March 18, 2010

Johnny's 5 miler race report

Johnny's Running o' the Green is usually the spring "opener" for the Rochester racing series. It always attracts top talent in the area and is known for great competition. Above is a shot that showed up in the Rochester D+C from the race start. I was somewhere about 2 people back from the starting line.
Having been a beautiful week prior to the race with temperatures in the middle to upper 40's this was looking to be a pristine day for a race. Mother nature had a different opinion on the matter. As you can see from the photos of the start, it was wet and a little windy out that day.
I started out the day by running from my apartment in Brighton to the starting line of the race because I knew I needed to get in a slight warm up and wanted to get about 15miles in that day. I threw on my race number and running clothes and made my way the 6.5 miles to the starting line. I quickly got inside of the Raddison Hotel downtown in Rochester because the constant sprinkling and dribbling of rain had left me quite wet and when I stopped, I got pretty chilly. The start was at 10:30am and I was at the hotel trying to get warm by 10:00 sharp, right on time. I found my sister who was doing this race too and Kim and several other folks upstairs stretching out and getting ready to race. Jenna and I made our way downstairs joking the entire way and I wished her good luck. The game plan for me was to race as hard as I could, then once finished, turn around and run her in the last few miles of the race.
I got myself positioned at the start after chatting with several friends roaming around the start line doing my warm up and it was so nice to see everyone out and spectators all "greened" up for the St. Patty's day parade immediately following the race. The gun went off and we were blazing thru the streets. I hit the first mile in 5:22 and instantly was not cold anymore. This course is an out and back which goes from downtown to the UR campus and back. It's nice to be able to see everyone and spot people you know on the "back" section. I hit the 2 mile mark in 11:06 feeling good. It was a little fast I thought, but I wasn't straining yet.
The turn-around came sooner than I expected (always a good thing) and I hit that in roughly 13:3X, so I knew if I could keep that up, I had a good chance at having a solid time. My PR from the 8km distance that we ran in college was a 28:03, so I was aiming to break that this day. I hit the 3 miles in 16:4x and the 5km in approximately 17:08. I was flying.
Mile 4 was a little trying and as soon as we turned around it was wind in the face and slowed the fast pace excessively. I passed by all the folks still making their way to the turnaround and got some cheers, saw some friends and tried to focus all of my energy on the race I was having. I hit the Ford Street bridge and caught up to two runners in front of me. I put in a half hearted surge and they fell behind me. (which I was surprised at) I rounded the final turn and climbed a little knoll up to the finish to hit the clock at right around 28:00. The final time in the results says 27:59 so I have officially bested my college PR and broken 28 in the process:o) Wahoo!!! During college I was solely running and not doing any multisport which amazes me more that I was able to best that. It was good for 15th overall and 7th on my age group. I felt like I turned myself inside out during this race and it was a DEFINITE test of speed. Makes me excited to see what else I can do this year!
I turned around and ran to get Jenna and met her at mile 4. She was looking strong, but having some troubles with all the wind. I advised her to tuck in behind the tall people and have them break the wind. I talked her in and ran with her until the final corner where she made it to the line and improved her time from a 5 miler we did in late 2009 by I think about a minute! So proud of her. The coolest thing though was that my mom and dad came out to spectate and watch the madness of the race. My mom brought her clown horn and I thought I recognized that sound when running into the line. (I don't know I was rather hypoxic...) But they came out and it was really cool to share a race with them again.
I was completely stoked by my time and I think it was mental fortitude rather than anything else. I'm in the results as Travis O'Earley as I wanted to "Irish" up my name for this race :o) haha. I however showed up as "anonymous" in the Rochester Runner of the Year (RROY) points standings in the newspaper, but oh well. I know I earned my 1 point! haha. I hope you all are out enjoying the beautiful weather recently and you all are racing hard. Now's the time to get the miles in folks. Train hard and rest harder, talk to you all soonish. Cheers!

1 comment:

Tim said...

In a future post could you attempt to describe this Clown Horn to me? What kind of sound is it? Like conch shell horn sound? Ricola commercial? A release the Kracken type of horn? I need more details if you are expecting to draw me into your tale.