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

Monday, October 24, 2011

Frank Lloyd Wright 10K Race Report

Several years ago I attended a scrapbook convention where I purchased a set of letter and number stickers in the style associated with Frank Lloyd Wright. Why? Because I knew the Frank Lloyd Wright 5K and 10K existed and I knew I wanted to run them some day.

Last year I didn't run it because I thought it would be too soon after the Chicago Marathon and I didn't have any idea how I'd feel. Turns out I was physically able to run but by the time I decided to sign up the races were sold out.

The year before I believe I was out of town a conference.

But this year the stars finally aligned and I was able to sign up and run the Frank Lloyd Wright 10K on Sunday.

The start of the race is just a hair over two miles from my house. Since the race didn't start until 8:45 AM and I needed to get in a long run this weekend (you know, with that pesky Las Vegas marathon hanging over my head) I decided to run to the race as my warm-up and to get some extra miles in. After the race I made plans with Maribeth to run a few more to get us up to 12 miles.

The first part of my warm-up miles was rough. My legs felt like concrete and I felt a little woozy. Not a good sign, I thought. I guess I pushed it too hard on Friday? Too much walking around a jewelry and accessory expo the day before? Who knows. Thankfully I started to feel a little better during the second mile.

I wore my OPRC tank top, my arm warmers and shorts. To keep warm during my warm-up I threw on the tech shirt I got from that 5K last weekend. I was drenched in sweat by the time I got to the race so I shoved the t-shirt in the goody bag and tossed it into gear check.

Because there was no need to carpool to a race in our own town, the OPRC group didn't really seem to meet up like usual. But I ran into a few people and chatted before the race. After a few half-hearted stretches and one last bathroom break I headed over to the start line. While I was cold standing there in just my tank and arm warmers I knew I'd be warm enough in a mile or two.

Jason cheered for me as the horn sounded and we were off. Based on Friday's run at lunch I knew I could hold an 8:30 pace for almost 5 miles. I figured why not go for that?

The first mile felt okay.

I passed the clock right at the 8:30 mark. Perfect. I skipped the water station at 1.5 even though I was starting to get warm and I could feel the salt starting to build up on my face. Not a good sign.

The arm warmers became mostly forearm warmers at that point and I just focused on making it to the next water station near mile 3. When we got there I stopped and grabbed some water and walked for a few seconds. Hey, I figured it worked at the Chicago Half Marathon, why not here? Miles two and three were sub-8:30 so I knew I had some time in the bank.

Near mile four we apparently went up what passes for a hill around here and at the time I saw Jason again. He and Coach Holly's husband were cheering for us. "It's downhill from here!" they shouted. I gave them a small wave but basically felt like death. My legs felt like they were coated in wet cement.

I stopped for water at the next aid station and willed myself to keep going. Mile 4 felt like the longest mile of my life. I can't believe I still kept up my close-to-8:30 pace!

When we FINALLY reached the mile 5 marker I kept telling myself we only had a mile left. My legs weren't having any of it, though. That last full mile was really rough and when I passed Jason close to the finish line I couldn't even manage a thumbs up.

I could see the finish line, though, and knew I only had .2 left. That's less than once around a track. I pushed myself as hard as I could and, of course, Coach Holly screaming at me that I'm a sprinter gave me a little extra oomph at the end.

I really couldn't believe my eyes at the finish line clock, though. My previous PR from last year's Lincolnwood Turkey Trot was 54:08. I had a feeling I could beat that since I'd already run longer distances at a pace faster than that one. But I had no idea I'd finish in 52:41 for an 8:29 pace!

I'm a little irritated that I couldn't keep that last mile closer to 8:30 (it was 8:45), but in the grand scheme of things, I managed to hit my overall goal pace right on the nose!

And then went on to run another almost 4 miles as a cool-down. I had Jason come pick me up in the car, though. I didn't feel up to running home.

The only downside to this race is that my left knee stiffened up immediately after crossing the finish line and took almost two miles of our cool down to loosen up again. Guess I'll need to wear my knee brace more often.

But with this race I've now PR'ed in every distance so far this year and I think I'm running some really smart races. Fun, fast, and educational. Yeah, I think that sums up a good race.

Frank Lloyd Wright 10K by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details