This will be a quick one, just like the race. Boston is now 3 weeks away so there won't be much fitness gained from here on out, it's all about sharpening up, tapering properly, and getting my legs fresh for the big day. In an effort to do just that, my MN RED teammates and I raced the St. Paul Irish Run 8k this past weekend. The race marks the kick off of the USATF race series. Since I've never been a member of a team, I'm not sure what that means, but I'm pretty sure if I run fast, that's good for all parties involved.
So, the race recap: this was a 5 mile race. I haven't raced such a short distance in a long time. From the gun, I didn't have the confidence to go pedal to the floor because I wasn't sure how my body would react to the quicker tempo. At the two mile mark I realized I was essentially half-way to the finish and wasn't in nearly enough pain. I needed to push it. I did and my last three miles were progressively faster: 5:41, 5:34, and 5:31. I ended up coming in at 28:08 and 2nd place female among a speedy field. I maybe would have had a chance at the "W" if I would have ignored my watch, turned off my brain, and raced how I normally race (pin on to the leader and hang on for dear life!). But it was a good workout and a great lesson in racing.
Post-race, a couple of my training partners (shout out to Doug and Melissa) and I regrouped and put in a 5.5 mile hilly, tempo run to simulate the end of Boston (marathon). It was great. The harder, faster effort of the 8k took enough out of my legs that they had that 20-mile feeling, but without the 20 miles! We made decent time on the effort, averaging about 6:20/mile pace. I'll need to be faster if I want to come in around 2:44:37 (my Boston goal time), but the fact that this effort didn't destroy me was a confidence builder.