On July 4th I ran the local Firecracker 4 mile race. For years they have offered a 4k and I did it in 2010 and 2011, but hadn’t run it recently because it’s usually super warm outside, and frankly a 2.4 mile race is just not the most exciting distance for me. This year they added a 4 mile distance which is a new distance for me. Some ladies in my running group decided to do the 4 mile, and since I would typically run on Monday morning with them, I decided to do it with them, especially since we finished so strong at the Memorial Day race a month earlier.
The race started right at 9am and the weather was perfect – low 60s and cloudy.
The course is basically a big loop and there are some pretty significant hills, but we have run them before during our weekly runs, so we knew what to expect, which I think helped a ton. Any finishing time would be a PR for all of us, since we hadn’t run a 4 mile race before, but secretly I thought we could finish in under 44 minutes (and thus sub-11 minute miles) if we really pushed it, so I kind of hoped we could do that (or finish close to 44 minutes).
Mile 1 – 10:42 – We were flying thanks to a downhill right at the beginning. I tried not to get freaked out when I saw the time on my watch when we hit 1 mile, because I knew the real hills would be coming in miles 2 and 3, so our paces would drop a little.
Mile 2 – 10:52 – First major hill. There was a clock at the mile 2 mark and someone said “omg under 22 minutes?!” and I told them to just ignore it and keep pushing, haha.
Mile 3 – 11:26 – Second major hill and a water stop that we opted to walk through so we would actually drink the water, as opposed to just getting it on our shirts. I knew we had banked enough time that a slower mile wasn’t going to hurt us too much.
Mile 4 – 10:22 – The final push. It felt really hard, and I think we all gave it everything we had. When we crossed the finish I had that omg-I’m-going-to-puke feeling, which for a shorter race is a good thing.. right? 🙂
Finishing time: 43:49 (10:57 pace). Woo! We did it, sub-11 minute miles and a very strong race overall.