This year I decided to up the challenge. My original plan was to run the 15k, but after a lot of thought and several drafts of a training plan, I decided to run the 8k instead.
I signed up in early January, did the math, and figured out how much running I would have to do to get ready in time. Now, when I say "did the math" I want you to know, that in my head 8k translated to 6.5 miles. So that is what I trained for. (Yea, 8k is actually 4.96 miles...I am very stupid...)
Luckily winter started out really mild here in Portland so I was able to do a lot of long runs outside. I pushed each weekend run a little longer outside to get more distance and closer to the 6.5 mile mark. I figured once I had the distance down, I would be fine. I was in no rush to win the 8k, I just wanted to finish!
I found out a few weeks before the race, just after my first ever 6.5 mile run, that an 8k isn't actually 6.5 miles and that I would only need to run 4.96 miles. I was SO excited! I could run 5 miles easily! I could actually focus on speed and not stopping for walk breaks!
I did my usual pre-race ritual of getting my clothes ready and in a pile on the couch the day before the race. And like usual, I laid in bed too excited to sleep and worried that I would over sleep my alarm.
|I didn't wear the shirt. I wore something else. Green isn't my color.|
I dozed off eventually and at 6:02 my eyes flew open in a panic wondering why my alarm hadn't gone off. (I set my alarm for 6:04 so, it went off 2 minutes later.) I braided my hair, got dressed and the Man and I were out they door right around 7.
We took public transportation to the race because there is no way in HELL that we would be finding parking downtown.
The 8k was scheduled to start at 8:25. We got there just after 8. There were some delays due to Amtrak, so we had to stand in the cold rain (much better than the snow that was predicted) until almost 8:45 before it was even my turn to start.
The race itself went fantastic. I didn't feel the urge to stop. I really wanted to run faster but there were SO many people I couldn't get a clear path. (Why the HELL do people stop to walk as a GROUP in the middle of the road? Please, GO TO THE SIDE! Let the runners PASS!)
The night before I memorized the course so I knew that there would be a steep uphill the last mile, followed by 2 turns then a steep downhill to the finish. Knowing that the finish was at the bottom of the hill kept me running up it. I looked at my Garmin on the downhill and saw that I was doing an 8 min mile and actually laughed out loud. When I turned the last corner, I aimed myself for the left side of the road because I knew that is where the Man would be waiting with the camera. I gave him a HUGE grin when I saw him, and then some bitch ran in front of my ruining the picture.
I crossed the finish line in exactly 54 minutes! 6 minutes faster than my goal of 1 hour! I was wet and only a little tired. As I went to find water I tried not to be upset because I felt like I should have pushed harder. I was barely out of breath and I felt like I could keep running.
I snapped out of that quickly, put a smile on my face, and met up with the Man and headed for the beer garden for my free beer and chowder!
I still feel like I should have pushed harder. My muscles weren't sore at all the next day. I am a little disappointed in myself which I shouldn't be. I ran a mother effing 8k! Next year I will be doing the 15k. No ifs, ands, or buts about it!
Oh, and I may have signed up for a 10k in 3 weeks...Bridge to Brews
And I may have my eye on a half marathon in June...or I could puss out and just do the 10k version of that race. We will see.