So sorry for the late post! Last week found me returning from vacation and coming back to reality. While I will certainly miss the sights of macaws, iguanas, and the ocean while I run, I am excited to get back into regular life and having a more predictable schedule. As I believe I mentioned in a previous post, I race every month. These races are of various distances and help me stay motivated and try out different courses and speeds. This week my post will focus on a race report from my experience at the Rockville Twilighter 8k on Saturday night.
This was a new race for me, and a distance I have only raced three times before. My previous had been set in 2011, after the last time I ran the Marine Corps Marathon. My time then had been 44:18, so my goal this time was 43:00. I am not fast enough to be competitive, but I am always trying to beat my last PR! This particular race starts at 8:45 PM and includes free glow sticks. I hadn’t managed to do my traveling laundry yet, so I ended up getting to run this race in a skirt that I bought to run the Cherry Blossom 10 miler.
Saturday night was much cooler than typical for July, but that doesn’t mean it was cool! Last year this race was cancelled due to persistent lightning storms, and while we didn’t have any storms to contend with, it was trying to rain off and on. The race started off with a family fun walk, followed by the 8k race. It was dark by the time the starting gun went off, and we were off. For those of you, like me, who have never run this course before, let me give you a word of warning. IT IS HILLY! Not that any particular hill is terribly long or terribly steep or brutal, but the course is definitely rolling! Most of the course goes through neighborhoods in Rockville and it was really lovely to see folks sitting out on their porches and in their yards to cheer on the runners. Several kind souls even hooked their sprinklers up to sit on their cars and spray into the roads. These sprinklers may or may not have saved me.
It was a lovely race. I had set my garmin set at an 8:30 pace to give myself a little wiggle room. I have not become an experienced enough runner to really have a great personal sense of pace, so having a watch that beeps at me if I am going too fast or too slow is a huge help. I was having an easy enough time keeping pace, but the hills kept slowing me down. Shortly after the four mile marker I tried to turn up the speed, but the combination of speed and hunger (we hadn’t had dinner before the race!) kept me pretty steady instead of speedy. The race still went well and I finished with a new PR of 42:05!!
Now I’ve got a break from racing until the Virginia Beach Half Marathon at the end of August. For now, I’m firmly back into focusing on being ready for Marine Corps and can’t wait to get some more long runs in. In the meantime – if anyone out there has any questions, please leave it in the comments and I’ll answer them in my post on Sunday!