Saturday morning I ran the 8K by the Bay in Mobile. The race starts and finishes at Arlington Park (near Brookley Field). This race wasn’t really on my radar as far as a goal race or anything like that and in fact, I had pretty much decided that I wasn’t going to even run it. My training has been lackluster over the last few weeks and I wasn’t feeling super excited about the idea of racing. I typically take a little bit of downtime towards the end of tax season when things get a little bit crazy, which seems to work fairly well.
Daniel is training for another triathlon (this time a shorter, sprint variety) and he decided that he could get in a good training ride by biking across the bay to the race. Daniel Holley was running as well, so I figured that I might as well just go for it. I haven’t done many 8Ks over the years (less than five I think) and it was nice to go into the race without any real time goals or preconceived notions about what a good time would be.
That’s not to say that I didn’t have a goal at all though. I was actually hopeful that I could keep my average pace fairly close to what it was at the Azalea Trail Run 10K last month (6:18 average). I figured that since the race was one mile shorter and it’s only been a few weeks without any major workouts that I might be able to pull it off. Spoiler: that was a little overly ambitious, but I got close.
The weather was amazing Saturday morning! The temperature was in the mid fifties when we woke up and warmed up to mid sixties by the time the race got underway. There was a slight breeze and it was cool, clear and crisp … perfect running conditions! The course is very fast. It’s an out and back with a few slight variations on the way back. You run straight on the way out. There is a turnaround just passed the second mile marker and on the way back you run two little side loops before heading back the way you came.
The race itself was fairly uneventful. I had 6:20 in my head as a goal pace, but wasn’t really sure as to how that was going to go. D Holley and I decided to start between 6:30 and 6:40 pace and see how things unfolded from there. We ended up running the first two and a half (or just over that) together and then he took off. We only passed a couple of people during those first two miles and no one passed us. I guess that’s a good thing!
Our splits for the first three miles were 6:34, 6:25 and 6:19. I couldn’t quite hold on to the pace, but I also didn’t fall off too much. My last two miles were 6:25 and 6:30. D Holley left me in his dust and finished with major negative split (and a 5:59 last mile). I finished fourth overall (first female) with a time of 32:22. I didn’t even realize it at the time, but that is actually an 8K PR for me! Woo hoo for unexpected PRs! I mean, granted, the bar was pretty low as I’ve only run a few 8Ks, but still … a PR is a PR. I’ll take any records I can get at this point.
Hopefully that is a sign of good things to come! If only I could figure out what it is that I actually want to train for …
In other news, I’ve decided that I want to PR in time spent on the water this summer and that’s exactly what we got to work on post-race. Brooks had a blast and everyone was worn out by the end of the day.
I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Talk to you soon!