St. Patrick's Day 8K - Run8k

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C.
United States
Washington Running Club
30F / -1C
Total Time = 37m 3s
Overall Rank = 301/1834M
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 37/210
Pre-race routine:

Got a good 7 hours sleep. Ate one piece of toast with peanut butter, a banana, and drank a small cup of coffee, about two hours prior to race start. Had intended to do some stretches before leaving but I dallied a bit over breakfast and didn't have time. Left for the race about an hour and ten minutes prior to start.
Event warmup:

Ran approximately a half mile to the Metro. Metroed to Foggy Bottom, got off, used the bathroom in one of the university buildings, then jogged about a mile to the race start. It was while I was on the train, just before FB, that I realized I had forgotten my chip. Asked someone the time and their watch turned out to be fast so I thought I had less time than I thought. Skipped the bathroom, made my way to the long lines at the bag check-in. But things went relatively smoothly there, and as a result I made my way to the start about 7 minutes prior to gun-time, just as people were starting to file into the starting chute, and as a result I was able to start only about 50 yards from the line.
  • 37m 3s
  • 4.97 miles
  • 07m 27s  min/mile

My watch lost the GPS signal in the first mile so it was off the rest of the way. I should have remembered to hit the button at the first mile marker, because that was pretty much the only one I saw. We had a fast first mile, it seemed to me, mainly because there was a tailwind, and as we went past the first mile marker I remember seeing the race time at about 7.25, but my watch recorded the eventual first mile as 8.12, and I'm sure I wasn't that slow. My sense is the pace dropped back a little, particularly in the third mile, (this may have been due to us beginning to get a lot of head and crosswind) so I stepped it up after that.

I caught up with Alison, a fellow Potomac River Running club member, and we ran most of the way together until I began stepping it up about mile 3.5 and then she dropped back.

I wish there was a place on this log where you could be more specific about the conditions: yes, it was "sunny" but it was also blowing like 40 bastards. Nice at the start, but hard running into it, and blustery crosswinds made worse by the fact that you were twisting and turning all over the place.

All things considered, however, this was a great result for me. Even with the possible course mix-up taken into account, this would still be around 2 minutes faster than when I did the race in 2006. I've been working hard on starting harder in the first mile, taking short recovery legs in between, and maintaining a harder overall pace and it has really helped.
What would you do differently?:

Memorize the course map, so I know when the mile markers are coming up and I can watch for them.

Make sure to hit the lap button if the watch is off.

I lost focus a little in the last half mile, mainly because of that odd dogleg. You see the finish, then suddenly you don't, then it's there again but at the end of a wide sweeping turn. . .it's little hard to drive for it.
Post race
Warm down:

Water and a chocolate chip cookie afterwards; picked up my gear and walked to the metro, ran home about half a mile from the metro. Stretched once I got home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not really knowing what my pace was at any given time was a little odd, it's something I've grown used to, but I really tried to put it out of my mind, to run by feel, but not run according to feeling good, but feeling as if I was working hard, but not struggling.

Losing focus in the last half mile meant that I couldn't really wind it up for the finish. I felt I still had a little bit left but I just didn't have the motivation and will to release it.

Event comments:

Logistically this is a great race; excellent support, food, etc. But the course could be a lot better and they have to mark the miles a lot more effectively. I also think that with 5000 registered runners its probably a good idea to try some kind of seeding system. To be fair, however, since they shifted to an 8K they have seemed to gear this race more and more to the "fun run" end of the spectrum (hence, I suppose, the crappy course design) and that's fair enough. It's still a great kick-off event for the start of the season.

Last updated: 2008-03-09 12:00 AM
00:37:03 | 04.97 miles | 07m 27s  min/mile
Age Group: 37/210
Overall: 301/1834M
Performance: Good
Average HR of about 166 through the whole race, and looking at the HR data on the watch that remained pretty consistent through the first three miles, so I was working at about the same rate.
Course: I don't like all the turns in this course, and several of us all think they may have screwed it up and ended up shortening the distance a tad. Based on the course map, the second turn around was missing. After coming down from Columbus circle we didn't do the extra little leg back down 1st Street but simply turned straight on to D. I didn't see mile signs for 2 and 3, and saw tape on the road for four and what I presume was a sign that had been blown over.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3