Monday, December 2, 2013

Recap of 8k Race

After all of my training, I ran my 8k race! Of course, the race was over two weeks ago, and I've since recovered. Now I will finally tell you all about it.

The race was in Richmond, about an hour from Charlottesville, and we had to pick up our packets the night before. We got a cheap hotel to stay in, that was right near the packet pickup, and only 2 miles from the start line of the race. I made sure we were all prepped on Thursday, since the plan was to leave on Friday as early as we could. We usually have a late dinner, but considering how early we would have to wake up Saturday morning, we wanted to eat early and go to bed early. We checked into the hotel, picked up our race stuff at the expo next door, and then went to Olive Garden for dinner. I hadn't been to an Olive Garden in years! This was the perfect time to have endless breadsticks :)

I was super prepared for the race, and when we got back from dinner, I set out all of my options. I basically had two of everything! Two pairs of pants, two sports bras, two pairs of running underwear, two pairs of socks, two under shirts, just the one long sleeve running shirt (plus the one I got at the expo), sweats for after the race, and lots of hair bands and headbands.

I figured in the morning I would decide what I wanted to be wearing. I kept checking the weather, over and over. Originally there was a 20% chance of rain in the morning, but it looked like a storm was supposed to hit that night. I kept checking the hourly forecast, to see if the rain would be over by the race. Things looked promising, but Joey brought one of the trash can liners with us, in case I needed to protect my phone. I use an armband when running, but it doesn't completely cover the phone, and I was afraid that water would get in if it started to rain. When we got up in the morning, everything looked clear, and the forecast was saying cloudy, but we brought it just in case.

My race was starting at 7, and Joey's was starting at 7:30, just one block away from mine, so he helped me prep. We were standing under cover, and it wasn't until we started walking around to find the bag drop off, that we realized it was raining. Then it started pouring. We quickly got back under cover, and wrapped the plastic bag around my armband. Thank goodness we brought it. I felt really bad for Joey, since he was getting soaked as well, and still had a bit until his race. He left me at the start, and I was stuck there, with the rain pouring down on me. I was drenched, cold and miserable. At this point, I really didn't want to be running. I had gloves on, and was trying to coordinate everything so once the race started, I could pull back my left glove to start my heart rate monitor, and then pull back my right glove so I could start runkeeper on my phone (my gloves don't have special pads for touch screens). I was so discombobulated at the beginning, that I wasn't able to get the heart rate monitor started. I almost didn't get runkeeper going, but somehow that did end up starting okay. I think I just started it a bit too early, while we were all shuffling toward the start.

Once I started running, I felt better. I was still soaked, with water streaming down my face, and my drenched clothes hanging off my body. But the book I was listening to on my phone really helped me zone out, and I didn't have to do very much zigzagging around people. Somehow we all spread out pretty quickly. I was in the first wave, probably the only time that will ever happen, and I didn't have to run around very many people in the beginning. My plan was to do the first mile in 9:50, miles 2-4 around 9:30, and then the last mile as fast as I could. Based on some of my last runs, I know that I have a pretty good kick at the end. In terms of goals for finish times, I wanted to definitely finish under 48:30. The 5 mile run I did earlier that week was hilly, and I managed to do that in 48:34, so I would have been really angry if it took longer for me to complete the race. My next goal was under 47:00, then my final goal was under 45:00. With the plan above, if I did the last mile in 8:30 or less, I could finish in just under 47:00.

I ended up going just a bit faster in the first mile than I had planned, finishing it in 9:37. I held that pace pretty well, and finished the second mile in 9:35. Here, I decided to kick it up a little, and finished mile 3 in 9:09 and mile 4 in 8:41. At this point, I kept doing the math in my head every time I got an update through runkeeper, and realized that I could actually beat my goals. The end was all downhill, and I kicked it up to a spring at this point, doing the last half mile at a 7:20 pace. At this point it had stopped pouring, but the ground was so wet I was afraid I would trip while running downhill! I finished in a flash, and then went through the chute to pick up my medal and get some water.

I recovered a lot faster than I thought I would, and at first was disappointed in myself, thinking that if I had picked up the pace more in the beginning of the race, I could have gotten a time under 45 minutes. In the end, I was really proud! My official race time was 45:25 for the 8k course, and runkeeper clocked in at 45:40 (probably since I started it too early) for 5.08 miles. I never get the same distance, probably because I don't run it at efficiently as I could. My runkeeper time put me at an average pace of 8:59/mile, and my official time put me at an average pace of 9:08/mile. Either way, this was the fastest race besides my 5k in Disney, and definitely my fastest race over 3.1 miles.

After my race finished, I had 1.5 hours until Joey would be done. I walked over to the area where they were giving us back the bags we checked at the start, and changed into some dry clothes. I was a bit too modest to strip down completely, and didn't want to attempt the acrobatics involved in changing in the porta potty, so I didn't completely change out of my wet clothes. I took off my sopping wet long sleeve running shirt, but kept on my running tights and my tank top. I put a sweat shirt on top of my tank top. The rain kept coming and going, and I just walked around aimlessly, trying to pass the time. I ended up calling my sister, and she kept me occupied for a while :) I had originally planned on just sitting down somewhere and listening to music or a book on my phone, but that didn't seem like a good idea once everything was wet. I was still on the phone with my sister once I realized it was close to the time Joey was hoping to finish by, so I quickly got off the phone and went to the finish. His first half marathon time was 1:54:15, so his first goal was to beat that time. His next goal was to be under 1:50, and his final goal was to be under 1:45. As the clock started ticking closer and closer to 1:45, I kept my fingers crossed that Joey would finish soon. I knew that his wave started 2 minutes after the gun, so he technically had until around 1:47 to beat that time, but I wasn't sure how exact the 2 minute delay was. Imagine my surprise when I see him at just around 1:44, coming down the hill. He ended up finishing with a gun time of 1:44:43, and a chip time of 1:42:39!! He beat his last time by almost 12 minutes, which is just insane - that's almost 1 minute faster for his average pace. He was completely beat when he finished, so it took a few minutes to recover. After that, we just wanted to get out of there, so we grabbed some food and went back to the hotel for a hot shower.

Splits: (average pace, pace in last half mile)
0.51 4:54 (9:36)
1.00 9:37 (9:37, 9:38) last mile in 9:37
1.51 14:40 (9:43, 9:54)
2.00 19:12 (9:36, 9:15) last mile in 9:35
2.50 23:47 (9:31, 9:10)
3.00 28:21 (9:27, 9:08) last mile in 9:09
3.50 32:43 (9:21, 8:44)
4.00 37:02 (9:15, 8:38) last mile in 8:41
4.50 41:17 (9:10, 8:30)
5.00 45:07 (9:01, 7:40) last mile in 8:05
5.08 45:40 (8:59) 
last 0.08 at 6:53/mile
last 0.25 at 7:12/mile
last 0.50 at 7:20/mile

Now that I finished this race, I'm ready for my next! I signed up for the Charlottesville 10 Miler Training Program, and the race is on March 29th. I haven't gone to any of the group runs yet, but hopefully I'll go to one this month. Joey made me a color coded training plan for the race! He told me for the few weeks following the race to just run whenever I felt like it. Starting next week, he put together a 4 week plan to help get my miles up, so I'll be ready for the training plan. Starting the second week of January, I'll be following his 10 miler training plan. He adapted it from the plan he used for his half marathon. I'll have to make my goals once I'm closer to the race, but my tentative race goals are under 1:45, under 1:40, and under 1:35.

Speaking of training plans, I should probably mention how my 8k training plan went. Below, I have my 8k training plan, and I have checked off the workouts that I did complete. Not all of them were done exactly in that order, but those are the ones I definitely did. You can see that I did 27 of the 41 runs prior to the race, which I'm pretty happy with. I ran more than 125 miles in the 11 weeks of training.