8k Race Report

on Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 3:10 PM

Ran the Harry's 8k Spring run-off today. Going in I wasn't sure what a good time would be to aim for. On a perfectly flat course, I would think that 33 minutes or so would be doable. However this isn't a flat course. I also haven't really done any real fast intervals lately other than the 600m intervals I did last Tuesday and considering I've done no hill work other than the slight elevation gain that the treadmill gives me, I really wasn't sure what to aim for.

Started the morning with a bagel and peanut butter and downed a bottle of gatorade. Headed for downtown about an hour and half later. Arrived fairly early and ended up parking about 1 mile away walked to the staging area. While walking there, I got my first glimpse of a hill. I wasn't sure of the course and if we ran through this part, but I didn't like the looks of it. I arrived at the staging area and picked up my chip and then bumped into Yumke. Chatted a bit and dropped off my gear and then we both headed to the start line. We took a look at the final uphill climb at the finish line and it was worse than I had feared. It was steep. Having now been thoroughly psyched out, we headed back to the start line to get ready. This year, they introduced a starting corral system which forced people to seed themselves correctly. I had put down 33 minutes when I had signed up and so that allowed me to get into the first corral. Wishful thinking I guess.

The race starts. In hindsight I think I should have warmed up a bit and done some strides because it really felt hard during the first km. There wasn't too much elbow bumping and everyone around me seemed to be going at the right pace though a lot of people were passing me. I pass the first km marker at 4:00 minutes flat. It was actually a few seconds faster since my watch was measuring gun time. It was slightly faster than I would have liked and I tried to slow down for the second km, but there is a huge downhill in the second km. This hill is actually the same hill that we would have to run up right at the end. End up doing the second km in 4:01. Also, my HR went all crazy during these portions.

Km 3 through 5, I didn't get any split times mostly because km 3 has a big uphill on it. I ended up putting my head down and trying to go constant effort up it. By the time, I reached the top and had recovered from the climb, I had missed the 3 and 4 km markers. I hit the 5km marker at 21:04 for a 13:04 split time for the previous 3 km. That's 7:00 pace which is actually pretty good considering the hill. I kinda wish in hindsight I had pushed a little harder during this section though. Km 6 starts with a bit of a downhill and then flattens out. This was done in 4:12. At this point, i was thinking to myself that it's less than 10 minutes to the finish line and that i should step it up a bit for the next little bit. I tried to increase my turnover and run stronger. I was passing a few people but my split time for km 7 was only 4:14 though my HR has risen to 185 whereas it had been at 180-182 for most of the race. Passing the 7km marker I knew it was less than 5 minutes to the finish line, but it now included that last uphill portion. I think I worked at constant effort up the hill, and kinda turned it on right at the end. My HR got up to 189 right as i crossed the finish line. Last km split time of 4:34.

So the tale of the tape is as follows:

KM Time Split Pace
1 03:59.5 03:59.5 06:25.4
2 08:00.4 04:00.9 06:27.7
5 21:04.0 13:03.6 07:00.4
6 25:15.6 04:11.6 06:44.9
7 29:29.5 04:13.9 06:48.6
8 34:03.0 04:33.5 07:20.2

Final time of 34:03 gun time (33:58 chip). Average pace was 6:50 min/mile. I didn't find the 8 km race too hard. I was kinda expecting it to hurt like a 5k would. But I guess the real reason is that I ended up treating this like an LT run averaging an LT pace for the whole thing. I kinda wished I had pushed a little harder in the race. Not including the portion where the HR went all crazy, I averaged a HR of 182 through to km 6. 184 for km 7 and 185 for km 8. In comparison, back in August last year, I averaged 185 for an entire 15km race. In fact my 8 km split time then was faster than today and my average pace then for the entire 15km was 1 second faster than it was today though it's hard to make a comparison with all the hills today since the 15k was a flat course.

So hung around and met up with Yumke and then waited for Jellypepper to finish also. (BTW, i've learned the big secret of where her name comes from.) I'd like to do this race again. The race is sponsored by a local Mens clothing store and some people run it in formal wear. I'd like to try running this in a suit one day. I've got a couple of unfashionable suits (think double breasted) in my closet from years gone by and think it would be cool to run a race in one of them.

Lots of cool stuff. We got a long sleeve technical shirt, a technical cap and a medal. Pretty good amount of stuff. I think this may have been a one time thing though since it's the 30th anniversary of the race.


jellypepper said...

LOL -- you are part of the inner circle of those who know why my blogland name is what it is. No telling!

Good to see you again. Congrats on your 8K PB :)

yumke said...

Great seeing you! You ran a smart race and you blasted up that final hill while I was losing steam. See you at the next race we do together :)

Breathinstephen said...

Way To Go Fran !

Love all the goodies !

Sonia said...

Kenny's friendly competition for you now!! He keeps you on your toes!

Congrats on a great race!