Apr 28, 2013

Rockstar 8K

Rockstar 8K swag
Running like rockstar number 479!

Today, I successfully completed my first race. I skipped doing a 5K, like most people choose for their first race. No, I decided to do it in style, rock and roll style. I chose the Rockstar 8K, a race by Potomac River Running. An 8K race comes out to 5 miles. That is farther than I've ever run before. The race also came with a 75 minute time limit, which meant a 15 minute per mile pace. I've gotten under that in my runs, but never for this distance obviously. I was hoping I could keep it up over that distance as well. I was pushing my distance, pushing my pace, pushing myself.

The Race

The race started at 8am. It started in the shopping center around the corner from our house. The race ran down Burke Centre Parkway and back, which I've been running portions of it in preparation during my training. The plan was it would give me confidence in the course, which it did. I was bib number 479, so there were quite a few people running. I of course had my two lovely ladies, Stephanie and Samantha, there to cheer me on. I started the race off and wanted to stick to my plan, to my run-walk-run. I didn't let myself be overly concerned with where I was, where the other people were. I just concentrated on me. My biggest fear was not keeping the pace. I had done so in my training runs, but hadn't run this distance. I didn't feel like I had enough wiggle room to not worry. I occassionally tried to nonchalauntly check over my shoulder to see if anyone was back there. I felt as long as someone was behind me, I was ok. I tried to be smooth about it, but I know it wasnt. I did try to keep my eyes on the person in front of me, to help keep my walking pace up. I would concentrate on them during my walking intervals to keep me from getting distracted. It worked well too. As I hit the mile mark, I got my update from Endomono; my time, 13:39! Faster than I had run in any of my trainings! Fantastic! Maybe I can do this.

As the race went on, the pack in front of my started to pull apart and thin out. Before I hit mile 2, there was a quick wind going the other direction with a number that I can only assume was the overall fastest time. All I could think was "damn". As the distance went on, I just kept to my 30 seconds running, 30 seconds walking. People in front of me would run for a bit and then usually walk on the up slopes or when they just got too tired. I just kept chugging along. Some of them, I slowly gained ground on. As I hit the turn around, I got past two girls that had been in front of me for a bit for quite a while. I grabbed my paper cup of water, drank most of it, poured a little on my head, and kept on keeping on. I was feeling good. My spirits were high, and my legs not too tired.

At every stop light there were cops to direct traffic. They had closed one of the four lanes down for our race, so they were at the intersections to keep us safe. As I went by each one, I took out my ear bud and thanked them for being there to keep us safe. I was grateful for them and felt they should know it.

Official Results
As the end grew nearer, I was tempted to go for longer runs. I didn't want to over exert myself, so even though part of the last mile and a half was down hill, I kept to my 30 / 30. My legs were feeling good, but I was getting a little more out of breath at times. Finally, when the finish line was in view, I took some deep breaths and waited for the little voice in my earphones to say "Pick up the pace." When she did, I replied "Yes, m'am" and started running. I pushed as I came down the stretch, trying to give what I had. On the right, there were Steph and Sam, waiting for me to get back. They cheered as I grew near, so I gave some high fives as I ran past and sprinted across the line. Click.
Official time: 1 hour 8 min and 12 seconds. 

Phone stats
Unofficial Phone Results
According the official results, I averaged a 13:45 min / mile. I'm so happy with that. Sub-14, hell yeah I'll take that! From my phone, my slowest was still under 14 while my fastest was 13:23, which was my final mile. Overall, I actually kept a pretty steady pace, something I am also happy about.

The weather was beautiful, the run felt great and I finished.

How's the Body?

So, how am I feeling, on the evening after my first race? A little sore. My legs are sore but not too bad. Mostly slow and a little stiff after sitting for a bit. My knees are a little sore, my right more than my left especially. The bottoms of my feet as well. I'm physically exhausted. All in all though, I don't feel that bad. Or maybe not as bad as I was expecting. I don't know. Mainly, when I'm down for a bit, I'm very slow and sluggish, but I'm doing. Just physically tired more than sore.


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