Monday, July 8, 2013

Firecracker Four Race Recap

My two main takeaways from the Firecracker Four: A four mile race is NOT the same as a 5k and I'm really out of shape.

Thursday was perfect for racing. The temps were about as nice as one could hope for in July, the race was well organized and the course was relatively flat with just a few hills.

With Sheila and Laura before the race (Pic from Laura!)

Going into the race, I hoped to run 29:XX. I knew I wasn't in the best racing shape since I haven't done any recent speedwork - recovery from a string of injuries this spring/early summer has taken a toll on my running! However, one thing I can usually count on though is being able to use race day excitement and adrenaline to push myself to run faster than I ever can during training by myself.

But on Thursday, a fast 4 miler just wasn't in the cards. I didn't wear a watch, but I knew I was running too slow to get my goal time. And even worse, I couldn't seem to make my legs go any faster. The effort felt harder than usual and walking just a bit was quite tempting throughout. During a 5k race, hitting the two mile mark means the race is two thirds of the way done. But with a four mile race, it means . . . you're only halfway done. And as for the last 0.9 - the difference between a 5k and four miler - it was kind of brutal.

Here are my race results:

Time: 30:55
Pace: 7:44
Age Group Place: 15/78
Gender Place: 66/502
Overall Place: 284/1,081

Considering I recently ran a 10k at a 7:23 pace, I am not impressed with these results. However, I guess it just shows that there are both good and bad races - and when you have a bad one the only thing to do is work harder so the next one is better!

Ironically, this time is a PR since it was my first four mile race. There's definitely room to improve the next time I race this distance :)

Relaxing at Summerfest after the race! (Pic from Sheila!)

 My questions for you:

  • Have you ever raced a four miler? If so, how did you approach the distance?
  • Do you ever give in and walk during races?
  • How do you deal with a bad race time? Take a few days to bounce back? Or, hit the road/track to get faster?

I hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July weekend!

- ST


  1. You're right - the 4 miler is a unique distance with a learning curve. The Lighthouse Run in Racine has a 4 mile. My strategy has always been to aim for my 5K pace, but to allow for a +10 sec/mi difference. It is also easier for me to break it down into the two 2 mile halves - trying to run an negative split on the second.

    Good job, Sun! Like you said - it is still a PR! :)

    1. Thanks Michelle! The next time I race a 4-miler, I think I'll try breaking it down into two halves - makes more sense than hoping for the best during the final 0.9!

  2. Aw, bummer that you missed your goal time, but you were still very, very close! I can see how it would be tough when you're used to racing the 5k distance.

    You still did a great job, Sun! :)

    1. Thanks Alex! Next time I'll be better prepared for the distance :)

  3. That is still and awesome race and now you have room to improve if you set that goal again! Good for you!

    1. Thanks Laurie! I will definitely try to run a faster 4 mile race soon!