Sunday, March 23, 2014

Johnny's ROTG 2014: Ultra fun

What??  Two posts in one weekend?  I know it.  I''m frightened too.  I guess when kiddo gets up a happy lil guy and wants to play by himself at 5am...mommy can write a blog post.  Funny how that one works.

So, this past weekend was the annual kick off to the Rochester racing season - Johnny's Running O the Green 5 miler. I've run this race through a variety of different life circumstances - the blizzard of 2006, a nice fat PR in 2009, training for Ironmans in 2010 and 2011, and preggo as all can be in 2013.  My PR on this course is 37 minutes, which I knew I really had no shot at beating (even though I feel super fit, right now ultra training is suiting me more to distance, not speed!), but I was hoping for a solid run after weeks of beating my body up with back to back weekend long runs.  I had a goal of a sub 8:30 pace, with a long shot goal of breaking 8 - why?  I have no idea.  I haven't done any kind of speed work in months, and my long runs hover around a 9 minute pace up until about 13 miles but hey, dream big go big, right?  Right.

race morning came with temps at about 30, with some slight wind gusts.  Greg and I got up bright n early (thanks Rob!) did the coffee/banana oats deal, popped an Imodium (learn from the Rochester half debacle!) and were out the door by 7:30.  My cousin lives about 5 miles from the race site and adores Rob, so we dropped him off for some play time and made our way to the race site.  (I would have pushed him in a stroller, but this race sees about 2500 people and it was kinda cold.  Need to find a fun spring 5k for some Rob and Momma playtime!!)

I adore this race.  It's flat, fast and the structure of the course allows for you to see everyone faster and slower than you,a sit does a turnaround halfway through.  So for about a mile and a half I get to see all my Roc runner friends- makes the time go by, and I get all amped for the season!  I found a few friends pre-race, got my hair sprayed green, and before I knew it, it was time to go!

Slightly blurry mile 4 pic, courtesy of my friend HBO!
The congestion at the start line is typical, but thinned nicely.  Took about 20 seconds to cross the line, another half mile to dodge people that seeded themselves wayyyy optimistically, and i was off. Crossed mile 1 at 8:30, feeling good.  Greg and I ran together for about the first mile, then found our own paces.  One thing long running has taught me this year is how to pace and push through, and I've really cut back on my walk breaks (I used to favor a steady 9:1 run/walk ratio for an 8:30 mile, now I've found my 8:30 pace comfortably to maintain.  ironically, the run/walk is much better for an ultra.  I'm special like that).  Any who'sers, I stayed steady at 8:30 for about the first 3 miles, grabbing a quick sip at the one aid station. I ran for awhile with my tri friends, then tucked in for the last mile.  Mile 4 - 33:12.  I knew that I would most likely hit that B goal, as the last mile was downhill.  I turned up the gas a bit, sailed through the final mile, and crossed in 41:17, for an average pace of 8:16/mile and good for 20th out of 121 in my age group.  Sweet.

Post race, I grabbed a bagel and some water. stretched for a few, then headed out for another 5 miles to finish my longish run of the weekend.  #Ultraproblems.

Analysis?  I felt good.  My legs handled it well, my lungs are not cut out for an 8 minute mile for more than 5 miles right now :-).  What can I say?  I'm a mule!  I enjoyed the race (Did NOT enjoy the fact that the parking garage decided to charge this year without any warning.  Lame.) and am ready for the next race - Spring forward 15k in Mendon, next Saturday!)

Run on, run on.  


  1. Rumor has it Rob didn't run the race with you because he didn't want to upset you by beating you. Rumor also has it he usually finishes just in front of you. Just saying.