I have mostly good things to say about the CHKD 8k. It was a nearly perfect weekend here in southeast Virginia, which always makes it a little easier to get up and out the door. The race started early (7:35 am), so I had planned to wake up at 5:30, get dressed and eat, and then wake up Emmaline just before we were ready to take off. I had meticulously packed everything we would need the night before (after doing such a terrible job of this the weekend before) so we managed to leave by 6:15 am and make it to Norfolk 20 minutes later.
So, CHKD is a children’s hospital in Norfolk (which adjoins the hospital where I had Emmaline), and this race serves as one of their many fundraisers. The race organizers encourage groups and teams to run together and raise money together (the winning team had over 400 members). I registered for this race at the last minute, so I didn’t get a chance to fundraise, but if I am able to race next year I plan to help raise money for CHKD. I know that the money will be able to help families who are unable to pay for their child’s medical bills.
Parking and getting to the start of the race was logistically… interesting. There were a multitude of strollers and wagons, and getting from the 4th floor of the parking deck to the street required carrying our stroller down the narrow stairway because the elevator was already full (we weren’t the only ones). I was able to warm up for about 2 miles, stretch, and get to the starting line with a few minutes to spare. I lined up near Hollie and Kris, which I think was the second row. The gun went off, and I immediately wished I had paid more attention to whom I lined up behind (ahem, children). I patiently waited until they finished bobbing and weaving their little uncoordinated (but cute) limbs, and found myself a few seconds back from a pack of four women.
I came through the mile in 6:09 feeling relaxed and pleased that I had so far stuck with my race plan. After the mile I started to push the pace a little, aiming to run closer to 6:00. Somewhere in the second mile I passed two women, and found myself alone with the other two women in view but pretty far ahead. I didn’t see a second or third mile marker, so I’m not sure what my exact pace was for those two miles. I did see a 5k marker, which I came through in 19:03. I wasn’t happy with that number, as I was aiming to come through in about 18:45- 18:55. I also heard a runner and her coach running behind me, and they passed me right after 5k. I wasn’t too thrilled about being passed at this stage of the race, but I tried to stay close to them.
The last 2 miles of the race were not very pleasant. I didn’t see any more course markers, and I had a hard time determining where we were on the course and how much we had left. At one point we started running towards the finish line but then unexpectedly turned right and made a few more turns onto city streets before entering the harbor area where the finish line was located. I started kicking once we got into the harbor area, but it was too late to catch the third place woman (although we ended up with the same chip time). My official time was 30:49, and I was happy to be done.
I cooled down about 2 miles with Hollie, and we both lamented about our races. I wasn’t completely happy with my time, as I was aiming for closer to 30 minutes flat. However, I am happy to have a new 8k PR and I’m glad I did the race. I’m looking forward to increasing my training volume in the coming weeks, and am excited for marathon training to begin.
It’s summertime, and it’s hot. How do you protect yourself from the sun? Do you use sunscreen, shades, a hat, or all three? Any brands you would recommend?