Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Perfect 10 & Turkey Trot

Last weekend I had two races.  I never race (or even run) two days out of the weekend.  However, I had signed up for the Navy Pier Perfect 10 months ago and this happened to fall the same weekend and my Tinley Park Turkey Trot 5k.  At the last minute, I decided to sign up for the TT and compete in both, figuring I'd try my best on the Perfect 10 (10 miles) and run easy the next day at the Turkey Trot.

Perfect 10
The Perfect 10 had a 10k and a 10 mile run.  The 10 mile run was supposed to start at 7:30 and the 10k run was supposed to start at 7:45.  I carpooled with a few F'N Runners from my house to the race.  It took us no time at all to get there and we arrived at 6:30, an hour before the run.  Since most races are not at Navy Pier, we just all wanted to make sure we got there and parked in enough time. 

The weather that weekend was supposed to be warmer than it had been.  In fact, it was supposed to be in the mid-60's Saturday (which apparently was drastically different than the weekend before when I was on vacation but a bunch of my friends did the hot chocolate run).  I decided to wear shorts and a t-shirt (with arm sleeves).  I almost wore a tank top but deciding we would be by the lake and it might be windy, I stuck with the short sleeve shirt.  We were able to wait inside Navy Pier, which was a nice change but decided to take a walk outside to see if we even wanted to wear the arm sleeves we all had.   We stepped outside and it was windy and cool so we decided to keep them on instead of gear checking them to be safe.  We had someone snap our photo.

F'N Runner Carpool Group
(L-R: Kim, Melissa, Me, Maggie)
About 15 minutes before the 10 mile run was supposed to start, there was an announcement that both runs would be delayed 30 minutes (10 mile starting at 8:00 and 10k starting at 8:15).  At first we thought we heard it was parking related.  After the run, they said on their facebook page it was because a vendor didn't show.  Whatever it was, we were all a little irritated.  If it was parking related, people should have been more prepared and gotten there early.  I have little patience for people that don't think. 

While waiting, I realized I was hungry.  I had eaten oatmeal before I left around 5:15, and a banana when I got to Navy Pier (around 6:30).  I figured for a 10 mile run, I really wouldn't need much else.  But now the race wasn't supposed to start until 8:00, which didn't make my stomach happy.  It was growling a little and that was making me nervous.  I tried to calm myself down, it's only a 10 mile run. I live even if I'm a little hungry.  I had brought only 1 GU with me for during the run, around mile 5.

We set out to the start line and I lined up in the 9:00 minute pace group because it was right there.  My plan was to PR, which I figured should be relatively easy barring no major issues.  I only ran one 10 mile run, which was Soldier Field in May this year and due to iron issues, my time wasn't great for me and I came in at 1:44+ (10:29 pace).  I knew I could probably do a 10:00 pace for an average.  To push myself, I wanted to try for a 9:45 pace which would bring me in at about 1:37+.  I did a half this year and averaged 9:53 so I thought this might be doable but still challenging and not easy.

The run started and about 30 seconds in, my garmin completely looses satellite (it wouldn't register even a wrong number).  I don't know why as I usually get satellite at Navy Pier (I've run down Navy Pier when running after work sometimes).  Luckily I'm not hugely dependent on my watch like some people and am pretty good with rolling with unexpected things during a race.  However, my garmin didn't resume any satellite until almost mile 2 and it was wrong until at least mile 2.  This was only a problem because I didn't really know how fast I was running. 

After the first mile marker, I manually lapped my garmin and realized it was a 9:25 pace, slightly too fast for me to maintain for a long run.  I was immediately hot and rolled down my arm warmers half way through the first mile.  When I got to the second mile marker, I was still running sub 9:30's (as I manually calculated by the clock I passed).  During the 3rd mile, I tried to slow down.  It was hard to know exactly because my watch was still crazy so I had to just try to guess that I was running slower.  I think I was and maybe had a 9:40 pace for the 3rd mile (?). 

After than it got rough.  I was winded and having a slightly hard time breathing.  I have noticed some breathing issues lately in my runs but figured it was nothing.  I am also trying to not jump the gun and assume it's iron related like before, although it has been 3 months since my last test and they did lower my iron supplements the last time, so I'm thinking about having it retested just to be sure before it gets really bad.

With all that said, I started struggling a little before mile 4.  I saw a fellow Yankee Runner that I've trained for my marathons with around mile 4 and we chatted for a few minutes.  She asked how I was doing and I just shrugged my shoulders.  I didn't want to say that I was not having a particularly good run at that moment because I was hoping it would change and get better.  I just told her I was hungry and feeling low on energy but trying to hold off on taking gu until mile 5.  All of the water stations just said water but I realized that a few had powerade.  I didn't take any from the one station I noticed it from thinking I could just get it later (that was a stupid thought by the way).  I let my Yankee Runner friend go ahead (she was running with a friend and seemed to be doing good). 

I was starting to having tons of negative thoughts around mile 4.5.  I wished it was only a 5 mile run.  I wished I had just signed up for the 10k.  I thought how much I hated out and back courses.  I felt really hot.  I just kept trying to push out those thoughts.  It's only a 10 mile run.  I can do it.  Regardless, I should be able to PR.  Just keep running.  Your legs feel good. 

Ok...it's really draining to constantly be fighting with yourself in your mind while running!  Mile 5 came, I ran around the cone, and took a gu.  It was a new flavor that I had been afraid to try for a while (Cherry Lime) but it was really delicious actually!  Ok...second half was off to a good start!

I had wanted to walk now since mile 4 but had been trying to fight it and not walk for the entire race.  About mile 7 though, I finally caved and told myself that I could walk but ONLY for 30 seconds and I'd have to start running again.  So as the 30 seconds were up, I almost tried to convince myself that a longer walk would be ok, but practically screamed at myself to start running!  Hey, whatever you have to do to get through a run.  While running, I started telling myself, "You are doing great! Just keep running!"  lol.  Ugh...

This run was starting to not be any fun.  I couldn't wait until it was over.  Some around mile 7, we ran into the 10k walkers.  It pretty much wasn't much of a problem, thankfully (until the end).  Mile 8 came and I said only two miles left!  I tried to pick it up but really don't think I did much.  My watch was working but I had screwed it up somehow and it was pretty useless at this point!  Mile 9 came and I thought I could do anything for 1 mile!  And i just repeated that over and over..."You can do anything for 1 mile, you can do anything for 1 mile..."  Then I started thinking that it sounded strange and thought, "What can I do for 1 mile?  Can I rollerblade for 1 mile?  Probably although it would not be pretty.  Can I dance for 1 mile?  That sounds stupid...you don't dance for a distance!"  Seriously, I was thinking all of this during the last mile!  My mind must have been going crazy!

And then there was Navy Pier!  I couldn't have been happier!  But to get there, walkers and tourists were blocking the path and I had to run up on the grass nearly missing a big boulder.  Then running into Navy Pier...there wasn't an area blocked off for the runners. So we were dodging tourists and walkers and runners that finished.  It was pretty awkward.  People were looking at us like, "What is going on here?"     But even after all that, I didn't mind the run in itself.  Yes, there were issues with the race that I would liked to have been different but overall it was ok.  I was just mentally struggling with myself.

Right after I finished, my friend Melissa saw me and came up to me.  I told her I needed some powerade and food now.  I was so out of energy and hungry at this point.  I met up with my other friends and we snapped a couple of photos.

The group after the run
Blogger meetup (we missed some people in all the chaos)
The medal
I was pretty disappointed in myself afterwards.  Yes, I knew I PR'd.  At the time, I didn't even care. I was disappointed that I knew I was off of the 9:45 pace (1:37+ time).  Although I thought I came in somewhere around 1:39-1:40.  I should have been happy with that.  It wasn't THAT far off my goal.  But I was disappointed in how miserable I was throughout the run.  I was disappointed in the fact that I allowed myself to walk (for that 30 seconds).  I was being incredibly hard on myself.  I want to be a "fastie" like some of my friends.  They run and it looks effortless.  It seems they have great runs all the time.  Now, I do know that that isn't true.  But I wasn't being the most logical person at that point.

My official time was 1:38:58 (9:54 pace).  I was shooting for a 1:37+ so I was only about 1.5 minutes off of my goal time.  Seriously not a bad time at all for me and I should have been happy with it.  I'm "ok" with it now and happy that I PR'd.  I shaved about 6 minutes off of the 10 mile time I had from earlier in the year, which means progress.  Can't be mad at that.

Tinley Park Turkey Trot 5k

The Tinley Park Turkey Trot 5k is a local 5k right in my neighborhood. The course runs right past my house and in fact, it's the 5k that I have my current PR on.  They have since changed the course and I wish they would have left it alone!  I was  able to walk from my house to the start line, which took me about 8 minutes.  I decided on shorts and a tank top, with arm sleeves for this race.  It was going to be a high near 70 Sunday and I didn't want to be hot like the day before. On the walk there, I was a little cold because it was so windy!  I just can't win! lol.

The day before, during the 10 mile run, around mile 7 I told myself there was NO WAY I was racing the 5k.  And I hadn't planned on it anyway.  I got there, looked around, had someone that I probably should know, come up and congratulate me on my 10 mile PR she saw on facebook.  She is apparently my friend on facebook but I couldn't remember who she was!  I think she may be a Yankee Runner that I train with for the marathon, but all bundled up with a hat, I couldn't figure it out.

While waiting to start, I saw a kid with this shirt on...

The crowd before the start
This is a small local race and there are kids, runners, spouses, older people, walkers, jogging strollers out there.  I placed myself slightly in the middle of the pack so as to not get trampled by the little kids.  The gun went off and off we went.  With all these people out there that don't typically do runs, and all these kids, there really isn't any race edicate (spelling??). It was really crowded with everyone bunched up for the first half mile and I was around a 9:30 pace.  I was still just planning on running easy but after we broke up a little, I noticed my pace had gone to around a 9:20 pace.  So I just decided to try to do my best.  Even though I figured I would not PR (since I've done no training to PR), I thought I would see how close I could get.  My 5k PR is 27:55.  All of my 5k's this year have been over 29 minutes.  So I thought I would be thrilled with anything in the 28's.

Man...I'm not a fast runner!  Trying to hold a slightly faster pace for me is so challenging!  How do you all do it?  According to my garmin, I was holding a pretty steady pace for the 2nd and 3rd miles.  After I crossed the finish line, I went to get food and then get a printout of my time.  My time was 28:47 (9:16 pace).  I was happy with that because it was a PR for the year...although not an overall PR.  Considering I ran 10 miles the day before, I can't complain.  My garmin said 9:20, 9:01, 9:02 for the first 3 miles.  Since it was just slightly ahead (probably due to weaving and stuff), it' s not entirely accurate but it gives me an idea of how my splits went.  I'm trying to figure out what I need to do in order to get a PR.  My PR is 27:55 (8:59 pace).  This was in 2010 and I ran this run very sick (so sick I almost didn't go).  So I have no idea how I did that back then.  I didn't have a garmin so I don't know my splits either.  I'm definitely going to figure out how to work towards PR'ing this for 2013.

So overall, 2 races in one weekend.  They went well even though I can be crazy sometimes.  My next race is the Poultry Predictor in Joliet on Thanksgiving.  It's a 4 mile run.  I'll talk more about this and my other upcoming races in the next post.

Anyone have any tips on getting faster for a 5k?


  1. The best tip I have for getting faster at a 5k is SPEED WORK... Doing all runs, long and midweek, at mostly the same pace will lead to a similar pace on race day. It is easy to start off with Fartleks before working up to a tempo or something like that. I actually started with 400m repeats. (0.5-1 mile warm up, 2x or 3x 400m with 400m recovery, 0.5-1 mile cool down) Seems simple but it really did help me get some initial speed endurance before building up to a tempo run and other types of workouts. We can talk about it more via chat. :)

  2. Do you do speedwork? http://www.magmilerunner.com/2012/04/everything-i-know-about-going-fast.html

    1. Maggie - I wasn't before because I was recovering from injuries. But I started a little and stopped again closer to the marathon. Now that marathon is over, I want to start really incorporating it into my routine. I just have a hard time pushing myself when I'm alone, but I guess I need to start doing it! Big girl panties time!

      I did read that post before of yours but I'll read it again to refresh my memory!

  3. It was great meeting you!!! I would love to get faster as well! Hopefully I'll be able to train a little more in the future to make that happen. Great job on both races!!!

  4. When you get the recipe for a faster 5k, let me know.

    I'm not use to the 5k distance yet, too short haha
    I feel I'm barely getting started when I cross the finish line :(