Monday, July 23, 2007

The Johnnycake Jog

Well. I am confident that sub 31 was the right goal for this race. However, I didn't quite make it. I ran a 31:14 (a hair under 6:15 pace)(according to my watch, officially for this non-chip times race it's 31:17). I think if I ran a perfect race I would have run sub-31. I did make a goof in pacing.

I got to the starting line and I was feeling pretty good. This made me happy because as you recall from the addendum to my last post I tripped on a root on Friday night and tweaked my left glute. It was sore Friday night and Saturday and it was tight at the beginning of my warm-up yesterday. But after 5 striders it was loosened up and ready to roll. Another little scare occurred on Saturday. I went to the mall to check out a sale which of course contained nothing I wanted. I was starving though so I grabbed a smoothy on my way out. About 45 minutes after I finished the smoothy my head started throbbing, my stomach got wonky, and I just wanted to sleep! I was at the grocery store though, so I finished up witht that went home and crashed in bed. I felt SO bad! After a nap I woke up and mrp and I went for burritos. Eating helped, but my head still hurt. I took a couple of tylenol before bed and hoped for the best. I woke up feeling much better in the head, but the stomach was still wonky. Luckily, it pretty much un-wonked by race time!

Anyway, back to the starting line. I lined up with mrp right behind my friend *E* and another girl I knew to generally be just a little faster than me. I figured I'd learn from them how not to take it out like a maniac! Off we went. I started my watch as I crossed the start line. The pace felt downright easy. Hmm. I guess this is how it's supposed to be! I was still worried about going out too hard as I passed *E* so I made sure to check myself. I got to mile 1 right on time in 6:12. Perfect, I thought!

I knew the next mile, mile 2, was the slowest on the course. My strategy was to stay strong and controlled on this mile over the hills. I thought I was maintaining my pace perfectly and I was feeling great! A few women passed me in this mile, but I didn't sweat it because I was so controlled. I came to the 2 mile marker and OOPS--6:32! WTF?! Duh! During mile 1 I didn't run 6:12 pace I ran something like 3:00 for the first half and then 3:12 for the second when I was actually trying to reign myself in. Then when I thought I was maintaining the same pace--I was, just the 6:24 pace effort over the hills and not the 6:12 pace effort I was going for!

Well, I knew I kind of shot myself in the foot there. But, I also knew it was possible. I knew it would be very close and I might as well try. So, I picked it up. With the downhills on the section I was able to get the pace down to 6:04. Better! I passed a couple of those women who passed me during mile and they didn't make it easy! After the 3rd mile marker we make a turn and it's about 2 miles straight down an open road with the sun beating down and the wind in your face a bit. I just kept hauling. I could see a woman way ahead of me as I turned. I focused and thought...maybe. I just kept my eyes on her. I'd go back and forth between feeling like my legs were lead and feeling like I had more and could chase her down. I inched closer and closer and closer. My fourth mile was 6:10.

The last mile is broken down in quarters. I tried to go one quarter at a time. Some quarter mile signs helped and some reminded me how far I still had to go! I just focused on the woman ahead of me and used her to draw me to the finish as fast as I could get there. She was way in front of me with 2 miles to go, but just 5 seconds ahead of me at the finish! So close!! But I ended up with a 31:14 and 8th place out of a very competitive field, which is almost a minute off my previous pr and not bad for screwing up mile 2 royally!

I realized that the women who ran in college and have been running for many more years than me run much more evenly paced races (shorter ones anyway) than I generally do. I just don't have enough experience with pacing yet. Something I just have to practice. So a great race and a new lesson learned for next time.


E-Speed said...

I struggle with pacing too. It sounds like you ran strong to come in so close to your goal. Hope you are happy with the performance! I know I'd be thrilled to come that close to 31 :)

Quinto Sol said...

You definitely have a sub 31 in you... I think you raced it smartly. It would have cost you a few more seconds if you'd have gone out full throttle at the beginning. Soon enough you'll give those college girls more than a scare :-)

Uptown Girl said...

Holy smokes! Absolutely awesome!
Anyway, I think you should look at the fact that you were able to recover even after a "subpar" mile 2. It's difficult to recover after feeling like you ran a bad mile!

Jim said...

Super race, and still an overall smart race despite your mile 2 shenanigans. I wasn't even breathing hard after reading about it! Now THAT'S saying something.

GP said...

Hey, now if you had run a Hermes race, you could have come 4:00 under your goal ;-)

But what an awesome race! While you'll say that you're still working on your pacing, at least you're always running at an incredible pace.

Your recent attention to pacing has truly highlighted its importance... so thanks for the service to the running community. All of the things I never knew I didn't know I seem to learn for the blogosphere!