Tuesday, April 17, 2012

8k Tune-up Race , AKA: How to win at 5 secs off Tempo Pace

The registration details are actually much more interesting than the race itself. At least to me...

I have had this race on my radar for a while after a tip from a friend.  I knew I might not come home with anything but a good workout, but the 5k/ 8k option seemed to fit my schedule well for a taper race and dress rehearsal. Perfect!

When I arrived at the course, I was an hour early. I asked to see the race list. There were a ton of people signed up for the 5k, (which was listed as a "run/walk"), and a handful of people listed for the 8k, (listed as for "runners"). I signed up for the 5k knowing that I would certainly not PR and that I could get in a good workout..maybe finish near the top. With 5k, the pain would be over quicker... and I had never done an 8k.

With a long time to warm up for 5k, I started to the parking lot where a young teenage girl was doing all sorts of bounding, athletic-looking warm-up drills. She was also getting tips from some coach-y looking fellows.

Red flags went up.
After passing her once or twice I got up the courage to ask which distance she was doing, and her time goal. As I suspected, 5k, and some number that started with a 17.

Yep.
I promptly took my Brooks-attired self to the registration table and switched to the 8k.

My warm up included 2 miles of easy running and some jumping, karaoke legs, sideways shuffling with arms swinging. I did whatever I could do to mimic Miss Teenage Fastrunner. Maybe I should have done some strides, but I doubt it would have helped much today.

The Race

The 8k racers lined up and I looked around. Where were the faster runners? The cow bell rang and we took off. I mean I took off. Way too fast. About 400 M later, a guy sped right past me, obviously first male out of all 20 or so people.  He held his lead and I tried to slow down since  it was a good 5k pace still.

Then I had a funny thought: Why not keep going this pace if it feels good? This is not the thought you should have when you are not training for 8k races, I guess. The adrenaline wore off a bit and reality sunk in. Then it was all I could do to maintain something in the six-thirties.

I had two miles, mile 3 and 4, that were in the 6:20's. The rest were all in the 6:30s or 40s. The course is pretty and runs through part of the Prefontaine trail. I ran alone for most of the first half of the race and was happy to see course marshals and white chalk arrows at all the intersections.

After mile 3, I was screaming past 5k runners and walkers who started later. I was impressed with the turnout to support Bridgeway House which serves the needs of children with autism and related disabilities, while educating and supporting their families.

As I got near the finish line I could hear my dad shouting above EVERYONE else. He is such a great supporter! My husband and two of my sons were at the finish too. I gave it my best and rounded the corner, trying to make it before the clock hit 33 minutes. My watch beeped for mile 5 (certified course, so just over 8k). I didn't quite do it (33:02/6:39 pace). But I knew I was the first woman!
A beautiful day for racing in Eugene

Post race & thoughts

I was surprised that my legs didn't seem to have anything faster than those paces, but I shouldn't be. It just reminds me just how important interval-paced training is for shorter races.

As part of my marathon training schedule(s) (A and B), I haven't done interval paced (5k race pace) training since February 1st; it's now April 15th. I have a funny feeling that right now my 5k pace and 8k pace are the same. I could only laugh at my "8k pace" since I was running faster 8ks in 10k races last fall.  I can't wait until after Eugene to start training for 5-10k races!
Me, my hubby and Matthew

It turns out that the women's 5k winner, 14 year old Gracie, won in 18:16. Not her best day, but she was in good spirits. She has a track race coming up that she's excited for.

The organizers did a fantastic job and were quick to hand out medals to age group winners at the promised time.

The top finishers in both events received a cash prize. I promptly filled the car up with gas and decided that with the rest I will either fix my hair-color botch job, or invest in self-tanner. There is a saying that goes, "Oregonians don't tan, they rust." (I hope the saying holds true on April 29th!)

Overall, it was a good time for a good cause. I'll be looking for this race again next year.




One more note: Super congratulations to all of you who survived Boston yesterday! What miserable running conditions. My hat's off to every single one of you crazy warriors.

37 comments:

  1. I'm starting to think you are "too" fast. I'm not sure we can still be friends :p

    I cannot wait to see you kill Eugene!

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  2. Congrats on the win! It must have been a big cash prize if you filled up the gas tank and still have $ left over! That's great!

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  3. You have a way with making things sound awesome! Yes, you are fast (green with envy). Very good post. I loved the "promptly switched" and "rust" parts. You are fortunate to have such a strong support group. Someday my folks might be able to see me attempt to run a race.

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  4. Ha ha! This made me burst out laughing. Karaoke legs and mimicking Miss Teenage Fastrunner-ha!

    OK-first of all super congrats again on winning the race!! I loved how you scoped it out and made the WISE decision:) Super great time for an 8K race in marathon training too! Raina, my 5K, 8K, 10K and HMP are all the same right now-ha ha! Don't you wish you were me:)

    Great job to Gracie as well! I hope I'm watching a Reesie do the same thing in 3 years!

    I tried a new self-tanner this weekend:) Next time I win a race, I'm going to stock up because it works pretty well!!

    I can hardly believe how soon your race is coming! Woohoo! I'm so jealous Amanda gets to come and cheer!!! SO exciting! I would give anything to be there! You'll hear me though;)

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  5. Oh, you elites and your pre race shenanigans. Love that you switched it up and it paid off. Congrats on the big win and cash prize. How cool.

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  6. Congrats on the win! I know it wasn't fast for you but still, wow! What a future that 14 year old may have ahead of her.

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  7. I love how you keep your eye on the prize, Raina. And I completely agree - when I train for a marathon, my 5K, HM and 10K paces are all the same. Yes, interval training is key, and you don't need much of that for the marathon.

    Congrats on winning. And can't you do both, hair color and self tanner? I do a pretty good home job with my hair, but I can see how the blond can get a bit tricky. Yes, Jenn knows her self tanner, she can help. I never use any - I tan quickly no matter how much sunscreen I use.

    Excited to read the report! You will have so much fun in the summer going to the race.
    But first, go kill that marathon!

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  8. Great job and congrats on the win! Awesome that you changed races at the last minute.

    Was Gracie the athletic looking teen you saw warming up?

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    1. Yes, she's an upbeat high school freshman with a very bright future.

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  9. Congrats on being the female winner and avoiding miss super fast teenager!!

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  10. 14 and 18:16?! Wow. Congrats on the win! I hate to admit, but I'm in the camp where a win is a win, even if the time isn't what you try to dial up. Enjoy the rest of the taper!

    Love the pre-race report:)

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  11. Congratulations! You are a rock star! Very cool that your family was there to support you. :)

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  12. Hilarious about switching races- that is totally something I would do! You are going to do so awesome in Eugene- just try to not beat me by too much, okay? :-)

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  13. Congrats on the win! And prize money to boot. Sounds like a very fun day. Next week should be a blast.

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  14. This is so awesome Raina! Ha! So glad you changed your race last minute. Glad teenage runner girl was there to help you with your decision. :) Now you can add an 8k on your personal records. :) As you know, my speed was so far gone by the end of marathon training. Still is. in fact, now I'm barely walking normal. ha ha. See you in Eugene one way or another. Whether I'm cheering or just trying to fun run a BQ so I can be in Boston again. Love you girl. And yay for the cash prize. Jon looks happy about that too. :)

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  15. What? 14 year old girl won the 5K? I've never ran track or anything when I was in middle/high school, but that seems super fast to me.

    Congrats on being the first woman! Hopefully I will be as fast as you are some day. I love the photo of you at the finish line. Your stride looks awesome!

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    1. Yes, she won. She doesn't run for her high school either. I think she runs for a club though.

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  16. Super 8k! Well done! You are fast for sure and ready to enjoy some good taper. Years ago I ran for a club that had 4km and 8km time trials weekly. My best 8k ever is 37:05. You are a great runner! And yes, you are right, Anette is doing wonders for me and my life is so much fuller now. I am also much closer to God than when I was on my own.

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  17. Woot woot Miss Speedy!! Great job on the win lady... especially where not to long ago you were having to deal with that stubborn knee. So excited to see how Eugene goes for you. :)

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  18. Amazing job, Raina! I love that your "slow" pace is still blazing fast for most of us! And I love that you could hear your dad yelling over everyone-- you had a great cheering squad there! I'm excited to learn more about 5k training, it's pretty new to me.

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  19. So funny! I need to get me some of those "bounding and athletic looking skills!" Sounds like you had a great 8K experience. I have never heard of an 8K race until reading about Chicago Runner Girl's recently. I'd love to run in one some time but I don't know if we have any around here. Funny how interchangeable 5K, 8K and 10K paces can be depending on our speed work fitness level. It is hard to switch from marathon mode pace-wise. You are very speedy- especially considering you haven't done interval workouts since February 1st! Congrats on the overall female win!

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    1. I need to see Britt's report!
      I am so inexperienced still at racing, each one teaches me something. I would like to do a 5K-10K race about every other weekend this summer if I could.

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  20. Congrats on your finish! That is too funny about the youngin trying for the 17:xx finish and I think she would have messed with my race day mojo as well.

    Sounds like you are on a great track for your marathon! It's so hard to race these short distances in the mist of marathon bulk, but you did awesome :)

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  21. Wow, Raina. You are the (Wo) MAN! Cracking up at the teeny-bopper bit. What is it about our egos and being beat by youngsters and elders? Ha! I don't deal with it well either!

    So inspiring to read, especially because you are coming off of a minor setback. That makes me feel hopeful!

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    1. Ha! Actually, I would have still done the 5k if there was any chance I could PR, and if there had not been a cash prize for both races. I am usually more concerned about time than placement.

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  22. Great job on the 8K PR and a cash prize too.. awesome!!

    Can't believe you didn't want to race the speedy teenybopper to a 17:xx 5K finish!! ha ha I think that Eugene is going to go very well for you.

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  23. Congrats on the win and PR. Very speedy for a marathoner - Can't wait to see what you do.

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  24. Raina you rock! and fast as sh** ;)

    Ah...14??...I remember those years WAY BACK WHEN :)

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  25. Holy cow, you were really burning up the course!!! You gotta be so happy that you switch to the 8k course. That is just awesome!

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  26. Oooh! You are one fast woman! Congrats on your win. :) This has to mean good things for your marathon.

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  27. You are just amazing! Awesome race!! I can't wait to see how you do in the marathon!

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  28. I think you may be using Brooks Roller Blades.... you are fast!

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  29. Congrats on your win. You are very very fast. In the pics of the finish you seems to fly.

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  30. This is a great race Raina!!! especially for marathon training! I am still trying to shut my mouth at the other girl. 14? that seems insanely YOUNG to be running that fast doesn't it? crazy.
    xx

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  31. What a fun report! You are soooo dang fast! I mean while you were doing that I was setting a 5K PR - in only a couple minutes time faster than your 8K! You are a speedy speedy woman. Congratulations!!

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