Start time: 03/12/06, 9:00am
Location: Washington DC
Distance: 8 kilometers (4.97 miles)
Run:Walk ratio: 6:1
Average pace: 8:58min/mile
Today was one of those “glad it’s over” sort of races, but for no real definable reason other than “I never found my groove.” (Paging Stella.) It didn’t go badly, don’t get me wrong… but I just never really felt into it. I was a little tired before we even began (and darn it, I was in bed last night at a reasonable hour), and that’s never a good sign.
The course was crowded but full of eager runners, but it was crowded enough that I never saw the first two mile markers. (Julie said she never saw them either, but could hear other people seeing them.) I really wasn’t sure at what pace I was really moving, and good ol’ self-doubt showed up several times in those first three miles. This was also only the second race I’ve ever run entirely by myself (the other being the Worst Organized Race Ever), which was a strange feeling. I know, most people have the reverse, but it’s what you’re used to.
Anyway, I hit mile marker 3 at 27:05, which meant that I’d been averaging 9min/miles for the first three. That’s good. Unfortunately, I was also starting to lose some steam when that’s when I wanted to begin to pick it up a bit. That groove was nowhere to be seen as I hit marker 4 in 9:32. Hmph. I buckled down at that point, threw out the last scheduled walk break, and tried to just keep moving forward. The final two-block stretch of the race was me playing my “I’m going to beat… you!” game where I picked a runner up ahead (in this case a tall leggy guy with a bright orange shirt) and made it my mission to pass the object of my determination. It worked well, and I finished the last mile (well really the last 0.97 miles… stupid 8Ks…) in 7:57, for a finishing time of 44:35. I’d say “and I got a PR!” but really, since it was my first 8K just finishing is a PR. But it was an 8:58min/mile pace, which was faster than my last 10K pace and that was the important thing.
Julie did well too; she lost a couple of minutes when someone in front of her wiped out hard and she helped him up and over to the sidewalk and then gave him some Advil before police finally came over to assist. She’s far nicer than I. Even with that delay her finishing time was a 55:12, which is very respectable indeed.
Oh yeah; once again, right foot going slightly numb around mile 3. I’m thinking more and more that my shoes shrunk slightly after getting washed from the Mud Extravaganza last month and that getting new shoes will nip this in the bud. Sometime this week, Metro Run & Walk will be very happy to see me.
And now that I’ve gotten home, scrubbed out the fish tank, put in some new water, and emptied the trash… time for a shower. The best part, by far, about a race is the post-run shower. Ahhhhhhhh.