Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Today's Race - North Canton Y 5-mile

I've been racing relatively well so far this year. Too early to call it a banner year, but if I could only improve ever so slightly, it could be a great one. Having said all this, I'm still not doing as well as I'd like to in the Ohio Challenge Series. There are a couple of geezers in my age group that seem to beat me every time, even when I do wind up with a fast time.

A week ago Friday I did the Wadsworth 4-mile. For an evening race under warm and humid conditions, I felt I did really well - 24:40. Maybe a 1/2 minute slower than my PR. With that mantra of "if I can only improve just a bit...", I was hopeful about today's race, the North Canton Y 5-mile 4th of July race.

Today it was fairly warm (perhaps low 70s) and extremely humid, with a bit of fog and drizzle. Even so, they had a record turnout with nearly 2,000 runners for the two races.

I warmed up by running the 2-mile. For that one, I ran the first mile in an easy 7+ minutes and then picked it up for a 6-minute 2nd mile. Even that felt easy, so I was all the more hopeful about the 5.

When the cannon boomed loudly for the 5, I tried to start easily, but the first mile still went by in a faster than expected 6:06. There were a few hills in the second mile, and I was beginning to tire, so I held back and did a 6:36. Now it was time to pick it up for the last 3. Unfortunately, the 3rd mile went by in 6:33. OK, OK. NOW it was time to pick it up for the final two. Yes, I definitely felt like I was running faster now. Then I hit the 4-mile mark in 25:58 - a 6:41 mile. What's goin' on?? This time I'd have to go sub-6 to pull out any kind of decent time at all. Yes, I'd really pick it up this time.

Crossed the finish line in 32:36 for a 6:38 final mile. Definitely my most disappointing race so far this year. I suppose I was due for a stinker, but I just hope it's not a sign of things to come.

The same Ohio Challenge Series geezers beat me this week when I ran poorly and last week when I ran well. Maybe it doesn't matter how well I run - I'm just pre-destined to finish in a certain position no matter what.

I plan to take it easy at the end of this week, for the next two weeks. Maybe I just need a rest.

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