As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I signed up for a last-minute 6k last weekend. I had run the Port to Fort 6k once before (in 2009) before I was really into “racing”. It’s weird to think back on that race, because my perspective on running was so different. It was only a year later that I really got into training and racing but I still think I was approaching running with the mindset of it being for “exercise” rather than for “fun”. Anyway, that race was my first 6k and then I did another in 2014 (the 6 Dot Dash) which was my PR.
The course this time was different, but it was in a familiar area. In fact, the start line was in the exact same place as last weekend’s 10k, and we started by going up the same hill. However, we turned around right away and ran in the other direction, and rest of the course was relatively flat. The finish line was in the same place as last week as well.
Rob wasn’t running this, but he came down the city to watch me and did his own run down there first. I drove down at 7:15 because I had to get my packet (I had signed up too late to pick it up early). It was raining pretty steadily, and although I was planning to wear a tank top I ended up going with a long-sleeved t-shirt because of the strong breeze and rain. The forecast had initially said that Saturday would be sunny, so I was a little disappointed when it changed to rain at the last minute.
After I got situated I ran a 1 mile warm up. I saw Rob before I started and got lined up and ready to go.
Mile 1: As soon as I started running I felt like the ground was really slippery from all the rain. Although it wasn’t raining anymore, the roads were really wet and as I ran uphill I felt like I couldn’t get any traction. I really thought I would just need to jog this one if it didn’t get better. Once we turned off the main road I started to feel more comfortable. Certain areas were slick but I felt like I could get up to a faster pace. The second part of this mile was downhill so I was able to make up for some of the time I lost in the beginning: 7:14
Mile 2: At this point I was tired and wondering how I could continue running this pace for 2.5 more miles. Funny thing is it wasn’t much faster than my 10k last weekend! I felt a little stiff but my breathing was controlled. 7:18
Mile 3: We ran around Fort McHenry for this part of the race, and another girl and I were neck and neck at this point. I think we were pacing each other, because at times she kept me from slowing down and after the race she told me that I kept her from slowing down. I pushed ahead as we ran out of Fort McHenry but started to regret it as there was a little bridge to run over. I think the wind affected me a bit during this mile. It felt like the hardest mile yet it was my slowest. 7:29
Last .73: I had no idea how I was doing with my overall time because a 6k is such a weird distance. I figured with my overall pace that a PR was possible, so I tried to push as hard as I could. Once again the slippery roads made it difficult to get much traction and I felt like my legs had to work extra hard rather than be able to push off the ground. As I turned into the finishing chute, I saw 27:14 on the clock which was my current PR, and my watch read 27:15. I crossed my fingers that my chip time would be a little faster than the clock. Last .72 mile was at a 7:07 pace.
After I finished running I ran for a few minute to cool down. I found Rob and grabbed a banana. We had to get a few things at the grocery store, which was in the same parking lot as the race, so we walked over to do that. I was exited that they had added a Starbucks into the Harris Teeter there! (I guess I hadn’t been inside in almost a year since we moved out of the city). So I rewarded myself with a vanilla latte.
We put the groceries in the car and grabbed a sweatshirt and then headed back to hear the awards. I had no idea if I placed, but figured there may be a chance. I ended up getting 2nd in my age group! At this point I still didn’t know my official time, so that eased the disappointment of possibly having tied my PR. (Not that a tied PR is a bad thing, but I do this ALL the time.)
A few hours later the results were posted and I was excited to see that my chip time was listed at 27:13.5. Phew, that was close! However, I looked back at my previous 6k PR and it was 27:14.6. So I can say I PR’d by one second!
Once again I am happy with how this went but do think I have a faster time in me. I had a bunch of things working against me during this race: the wet roads, wind, and not structuring my workouts this week to account for a race. I also have not been doing short intervals of speed work.
I do think that the weather was better than most summer races, so it may be hard to run faster than this in the hot and humid conditions that will be here soon!
Do you tend to tie your own PRs, or run within seconds of them?
Do you have a hard time racing in the rain due to slippery roads?