I woke up far too early for my liking Saturday morning.  One of the very few benefits of a night race is not having to set an alarm to get to the race on time.  (The only other being cooler temperatures.)  Unfortunately, my body naturally woke up at 7 so I knew I would need a nap before I headed to the race much later than evening.

By 10, I was picking up my cousin for some back to school shopping.  Why is that in a race report?  Because shopping for 5 hours is tiring, despite the 16 year old being an awesome young lady.  Also?  I wore flip flops shopping because my sister said I’d embarrass our cousin wearing my running shoes around the mall.

I’ve been having some lingering soreness in my left calf, and I think this aggravated things.  Fortunately, it didn’t effect my running performance, just made for a bit more post-race soreness than I would have expected for an 8K race (just a hair under 5 miles).

Before the big race, I emailed Ashley for a bit of advice.  I’ve ran a lot of races, but I’ve never been good at actually racing them.   She’s a sweetheart who doesn’t mind if I pick her brain (or at least hasn’t told me if she does!) about how to approach the race in order to get the best possible result.

Her suggestion was to treat it similar to a 5K, but go out a bit slower.  I kept a comfortable pace, despite being passed by quite a few people.  

Mile 1 – 9:32

I wondered if I had started slowly enough, but by the first turn around I was still feeling well.  I brought my hand-held water bottle along, so I was able to cruise right past the first water station.  I tried to be more thoughtful about my pace, still feeling fairly comfortable.

Mile 2 – 9:37

Around the 3 mile mark, I tried to pick up my effort.  I was working for my speed at this point.  The evening was warm (75*) and extremely humid.  93% was the forecast, I’m not sure how the night actually shaped up, but I’d believe the humidity was truly that bad.

Mile 3 – 9:44

Jay and I had went to dinner with some friends of his that were in town, and they decided to tag along and spectate the race with him.  I’m sure he was glad to have the company while I ran.  Around the 3 mile marker, I saw them on the side of the road and waved as they cheered me on.

Mile 4 – 9:49

Between Miles 3 and 4, I started feeling sluggish.  Between the humidity and the late time of the race, I found it difficult to keep my pace up.  I knew at this point I was going to meet my 2 main goals (a PR and sub 50), if I could just keep pushing myself

After the 2nd turn around, I knew there was just under a mile left in the race.  My pace dipped into the 10s for a bit, but I forced myself to dig deep.  With a half mile to go, I sped up.  By the time I saw the finish line (and heard my crew cheering) I kicked it up and finished strong. 

Mile 5 – 9:40

Final time – 48:16 A PR (last year’s was 51:4X), sub 50, and oh-so close to my long shot goal of 48 minutes!

*Splits are from my garmin, finishing time official chip time