The 10K isn’t a very common racing distance, is it? Definitely not as common as the 5K! I PR’d at the first 10K I ran, in 2009, and I’ve done eight* of them since then, but only one was (unsuccessfully) a PR attempt. I just don’t run (or especially, race for time) the 10K that much.
So I’ve had a very long standing (6.5 years!) 10K PR of 51:00, and wasn’t planning on doing anything about it this season. But during last week’s training, I had two 5 mile runs faster than my 10K PR pace so I decided to find a 10K to run on Thanksgiving. Why not give it a go? I thought for sure I could break 50:00 minutes, maybe even average 7:45s!
I’m happy I raced – my new 10K PR is five minutes and twenty-four seconds faster: 45:36 (average 7:22 pace)!
Bobbi had told me good things about the Mayor’s Turkey Day Run put on by the Kenosha Running Club a few times, so I chose to run it. The race is CHEAP ($15 pre-registered, $20 at packet pickup) and you can choose to run the 2-mile or 10K distance. I remembered Bobbi telling me how crowded it can be at the start, since the 2-milers and 10Kers run together for the first mile.
Bobbi kindly registered for me (thanks, Bobbi!) at packet pickup Wednesday night (there is packet pickup race morning, but no race day registration). I wasn’t expecting a shirt at all, since the race is $20, and we registered on the later side, but they had some of last year’s shirts left, so they handed them out. Hmm, do I wear a shirt for a race for the year I didn’t do it? I think not. Cute shirt though!
I met Bobbi, her son Jack, and Riyanti** near the Kenosha Museum on race morning. This course starts at the same spot as the Wisconsin Half Marathon and uses some of the same streets***, so I was familiar with it, despite not having run it before. However (Bobbi thought due to size) they changed the course from being a complete out-and-back along the road to Carthage College to a partial out-and-back along that road, then back to downtown Kenosha via a different road.
Riyanti, Bobbi, Jack and me
Bobbi told me I should run with Jack, as he’d just finished cross country season (a month earlier) and was around my pace. Jack and I lined up WAY at the front. I asked the bike guide what side the first turn was on (the right) so I could line up on that side, and try to run the tangents as closely as possible.
I was a bit concerned at the start when we were only a couple of rows in, and behind people dressed in pants and long sleeves, and with their dog… but it all worked out. It was only congested for us for the first few tenths to maybe half a mile, then we found our groove.
I really did NOT want to start out too fast and crap out. That would be too painful for a 10K. I was hoping my first mile would be in 7:45, then negative split from there. Nope. I saw paces in the high 6:00s! GAH! I told Jack I was trying to slow down, and was somewhat successful – first mile was 7:13.
In the first mile, we had a small south turn before heading north for most of the first half. I felt a nasty wind from the south and told Jack that was going to be horrible on the way back – queue ominous foreshadowing, ha!
Jack and I stuck together for the first three miles – he’d gain on the downhills and I’d gain on the uphills. Mile 2 was 7:13 and mile 3 was 7:19. I was happy I wasn’t slowing down much and thought maybe I’d have somewhat even splits?!
Then we turned south. Sigh.
Runner #1649 and I were pushing each other for the last few miles!
It wasn’t horrible at first. Unfortunately, Jack dropped back right before the turnaround (I yelled at him to speed up – “I need you!” – when I saw him, I also saw Bobbi and Riyanti, which was fun). I kept pumping along – my fourth mile was 7:21. A guy and I were tagging back and forth with who was in front, and I asked if he wanted to share wind blocking duties. And I tried, but man, at mile 4.5, we went up this tiny incline that completely gassed me, then it was a straight shot south, in to the 18 mph winds (25 mph gusts) until almost the end of the race. GRRR.
The guy and I kept encouraging each other. And the road flattened out right away, but gah, THAT WIND! I pumped my arms and tried to keep my previous pace, but I slowed down. I started to feel the turn in my stomach, too (no blood tasting cooper mouth, though!). Mile 5 was 7:37, and mile 8 was 7:38. So much for even splits!
I tried to bust my butt for the last .2 (7:19) pace, because I didn’t want to get passed by a woman**** and I thought maybe I had a chance at placing in my age group – nope! I was tenth woman overall (and 57th out of 531 participants), but the winner was in my age group, then there were three women in my age group ahead of me. You never know who will show up! I am excited I placed where I did, and really happy to have a new 10K PR!!!
We hung out for a bit after the race – I cheered Jack in, then we cheered Bobbi and Riyanti in. We chatted a bit after then took off for our separate Thanksgiving celebrations. What a treat to see friends on Thanksgiving morning (then go spend Thanksgiving with friends, as we usually do).
On the drive home, it started pouring rain, and it rained on and off all day. We were lucky that didn’t happen at the race, and that it was overcast and in the low 50s. I suppose I will take that wind over a sunny, hot, day!
And even better – that warm weather melted all 17″ of our snow. I can’t believe it’s gone! It’s almost like it was never here… except I have this photo of it:
I love snow, but… I want to finish marathon training on the trails, before I get stuck to running loops in my neighborhood because the trails have too much snow coverage!
*The three I ran last year were particularly disastrous – besides being out of shape, two were hilly and humid, and the one I was in shape had a wrong turn in it, so it ran long. Ha!
**What a nice surprise to see her!
***Lake Michigan looked beautiful during the race
****I passed a lady after the turnaround and didn’t see any women after that. The woman I passed came in 30 seconds behind me and immediately got on the ground! I encouraged her to get up and move/breathe and she excitedly told me she just ran her fasted 10K since college – cool!