Tempo and Firecracker 4mile Race Report

2 mile tempo to start the day. I adjusted my HR zones because they didn’t transfer properly when I upgraded to my Garmin 735xt. My tempos were done at 8:57 pace and my HR didn’t leave zone 2. So maybe I need to increase my paces? I didn’t feel like I was struggling at all, so maybe I do need to push it a bit more. I haven’t done genuine speed work in so long. I’m having to remember how to do it and what a hard effort feels like. Come on, muscle memory!

Ok…enough about today’s run. Let’s talk about our run from two weeks ago. How was the 4th of July two weeks ago?!

Our running club has an annual 4th of July run called the Firecracker 4 mile. This year was the 36th annual. We ran it back in 2014 and got someone to watch the boys. We skipped the last two years because of marathon/triathlon training and wanting to sleep in on my day off. But this year, the boys are finally seasoned enough to run 4 miles. Firecracker 4mile will now be a family tradition!

This is a fast race. Lots of speed demons show up. I had no true goals other than to stay around a 9:30 pace. Everyone took off super fast. I kept myself reeled in and focused on my Garmin. There were lots of photographers out on the course. This picture was taken about about the half mile mark. It was a beautiful morning for a run, especially in Kansas in July, so the smile is genuine. It felt good to smile. I could feel my body relax. I decided to keep the smile going and see how I felt.

Mile 1: 9:05. 9:30? Nah. Let’s try for 9 flat!

Mr. Neon’s goal was to just keep up with TinyBoy. Can we talk about those legs? He trims the hair for triathlon in the summer. I think it makes his quads look awesome!

Oh…you know. Just running a 7:30 and 8:15 pace and grinning from ear to ear.

I kept the cadence surging and picked up the pace a tiny bit down the back half of the course, after we popped out from the high school parking lot. I passed quite a few people on the hilly parts of James St. Derby is notoriously hilly, but these streets are where I do 90% of my outdoor runs, so it was home turf. Hills…what hills?

Mile 2: 8:57
Mile 3: 8:54

At this point, the course dumps us into the park. It’s always a struggle to have to run past the finish line. I had a distraction looking for my boys who were well ahead of me. Two other runners who I’m sure recognize my family asked me where my boys were. In front of me, of course! I’m the sweeper!

Mile 4: 8:49. Perfect negative splits. I didn’t have much of a kick left at the finish line. And have I told you lately how much I love my Oiselle Roga shorts? I need to do a whole post on them. My running wardrobe has really changed in the last year.

Overall time: 36:11 (9:03 pace). Course was a touch long (as expected), so those sub-9s didn’t come through on the results page. But it felt good knowing I could do it!

I challenged Runner Boy to break 30 minutes. He ran a 29:56! (7:29 pace) He not only took first in his age group but beat all the 11-14 year olds too!

Mr. Neon kept up with Tiny Boy and ran a 33:31 (8:23 pace). And his legs never looked better. Swoon!

Tiny Boy ran a 33:50 (8:28 pace) and took second in his and Runner Boy’s age group.

All in all, it was a very good morning for all four of us. We celebrated with donuts! I can’t wait for next 4th of July and next year’s Firecracker 4 mile with my three boys.

Stay neon!

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