Dec. 19, Ryan Jobes 5k- Williamstown, WV low 30s, snow, wind, flat looping course Parkersburg News and Sentinel story
My 18 minute warmup was the most miserable running experience I've had in a while as much as I pushed after a while, I couldn't accelerate beyond a jog. I stepped in a huge puddle and braced against this snow and wind. I had hoped, leading up to the race, to run 16:33, because cutting a minute off of my times as I struggled back into shape would be nice symmetry. Evaluating my pre-race condition, however, I realized that was a silly goal, and I would just run however I was able. The other guys convinced me to go with shorts for the race and just gut it out. I can't remember if I wore gloves. The course was a little different this year, with an additional block in the middle mile to make up for not using the Williamstown track as a finish. I welcomed that change from a racing perspective, though I knew finishing on the track held a special significance for Ryan. The high school kids took it out fast, as always. I ran the first block with Fatty Z, but after the first turn started to move up through the pack. Benford was out head with what looked to be two people, and Hunter lead a chase pack. As I approached it, Hunter glided back. About four minutes into the race, I was ahead of the chase pack and feeling pretty good. I hit the mile in 5:15, which made me think I had a chance to hit 16:33 after all. I wanted to throw in a few surges to keep myself on the ball, and did so at THE HILL, which, although only a few feet of elevation is the biggest incline in town. It also coincided with Ryan's house, so I ran a little harder for him there. Unfortunately, unlike the way he raced, I didn't sustain it and demolish everyone else. I heard someone on my heels a few blocks farther along the course. I waved a white flag with subtlety as I rounded a corner, veering out of the way of the puddle that soaked me during my warmup. That showed I wasn't willing to do what it took to really push it. Whoever was behind me, I kept them off for a while, but my mood changed when I hit the two mile mark- 5:37. That isn't going to get me to no 16:33, not at all. My chances of really picking it up and hitting a massive negative split were slim, so I planned to do what it took to hold off the guy behind me. I didn't feel like I had slowed down, though with no leaders in sight it was hard to gauge that. I guess that's the lack of real speedwork catching up to me. I tried to use those surges to avoid falling into complacency. As I hit the second-to-last stretch before the end, Hunter flew past me. I tried to go with him for a few seconds, but my breath wasn't there. Steve was cheering at the last turn, and to my own disgust, I glanced back at the corner to see how much room I had. This, five years after Steve told me he would strangle me if I ever looked back in a race again, giving my pursuers hope I was fading. Hunter finished under 17, but I was not so strong, trudging in at 17:08. Benford edged out an younger kid at 15:26, and that third fellow must have been a figment, because I wound up fourth. It makes sense I'm a 17:08 5k runner now- I was running 45 miles that week, my highest weekly total since August. I wasn't dong real workouts, besides some fartleks and hills. I'm also about 15 pounds over my standard racing weight. The snow and wind didn't help, but I've done fine in those conditions before. I did the standard Williamstown cooldown- a run across the Ohio River into Marietta, Ohio, and back. Regan and Hunter and I cut it short, for about 2.5 miles. I had 8 miles total, for a weekly 45 miles.
4 hours ago