Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Journal Jog Recap

On Sunday I completed the RGJ Journal Jog for the 2ndyear. Last year during this race I surprised myself with the pace I was able to maintain. Last year I averaged 8:42/mi and I was hoping to come in around 9:00/mi. This year, my goal was to average about 8:25/mi. I thought this was a pretty lofty goal, but according to my favorite running calculator, it said I could do it. This would bring me in at 41:48.Lately, most of my 5k races have been around 8:25ish, and this was an 8k.

One of my running friends was also doing this race, so I was really excited. 99% of every race I have done, I show up by myself, walk around the post-race activities by myself, and then leave by myself. So it was awesome to have someone to talk to before and after the race. Note how I didn’t say during the race. She is way too fast for me. We lined up together by the 8-9min pace area. That was a bad idea because for a small race (about 500) it took too long to cross the actual start line. She took off, and I was left to my own thoughts and pace. In the first mile of the race, I heard one of the most amusing comments, a little kid running next to his dad said “Dad, Jenny has a brown spot on her pants…and it’s on the butt part”. Love it!

I have a horrible habit of staring at my watch during races, and this race was no different. The first mile ticked off at 8:19. I usually like my first mile to be my slowest and since my goal was 8:25, I was going too fast. I usually try to pick someone ahead of me who seems to be going about my pace and stick with them until them, and then make it my goal to pass them in the end (yeah I know, it sounds presumptuous and competitive, but it really helps push me). The woman I chose was wearing a black tank top with a neon pink stripe going down the back. There were a couple times during this race I got perfectly in stride with another runner. This is always awkward. Do you say “hi”, or “hey, how about them Dodgers?” I usually try to de-stride myself from them as quickly as possible. Miles 2 and 3 where a bit of an uphill and I think I got a little too comfortable with slowing down. The next miles were 8:32 and 8:34. The woman with the black tank top was still in my sight. The great thing about miles 2 and 3 being uphill, meant miles 4 and 5 were downhill. During the Reno 10 Miler last month, I ran more by feel (I was going for a hard effort) not by what my Garmin said. I decided to adopt this attitude for the remainder of the race. I was feeling pretty good, and decided to pick up the pace a little. The woman in the black tank top did too. Mile 4 was at 8:05. For the final mile, I wanted to leave it all out on the course. As we made the final turn for the finish which was about .4 miles, I really kicked it in to high gear. It was then I realized I didn’t see the woman in the black tank top anymore. She must have really taken off in the end. When I was nearing the finish line I saw 40:50 on the clock. Wow! I then made it my goal to come in under 41 minutes. I gave it everything I had left. My legs felt wobbly and there were a few steps in there that I thought my legs were going to give out on me. Unfortunately, I was too far from the finish and I crossed the finish line at 41:04 L. I was a little bummed, but happy with my performance.

After my breathing calmed down, I went in search of my friend. I found her in the snack line and we decided to go to the nearby park and await the official results. As we were walking to the park, I passed a woman in the opposite direction and she said “Oh my gosh, good job out there. I was really trying to catch you, but you just flew by me, but it really helped me push it in the end trying to get you.” I laughed and told her she did a great job too, even though I had no clue who she was. I started to think, maybe I was the person she chose to keep close to the whole race. Then she turned and started to walk away and I saw the back of her shirt. Black tank top with a neon pink stripe going down the middle. I honestly have no idea when I passed her, but little did she know, she actually pushed me the whole time.

My friend thought she might have had a chance at placing in her age group, so we went to check the results. I was pleasantly surprised as I completely forgot about chip timing. My official chip time was 40:44, that’s 8:12/mi! I was super excited. I have to continue this running by feel thing rather than relying on my watch. I am the proud owner of a shiny new PR by almost 3 minutes!

Official Stats:
Time: 40:44
115/431 overall
30/240 in gender
5/34 in age group
Splits: 8:19 / 8:32 / 8:34 / 8:05 / 7:32 (that last .4 was in an average of 6:50/mi)


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