I ran my second 8K/5 mile race this morning in an official time of 37:30.
This seems like a big jump in fitness since my 5K two weeks ago. The truth is that either this course was slightly short or I accidentally cut a few corners because the Garmin data tell a different story:
So I won’t be calling this one a PR. However, it was still a really nice race and I think breaking 37:30 at another local 8K in September is a good goal to keep me motivated during the summer. (Edit 12/24/15: It finally dawned on me to check if this course is USATF certified. Apparently it is, so I’m chalking this one up to a Garmin goof.)
I did not have high hopes for this race. We got back from Boston on Saturday afternoon and felt exhausted. I will save our Boston trip for another post because we had an epic disaster one day that involved a trip to the ER. (Ooooh, intrigue! Everyone’s fine now, mostly…). Anyway, we were very tired when we arrived back in Austin. Also, we were greeted with several hours of pouring rain with thunder and lightning upon our return to our apartment. I got an email stating that the race start might be delayed in the weather on Sunday morning was still really bad. Honestly, I was hoping they’d call off the whole thing since it’s not like I really trained for the thing and sleeping in sounded divine. Around 6 PM when the rain finally let up a bit I went out for an easy 3 mile shakeout run since my legs were feeling super stiff after sitting in an airplane for most of the day.
This was another Camp Mabry race, which meant the course wasn’t new or exciting but was quite close to my home in North Central Austin. This morning I pretty much rolled out of bed, grabbed some coffee and a Clif Bar, and headed out around 7 for a 7:45 start time. So I still got to sleep in a little bit 🙂
The race is comprised of 2 laps around a 2.5 mile course:
For the record, 2 laps of the same course wasn’t as boring as I thought it would be. When you’re halfway through you pass by the finish area, so there’s a lot of crowd support, and on the second lap I had the advantage of knowing exactly when I’d come across any ascents/descents.
Before the race I did a 1 mile warmup along the track in the above picture and then stood around for awhile because the race start got pushed to 8:00 due to lots of late arrivals. I didn’t have any sort of goal time for this and decided to try to run it at 7:45-8:00 minute pace. I felt quite good on the first 2.5 (or 2.4?) mile lap. I felt like I was running at a tempo effort vs. all out race pace and passed a bunch of people on the first of the two real hills. I pretty much kept up this strategy on the second lap until the last mile when I let myself speed down a long downhill and then run all out in the last ~0.2 miles towards the finish.
Post-race I did a 2 mile cool down on the track, ate a banana, and waited around for the awards since, per the unofficial results, I was 1st in my age group. I’m glad I stuck around to claim my prizes!
A medal plus a FIFTY dollar gift card to Rogue Running! I’m up to $70 in Rogue gift cards with the $20 I got at the Daisy 5K two weeks ago. One or two more age group wins at small races and I’ll be able to buy a new pair of shoes…
The race tee is also quite nice– fitted, not 100% cotton, not 100% horrible color like this year’s Statesman 10K:
When I’m trying to evaluate the quality of a race I usually rely on the question “Would I do this race again?”. Sometimes I’ll run a subpar time but I’ll still really enjoy a race due to the great organization or a nice course. I think there were some shenanigans happening with the course length today (though I’m not sure if that’s my fault or the race directors’) but I would still definitely run this race again. The distance is much more comfortable for me than 5K and I love that I don’t have to travel very far from my apartment. Also, as a sub-sub-sub-sub-elite runner, I’m never going to win serious prize money at a big race but a $50 gift card for an age group win at a small race will absolutely make my day.