Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Race Report - 30th Annual Elgin Fox Trot 10 Mile 2007

Hello everyone!
Fox Trot 10 Miler May 28, 2007

Yet another Fox Trot Memorial day. I first did this run as a junior in high school in 1984 and I’ve loved this race ever since. Today was beautiful weather and it was a great day to race J

I did my usual wake up insanely early ( 4:15am ) to put in an easy mile run at my house. This comes from my college days when I saw how the Wisconsin girls (a huge cross country powerhouse at that time for women) would go out and run a few easy miles around the hotel before getting ready for breakfast and leaving for the course. It is great for helping me ease the pre-race tension that usually results in multiple bathroom visits….’nuf said.

During my easy mile at home I could tell the weather was going to be good and my legs felt nice and loose. I was a little worried because the previous week everything felt like a struggle from workouts all the way down to my easy runs.

I went back in, had my light breakfast and put on my racing team uniform and sweats, packed some dry clothes, water bottle, kissed the hubby and the kids goodbye and I left around 5:15am . Half way to the race I realized I totally forgot my racing flats. After hesitating for a second I decided that I was going to have to race in what I had or see if the Dick Pond’s truck had something for me. I then proceeded to try and convince myself that racing in training shoes would be just fine….just in case I had no choice. I got to the race just before 6am , insanely early as usual, just the way I like it! I found the Dick Pond truck, bought myself some racing flats and I was a happy camper. I had a lot of time to sit around and review with myself about what I wanted to get from today’s race, how I was going to start out etc. I mentioned to Kelly and Brian at work that I thought a good day, good conditions would give me about 65 minutes but I wasn’t sure how things were going to play out. My plan would be start out comfortable and then find a steady pace and see how long and how successful I could hold that pace throughout the race. If done right this race could serve as a benchmark for my summer marathon training.

Warm up was good but I didn’t see Kelly or Brian or Paul until I went up to the starting line. It was great seeing them but they left quickly. I met up with Jenny Spangler (‘96 Olympian, former college teammate) while doing strides and we commiserated on getting older and slower. I ran into Derek Olenek and we commiserated on getting older and slower and reminisced on how we had both won this race in the same year back in the 90’s but we couldn’t remember what year that was, funny. I looked around and it seemed like the woman’s field was little loaded especially with Jenny and Suzanne Ryan being there but I reminded myself that place wasn’t my primary goal here. I lined up with Jenny and off we went.

So far so good first mile 6:27. Feeling comfortable. Around mile 3 I hooked up with a group of men that seemed to be steady in the 6:30 ’s and just what I needed. I chatted a bit to get myself into the group and once I was in I let them do all the talking. Four mile mark was off the pace ( 6:41 ) but I hung on with my group and things smoothed out again with the following mile in 6:27 . Miki joined our group in the out and back part. Miki is Jenny Spangler’s husband and a pretty good even paced racer. At the turn around I saw that I was 3rd overall with a lot of women much too close for comfort behind me. My guys made sure I didn’t miss seeing that and I knew I had some work ahead of me. If I could hold on to 3rd my sponsor would pay me a premium for being in the top 3. Unfortunately, all Fox Trot old-timers know what is in store for them in the later parts of the race and I started mentally preparing for facing that while being stalked from behind. I figured if I stuck to my group which seemed to be ready to run 6:30ish for the rest of the week I would be fine. This worked well but the group started to break up a bit as some of them started to dip under 6:30 ’s. I kept them in my sight and Miki plus a few others were still around. Nine mile split was off of pace ( 6:43 ) but that was not unexpected so I just laid out the best last mile I could and finished as 3rd female overall ( 6:14 split 1:05:12 total). The last mile hurt more than I would have liked but I finished over a minute head of 4th so the steady pace earlier probably took care of that and I finished right around what I thought would have qualified as a good race. I waited till later to review my splits on my watch (I didn’t really look at the splits too much during the race) and I was even happier, just what I wanted to see, consistent mile splits in the mid 6:30’s or under (of course expecting some off ones due to hills etc).

Afterwards I thought about all the times I have raced on this course over the last 23 years. I’ve raced here as a teenager, I even broke an hour here just a few weeks shy of turning 18, I’ve raced here pre-marriage, pre-motherhood, and I think I’ve won this darn thing at least 4 times, and I also had a DNF. Those fast times may be gone but I think I’m learning to take away something more from my racing. Something about personal challenge, something about understanding how running and racing fit in with the other loves of my life such as family, something that allows me to group together with complete strangers and support each other over the course such as the men I raced with today, and finally something that is just the love of running and racing. Its all cool!

Thank you Kelly, Brian, and Paul for cheering for me on the out and back. I hear every voice that yells my name during a race and I take that energy even though I may not even look or know exactly who did the cheering, beside you guys were moving pretty fast and I would have missed you anyway! J Special congrats to Paul (“I don’t run farther than six miles”) for finishing his first 10 miler. Kelly works her good influence magic once again as she convinced Paul he could do the race and then personally supported his effort by pacing him step by step! Good run Brian, LOVE your blog and the pictures.

1 - 6:27
2 - 6:30
3 - 6:27
4 - 6:41
5 - 6:27
6 - 6:33
7 - 6:30
8 - 6:36
9 - 6:43
10 - 6:14
total 1:05:12

ORN: 3 miles of slow torture. I felt flat and sore. Not unexpected though.

Peace everyone!
Runner Girl (Janeth)