Bobby Doyle 5 Mile Race Report By Teage Bobby Doyle was hot. It wasn't just a hot day, it was already hot and humid at 5am when I got up for a shakeout run. In college, my teammates and I would always go for a slow (10 minute pace) jog for 10 minutes about 4 hours before morning races. It was a good way to get out our nerves and get the stiffness out of our legs. It's also a great way to catch sunrise. I slowly jogged through the streets of Wakefield, Mass, finally getting a chance to think about the race. It'd been a hectic summer with summer camps, lots of admin stuff, and getting married, so my training - though consistent - had taken a back seat to the rest of life. My teammates (I run for Green Mtn Athletic Association) and I drove about two hours to the race. While it was coastal (Narraganset), it was still hot and muggy from the rain that fell overnight. My biggest distraction I was thinking about once we arrived was that I didn't have much of a context for the race. It's part of USATF's New England Grand Prix series, and I run most of these if I can, so it was on my race calendar. But otherwise, going in I didn't really have a racing plan for the fall and hadn't raced since a disappointing marathon in the spring. This left the race kind of just sitting somewhere in the middle. So with the heat and lack of expectations I didn't have much of a race plan. I wasn't even sure if I wanted to run barefoot or not. I ran the race last year barefoot and the roads are pretty rough in places so I was nervous about that. In the end I decided to go sans shoes and was happy I did. Initially I was disappointed with my finish, and I think I still am a little unsatisfied. I don't think my heart was ever real there, focused like a wild animal. My thinking mind was definitely there, but it kept pulling me in different directions and I struggled to stay focused. I hit a steady pace through the first 3 miles (which are mostly flat or downhill), going through 2 miles at 10:02, 5k @ 15:29. The last couple of miles are mostly uphill and a bit slower so my pace dropped to 5:15 pace. The worst part of the race was the end. With 400m to go someone yelled that no one was near me. I try not to look behind me while running, thinking instead that I should only be focused on what's ahead. Afterall, I'm not ever really racing anyone other than me. With 200 or so to go I got passed, which roused my anger and I suddenly found I had another gear. I was angry at the spectator, angry at myself for not racing hard, and angry that try as I might I knew I couldn't keep pace with him and that I let up with about 50m to go. What was as frustrating as getting passed was having all that extra energy but not having my own internal motivation draw it up. I should have really been pushing harder over the last two miles anyways. My time was about 35 seconds off from last year, but I was 11 this year, better than last year's 15th, and looking at other people's performances the disparity in time seems about on par. I hope that part of my subpar performance was just being out of the racing scene for awhile. I know in college I would have been thrilled with a 25:24 opener. My feet also were fine in the end. Though I found that most of the race my thoughts were dedicated to thinking about my feet and not the race.