A brief note about race reports and then a brief wrap up on Johnnycake. I definitely waited too long to get this one into print and lost some of the finer details!
Every race I think there should be some take away point. Some lessons learned, or some idea of why you were successful. Most of the time I find I like to have these recaps to be able and look back at what went right and wrong, and also I just like being able to relive the moment years later and remember everything like it was yesterday. Obviously I get detailed with my reports usually and that definitely serves me well when I want to go back and relive the moment, but I think I might be able to do a better job of summing up those key take away points to improve upon my racing in the future. So hopefully you will start seeing more of that in these reports too!
So way back on July 18th (Why is it that 3 weeks seems so long ago?) I toed the start for the Johnnycake Jog 5 miler. I can't lie I am not a fan of the event. It's hot, there no shade, but it is highly competitive and a lot of people love it. I went into it with the goal of breaking 30 minutes and the sub 6 minute barrier and I wanted to try my best to be between 2nd and 5th female (first is J.O. who is just that good that I don't even consider 1st for any races she is in). This was my second race as part of the Second Sole Akron team and there were a ton of the guys out and BB, NC, and I were out representing the ladies. A lot of green! So I also wanted to be a good representative of the team.
Looking back at my race report from last year I wanted to go out on pace and target a fast finish. So much for that, the gun was off and I decided to just cling to NC as long as possible. We were sitting in a group of 3 females already far behind 1st place and dodging construction barrels and the large groups of men near us. I decided once again not to use a watch. I wore it purely so I could know my time at the finish but didn't take splits. The miles where there were no timers I did look at my total time. Nice thing about a sub 6 goal is the math is easy.
First mile was quick in about 5:42. MB who I had keyed off of at Blossom was behind me and I should have realized that was not a good sign, but sometimes I guess you just have to go for glory. NC started to pull ahead but I held my own on the hill in the second mile and stayed close to the 3rd girl who I knew had run a high 28 here last year. Second mile was around 11:52 and I knew I needed to keep my head on and pick up the effort on a slightly downhill 3rd mile.
It got barren here and we headed into the sun. On and off I would be with a guy or two and eventually I closed on the 3rd place girl. 3rd mile was around 18:02 and I was not pleased to be behind the target. Got encouragement from a spectator that I was closing on 3rd and I upped the effort to pass her early in the 4th mile. I did my best to make the pass aggressive and hoped she wouldn't respond but I knew she had more speed in her than that.
Each time a guy would come up on me I would assume it was her or my friend MR who is getting back into things after a hiatus this spring. Both are capable of much better times than 30+. The least two miles of this race are straight and into the sun. I passed the 4th mile at around 24:08 and knew I was going to have to do something special to break 30. Every 400 meters is marked the last mile and once again I was made to realize why you go out conservative at this race because having no kick at the end of this race just sucks.
I managed to pass a few guys but also got passed by a few guys on my way to the finish line. Thankfully no girls came after me and I was able to snag 3rd in 30:16. Not my goal, and I wasn't happy. It was hot and I got dizzy at the finish line, I am sure I ran the best I could given how it went, but I obviously would have liked to have done better. That's the problem with racing your own personal clock. I need to learn that sometimes a podium finish is just as good as a desired time.
After a cool down with MR and NC and the Second Sole guys I was feeling a bit better about things and getting your picture in the paper and some money in your pocket doesn't hurt either :)
It's easy sometimes to forget all the progress I have made and realize that on a day when I missed my goal by 30-45 seconds I am still over a minute faster than the year before. I'll keep trying to remind myself of that when I get frustrated!
Take away points for next race:
1) Run my own race, yes it is a competition but I need to learn to run my own pace at the start and trust that I can close when needed
2) be happy with whatever you do as long as you ran your hardest, don't get so hung up on the numbers
3) warm up etc is still good, shoes are a problem still