Yesterday I ran the Johnnycake Jog 5 mile race for the third year in the row. I was a defending two-time age group champion. I had to give up the crown, after adding more than 12 minutes to last year's time! Every year the local paper prints a big article about the race including photos of the top 5 men and women and the first place winners in each age group. I've had my mug in the paper these past few years. And this year, there's a new angle of me! Not the most flattering angle for a 5 month pregnant woman, but it keeps my streak alive. Oh, that's me in the blue top and black shorts, in case you were wondering.
Of course I had no expectations that I would even contend for an age group or any award! I just wanted to get out to one of my all time favorite races, see some friends, and hang out with mrp doing something we love to do. And peanut and I got a nice run out of the deal. I got to see lots of friends and feel a part of the racing scene that I have so been missing lately.
Mrp also ran a slower than normal time, but we'll chalk that up to sympathy and the fact that it was 80 and ungodly humid. Despite the nasty conditions my pal Evie managed to run a big PR, coming in third overall which came with a cash prize. Score! The usual out-of-town ringers didn't show up so us locals actually had a shot this year (well, not me!) If I wasn't pregnant I might have come really close to finally beating mrp in a race and possible making some cash to boot! Of course next year, all the ungodly fast out-of-towners will be back and mrp will have had a great summer of training under his belt. But really, at that point I'll just be happy to be there at all!
I ended up running a 43:34. That's an 8:43 pace for those math-challenged. That was actually kind of hard! My first mile was an 8:55 or so and then the second mostly uphill mile was 9:12. Even running my turtle pace I still picked it up over my favorite 3 miles in any race. I don't know the exact splits, and really don't care but I must have been in the 8:20 to 8:30 range. The funny thing was I was flying by tons of people! Races are entirely different beasts in the mid to the back of the pack. There were a lot of red-faced heavy breathing older men getting very frustrated in the later miles and lots of sweaty little kids learning the hard way about going out too fast. There are packs of young women in their cute outfits complaining that they still have so far to go and then the gallo-walking middle-aged women just out there to stay fit. A totally different crew of characters from the focused competitive types I'm normally around. But being back there and taking my time to savor one of my favorite courses allowed me to see and enjoy so much more than I normally would have pushing my way dizzily to the finish in search of a fast time.