Last week I signed up for the Stowe 8-Miler. I had a 7 mile run on my training schedule, really wanted to sign up for a race, and the Cabot cheese factory was within 5 miles of the race location – why wouldn’t I sign up?!
So I signed up, freaked out, and didn’t really relax until the gun went off on Sunday. A number of insecurities went through my head – like, 8 miles is SO LONG. I knew I could finish, I wasn’t concerned about my ability to walk 8 miles, if need be. I wanted to finish at a decent pace, a pace I was proud of. I know I’m capable of 9:30/miles for longer distances and I’ve been running my training runs at 10-10:30/miles.
Sunday morning I got up after 6-ish hours of sleep, stuffed a peanut butter and banana sandwich in my mouth and tried not to fall back to sleep. It was about a 45 minute drive and I still needed to pick up my number so we left pretty early.
I got everything situated and was ready to run by 9am! The first mile literally flew by, not because of my pace, but because I was so excited and loving all the spectators and beautiful views of the mountains. I kept telling myself to slow down, there were x amount of miles left, and I didn’t want to burn out. I liked that the course was a loop and that we didn’t have to go around twice or out and back. It was perfect. Well, except for the scorching heat and hills. The last hill around mile 7.5 was particularly awful.
I finished in 1:15, 5 minutes under my goal! I was super pumped to see that I finished 8 miles just 9 minutes faster than my (awful) 10k in June. After the race they had beer + ice cream, two things I really didn’t want after running 8 miles in the heat but once I cooled down I got a bowl of black raspberry ice cream.
Mile 1: 8:43
Mile 2: 8:59
Mile 3: 9:21
Mile 4: 8:48
Mile 5: 9:08
Mile 6: 10:01 <– hills
Mile 7: 9:50
Mile 8: 9:57
My pace started to deteriorate around Mile 6, but I was fine with it. I walked a few times, especially at the water stops. I need to get better at running + drinking, but I didn’t feel like I wasn’t pushing myself. Plus the hills were insane.
Overall, good race.