It’s been a while since the I’ve had the letters PR in a race report! I should probably mention that I’ve never raced an 8k before so does it really even count? I say it does! You might be wondering exactly how far is an 8k… It’s 4.97 miles which of course translated to an even 5 on my watch. Ordinarily 5 miles would seem like a short racing distance but somewhere in the middle of May it turned plain HOT around here so 5 felt more like 13.1.
The Easter Seals Rock Run 8k was the 9th race on the Arkansas Grand Prix calendar this year. It’s located at Murray Park in Little Rock and hosted by the Little Rock Road Runners. At first it was just going to be Abi and I but Anthony kept asking me about it so we went ahead and registered him too. When you race often like our family does you appreciate the little things like cheap races with no t-shirt option and discounted children rates. Thank you Rock Run! I think I paid $20 for the race and my older two were only $5 each since they are both under 11.
The week leading up to the race was rough. Feel free to skip this next section if you want to hear more about the race… Earlier in the week I got a phone call from a neighbor saying their child had head lice and she thought I might want to check mine since they are together often. I’m so glad she called me because I checked and sure enough my youngest daughter had it. In case you don’t have any experience with head lice I’ll fill you in- IT’S AWFUL. For the next few days we were completely shut up in the house cleaning and disinfecting everything. I had to wash everyone’s hair, including my own with the special lice shampoo treatment and then my husband gave the boys major haircuts. After hours (yes, HOURS) of combing through all the girls hair I was tempted to cut off all of ours as well. Then there was the laundry. Staying on top of laundry in a house with 4 kids is hard enough but when sheets/ blankets/ clothes need washed EVERY DAY it is a nightmare. I think the laundry was the worst part about it all. We also did some natural remedies in addition to the two rounds (10 days apart) of the store bought lice shampoo treatment. We did the mayo wrap once and the tea tree oil/ coconut oil treatment once.
We also bought the RobiComb and used that several times. I think we covered all of the main ways to kill and prevent lice that I read about online. Somehow we survived Lice Fest 2015 and I hope we never go through that again!
So why even run a race? Honestly, we were mostly in the clear at that point and we were all ready to get out of the house. I had already registered the older two and I for it, plus it was a Grand Prix race. Saturday morning my youngest daughter was actually participating in a triathlon relay in Bryant that morning. This meant my husband and I had to divide and conquer. He left at 5:15 am to take the younger two to Bryant for the Kids Triathlon and my friend Kerri picked up the kids and I at 5:30 to head to Little Rock for the 8k.
We got to Murray Park with almost an hour to spare. It was already close to 70 degrees and raining lightly. I was able to get the kids shoes/ chips situated and take them to the restroom. I only got in one mile warm-up and it was basically jogging around the car since the kids were waiting. After surviving the week of head lice I was not very stressed about the race. It just didn’t seem as important in the big picture. I still wanted to do my best but my expectations were a little lower than usual. Based on my 10k a few weeks ago, I know I should be able to run an 8k right around a 6:00-6:10 min pace. That’s actually the time goal my coach gave me too. However, there was about a big temperature difference between each of these races so I knew I’d need to be a little more realistic and conservative with my pace.
I headed to the starting area with the kids ready or not! They were both going to start mid-pack together. Abi knew I would go back when I finished and find her but then I would keep heading back for Anthony since he is younger doesn’t have as much race experience.
Mile 1- 6:07. Yes, I was in my goal pace range but it felt much too hard for the first mile. I knew it was going to be a struggle but I was hoping to pull it together.
Mile 2- 6:22. What?! Not looking good.
Mile 3- 6:19. This race has is mostly out and back which meant I was able to see the kids (and others I know from the running community) during the next stretch.
Mile 4- 6:23. Really struggling at this point. It was nice seeing the kids though as I ran towards the finish and they ran towards the turn-around.
Mile 5- 6:11. Somehow I pulled it together for the final kick. I knew someone was right on my heels and even though I was pretty sure it was a guy I told myself it could be a girl trying to pass me. I was third female OA from about the half mile marker on and I didn’t want to lose that now!
Official Final Time- 31:24. (6:19 avg.) 3rd OA female. Official Results can be found here.
I stopped for about 30 seconds then I turned around to find the kids. Abi was not too far off and ended up finishing in 39:50 at an 8:01 pace!
My son was right at the 4 mile marker getting a drink when I saw him. He was so happy to see me and wanted to hold hands while we finished. I will never say no to that! Eventually he got too hot and let go but we kept running and when he saw the finish he picked it up. I love being able to finish races with my kids. Hands down the best part of any race. Anthony finished in 48:05 at an 9:40 pace. Then my friend Kerri watched the kids while I went for a cool-down jog.
Meanwhile, 30 minutes away in Bryant my Anna was participating in the running portion of the kids triathlon relay. She had so much fun and her little team came in first in the relay. Then John drove over to Murray Park to pick up the 8k crew.
I really like this racing distance and I would definitely run this race again in the future. It’s for a great cause it it was very organized. Personally, I would love to break 30 minutes and I think it could happen there. It’s a very flat out and back course. The weather (late May) is the main challenge but it’s the same weather for everyone race morning so you just do what you can do.
Some fast racing- that’s what! This Saturday is a two mile race in Benton. I did this one last year and ran an 11:43. My 2 mile PR is from my high school track days (1997) and it’s 11:38. I would love to break that record! Then next Saturday is the big one mile race in Little Rock. Just thinking about that one makes me nervous!
My summer training is going well. The heat and humidity has definitely set in around here so my easy runs have slowed down. I’m still hitting me hard effort workout paces but it’s harder and I run pretty early to beat the heat. I’m back to doing my core work more consistently. I had about two months where I really let everything go but a few weeks ago I started back up with some push-ups and since then I’ve added in planking and ab work. I’m very thankful for some good running friends. I’m missing Jackie but it’s nice having Natalie around during the summer (she can’t meet up in the mornings during the school year) as well as my friend Kem. This week’s track workout: 1600, 1200, 800, 400, 200 with 1 lap easy recovery jog in between sets. You’ve got to love a good ladder workout!
Anyone else training for some shorter races this summer?
Will you be doing the Arkansas 2 Miler or Go Mile?