots of families and even kids under 12 were permitted to do the 8K. One nice thing about a small but well-organized event–no line at the porta-potties!
I lined up near the front, wanting to be sure I was ahead of the non-runners–like the teenagers in their jeans and sweatshirts! I was prepared for a fast, flat course, but heard someone warn that there is a long gradual incline after the turn-around point, so I kept that in mind as I ran.
The start was fast–once I got my Garmin going, I was clocking a 7:45 pace! I tried to assess how I was feeling and how hard I was working to decide whether I could maintain an 8:00 pace for 5 miles. I felt good with a sub-8:00 pace for the first mile, and used my Garmin to stay at that pace for mile 2. I did notice the incline after the turn-around point, but still finished that mile on target. I felt strong and mentally locked in a goal of a 40 minute finish time.
Mile 4 got harder, and then I had to hold on for mile 5. I started feeling pukey at mile 4.3, but I focused on keeping up with the runners who were right in front of me–including one of those young kids! I turned the last corner, and my body went into auto-sprint mode. I tried to remember to smile for the cameraman at the finish, and was definitely thrilled to see 8:17 on the race clock as I crossed the finish line!
My friend also had a great race, and another friend who was going to walk the “fun run” ended up run/walk-ing the 8K!
I got home 2 hours after I had left, and was able to shower and brew another pot of coffee before the boys even woke up.
Total Distance: 4.98 miles (I started it a bit late)
Total Time: 39:55
Avg. Pace: 8:01 min/mile
Split Times: 7:57, 7:46, 8:01, 8:23, 7:59
Chip Time: 40:10.7
37th/382 females, 4th in age group (missed 3rd by 0.7 seconds!)
Have you ever worn brand new shoes for a race?
Do you have a hard time being out-run by a kid?