This was my sixth Lincolnwood Turkey Trot. Today's version had favorable race temps of about 50º, yet the occasional rain made it feel a little colder. Maybe the slate gray Victorian skies kept some people at home as the 10k attendance was down slightly. As I mentioned in my last post, I had no dreams of winning another turkey trophy (due to lack of training), so I was just going to try for a slow start then try to negative split and see if I could eke out a sub-40.
Luckily, I had picked up my bib on my way home from work on Thursday, so I didn't need to get there early for packet pickup. I left the house at 8am for the 8:45am start. 15 minutes after leaving home, I scored a street spot, then waited in my heated car for a few minutes. I soon left the warm confines of my car and went to look for Erin and her husband Jason. After looking for them for a few minutes with no luck, I went over to the start corral and chatted with Lynton K and John B. Lynton mentioned he was not going to go for a super-speedy time since he had done his long run yesterday. John was running the 5k, so we would all just run our own races. Anyway, the starter this year told us to start running on the sound of the horn (since last year no one moved last year when he just said "GO")! The horn sounded and we were off...
Mile 1: Luckily, I started near to the front, so I did not have to weave too much in the beginning like last year. I was trying to hold back, but it's tough when you start with the 5kers. Pace 6:35/mile.
Mile 2: I spotted Lynton up ahead of me about 100 yards away. As we wended our way into the suburban houses of Lincolnwood the 10k split from the 5k (at least until mile 5). I was still on target for my sub-40. 6:30/mile.
Mile 3: We ran into quite a headwind, which I knew would be a tailwind for the final mile or so, so I kept telling myself that I should relax and save some juice for the homestretch. 6:24/mile.
Mile 4: Since the headwind was strong, I tried tucking behind runners to "draft" behind them. Each time I did that however, the runner I was drafting off of was slowing down while I wanted to speed up, so I just kept hopscotching from runner to runner finding a new, faster runner to tuck behind every 30 seconds or so. 6:17/mile.
Mile 5: There is a hairpin turn at this mile around a sawhorse. I was about two paces behind Lynton at this point and started to draft off of him momentarily. Then I passed him on the straight away and he said "nice job" and I said the same to him. Erin's husband Jason snapped a picture of me and cheered me on as I ran past him. 6:16/mile.
|Trottin' around mile 5.5 (credit: Jason)|
Mile 6: There was good news and bad news for the last mile. The good news is that I had a nice tailwind. The bad news is that the next mile ahead was almost wall-to-wall 5k walkers. Many of them walk three abreast and there was no separate lane for the 10k runners who are barreling through. As I gently brushed passed a few 5k walkers, I also passed a few more 10k runners. As we neared the 6 mile marker, my lungs and legs really began to hurt for the first time in a race since my 5k in April. I realized that I was red-lining, but I kept telling myself:
1) I have been through worse
2) There is only a short distance left, and
3) I am capable of finishing this thing off strong. 6:09/mile.
Mile 6.28: Down the homestretch, I saw a guy ahead of me who looked like he would be in my age group, (turns out he was), so my final "reel-em-in" mission was to pass him and hope that I would finish 3rd in my age group and snag a turkey trophy. After weaving around a few more walkers, I was in extreme red-line territory, it felt like I had been holding my breath underwater for two minutes and I still had to hold it for 30 more seconds. I got very close to passing him, but could not close the deal. However, I had a nine second buffer of clock time vs. chip time, so I figured I likely "beat" him since I was sure he started ahead of me because no one passed me the entire race (spoiler alert: I beat him by one second according to our chip times). 5:39/mile.
|My 1st and 3rd place TT trophies|
I almost collapsed after I crossed the finish line, but somehow kept things together and caught my breath after a few seconds. Lynton finished shortly thereafter and John B met us both outside the finisher's chute. Lynton got 2nd in his AG and John B got 3rd. Nice job guys! All three of us went in the post-race tent and grabbed some Little Caesar's cheese pizza and soup courtesy of Lou Malnati's. We talked for about 15 minutes and then Lynton left us to get a free massage/stretch. I will see him again on Saturday for the Schaumburg Half. I said goodbye to John, then went outside and spotted Erin in the finisher's chute and then she, Jason and I walked together back to our cars.
|Erin and Me post-race (credit: Jason)|
Super excited to break 40 minutes on such minimal training. I am apparently still living off of residual marathon fitness. I am happy with my negative splits. It feels fantastic to be able to pour on the speed near the end of a race. Anyway, I would like to stay injury-free this winter and get in some solid base mileage for a marathon PR attempt in the spring. I have not been able to stay injury-free over the last two winters so that will be my goal this winter!
Schaumburg Half Turkey Trot on Saturday!