Yesterday was the annual Human Race on Summit Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota. As the unofficial start to the spring racing season in the Twin Cities, tons of runners came out for what turned out to be a pretty nice day on Summit. The 8K was the road state championship so many top local elite runners were competing. The course on Summit is gradually uphill for most of the first 2 miles, a block turn-around near halfway and the final 1.5 - 2 miles around downhill. And with the wind yesterday, there was a strong headwind on the way out and a very nice tailwind on the way back.
I fared pretty well in my attempt at the doubleheader of running both the 5K and 8K races at the Human Race. I placed 7th overall in the 5K, running 18:03. I negative split the entire race, something I've never done in a 5K before. My first mile was 6:02, slow, as I spent much of that mile breaking the wind for the pack I was in. I felt smooth and strong in my final mile, while trying to not push too hard, knowing I had 5 more miles of racing less than 90 minutes later. Many UWRF teammates were in the 5K race. Jason Quarford won it, Ben Kirmse was second, I was seventh, and 4 other UWRF alum, Matt Olson, Eric Nordgren, Jeremy Olson and Kevin McDonough were not too far behind me.
In the 8K, I tried to pace myself out early, but it was of no use. My first mile in the 8K was 5:52, 10 seconds faster than the 5K. The legs felt okay at that point but miles 2, 3, and 4 were a major challenge. I kept trying to get my legs to go, but there just wasn't any speed there. I managed to close with a 5:42 for the final 0.97 miles, equal to just over 5:50 for the final mile. My time was 30:11, placing 129th overall. I've run much faster in 8Ks before but I've never run one shortly after a decent 5K. The results for the doubleheader haven't been officially posted yet, but looking at the 5K and 8K results, I finished 3rd out of all those that ran both races.
Overall, the day was fun. I was able to get a good reading for where my body is at. I need to keep reminding myself that I'm not training for these distances, I'm training for a marathon. Still, I will be racing again in two weekends in my hometown of Coon Rapids, MN. The annual Bunker Hills Run is run on trails that I have been running on for nearly 10 years, only 2 miles from the house I grew up in. It'll be an 8K race and it will be good to see what I can do over that distance when my legs are fresh.
Until then, the training will continue. I have mile repeats this week and when the weekend arrives I will be on spring break!