I had my first 8k today. My goal was 7 minute pace, which I felt was doable, though certainly tough. Temp was high 40’s at race time, very little wind. Course was a double loop in a flat neighborhood. I hate double loops but otherwise ideal conditions as far as I’m concerned. 142 runners doing the 8k (there was also a 4k walk/fun run)
I went out in 6:45, which felt really nice, since I had been hitting 6:30 in the first mile for my 5ks. Still running with a fairly large crowd. I tried to maintain this pace, and thought I was doing it until I looked at my split for mile 2 and saw 7:01. The crowd started to thin out some at this point, and I hit the first loop in just under 17:30, which was pretty close to my goal pace. I felt pretty strong coming around the first turn of the second loop. I thought I had stepped it up some, but saw a 6:59 split on the third mile. It was getting difficult to find a steady pace, as by this time I was pretty much on my own – there was a small group pretty far ahead but no one around me. I decided with less than 2 miles to go that I better commence with the suffering, so I picked up the pace. I finished mile 4 at 6:53 pace and was breathing pretty hard, but I had caught up to the small group and passed them. Knowing the end was near, I gave it all I had in the last mile. Passed a few more people, but also got passed myself by a guy pushing a DOUBLE stroller. The dude was a machine, and I just couldnt keep up with him, despite the humiliation. I was able to muster a small kick in the last 100 yards, and just missed going sub-34, finishing in 34:08. My Garmin had 5 miles even, last mile in 6:34. Finished 3rd in my age group but 16th overall. I was very happy with the results, and this was the first time for me to go sub-7 minute pace in a race longer than a 5k. The mile intervals seem to be paying off.