HOT! HOT! HOT! That’s in reference to the Johnnycake 5 miler, and also the boy (who may have been a mirage) that I used to pace myself to the finish line. Shocked? Not really. It’s July 17th. If it weren’t hot, I suppose something would be wrong!
I’m not sure exactly why I love this race so much. I think it’s primarily because of the awesome competition. This race attracts amazing runners. The first overall male was Kenyan, and finished 23:49, 4:45min/mi. The first overall female, also the winner of the CLE Marathon for the past two years and an Olympic Trials Qualifier, finished 28:15, 5:39min/mi. The official race results have still yet to be posted, but I’m pretty sure all of the top 5 females were under 30 minutes. OBVIOUSLY, I don’t stand a chance at this point to competition like that, but it motivates me SO much to keep working hard. Although I’ve come very far over the past few years coming from ZERO real running experience, there’s still a great deal of room for improvement. I am confident that if I keep working hard, I’ll be running sub-6:00 minute miles…I just know it. :-)
So, yes, the race was hot. I got up ON TIME this morning (WOO!) at 6am, took my time doing my pre-race run-down, and headed out the door by 7:25am. The race started at 8:30am, so I probably could have left earlier (OOPS!). Once I got out to Painesville for the start of the race, it was about 8:00am. I immediately headed towards the facilities (priorities are priorities!), and the ladies line was RIDICULOUS! I stayed positive, got in line, and just stretched until I was able to get in. I waited about 15 minutes to use the bathroom (GRRR!), but still was able to get in a little bit of a warm up before the race. I wish I could have gotten in at least a mile, but there was just no time. I did a little stretching, and then it was time to line up.
|Ready to roll!|
As I was waiting at the start line, the announcer said “This might be one of the hottest Johnnycake Jogs EVER!” I really wish he didn’t say that. It was 88 degrees and VERY sunny, and hearing it just made it even worse. I got really nervous at that point, and wished I brought my bottle of water with me to the start line. I had hydrated pretty well all day yesterday and this morning, but I was worried. But before I could analyze any further, the gun went off! There were over 1,200 runners, so it was the usual mad-dash at the start line. I tried to stay at an easy pace, but I wanted to get a peek at the speedy girls before they were out of eye sight. Despite their quick pace, they looked calm and in control. And then they were gone…:-)
As I was running into the first .5miles, I noticed a girl had been running RIGHT next to me since the gun went off and I was just not in the mood to pace anyone. With the extreme heat, and no chance of claiming any of the top 5 finishing spots (with prize money!), I wanted to run my own race. So, I picked it up and held it until I knew she was gone. Then, the first hill came and I took it with ease. There was a SUPER sexy guy in front of me (tall, tan, lean muscle, no shirt hahahaaaa, I will refer to him as “hot guy”) and I was moderately creeping on him to stay on pace. He didn’t exactly appear to be the classic “male runner,” so I was anticipating he’d slow down and I’d be able to pass him. So, I wasn’t being ENTIRELY creepy. :-)
As I climbed over the second hill going into mile 2, the heat was taking over me. The “hot guy” was getting a bit farther away, and a girl with pig tails popped up to my side. Like the girl from the start of the race, she was running right with me, and I was DEFINITELY not interested in dealing with that for the remaining painful miles of the course. Instead of flying ahead this time, I slowed down a bit and let her go ahead. I was more than willing to give up an age-group slot at that point, LOL.
Once I got the last major incline out of the way, I was relieved but also definitely feeling the heat. It was hard to breathe, and I spotted one of the female elite runners walking off to the side. Although I was out to run my own race, seeing her walk definitely made me quite nervous. I can’t imagine ever dropping out of a race, even if I knew I was WAY off my intended finish time. With my little fighter mentality, I’d likely LITERALLY drop out of a race first…which makes me grateful for my Road ID! Heheee. And with that fighter mentality, I pushed! Once the course evened out and I could feel the moderate decline in elevation, I picked up the pace. The “hot guy” was back in near sight, so I felt good to go! Pig-tails wasn’t too far ahead, but I wasn't worrying about that.
The last two miles of the course were the absolute WORST. It’s directly on Mentor Avenue, which is flat, unshaded, boring, and HOT! I kept my focus (catch up to “hot guy”), and just told myself to stay under 7:00min/mi. I honestly didn’t give a s&^# at that point about breaking 34 minutes, I just wanted to be DONE with this race because I was near dying of heat exhaustion. But I kept chugging along, about a 6:50 pace. When the last mile came around “hot guy” was really flying. So, I picked it up as well. I ran a really strong last .5 mile to the finish, and to my surprise, MET MY GOAL!!!! I crossed the finish line at 33:55, 6:47min/mi. It’s a great feeling to make a Personal Record!
I didn’t end up passing the “hot guy,” and temporarily forgot about him when I crossed the finish line. I guess all I really needed him for was some good motivation to keep up the pace when I felt like quitting on myself. Thanks “hot guy” for being unbelievably good looking, AND a great runner, too. Hope to eventually see the front of you at my next race, hahaaaaaa! Well, the main reason I wasn’t focused on him at the finish was because I was DEAD. I couldn’t breathe, see, and was dripping sweat like you wouldn’t believe. I was so grateful to be done, and SO pleased I managed a P.R. through it all. I chugged a cold bottle of water, did a little walking/stretching, and I was good to go. GOSH was that a tough race!
|First overall male- YEP it was hot!|
I was told when I finished I was the 13th female (out of over 600 ladies…not too shabby), so I didn’t know if I’d end up placing. Lucky for me, I ended up getting 3rd in my age group with a cute little plaque!
This was definitely my hottest race, for all of the reasons stated, but it was definitely another awesome experience! I can’t wait to do it again next year!!!
I decided to NOT substitute my track workout this week, since I was def. under-pace with the heat today. Plus, I’m sure the sub-30:00minute 5 mile girlies aren’t skipping their track workouts this week!
So, here’s my Week 3 NYC Marathon Training Run-Down (based off of Hal Higdon’s Advanced-2 Marathon Training Program):
Monday: 3 miles easy
Tuesday: 4 x 800
Wedneday: 30 min tempo
Thursday: 6 mile pace
Saturday: (possible 5K race) + 8 miles
Sunday: 30 min cross-train
111 days until the NYC Marathon!!!!!!!!!