Saturday, March 11, 2017

2017 Johnny's Runnin' of the Green 5 Miler

Weather: Cloudy, 12°F (feels like 0°F) , 70% Humidity, Wind: NNW @ 8 mph.
Route: Johnny's Running of the Green, an out-and-back course.
Time (Pace): 38:33 (7:42 min/mile)

Pre-Race Observations: 
Windpocalypse be damned! Despite calls to postpone the St. Patrick's Day Parade which sets off hours following, the Johnny's Runnin' of the Green is going to go off as planned. Brutal winds, cold temps and a lack of electrical power to 40,000 citizens (including myself) are not enough to stop the hardy weakened warriors and Irish revelers of Upstate New York.

My goal in running this morning is to have a fast pace run as I begin to taper for the Syracuse Half-marathon in two weeks. Last weekend was my longest training run (12.3 miles) in this most recent training cycle, so I am hoping for a fast pace today. Reviewing last year's run, I am surprised by just how fast (7:40 per mile, finishing time of 38:20) my pace was last year, making me unsure of bettering it this year. I have come close to that pace in my faster paced training runs and am hoping that my competitive nature (if not a desire to more quickly get to the warmth of the nearby War Memorial) may push me to go faster...

Post-Run Reflections: The temps were cold (as advertised), but it wasn't as much of an impediment as one might think. The roads were clear and though the winds picked up in a few spots, with 876 other people running there were plenty of opportunities to share drafting duties.

I finished the race in 115th place with a time of 38:33, which while admirable given the conditions (which, other than the wind, were not really favorable) just  missed bettering my time from the previous year by only 13 seconds. I felt strong and confident coming down the final 1/2 mile but did not finish as spent as I could (should?) have. Despite not improving upon my time this year, my age group place was better than last year as I finished tenth (of 65 finishers) in the M45-49 age group. Likely due to fewer participants, I bettered last year's place by 16 positions in my age/gender group and 140(!) slots overall.

All-in-all another solid run for fun and a step in the right direction. There is a good chance that the weather will be similar in Syracuse in a few weeks so this shorter distance dry run did yield some valuable information about just how much to wear (that Turkey trot sweatshirt was not really necessary) and how effective the running mantra/breathing I've been working with in training. I'm excited to run Syracuse in two weeks with my son, who because, he was under-the-weather, gave me the honor of being the first finisher... name Jean-Paul.

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