St. Patrick’s Day 8k {race report}

The St. Patrick’s Day 8k was my one race before Boston.   The one to test my fitness level; the one to see if my training was paying off.  An 8k was not my ideal distance for a marathon goal-race but with work commitments and expos, it was the only race I could run (pre-Boston).  And while I was hoping for a shiny new PR, my real goal was to run a perfectly executed and smart race. 

I did everything right the night before: ate a healthy meal, opted out on wine, changed (most of) the clocks in the house, laid out my race outfit and pre-race meal, prepared a water bottle, called the cab, made sure my iPhone would auto time-change, set 2 alarms, and went to bed early.transition areaI set my alarm for 7:00am (with a 7:10am back-up) and arranged for the cab to arrive at 7:45am.  That would give me plenty of time to digest my food, check my bag, stand in long (porta-potty) lines, warm-up, and not feel rushed. 

I woke up at 7:57am.

Damn you, Daylight Savings Time (especially on race morning)

I woke-up feeling mad, upset, and rushed.  Thankfully, everything was prepped and ready to go.  I prefer a less-rushed morning, but I got ready in 7 minutes and still managed to get out of the door by 8:04am (the time my friend originally wanted to leave).  

The cab ride was quick and we were downtown in less than 15 minutes.  I was still a little anxious and flustered, but kept thinking “this is not the goal race, Boston is”.  (That helped a bit).  I ran into Capital Area Runners and started to feel better – I was ready for this race, even if my morning didn’t go quite as planned. 

I didn’t really have a “plan” for this race, but was thinking I should start out around 6:40/6:30 pace and see how I was feeling.  From there, I could pick it up (that’s what I was hoping for) or keep it steady at the current pace.  I felt really strong after the 1st mile – I was comfortable pushing the pace a bit – and decided I could run just a little bit faster.  It also helped to have people pushing me (my training partner, Dan) and people cheering me on (Coach George, Cheryl, Jessica and Dash).  Add another 6,000 runners, a lot of awesome St. Patrick’s Day themed costumes, and great racing weather to feel good enough to run a perfectly executed race.

Mile 1: 6:22
Mile 2: 6:32
Mile 3: 6:35
Mile 4: 6:24
Mile 0.96: 6:07Capital Area RunnerThe race had a lot of twists, turns, and tight corners (races in DC are crazy) – but I ran an 8k PR (by 3:30 minutes) and I couldn’t be more excited!  More than anything, I felt confident with my fitness level/abilities.  I felt strong and fast – a great feeling heading into my final weeks of marathon training.   

Pacers and Capital Running Company put on a great race, it was really well executed, planned and staffed.   In addition to personally having a great race, most CAR members ran PR’s, too (with a handful of AG wins!).  It was an awesome day!

Time: 32:02 (6:27 pace) + New PR
Place: 131/6000
Female: 21/3571
Age Group: 11/1039