It took me awhile this morning to get enthused about heading out for this race. I'd never run an 8k before and wasn't exactly sure of the exact distance in miles (and didn't bother to look it up). Turns out it is 5 miles, well 4.97 miles. This race was to be and a two lap route, each being 4k. It was in the mid-20s, dark and cold, and I was flat-out tired! I got myself to the race site with plenty of time before the start, picked up the packed and headed out for an easy warm up run. I got a little turned around trying to find my way back to the State Library but made it back in time to catch the procession of runners walking to the start line on Senate Street.
1-2-3 and we were off. I guess I started off a little fast because I had the lead for good half mile at which time a guy with the Ritz/Hall Olympic trials look came alongside me. We ran shoulder to shoulder for for the rest of the first mile and then he began pulling away. My Garmin confirmed it, 5:40 for the first mile (didn't feel like it), and the results show that this is the pace he kept for the entire race ... not so much for me! So I guess I started out too fast, but in my defense it was mostly downhill.
Mile two had most of climbing including one short and steep brick-road hill that had you wondering if this was some kind of a sick joke. By the top of this thing there were two thoughts going through my head 1) can't breathe - need more oxygen 2) THIS HURTS!!! Second mile split was 6:17, which would turn out to be my average pace overall.
By the end of mile two the leader had a sizable gap on me and any thoughts of a courageous fight for the win were long gone. Mile 3 was more rollers and brought us back by the start line at 2.5 to start the second lap and then into some of the downhill section. This was a hard mile! The split for this one was 6:22.
Mile 4 included more ofthe downhill section but also the brutal uphill part. This time I knew the hill was coming and knew the recovery section I would have after it, which gave me the confidence to attack it pretty hard. Overall it was a fast mile at 6:12.
Bringing it home I knew I had 2nd place in the bag as no one was in sight behind me. I think this knowledge was a bit of a hinderance as I am one to race off fear instead of fight. This was my slowest mile at 6:26. In the end I came accross the line in 31:14 for an average pace of 6:17. This is the same pace I ran for the 5k last month (which shared much of this course) but I held it out for 3k longer.
After reading Scott and Paul blog about vDot scores I got interested in where I stood on the scale. I don't currently subscribe to pace-based training philosophy but having a quantifiable "score" to mark progress and also the projected races times for given distances (especially marathon) is very intriguing! So before this race I was a 51 and now I'm a 52, so that is progress!
After getting home I let my kids work out who got to keep the trophy and the rest of the swag. They really wanted to be there this morning but it was just too cold. They would have been miserable. Once it warmed up my wife and I took them out for a healthy lunch and then to Finlay park to enjoy the beautiful sunshine.