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

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lincolnwood Turkey Trot 5K Race Report

In 2009 and 2010 I ran the Lincolnwood Turkey Trot 10K and loved it. I've set two 10K PRs at this race AND I get the opportunity to indulge in post-race pancakes with my work running group buddies.

This year I was torn between running the 10K and the 5K. I'd already PR'ed at the Frank Lloyd Wright 10K this year but I'd be thwarted at all of my 5K PR attempts since February.

In the end, I decided to make that 5K my bitch. I registered the morning-of, which is one of the things I love about this race. They have all the perks of a big race (including expensive professional photos this year!) but all the atmosphere of a low-key race.

My only concern was my knee. I didn't want to push it too hard and prolong my ITB issue. I mean, I do have a marathon in two weeks.

But I just couldn't pass up running this race and seeing what I could do.

I met up with some of my lunch time running group and we decided to do a warm-up. Well, their version of a warm-up is a little different than mine. They did about a quarter mile and called it a day. Uh, I thought, that's not going to work for me.

So I handed off my jacket to Jason and took off for another mile or so. I didn't have a lot of time, though. The race started at 8:45 and it was already 8:30.

I managed one more mile. It wasn't an encouraging mile. I picked it up towards the end at the 8:30 pace didn't feel so hot. How was I ever going to hold an 8:00 minute or faster pace for the race?

By the time I got to the start line I had to weave my way through people to try and find a good starting spot. Of course, it doesn't really matter since the first half mile or so of this race is always crowded. I spent most of it dodging people.

When my watch beeped at the Mile 1 marker I looked down to see 7:58. Hmmm, I thought. That might have been too fast. But maybe I can see if I can do all three miles in times that start with 7s. That would be a first for me. Why not?

I saw Jason shortly after the mile marker and threw him my arm warmers. Even though I'd been freezing at the start line at this point I almost wished I was wearing a tank top.

The 10K runners split off and I realized how happy I was to be running a 5K. I only had two more miles left and they had 5!

By the way, 3.1 miles feels really short when you've been training for a marathon.

I saw Jason again near the two mile mark but barely even looked over at him. I was really trying to push myself. It worked and I ran mile two in 7:50.

Just one more mile, I thought to myself. You've probably got a PR in the bag if you don't lose it during this last mile. 8:00 minutes. That's all. You can do anything for 8:00 minutes.

At one point I glanced down at my watch and saw my current pace in the 8:30 range. Nope, I thought. Not gonna work. You need to speed up. I'd fallen into the trap of just running and not pushing myself. So I pushed.

With a quarter mile left to go I felt like I was going to puke. A woman in front of me was shouting to her running companion, "Come on! Almost there!" Since he was running next to me I turned to him and said, "Are you gonna let her beat you? Go on!" The fact that I was able to do this tells me I wasn't running hard enough. Good to know.

Still, I rounded the corner to the finish line and pushed a little harder.

Final finish time? 24:32! A 22 second PR and good enough for 5th in my age group (and, yes, there were more than 5 people in my age group).

So the Lincolnwood Turkey Trot keeps its place as a PR race for me. But this year I didn't get my post-race pancakes. I got post-race matzah ball soup instead. And some of Jason's blueberry pancakes. What can I say? I like pancakes.

Lincolnwood Turkey Trot 5K by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details