CHKD 8K Race Recap

Ages ago I saw a friend of mine, Doug Dugroo, running on the trails and when I asked him how he was doing he replied “Every day I’m vertical is a great day!” That simple statement of gratitude stuck with me. The stress fracture and subsequent 8 weeks off was awful but, in a way, I’ve been rejuvenated; reminded ten folds how much I love this ridiculous sport. That feeling combined with lots of hard work over the last month left me with zero nervousness for my first bigger race back from injury this past weekend. We didn’t taper for it but I went in with expectations and a plan unlike the race I blogged about last entry. With no nervousness and all excitement, mentally I put myself in a position to succeed, which is something we try to practice on a daily basis because it translates to the marathon more than people give it credit for. The mental side is huge.

Day before the race trail 10 miler with Kellie & Hollie. (photo stolen from Lolz.)

Day before the race trail 10 miler with Hollie & Kellie. (photo stolen from FueledbyLolz.)

Race morning my babysitter showed up 20 minutes late. I was planning on meeting friends at Running, Etc. where we would all leave our things and warm up to the race start 2 miles away. Instead the late sitter sent me into a panic wondering if/when she would show and when I arrived to the store late with friends waiting on me, I threw my key on a safe store shelf, leaving my gel, sunblock, and phone in the car. Not a big deal except that when we arrived at the start, because of the humidity, I felt like I needed something for fuel. Running, Etc. had a tent that we all hung out in before the start and the booth next to ours had dum-dum pops. I politely asked for one and there you have it; I had a lollipop for pre-race fuel. Ha.

My plan for the race comes from my favorite Shalane Flanagan quote “Put yourself in position to capitalize on the day.” Basically I translate that to- train hard, race smart to succeed. One thing I’ve gotten better at over the years is knowing my own racing style. I know when there are girls that are faster at the shorter distances than I am, I need to have patience, stay the pace so I can negative split, and trust that my endurance will pull through. We went through the first mile in 6 flat and while I felt great, there was still a solid pack of girls within seconds of each other. Our second mile slowly spread out a tiny bit and left an amazing runner, Octavia, and I together. We stayed within steps of each other for the next 3 1/2 miles, and I can’t speak for the other runners but since I knew how fast the other ladies were, felt like they could pop up and blow by us at any second. It was a fun and exhilarating welcome back and I looooved it. Octavia and I went back and forth as the lead female, surging a bit and our splits were 5:58, 5:52, 5:58, & 5:50. These were my mile splits according to my Garmin watch which had us running 5.1 miles for the 8K. I didn’t see mile markers during the race or get mile splits afterwards so that’s all I have to go by. The official results have us at a slower average and that’s perfectly fine. I was a terrible tangent runner but only have myself to blame for not knowing the course. The last mile I was able to push ahead a bit to pull off the womens win and 7th place overall (guys & gals). After a rough Spring it felt so darn good to win.

Without a PR am I happy with that race? Absolutely. I came ready to work and had patience enough to stick with a plan. It’s hard to admit that I’m not back to the shape I was in January (before my injury) but this was a nice stepping stone to get there. I’ve been working very hard daily, staying on top of strength and drills, keeping only positive training elements in my life, and sleeping and eating (mostly) right. With another few weeks of training I believe I can get back to the fitness I was at, then start building on it as we aim for the Chicago Marathon. Next up I’ll run the Tidewater Striders Summer Series in July like I do every year and also a Trail Half Marathon that I have never run before. For those who have asked, I have had no pain at all in my back. Thank you all very much for the support and for reading! I hope you are all having a wonderful summer!

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16 thoughts on “CHKD 8K Race Recap

  1. I saw that lady pack begin to form at the beginning and was so excited for you Kris. You had a great comeback race and this course (especially the last mile) is not easy. It’s like blind turn after blind turn. I’m glad p

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    • Ugh stupid phone for sending my comment before I was ready.

      I’m glad you made good on the day. I cannot wait to see what the rest of this training cycle brings you (resulting in your qualifying time). It was also great to spend so much time with you this weekend!

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      • I always love when I get a chance to hand out with you! Thanks for letting me steal your picture and I’ll let you know when I visit NJ. You’re right about the race, there were tons of blind turns. I definitely started my “kick” too early when I saw the big inflated finish/start loop. Wish I had known that was for the kids mile race, ha.

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  2. Pingback: Fall Marathon Training Starts TODAY!!

  3. I’m glad you had a comeback race, even if it wasn’t a PR (hey, it’s a comeback race… once you get into the swing of things, you will be even stronger). Congrats on the OA win despite all that went on with the babysitter and fuel too!

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  4. Woohoo!! Great news and congrats Kris!! I can’t think of anyone more deserving of a comeback win. Your such a good example that shows hard work and doing the little things pays off πŸ™‚

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  5. Congrats on the Win! The course was filled with some amazing fast women. Lesson learned here too: look at the course map. In my head, I kept saying get to town point park. Little did I know we had some detours to take through downtown.

    I’m so glad we finally got to meet in person!!!!

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    • So great to meet you! I know what you mean about getting to town point park. We got there but then made a huge circle around it. I can’t decide if it was good or bad that I didn’t know what was coming πŸ˜‰

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  6. Hi Kris – for your first few weeks back after the injury, what did you start out doing? You mentioned easy runs but how far and how much distance?

    Congratulations on the race! That is fantastic. I started following your blog through the Link off your comment on Hollie’s site a while ago. So cool that you all got to meet up!

    Thanks,
    Amanda

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  7. Yay Kris! What a way to return to racing!!! You put in the hours cross training and it is already paying off. Isnt it crazy how when you are injured you hate the world, and your mind is crazy, you are miserable, but after it all clears away and you make it out the other side….you are kinda glad it happened. Gives you a new perspective and appreciation for the sport. You are gonna race so much better because of this, especially as like you said, you know your body πŸ™‚ I cant wait to see you at Chicago this year, are you going to run in the sub elite or elite section?

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    • We will be in touch about Chicago! I will be in the sub-elite field. I don’t think I’m fast enough to qualify for the elite elite field so I didn’t ask plus friends I am traveling with me will be in the sub-elite tent too. Can’t wait to see you again!

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  8. I really like it when bloggers tell us what they wore to race in. Next time please post a selfie of your raceday outfit. Do you usually coordinate top and bottom? With your shoes? And what kind of headband do you prefer…and does it sparkle?

    I am so thrilled you had a super SOLID comeback race πŸ™‚ I love that word…”comeback” πŸ™‚ I want one of those too πŸ˜‰

    And yay for NO PAIN!

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