This past Saturday was the Crazylegs Classic 8K. Back in 2008, I ran the race in 32:40 and then set two goals - break 30 minutes and get into the top 100 overall. I've been working on those goals since.
My training has gone really well this year so I felt like I had a good chance. I also figured, with my 40th birthday later this year, I better get the job done soon because I'm not getting any younger and this isn't going to get any easier.
It seems this race always has bad weather - cold, windy and rainy - but not this year. It was sunny, warm and winds were about 10 mph. Perfect. No excuses.
The first mile is mostly downhill so my plan was to run that a little faster than goal pace figuring the effort level would be the same. Then you hit Observatory hill, which is tough and definitely costs some time. I was hoping to hit the end of Observatory with my average right at a 6 minute pace. Then I planned on settling in and trying to run just a tad faster than goal pace because the last mile and a half has some rollers and is uphill and it's hard to maintain pace.
Everything went (mostly) according to plan. I crossed the one mile mark at a 5:50 pace and finished Observatory with an average pace of 5:57. Right on target. I pushed the pace the next couple of miles and my overall average pace was about 5:53 with two miles left. I started fading a bit, and the final mile was well off pace. I just couldn't hold a sub-6 pace anymore and ran about a 6:07 pace for the final mile. My overall average pace according to my Garmin was 5:58, which would be a sub-30 8K...except I finished in 30:10 with a distance of 5.06. So no sub-30 again. 10 seconds short.
I know others that had more than 5 miles too so it appears the course may be a tad long. But it's the same course every year so the goal remains the same. I'll need to target a 5:55 average pace or better for next year.
I did manage to crack the top 100 finishing in 93rd place so I get to check that goal off the list. Unfortunately, the one I really wanted was sub-30. It's disappointing not to hit that goal, but I did PR and continue my trend of improving at this race.
2008 - 32:40
2009 - 32:01
2010 - 31:02
2011 - Injured - did the walk
2012 - Injured
2013 - 30:36
2014 - 30:10
That progression leads me to believe I should (finally) break 30 minutes next year. So my goal carries forward again.
As I've said many times after this race....Next Year!