SO, this went infinitely better than I thought it would! I had a few things working against me today: coming off a cold bug, have done ZERO training for hills, and (stupidly) ate way too many fajitas last night. Blargh. Since I'm all about full disclosure here: thankfully, I know the area well and was able to use a 'real' bathroom at a local coffee shop beforehand. 'ahem.
Things working in my favor? The weather: "Could this weather BE any more perfect?" (said in the voice of Chandler Bing) No, it could not. My absolute favorite weather is in the low 50s and overcast. Thing two working in my favor? I haven't run an 8K in AGES, so long ago that there are no records and I certainly can't remember my time from 1999: guaranteed PR! Thing three? I had friends running the race with me (well, not with me - they all finished 5-7 minutes ahead. I need slower friends...) and we had bloody mary plans afterwards. It's good to have incentives.
The first mile of the course includes a lovely stint in elevation gain from about 75 ft to 246 ft - awesome! Then it's little hills ranging from 25/50 ft until a nice huge downhill at mile 3 where you go from about 230 ft down to 62 ft in less than a half a mile. Hallelujah! I earned that mo-fo. Because, prior to that at the 3 mile mark, my gps was telling me that my pace was pretty much on par with my 5K PR from the other week. First three miles done in about 26:27. Wah-huh? Even after that HILL? SUHWEET. I think that's my biggest accomplishment from this outing.
Plus, I met the one goal I had for this race of keeping my average pace decently under a 9min mile averaging 8:40min/mile. Official chip time is 43:21.7 - how awesomely accurate is my gps?! Make fun of my non Nike+/Runkeeper app with a silly (SportyPal) name; it gets the job DONE. I was 140/528 overall and 17/94 in my age group (men AND women).
Overall race impression: it's a great close-knit feeling race. I saw several familiar faces. One of which was my Oiselle teammate Susan who actually was the first female to finish. It's organized by my favorite running store, Everyday Athelete and benefits a cause close to my heart, the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Maybe more detail on that another day... The postrace goodies were fun: each bib had a ticket to claim your treasure from the 'treasure box' at the end. I got 2 GUs and a race belt, and the fun thing was that you could go to the 'trading post' to trade for something you might like better. As a rule, I do not wear belts. Ever. I traded for some arm warmers - nice! My friend scored a nice pair of socks, too. In addition to water/bananas/bagels, and I think some other foodstuffs that I ignored because The Radical Cupcake had bowls full of fleur-de-sel caramels and these PHENOMENAL salted caramel chocolates. I adore salted caramel, so I might be biased. The only drawback at all to the race was a weird switchback that had everyone crossing each others path, but it worked out fine because really there were only 528 of us.
I just realized that I didn't take any pictures from this race and that's a bummer because I would've loved to get one with friends. I guess we were talking to much. Although, I did manage to snap a picture of this bad boy:
Bloody with Absolut Peppar
And to top it all off - the house was VACANT upon my return home! Because the kiddos have an awesome dad who was out with them at the local state park for some hiking while I showered and relaxed.
Hope everyone had a weekend as enjoyable as ours. Next up, my first 15K on May 20!