Monday, November 22, 2021

Lincolnwood Turkey Trot 2021 10k Race Recap

After a hiatus of a few years, I was once again running the Lincolnwood Turkey Trot. My training comprised of thrice weekly runs and seven times a week (2x day) long dog walks.

I've run this race eight times before, so it was an annual tradition of yore that I'm restarting. The itch to race is too great despite the lack of training. I enjoy strategizing pace, racing, and ultimately trying my best at a race regardless of how much or little training I put into it. Part of the fun for me is determining where my fitness is at the moment and then come up with a pace per mile that corresponds to that fitness so I don't leave time on the table by running too slowly. Conversely, I don't want to overdo it and run some "painful" positive splits. As for a race plan, my only fitness marker was 7:45 mile splits for my 5k over a month ago. So, I figured an 8:00/mile pace would probably be doable for a 10k. However, I hadn't run a solid 6.2 miles in a row in over 14 months, so that was a wildcard going into the race.

The weather wouldn't really be a factor however. Sometimes the temps for this race are in the teens. Luckily it was in the 40s for this one with a light drizzle before the race. For the first race since last year I wore a long sleeve technical shirt instead of a singlet. It would probably end up costing me a few seconds but since I was running this race for fun and not a PR, I was hardly concerned about the aerodynamics of my outfit.  My strategy for the race can best be summarized in my goals/checklist.

I hadn't picked up my bib during the week, so I needed to get to the race a few minutes for packet pickup. I left the house at 7:50am for the 8:45am start. 15 minutes after leaving home, and after a slight detour because of street closures, I scored a street spot. With about thirty minutes left, I slow jogged over to the bib pick-up line. I got my bib and shirt and made my way back to the car. Erica and I spotted each other and we said hi to each other. She was headed towards the race and I was headed back to the car. Once I made it back at the car, I pinned on my bib and sat in the warm car for a few more minutes. Then it was off to the porta-potties then the start line. The national anthem was sung and we were off!

Start of the race from a bygone year (src)

The Race
Mile 1: I lined up in the 8:00/mile section of the corral and we headed out. I spotted Erica ahead, and I wanted to catch up to her but she was too speedy and I was trying to keep my first few miles slow. Eventually, I joined up with the 8:00/mile pace group. Yes they had pacers for the 10k!  8:01/mile.

Mile 2: The only notable part of this stretch was that a guy wearing underwear (and nothing else) ran by me. I think he was doing the 5k, and I'm pretty sure I've seen him before. I believe he runs by his house and embarrasses his kids who are out in front of his house cheering him on. 8:06/mile.

Mile 3: Other runners in the 8:00/mile group were breathing kinda hard for it only being mile 3. I think the pacer was winded as well. They seemed to be slowing and running a 8:15/mile pace, so I separated from them and went out ahead. 7:51/mile.

Mile 4: We were briefly joined by the 5k walkers. This is the perennial problem with the LWTT: The 5k walkers and 10k runners meet up a few times during the race. Oh well, what can you do? 7:40/mile.

Mile 5: I eventually spotted Erica ahead and was slowly gaining on her. At an out-and-back section she saw me and we shouted encouragement to each other. I had been biding my time until mile six to really turn on the jets since my goal was to make mile six my fastest. Almost there. 7:27/mile.

Mile 6: I hit the jets, just as I hit the five mile marker, and started my dash to the finish. This is the best part of any race for me. Still having gas in the tank and feeling strong. Started picking off runners as I weaved through the 5k walkers. 7:16/mile.

Mile 6.29: My legs were holding up remarkably well and I gave it all I had, albeit without a ton of training, my jets were slower than normal. I hit the finish line with my hands overhead and I was done!  7:02/mile.

Race Summary: 
  • Official time: 48:23. Official pace: 7:48/mile
  • Overall Place: 87th out of 396
  • Age Place: 8th out of 26 
  • Slowest 10k in a long time, but considering the low running miles in training, and the fact I finished the race without walk breaks - I'll take it!
I picked up my finisher medal and banana, then headed over to the post-race tent which was overly packed with people. With no masks available, I think I made a wise decision and instead of entering the tent, headed back to the car. 

Race Takeaway:
I'm happy to have run an entire 6.2 miles without stopping, especially since my training didn't involve any stretches of more than two miles without a walk break. I think my fitness is improving and I'll have to decide if I want to step up to run a half marathon this winter. I'll take a few days of rest before I decide on my winter running plans.

Next up:


  1. Looks like you still got it, my friend!!! Congrats!

  2. Congrats on a strong race Pete and look at those negative splits! Gotta love the ability to turn on the jets at the end!

  3. Sounds like you had a terrific race! And I'm with you - nothing like the feeling of finishing a race feeling strong and fast. Nice work! And happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Thanks Erin. Yes, I think that should always be my primary race goal - finish strong! Happy (belated) Thanksgiving to you as well.