CHKD 8k (31:48)

I had honestly been excited for this race for quite some time.  I hadn’t run an 8k since my first month of running in 2010 and my Pr for an 8k was 43:20.  Also I knew it was a fairly big race with a lot of local competitors.  The weather had been forcasted to be beautiful (which it was) and I was gun ho for the last couple of weeks for getting a PR. 

Then on Wednesday like I said, I started feel sluggish.  My voice deepened and I realized I was getting sick.  I debated doing the race.  Using my proper blogger technique, I whined about being sick and said oh no I won’t do this race (when it wasn’t really a question that I would…sorry I already paid the 40 dollar registration fee).  If I was unable to breath at all or had a temperature I wouldn’t have, but I could breath, didn’t have a temperature by Friday night, I just sounded like a man and was congested.

So I got to the race and did a 2 mile warmup.  It felt like I had a million layers of mucus in my lungs but pretended to take deep breaths and made it to the start line.  I decided if I wasn’t able to race as fast I would like, at least look intense…so I ran in just a sports bra (I’ve done that in 3 races ever).

Since I was avoiding talking to a lot of people (being sick, I sound like a man), I just went to the starting line.  I saw a few friends and then started the race.

Bonus points if you can find me in this photo…

The first mile was pretty smooth.  It felt actually easy (I was surprised) and someone told me I was 7th female overall and to start moving up.  I said we still have 4 miles to go not my time to shine and some other guy said all about the pace.  Right then (6:13).


The second mile I found managed to stay (and remain close) with a fellow local area runner Mike.  I don’t know why this mile was much slower (more tangents and turns? More talking?), I really haven’t the slightest clue.  I wasn’t feeling awful but wasn’t really like…oh today I’m going to the Olympics.  (6:31)

Mile 3 was the exact same way and by this point I had made my way up to 5th place female.  When I passed 4th place female, she said “oh shit”.  I don’t know if she realized how loud her music was or that I wasn’t wearing any but in typical instigator demeanor I tried to muster strength to look like I was cruising by as well as raise the roof as we both went by the water stop.  (6:32)

Mile 4 I had my sights on another female and I really started to drop the hammer.  Around mile 4, I saw the 3rd place female way ahead in the distance.  I started to really try and pick it up.  This is where I could feel my lungs full of mucus.  Yummm.  (6:16)

It wasn’t until mile 4.75 I passed the 3rd overall female but in a turn of events it became an ALL OUT 200 meter dash.  She crossed the line one foot ahead of me.  I was pretty bummed since it had been a clear outkick and I have always thought of myself to have a decent kick.  Unofficial results had us both at tied at 31:50 but had me in 3rd and her in 2nd.  Then when they announced official results and awards they had me in second with a time of 31:48 (must have been chip time). Oh and the last mile was 6:18 with my kick that dropped below a 5 minute pace for a few meters (which is a new speed record for me I think)…god knows I could only hold that for the 5 meters.

This race (as you can see) was actually extremely place driven race.  I won’t lie that I like to win things…I am competitive.  I sought out other ladies and tried to pass them (and I still don’t care about males so high school boys don’t grunt like I’m doing you a disservice by passing you).  This is a huge PR for me (12+ minutes) but I know if I wasn’t sick I could have been around 31.  I knew no matter what PR I would probably get, it wouldn’t be exactly what I had wanted because I was still recovering from whatever bug went around.

It was really a cool thing to have the race come down to the final meters for second overall.  I’ve had plenty of those experiences with swimming but never in a running race really.

Questions for you:

Do you have a good kick at the end?  Has it ever come down to the final meters for you?

Do you workout when you are sick?

I’ll do easy workouts unless I have a temperature, can barely breath or feel extremely weak.

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  1. I have a horrible kick! I just can’t do it, Hollie… maybe it’s a mental thing? Anyway, my friend Gary who I train with, he has an amazing finish kick. I guess it’s just how I train or something. You did really well and congrats on the new PR, I think it helped mentally that you hadn’t done an 8K in so long so even sick you kinda knew it would be a PR and you did a great job for being sick. And congrats on the award too… don’t blame you for not caring about passing men or boys, it’s the same for me, I honestly don’t care about any male species on the race course!

    I do work out when sick… I don’t get sick much… now if I have crazy stomach issues I probably wouldn’t, but if it was a little cold or sore throat I would most likely still work out then.

    1. I personally think kicks are all about how you train. If you do your training runs and incorporate working on kicks you’ll eventually get better I suppose.

      Did I post a photo of the award? I didn’t even mention it I don’t think LOL but thank you!

      1. Put up a pic of it!

        Yeah, I am trying to train to make my last little bits of runs faster, hopefully to improve my kick.

      2. I didn’t really get a trophy or medal for my second place overall. I mean everyone got medals for finishing…I figured that was what you are referring too but I didn’t even put a picture of that up there.

  2. Hah – oh man, I took the day off because I feel myself coming down with it. Now I definitely feel ashamed for not running….sorta! 😉

    I have a great kick at the end – I can always outkick someone who’s trying to beat me to the finish. In my last race in late April, this lady and I were neck and neck – I literally pulled ahead with 100 meters to spare (if that).

  3. GREAT race for being under the weather! I love finding that next gear and laying down the hammer at the end. Sometimes our team run workouts get super intense, so I luckily have a few opportunities to practice. 😉 And during races, I have the mentality of “no one is passing me in the last 100m.”

  4. I ran a 5K before, where I sat on the lead girl’s shoulder for the race, and outkicked her the last .1. I literally won by 1 sec. I’m still proud of how I ran that race. She was really cool about it too, we ended up talking after the race for a bit. She’s way faster than me now though.

  5. You are awesome, no way would you see me running that fast being sick!

    I like to think I have a good kick (I practice negative split running for a big reason), 99% of the time I am passing people at the finish and not getting passed and I like it that way. I think my need to finish strong through the line comes from my track days, push through with everything. I have gotten outkicked before, and it pisses me off to no end when it happens…but the next day you bet your ass I am out there practicing negative splits and doing striders so it won’t happen next time.

  6. Ooh, I bet that other girl must have been pissed when she realised she’d lost on chip time 😛 Congrats on another great race, particularly under such difficult conditions.

    They don’t have any 8K races in…almost the entire UK, I think 😉 Nah, it’s just not a popular distance – I don’t think I’d do very well at it though because although I do have a ‘kick,’ it also takes me about 8-10 miles to finally get my speed going (no joke). I can only think of two half marathons where I’ve had a decent start with no warm-up miles beforehand.

    I’ll work out unless I’m throwing up or pooping myself (sorry, TMI…) Basically if I’m well enough to eat, I figure I’m well enough to run.


  7. I usually go by rules on whether I can workout when I’m sick or not. They are pretty similar to yours because if I have a fever, that’s definitely a no-go unless I want to chance passing out in the middle of nowhere or in a gym. For being sick, you definitely stuck it out and pushed through it! 2nd female overall by chip time is GREAT! And I definitely get two bonus points for picking you out of the crowd in BOTH of the starting line pictures!

  8. Congrats! I have never ran an 8k. I think I have a pretty good kick. My training helps it for sure. i.e. running last few miles faster and also strides.

  9. Congrats on a great race…you’re such a badass!

    As for kick…I have a quick story. Being in the right situation helps you focus on actually racing versus just running a race. Being able to mentally engage in strategy is not an easy thing for someone who isn’t used to it (me).

    During the Great Bay Half I came down with the worst side stitches ever (lasted 1.3 miles) due to going out way too fast. Unfortunately, this took me away from my 1:30 goal (finished 1:32). So with that out of reach I opted to actually think like a racer and linked up with a pack and slowly begin to gain time back. During the course of the final 5 miles I began to break apart the group by running solid negative splits. In the end, it was me and one other entering the last mile so I picked it up more knowing I had a good amount left in the tank. This effectively took away his ability to kick with me and I sprinted away over the last 500 or so meters.

    It wasn’t my best race, but it was fun to actually be a racer for once as opposed to simply running in alone without anyone to engage.

    Thanks for making me think about this. During this training period, working on this aspect of the mental game is important!

    1. I agree, although it wasn’t my best race it was fun to actually be racing one someone. I hope I can do that more often! I’m glad I gave you a trip down memory lane. 😉

  10. That sounds like an awesome photo finish! 🙂 Pretty impressive how well you did with the mucusy lungs. Love your dead stare in that second picture hahaha. Another great race! Nothing like a 12 minute PR!

  11. Pretending to take deep breaths is something I’m really good at, it’s my way of convincing myself I’m not dying during a tempo run. It doesn’t usually work to well though. I like to pretend I’m stronger at the end of a race, that I’m giving it all I have. I try to practice this on training runs, but it doesn’t always work.

  12. So proud of you for chasing those girls down! Way to have that predator mentality. I have an okay kick, nothing to brag about. It’s basically really bad form so I call it a “Marathoner’s Kick” lol.

  13. Congrats! Even with being sick, you did amazing.
    I’m iffy when it comes to working out when sick…if I can carry on with daily life with the sickness is just a small annoyance (like if I have a bit of a sore throat or a cough) and I still feel up to working out I will, but if it’s anything more than that or being sick is just zapping my energy I hold off.

  14. Great race for not being at 100%! When I did run cross country in high school (only my freshman year), I did have a pretty good kick at the end. Typically for me now I do just try to run to the finish as hard as I can, but sometimes I’m already dying.

    I would have gone to the race too, especially since you already paid!

  15. I’ve heard that if you can breath you can race haha, but as long as it’s not a fever or physically aching then all is okay. It’s kind of funny because I just recently heard about the word “kick”. When I was at a race I was at the final stretch and a guy was rushing towards us and saying “kick, kick, kick!!!” I thought hmmm…guess he means go faster. So I did. I don’t have an amazing kick though, should work on that then I guess. Anyways, you raced awesome and you were sick…amazing!!!

  16. I’m a weeeeener. If I’m sick I skip life.
    AWESOME job on the race – I for some reason always feel like I didn’t run hard enough the rest of the race as I somewhow always have enough energy to put out a decent kick and pass a couple people. I’m not in the fast category though – middle of the pack climber 🙂

  17. You are awesome!! I cannot do anything when I’m sick. I’m a total baby and I use it as a cop-out. One thing I really need to get past is my mental stubbornness when it comes to working out. I can talk myself out of everything and it happens all too often.

  18. I wish I had been able to come to this race to cheer you on and to be with my mom. I liked this recap because you did show that you were driven to pass others and you were motivated throughout this race girl. I am sorry you got a little sick before this, but I also like that you didn’t let that stop you from having a great race. It shows how much you love this sport

  19. I have a pretty good kick, but I remember my XC coach yelling at me all the time like “if you can kick like that, you have too much energy!” because I would seriously see the chute and just sprint to pass everyone in it… and I would.

    I think there’s only been one race I just couldn’t kick and that was the Buff Half last month. I tried, but I was wiped.

    Great PR! It has to feel awesome to be able to count the females ahead of you and slowly pass them, especially given the “oh shit”. Number one pet peeve though is passing people (MEN) who look at you as you pass and get all offended and then try to race ahead of you. Sir, you have 2 more miles to go, if you want to waste your energy trying to sprint ahead of me right now, by all means go ahead and make my job easier when you’re dead in a mile.

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