Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday was the last race in the CARA Runners' Choice Circuit Competition. While I have earned a few points here and there for my running club, I was mostly running these circuit races to earn a participation award by running 111 kilometers. Since I wasn't running the Chicago Marathon nor several of the half marathons on the circuit I basically had to run almost all the shorter distance races.
Which means I was racing A LOT of weekends.
During the hour+ long drive to the race several of us in the car were expressing our gratitude over this being the last race of the circuit.
Since I'd done so well the previous Sunday at the Frank Lloyd Wright 10K I just wanted to take this race easy. No pressure, no worries, just running it to get the miles.
After we parked the car and picked up our packets I realized just how CHILLY it was. The wind was blowing and it really felt like fall. Perfect for fall-themed race. I was wearing my shorts, tank, and arm warmers and wondered if I'd be warm enough. I did my warm-up 2 miles on the the last bit of the course wearing my wind pants and a jacket. Even then I wasn't super keen on taking either of those things off. But I knew I'd be fine once I did.
I lined up near the 9:00 minute/mile sign and did a few stretches. My hip was feeling a little sore and I'd forgotten to bring my knee brace. "Just six miles," I told myself. "You can do this." My warm-up miles had felt pretty miserable so I hoped the race felt better.
The first two miles were through the town of Sycamore and many of the residents were out cheering. There's an actual pumpkin festival later in the day so quite a few people were already out setting up booths or settling in for the parade. A nice, friendly atmosphere. My zen was broken, though, by a guy who kept trying to get people to talk to him. "I don't talk while I'm racing," one woman finally said. I tried to distract myself by silently chanting those lyrics I discovered on Saturday.
There were a lot of people in costume and I wish I could master the art of taking photos while running. I lined up behind an Eskimo and something yellow (a flapper? A bird? Still not sure) and ended up using them as wind blockers for at least a mile of the race. When you run in the country the wind whips across the fields and was right in our faces for most of miles three and four.
I stopped for water just after the 4 mile marker and lost my Eskimo buddy. Instead I found myself running behind a scarecrow, a cave girl, a fairy, and a guy wearing a shirt that said I <3 Ceilings! His running buddies informed me he was a ceiling fan. Har har. Earlier in the race I'd been behind a guy running in khaki hiking shorts and a cotton t-shirt. I wanted so badly to beat him but once we entered the park and golf course at mile 5 I saw him up ahead of me and knew I didn't want to push hard enough to catch him. Oh well. When we only had a mile left I started really pushing it. I'd been holding back quite well so far but wanted to see what else I could do. My knee felt okay but my left hip was killing me. I really just wanted to be done. I sprinted the last .2 and came in at 53:34. Hey, I guess 53:XX felt left out since my PR skipped over it entirely last week.
I grabbed an ice cold beer at the finish line and basically chugged it. Hey, why not?
I'd like to say "and thus concludes my racing season" but we all know I've got at least one more race on the docket. On to Las Vegas!
Sycamore Pumpkin Run 10K by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details
Sycamore Pumpkin Run 10K Race Report