Yesterday, I ran my second race this year, a local 8K race in Saratoga Springs. The event raised money for emergency shelter in Saratoga Springs, Code Blue Saratoga. It was a nice change of pace competing in a short distance race compared to half-marathons and marathons. I am planning on doing more in the near future. Here is the recap:
Honestly, I was not sure what to expect from the race in terms of performance. It is tough getting to bed late Friday night and turning around a few hours later awake at 6 AM Saturday morning. Before leaving to pick up my race packet, I started off with a glass of water and a cup of tea. After picking up my packet, I went back to the vehicle and sat in the car. After a few minutes, I decided to do a warm up mile in a nearby park. I'm very glad I did because it got me really excited about running and taking on the day. I ran a little over one mile (1.25 to be exact) at just over a nine minute pace. The weather put me in a great mood because it was absolutely beautiful outside and it was very nice running in shorts. I told myself not to eat anything before the race but that failed. At least it was not heavy prior to the race (bagel and banana). If I finished the race between 35 and 40 minutes, I would've been very happy with the results. Now the race is starting.
I was towards the front of the crowd at the start of the race. On your mark…Get Set…GO! Taking off, I felt very good with my pace so I continued running that way throughout the race. When I approach a race, my goal is to run a comfortable pace without getting extremely tired during the run. Quickly glancing at my watch at mile 1, I was surprised at the blistering pace (6:45). I continued on the course and felt really good. I make it a habit of not glancing at my watch constantly because it might throw my rhythm off. Miles 2, 3 and up to the mile 4 marker were very tough due to the constant elevation changes. That is part of every race but I focused on the goal of finishing strong. Mile 2 (6:43); Mile 3 (6:38); and Mile 4 (6:35) and I'm still in total disbelief over the consistent times and pace. Approaching the finish line, I was very surprised to see my time 32:39 with a pace of 6:34. That is definitely the fastest I have ever ran in training and/or racing. My Garmin watch told me I had a record for my fastest mile of 6:25. The emcee announced my name as the twentieth person overall got me very excited. This is out of over four hundred runners who participated. Usually, I'm inside the top ten percent overall which is what I was anticipating in this race. How did I do in my age group? I refueled with rice and beans (a first); water; orange slices; and a banana after the race. Jeff, who ran the race, finishing not too far behind me, looked at the results alongside me. He told me that I finished third in my age group, which means I receive a medal for my accomplishment. Yes, it is a third place in my group and it is an exciting feeling. I do not get these awards very often so it gave me a reason to be happy.
After soaking in the accomplishment, it was time to do a post race run at Saratoga State Park. No I did not duplicate the results in my race which was fine by me. My pace was 8:15 for a total distance of 8.82 miles. My total mileage for the day was just over 15 miles, which is what I planned on doing so my day was very productive.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the Code Blue Saratoga organization, Fingerpaint, Mayor Joanne Yepsen, everyone who donated food, Saratoga Police Department, Hampton Inn, volunteers, and course marshals for making this event possible. Your work was greatly appreciated and I'm grateful for your dedication. Saratoga Springs is a great community which the reason why I love running in your city.