Yesterday was my first official race since the half marathon in September. It was also my first run after the 7 miles I did last Sunday, which left my foot in enough pain to not want to lace up again. I was aiming for the very best case scenario at 40 minutes, which would be a huge PR since high school. Granted, the only time I ran an 8k in high school was after cross country when I stopped training for a month. I wasn’t expecting 40 minutes given my foot, plus running 5 miles at 8 minutes or under would be absolutely crazy with the amount of running I haven’t done… or so I thought.
My foot wasn’t bothering me prior to starting and I made my way to the front 100 or so runners. I was getting my watch ready and the gun went off about 3 minutes before the noon start time. I had to dodge my way through people who weren’t running or were, but should not have been that closed to the front. It’s always frustrating to waste energy on weaving in and out of the crowd.
Somehow my first mile was under 8. Every little hill I hit, I picked up my pace and paced dozens of runners. I used my momentum to send me down the hill effortlessly. Then my second mile was under 8. Followed by the third, fourth (barely), and fifth. Uh, what? I crossed the line just and the clock was at 38:35, my watch read 38:15 and the chip time was 38:13. Hell yes.
Unfortunately, my foot was killing me instantly, I was freezing, I didn’t cool down much, and I just hopped into my car without stretching. I’m regretting that just a bit today… more on that in a later post.
But hey 38:13! Not only was that the best 8k I’ve ever run, I also set a 5k record in the middle of it – 23:27!
Since I haven’t run as much or hard as I did this summer, the only thing I’ve done differently is cross train 2-3 times a week. Apparently that actually works; it’s not something that’s just written in articles for no reason. Go figure.
Next race up: Saturday, March 30th – The Spring Forward Distance Run. That’s 9 miles of hills and fun in Rochester!