A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Monday, August 29, 2011

DeKalb Corn Classic 10K

On Saturday I was up bright and early (well, technically just early since it was still dark outside) to join the running club for a 10K in a town about an hour west of Chicago. I hadn't run a 10K since last year's Turkey Trot so I honestly had no idea what kind of 10K shape I was in.

So instead of having a time goal I decided I'd just try to run negative splits. That strategy seems to be working this year.

Also, sadly, my personal race photographer (aka Jason) was indisposed with his own event (and no desire to get up at 4:45 AM) so I don't have any photos!

I know, I know.

Anyway, I did my warm-up with John and we talked race strategy. This first two miles of this race include going up and down a freeway overpass and the last quarter mile of the race is up a slight hill. I only meant to do a one mile warm-up but ended up doing approximately 2.25 miles. Oops.

After working up quite a sweat just from the warm-up I waited for the 3K race to start and then positioned myself near the middle of the pack for the 10K. Off we went at a little before 8:00 AM. The first two miles felt great and I was passing all kinds of people even with the ups and downs of the freeway overpass. I just told myself to slow down and not kill myself on the hill.

Mile three felt good, too. My splits were nice and even and hovering around 8:50 minutes per mile. Pretty good, I thought. After getting off the country road and residential streets we went into some wooded parks and I enjoyed the shade and the scenery. We had to run across some grass at one point but even that felt okay. Nice and springy.

Mile four must have been all downhill, though. I grabbed a cup of water at the aid station just past the mile marker and slowed down to drink a bit. I passed Maribeth in here at some point and was able to cheerily ask her how we were doing. Mile 4 was definitely negative split territory coming in at 8:34. That might have been a tad too fast....

....Because mile 5 felt like death and mile 6 felt even worse. I think this is where the rolling hills began, too. I started to crash during mile 5 and even when I was just .2 from the finish and Holly and Helen were yelling at me to sprint it in I couldn't find any more strength. I managed a sprint for about a tenth of a mile before my stomach informed me that I had to slow down unless I wanted a return visit of the bagel with peanut butter or the Clif bar I ate before the race.

So I crossed the finish line with an official time of 54:51. My third fastest 10K time ever and good enough for 10th place in my age group.

I have high hopes that when it's cooler and flatter I'll easily beat my 10K PR and maybe even break 54 minutes. In the meantime, I'll enjoy going to races with my club friends, seeing them get medals, and enjoying breakfast together afterward.

Dekalb Corn Classic 10K by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details