Monday, August 27, 2012

Raleigh 8000 Race Report

Last Year's Raleigh 8000 was run on the edges of Hurricane Irene.  In addition, it was my first race following my illness and development of Asthma, so my only goal at the time was to not pass out while running.  Puking was fine as far as I was concerned, but passing out was bad.  Fortunately, I managed not to puke or pass put, but finish the race with a bloated time of 48:39.
Start of the Race
This year the weather was nearly perfect, but the race would once again follow a layoff from racing.  This time the lay off was by choice and was not related to injury or illness.  I had decided in the spring to use the summer as a time to just run and work on getting fit without the need to focus upon a certain race.  This decision was also aided by the fact that my first child is due to arrive in late October and wouldn't allow me to commit to any one race beyond September.  So, I was happily signed up for the few races that were outside the official baby arrival watch dates.  Besides, the Raleigh 8000 incorporates the Greenway of Shelley Lake, which I really like running.  I also was set to run in another 8k the following week, so I figured that I would use this race to knock some of the rust off and be ready for the race on September 2nd in downtown.

Chugging up the hill at the end

The Course:

In a word: Hilly.  It starts on a downhill, then goes right into an uphill, followed by another downhill.  around the lake the course is deceptively rumbly with a couple of potential bust you butt declines.  After a lap around the lake it ends with the same hills that started the race in reverse order.

I felt good before the race.  My warm up went well, but since there were only two port-a-johns for the race (WTF), I had to sneak in the McDonald's bathroom, which was kind of annoying. I am not really sure what was up with that.  Honestly the whole race was rather bare bones.  

Better view of the hill at the end

The Race

This race seemed to really only draw serious runners.  Nearly everyone running seemed fairly fit and experienced, which was a big contrast from the charity races that I had been running int the spring and fall.  However this made it a bit hard to tell where I should line up so as to be near people running at my pace.  In addition, I hate beginning races on a downhill because it is so easy to screw up my pacing from the out set.

I think that the down hills start and my fear of the uphill finish led me to hold back more than I needed to in the race


Mile 1: 8:14
Mile 2: 8:27
Mile 3: 8:46
Mile 4: 8:58
Mile 5: 8:07

I felt good during the entire race and ran well, but I don't think that I pushed myself at all until the final mile, which I think was some pretty good work on my part considering it was my fastest mile and took place over the largest elevation gains of the race. 

Just happy to be back in a race
Overall, this was a good way to shake off the rust, I finished the race in 42:30, which was not a PR but a world of difference from last years time, and I hope that it will help me run harder in next weeks race. 

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