Whew! What a Sunday…as I mentioned in my earlier post today, it was a busy week for running, and I still had more running to do today after that post!
Having run 19 miles yesterday, I knew that my legs would be tired today for the Irish Run 8k. On the drive over to St. Paul, I started regretting signing up. A non-running day would have been better for my tired body.
The race had a 1:20 start time, which was a little strange for fueling. Dustin and I both ate a normal size breakfast (whole wheat waffle with syrup and a banana). We also spent about an hour walking around the dog park to wear out Matilda as well, so I was definitely hungry by the time race time rolled around. Yet I didn’t want to eat anything else until after the race for fear of the dreaded GI issues that can plague many a runner. (Did you catch my post, “When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go“? That post about sums it up.)
Even with the later start, the temperature was still pretty cold, hovering around 18 degrees and quite windy. Fortunately, we could wait inside the nearby elementary school until race time. Packet pickup was in the gym at the school, and it was quick and easy. This is a “runner’s” race, without a lot of fancy swag, though we did receive a nice dry-fit short sleeved shirt, as Dustin is (begrudgingly) modeling below:
This race attracts a VERY fast group. The winning time for men was 24:18 minutes, which is a 4:54 min/mile pace. (FYI, an 8k is 4.98 miles.) The winning time for women was 28 minutes, which is a 5:38 min/miles pace. Incredible!
Back to my race: We ran about two miles to warmup, and then met up with our team inside for a quick group photo. We had just enough men and women to have an official team (five men, five women). I told myself I was “a warm body,” meaning I was just there to help the team qualify as an official USATF team, so I shouldn’t stress about being the slowest.
The race began without a whole lot of fanfare. It was chip-timed of course, but I don’t remember a starting gun or anything. As for the course, it went out-and-back for about a mile towards the river on Summit Avenue, and then came back and out the other direction on Summit Avenue, to make a second turn towards the finish line.
If you’re familiar with Summit Ave from the Twin Cities Marathon, or maybe another race, you know that its hilly. We had our fair share of ups and downs on this short five mile course. There were no water stops for this short run, which was fine on such a cold day.
The race actually went by very quickly. Before I knew it, the finish line was in sight, so I tried to push it in a little harder to finish strong. I had started out with a fellow CBRC running buddy, Kristi, and I let her set the pace. In fact, I was creeping right behind her for most of the race, and I hope it didn’t drive her crazy! I did lose her in the last mile, and she ended up finishing about 20 seconds ahead of me, but we were together for most of the race. It was good for me to have a “pacer” of sorts, as she did a good job of hitting very consistent miles- thank you Kristi!
Her fiancé commented after the finish that our outfits were basically flip-flopped versions of each other: she had the fun patterned jacket, and I had the fun, similarly patterned pants!
My official time was 39:23, which was sub-8 minutes, which was fine with me for today. That’s basically my tempo pace, so I was happy to keep that up for 5 miles on tired legs.
Dustin also had a 19 mile run yesterday, so he wasn’t “racing” today either, but he still did a great job! I know he usually doesn’t like it when I share his race times on here, but he did give me permission, as long as I pointed out that he wasn’t racing! It was just a tempo run for him as well.
Even though I was regretting the race on the way to St. Paul, on the way home, I was happy that I had participated. It wasn’t so bad, and I had to admit I had fun.
One of the other runners from our club commented that this was actually a good race for training for a marathon, as you could see how it felt to run on tired legs. I can see his point, but I think I need to be conscious of over training (I definitely don’t want to get another stress reaction) so a tempo run the day after a long run won’t become the norm for me.
What do you think? Is it beneficial to train on tired legs, or better to listen to your body and rest?
Overall, I thought this 8k was well-organized and fun. I didn’t need a lot of fancy swag or fanfare, and it was fun to do a distance that I haven’t run very often. Since I have only ever run one 8k before, and it was one that I ran for fun for my sister’s bachelorette party, I do think today is now my official “PR” for an 8k. So, here’s a new PR!
I give this race a 9/10 on the Right Fits Race Review scale!
After the run, Dustin and I were ravenous, so we heated up some leftover turkey burgers and did all the necessary foam rolling and icing. Then, it was off to The Barre for me for the free event with lucy activewear. The class was packed (probably because it was free), but it was a lot of fun. Afterwards, my girlfriends and I headed to Red Cow for a beer and burger (acceptable after two workouts that day, right?).
I hope you all had wonderful weekends!