Saturday I ran the 5 mile Ortega River Run here in Jacksonville. It is an annual run that serves as a tune-up run for the upcoming 15K Gate River Run on March 9 this year. I have run the Ortega Run a number of times and was hoping to make this year's run my best run time wise.
When I arrived for the race, I positioned myself up toward the start line with the faster runners so as not to have to swerve past slower runners as the race started. My recent times have been good so I thought I was ready for an even faster run.
The gun went off and the race began. It was a fast pace but I kept up as I hoped to pace myself to a better run. When I got to the first mile marker of the race, I was shocked with how fast I had ran. It was an 8 minute mile. It was my fastest time ever for a mile. Then I realized my mistake. It was too fast as I had four more mile to run.
It was hot and humid. I mean really hot and humid in comparison to the recent weather that I had been training in. I was spent with four miles to go.
The good news is that I finished with my best time ever for Ortega River Run. My time was 49:35, but I was not pleased. I had run a 5 mile run earlier in the week at a time of 46 minutes flat. I was disappointed.
Here is what happened.
My 46 minute 5 mile run earlier in the week didn't include any bridges and the Ortega Run has two bridges to cross and that slows you down. It was much hotter and humid for the Ortega Run and that slows your time. I realized that I had not properly hydrated for the Ortega Run and with all that humidity that was a killer. I hadn't sleep well the night before the Ortega Run.
Finally, I started with too fast a pace and finished weakly. Running an 8 minute first mile for me is not smart. That all will have to change for the River Run. That is my goal to do better, run smarter, and finish strong.
I am on the final two week countdown to the River Run. I am getting stronger and better. I hope to have a great race.