New PR! New PR! That’s right – this weekend at the Lincolnwood Turkey Trot I broke the elusive 50 minute mark for my 10K time! 49:05 Woot! Also, beat the nemesis by slightly over a minute! Also, just checked Athlinks and the nemesis has NEVER broken 50 minutes. Why yes, I am a big stalking stalkery McStalker – what of it? What is amazing to me is how competitive my AG is (and big – instead of the usually 40-44, 45-49 they did a 40-49, so lots of people). I was 10th in my AG, but the 25th woman overall. I just looked at my time from last year and I was about 3 ½ minutes faster this year and my time last year was a PR for 2010 - not too shabby. Here’s the rundown. I almost skipped this race because I was doing it by myself – always a drag. But, I got up out of my warm snuggly bed and had a cup of coffee and a slice of whole-grain peanut butter toast. I had a PRP (you know what that is) and got dressed. I wore Craft capris, a Saucony sports bra (TJ Maxx purchase), a random tank-top chosen because it isn’t cotton and it’s long enough to stay tucked in, a tech half-zip from the Zooma women’s half-marathon, Nike gloves, Balega socks, my Saucony racing flats (it still cracks me up that I even have racing flats), and my iPod shuffle. It was chilly and overcast with some wind but not too gusty. They had free parking that was close - a real plus that you understand all too well if you live in Chicago and run many races, a for once a decent t-shirt (long sleeved tech-t!) where they minimized the super-ugly cartoon turkey that graces all of their shirts. Port-a-potties were plentiful and clean and there was a covered shelter to wait under before the race started.
The race started well – I had managed to get close enough to the front so I could avoid the walkers and slo-pokes yet surely still have people to pass along the way. The first mile went by really quickly – under 8 minutes according to my Garmin. Miles 2 & 3 also clicked off at just about 8 minutes or a little bit over. By this time we had split from the 5K portion of the race and I started to look for people to fix on and then pass as a way to keep my pace up. Somewhere around mile 4 where the course starts making a sort of zig-zag or as I like to call it, a radiator pattern, going up a street for about a half mile, then over a block and back to the main street – repeat three times. I passed a woman in a sports bra and running skirt (OK already – we see your back muscles. Now put on a shirt because you’re making me cold just looking at you!), and then I hung on to a woman in an Evanston Running Club singlet over a long sleeved shirt. I passed her at a water stop around 4.5 – this is where I realized that I was clicking off the miles and hanging on to the ~8/mile pace and if I could keep it up I could beat 50 minutes. Also about then I noticed a running buddy about 10 yards in front me and I knew if I could keep up with her she would pace me in (unwittingly – I didn’t let her know I was behind her) under 50 for sure and I decided then that if it killed me I was going to keep up with her. Luckily she’s a nice runner who keeps an even pace. I stuck to her like glue and tried to keep a little gas in the tank for the home stretch. Just before the finish line there’s a long straightaway and then a right turn into the - I don’t know – last maybe 100 yards to the finish and I could see the clock and I took off. I heard my friend yell my name and it pushed me just a little bit more. I saw the clock turn to 49:00 just before I crossed and I almost started to cry I was so happy. I fully realize that breaking 50 minutes for many runners is no biggie, but we all have our personal goals. I remember when breaking 30 minutes in a 5K or an hour for a 10K were big goals for me, so I know all too well that it doesn’t matter if you are an elite or a middle of the pack runner as long as you’re doing as well as you are able.
Next up I’ve got the obligatory Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot and then the Schaumburg half-marathon over the weekend. While I'd love to PR in the half, realistically I doubt it will happen considering all the running/racing I've been doing so close to this race. A year ago this was my first half-marathon and since then I've run one full marathon, one 20-miler, 5 halfs, 4 10-milers and more than a handfull of 5Ks, 10Ks, and 8Ks. Like I said - I'd love to PR, but I'm just happy with the accomplishments. I have a check-up on the 28th and I can't wait to brag to my doctor!