Friday, December 18, 2009

Valparaiso Turkey Trot 10K Race Report

This report is a bit late (ok, it has been almost a month), but I wanted to at least have something to look back at in the future to remember this race. (I recently read through some of my previous race reports, and it was kinda fun remembering them and realizing just how far I have come).

So, this was my first Turkey Trot…and my first race out of town (was in Indiana visiting the family). The weather was not very cooperative - it was a chilly 35* with flurries at the start with the snow turning to rain by the finish.

This was only my second ever 10K, and my first one was well over a year ago. I have seen many PRs fall since then, and my 10K pace was out of wack compared to my PR times for other race distances, so I was pretty confident that I would be able to get a PR in this race (previous PR was 1:05:19). But my sights were set higher…I was hoping to finish in under an hour.

I had no idea what the course was like. This is not my neighborhood, I have never run anywhere even close to the area, or even remember ever driving in the area (although it is actually only a 20-30 minute drive from the house where I lived the first 18 years of my life). When we got there, my family saw the course map and commented on how hilly it was - umm, really? Well, I am still hoping for under an hour, we will see how it goes.

This was the first race that my parents were able to see me run - when you live a couple states away, it is pretty hard to turn up for these things. Also, my DP and our kids and DP's sister were there. I told them to come out in about 50 minutes to see me come into the finish - assuming the weather was still okay. To be honest, it was a little strange having them all there. I go to most of my races alone since they are usually so early in the morning.

The race start was a bit of a mess. There was both a 5K and the 10K and no one seemed to know which would start first. Originally, there were race officials telling everyone to get in the chute if you are running the 5K…but then they were saying that the 10K was starting first…Huh?? They didn't have any microphone/bullhorn/whatever they typically use to be heard at races, so it was kinda going on word-of-mouth anyway. Finally, shortly before the race was about to start I asked some people in the chute what race they were doing and they said 10K, so I figured I'd go ahead and jump in. Luckily, they were right.

Almost as soon as we got going my left foot got wet…AHHH! I didn't think I could run 6 miles with my toes freezing like they were for that first half mile or so. Thankfully, they warmed up and didn't cause any issues after that. The first 2 miles were pretty smooth sailing. I was cruising at about a 9:20 pace. Then I hit mile 3 and with it all those hills that my family had warned me about. Miles 3-4 were a bit of a struggle, but I just kept pushing myself. I kept reminding myself that it was suppose to feel like I was pushing the pace just a little bit (this was a race after all). My pace slowed down considerably during these couple miles. Mile 5 wasn't bad, I got to rest a bit from all those hills but continued to push consistently. Then came mile 6. Mile 6 was not fun, not fun at all. We turned onto a bigger road which was wider and completely open to the wind, which seemed to have picked up since the start. We were running straight into the wind and up a long gradual hill…then it started raining! I am talking about ice cold rain coming down pretty good (remember, it was just snowing an hour ago, so this stuff was cold). My biggest motivation at this point was to get to the finish line so that I could get out of the weather! Finally, I could hear the crowd at the finish line…then we turned a corner and headed into the parking lot…time for me give it anything that I have left! Unbelievably, the family was actually out in this weather to cheer me in - I waved to them as I passed and heard my daughter to cheering for me "Run Mama" how cute! As I crossed the finish line I knew that I had made my goal and it made that last mile worthwhile.

Race: Valparaiso Turkey Trot
Date: Nov 26, 2009
Distance: 10K
Official Time: 59:04
Average Pace: 9:31
Overall Place: 271/465
Place in Age Group: 17/42

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