So, Mr. Dawn and I had a fabulous Thanksgiving! We went to Tennessee to visit friends and family, I was able to stick to my training plan for a full week (and over a holiday no less…), we did some good bargain shopping, and even spent one night in a beautiful cabin in the woods. Glorious.
Thanksgiving morning I had made plans to run an 8k. My first 8k ever! I actually had to find a converter online to figure out that 8k is approximately 5 miles (4.97 to be exact). Since I needed to do some Lactate Threshold miles anyway I thought–why not run with a whole bunch of strangers rather than try to run fast all by myself? Well, it got a little more complicated when, on Wednesday, I didn’t quite start my run early enough to get in all 11 miles before dark. In fact, my planned 11 miles turned into 3. Three miles does not count as a mid-week mid-distance run.
My plan for race day had to change. In stead of: warm up, running the race, nice short cool down. I needed to get in 11 miles. If I’m being totally honest… my plan was to run 6 before the race, since it didn’t start until 9, but that pretty much fell apart as soon as I hit snooze. My revised plan was to run the race then go to a near by bike path and finish my mileage. Because of this I advised Mr. Dawn to not join me. Asking him to wait through the race would have been one thing…but then to have him wait another hour? That is not the right way to spend Thanksgiving.
I headed to the race solo. I’m pretty sure this was my first time at a race where I didn’t come with anyone or know anyone there. I’m going to call that growth. Growth…and commitment to my sport. Sure. That’s what it is. Right? Not just craziness? A way to spend $25 on a $5 tee shirt? No. Couldn’t be.
Anyway, we lined up at the start. I was surprised with how many people actually signed up for the 8k (there was 1 mile and 3 mile options as well). They actually formed quasi “waves” by stretching out ropes randomly through the crowd. I found myself at the back of wave 2.
The race itself is somewhat foggy. My first mile was my fastest. Which is weird for me. In all my training runs I get faster as I warm up. Consistently. And in most distance except the marathon I usually pull a negative split. It was fun for the first two miles to finally explore what it feels like to push myself to run faster than “comfortable”. It’s been a LONG LONG time since I’ve done anything close to resembling speed work. I’ve forgotten that exploding/collapsing feeling in my lungs and the overwhelming desire to stop and walk.
Then right before the half way mark my ipod died. I was NOT excited about that. I have a really hard time running fast. I don’t enjoy it at all. So I always listen to music when I want to zone out and push myself. Lets just say that without music I did lose a little of my spirit. My pace started to slow and I didn’t have anything to drown out the sound of my labored breathing. It was pitiful.
My finishing time is kind of on par with all my other “PR’s”… with a slower pace than what I have done in a marathon. Seriously. I finished in 42:43, which is an 8:36 pace. My pace at Grand Rapids last year around this time? 8:24. Awesome. I love that I can’t run 5 miles as fast as I have run 26.2. Apparently I need a nice long warm up before I can kick it into high gear .
The end of the race was nice. There were two significant hills in the last half mile, so that was fun. There was all kinds of good food at the end though! Bagels, water, poweraid, bananas, oranges….it felt like the finishing chute of a marathon (not that I’m complaining…)!
Sadly, since it was just me, I took zero pictures. I know. Its sad. They did give out nice red long sleeve shirts. Which I love…even though they’re cotton and not tech! Maybe I’ll get it together and take a pic…but that doesn’t sound like me…