Racing an 8K This Weekend

>> Thursday, March 07, 2019

Saturday is “O’Gara’s Irish Run 8K,” which is the first race in the USA Track and Field MN 2019 race season. I’ve been watching the weather (as more snow is coming this weekend), and it looks like it will be OK to race, so I registered yesterday.


Such a beautiful website.

I don’t have any big goals for this race. I’ll probably race it pretty “normally” for me: I say I’ll go out a bit easier, but then get a bit caught up in the excitement and go out a BIT harder than I’d like, suffer a bit in the middle as splits slow up a little, and then push to a pretty hard finish. Just my usual.

And I don’t have any time goals for this race either. I’ve been doing all of my long runs lately on the treadmill (9.5 to 11 miles), and I’ve been descending 5.5 to 6.5 miles in the middle of those runs, speeding up to 9.9 or 10.0 mph by the end of those hard miles. That’s topping out at 6:00 pace, when I’d love to race all of this 8K faster than that pace. But I don’t know if I can "hold on to" that speed for 5 miles. I feel REALLY good about my consistent running lately, but I don’t know how that will translate to a 5 mile race: I feel like I have good “short end” speed now (like a 5K or less), or good “distance” speed now (like a 10 mile or half). But everything between that (like this weekend’s 8K) is a bit of a crapshoot.

Here are my results the other 5 times I've done this race (the year and time link to my race reports):

- 2018: 29:54 (coming off no speed work)
- 2017: 31:46 (not "racing" but just running easier as another body for my team)
- 2016: 29:20 (solid race)
- 2012: 29:15 (PR on the "old course" on Summit, when I was in great shape, but a hot day)
- 2008: 30:30 (just as I was starting to become a "runner")

If I had to guess now, I'd say I'm faster than last year's 29:54, but not as fast as 29:20 from 3 years ago. (I know... that's an oddly small window.) I have the PROs of being really consistent in my training right now as well as having some speedwork under my belt. But I have the CONs of running inside a lot lately and having only interval speedwork (with only 1 tempo run in the last few months). As I stated above, I don't know if I'll be able to "hold on" through the hurt of sub-6:00 pace for 5 miles.

Also, I’ve been tired lately, and I wonder if I’ve been overtraining. Sunday night, I was absolutely exhausted. My wife made a comment that she hadn’t seen me that tired in a while. Monday I was a bit better, but still tired. On my long run on Tuesday, I never felt great - I started the “hard” miles thinking I couldn’t keep it up (even though it was a slightly shorter and slightly easier long run compared to what I’d done the last few weeks). I ended up running a bit shorter than I had planned. And then on Wednesday (yesterday), I skipped my trainer ride - I got in a good stretch and then had a hot epsom salt bath to help flush things out.

We'll see what happens on Saturday!... With my race AND with the weather!

3 comments:

Evan Roberts 12:40 PM, March 07, 2019  

There was no old O'Gara's course on Summit. That was a different race :)

Steve Stenzel 2:27 PM, March 07, 2019  

Oh yeah. It was still the series race as an 8K in March, so I still "think" of it as the same race. But it's not.

SteveQ 11:02 AM, March 08, 2019  

I once ran 25:29 at that race that no longer exists.

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