run pretty run fast

a blog about running fast with style

The story of a girl and her 8k

I might be in love, and it might just be with and 8k.  Maybe it’s something to do with the number 8 (after all, I used to be and 800m runner).

I raced my second ever 8k (as an adult).  And it went well.  In fact much better than expected.

I walked away with these:

… and a new pair of shoes :).  But before you get too excited I should point out that 3 women in the half marathon ran faster than my 8k, but with that being said this was still almost a minute PR for me:  31:45 (6:22-23 pace).

And I’m still a bit surprised.

But I’m getting ahead of myself (as usual).

Lets back track a few days.  I was happy to see that our coach gave us an easier workout on Wednesday since most of us were racing on the weekend (a lot of our group was going to race Bloomsday).

I thought I’d handled the workout well (not too fast not too slow) and I even had a decent recovery run on Thursday.  But Friday was different story.

I’d planned on any easy 5-6 mile run but my quads and hipflexors were so sore that I called it a day at 3.

I promptly put my legs up the wall and hoped for the best.  I also added a few of these yoga moves.

Saturday morning I was hoping the legs would show-up but I could still tell they were sore.  I tried to not thing about it as I got ready, had some toast and drank my electrolytes.

My new favorite flavor…

As I headed out on my warm up run I tried my best not to panic but there was no denying my quads and hipflexors were sore.

I kept going back and forth in my head “should I race or rest”?  I finally decided I would have run hard workout no matter what my legs felt like so I’d better run.  I also tried to remind myself of all the good workouts I’d had after bad warm-ups.

So there I was, on the start line, staring down an 8k.

The gun went off and so did I.

I’d lined up near the start and people quickly started passing me.  I looked down a my watch and saw we were running 6:00 minute mile pace.

DON”T PANIC!  Really?  Don’t panic?  This is my 5k pace!  We’ll slow down right?

Eventually.  But a half mile would pass first.  Still, my breathing was good so I tried to settle in.

By the end of the first quarter mile I was the first place woman, only to be passed in the next half mile.  The woman who passed me passed me strong and I was still at 6:00 minute mile pace, so I told my self to run my own race and listen to my body.

This is what 6 minute mile pace looks like… in my mind it looks a lot faster.  (And in my mind I’m not a heel striker…)

To my surprise the legs felt good.  I found some people to run with and tried to settle in.

Mile one down.  I know I looked and my watch but the split didn’t register.  I just tried to stay relaxed and before I knew it I was through the second mile.

Again I looked at my watch but it didn’t register.

By this time the pace felt good.  I was running with a guy and we made a surge to the group ahead of us;  the group with the first place woman.

We’d caught her by the 2.5 mile mark and kept our pace.  I couldn’t tell if she reacted, if she was coming with us or maintaining.  I decided it didn’t matter I’d just keep running my race.

By the 3 mile mark I’d dropped the guy who’d surged with me.  Mile 4 is where I broke down a bit.  My problem was I ended up in no mans land.  There was a group ahead of me and behind me but I was all alone.

I was getting down on myself for the first half mile and saw that my time had slowed.  I thought to myself “you’ll still PR but you don’t want to die at the end”.  I was also wondering if the second place gal was anywhere near and if she could see my doubt.  I also could help but question if I’d started too fast.

Somewhere between 3.5 and 4 I sort of snapped out of it.  I realized I was running all alone and that I need to catch the group ahead of me.

So I pushed.  I pushed pas the 4 mile marker and up a hill to the bridge.  It was at this point I could sneak a peek back and see that my second place friend wasn’t too far behind.

Better push.

And push I did.

I could see we were getting close to the track and the finish.  I figured we’d be close to a half a mile left and less than 4 minutes of really hard running.

So I pushed.

I passed a few guys and we hit the parking lot.  And I could see the track.  Thank God a track!

Only 400ms, hopefully less depending on where we joined the track.

We joined right near the finish, which meant a full quarter mile.  I can do this… just kick.  And I kicked.

And finished.

Last mile:  6 minutes.

I was thrilled.

I looked around and couldn’t see the second place gal.

I looked at my watch and it said 31:44 almost a full minute PR.  The pace 6:19.  Now before I got too excited I could tell my watch measured the course long so I knew it would be slower (6:22-23 pace) but I was still thrilled.

I as hoping to get under 6:20 pace by the end of the summer so to be this close now with such little speed work was more than exciting.

I gathered my self, got some liquids and headed out for a cool down just trying to process what had happened.

This was my tune-up race for my half marathon.  To be honest I still wasn’t sure what type of shape I was in since I’d changed my training plan.  I was pleasantly surprised to say the least.


On a side note I raced in my new Oiselle shorts and I might just be in love… these are distance shorts I ran in them in the rain and was really impressed with the material but I’m now even more impressed with them after my race.  They are super lightweight and comfortable… sorry speed shorts, you may have found your match.

I’ll leave you with one final view from the race.  It was a good day.  I’m glad I didn’t listen to my doubts and fears.  It was a good lesson to learn as I head into these final few weeks before my half.

Here are my splits (the first 3 miles are a bit off).

run pretty run fast


View Splits
Avg Pace
Summary 31:44.4 5.02 6:19
1 6:17.7 1.00 6:18
2 6:23.9 1.00 6:24
3 6:24.3 1.00 6:24
4 6:29.3 1.00 6:29
5 6:01.7 1.00 6:02
6 :07.4 0.02 5:13

5 comments on “The story of a girl and her 8k

  1. XLMIC
    May 13, 2012

    Great job!

  2. Pingback: Wednesday Night Speed: 7-8 x 1000 meters | run pretty run fast

  3. Pingback: Week in Review: The hay is in the barn | run pretty run fast

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This entry was posted on May 12, 2012 by in races and tagged , , , , , , .
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