Monday, June 2, 2008

Grand Old Day 8K - Race Report

So, I arrived at my first 8K very excited and a little nervous. My main goal was to run the entire distance…no walking allowed. My secondary goal was to do it in 55 minutes (right around an 11:00 min pace). I knew that I could do it, but I wasn’t feeling 100%. For some reason, my calves had started to hurt on Saturday. I honestly have no idea why. My last run had been on Friday morning, and they felt fine during and after the run. They didn’t start hurting until Saturday morning (which luckily was a scheduled rest day anyway). Also, my stomach was bothering me Saturday night. Both of these ailments were still lingering Sunday morning when I departed for the race, although not as bad as they were on Saturday.

This was my first chip-timed race, and I really liked how much more relaxed the start seemed. Instead of everyone immediately starting at their pace speed, the back of the group actually just jogged until we reached the mats, then sped up. It just felt more civilized I guess.

I little background: Grand Old Day is a festival/street party in a St Paul neighborhood that has been going on annually at least a couple decades. Grand Ave is lined for about 2.5 miles with food vendors, art vendors, music/beer areas, etc. The races were preceding the parade which is kind of the kick-off to the festival. The race went from one end of the festival to the other, made a quick turn around the block and returned to the start.

So, while we were running, the vendors were all busy along either side of the road setting up. There was lots of activity to distract me if I didn’t want to think about my breathing, stride, pace, or other running junk. It was also kinda odd, because while I am now used to smelling the lilacs on my morning runs, the aromas of BBQ and mini-donuts was a new experience.

As for the running…the hardest miles were the first and fourth. However, I did push through and did not walk one step between the start and finish mats! Goal 1 accomplished. I was trying to keep an eye on my pace using my new Nike Sportband (trying to get used to no headphones in races). But there were about 4 times that I looked down and it wasn’t picking up the sensor. Now, the sensor is only a few feet away in my shoe…it is not like it has to pick up a satellite or anything. In the end it only gave me credit for running 4.76 miles (about .2 miles short), so I guess that was for the time it wasn’t picking up and thought I was standing still.

As I approached the finish I actually had some energy left and was able to finish strong, but without killing myself in the process. Final time…53:58!!! Goal 2 accomplished. That means that I ran it in an average pace faster than the 5K I ran earlier this year, and on par with my 5K PR from 2006! Oh, and my calves didn’t bother me at all during the run – they just feel a little tight still.


Race: Grand Old Day – On the Go
Date: June 1, 2008
Distance: 8K
Official Time: 53:58
Average Pace: 10:51
Overall Place: 511/556
Place in Age Group: 59/64


Rachel said...

Great job! And the smell of donuts and BBQ would be rather interesting. Grand Ave is a fun area anyway so I'm sure it would be a great run!

*jen* said...

Excellent job, that's awesome! That sounds like it would be a nice run. My belly woulda been rumbling with all those smells. :)