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North Shore Turkey Trot - 5k - Run

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Highland Park, Illinois
United States
RAM Racing
24F / -4C
Total Time = 17m 24s
Overall Rank = 11/2330
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 2/91
Pre-race routine:

Colombian empanadas are so good....and so bad. I normally eat a bland dinner before all races big and small (white/brown rice with black beans seasoned only with salt). I also only drink water (except for one cup of coffee pre-race) for 24 hours before all races. I had been doing well with my vegetarian efforts this past week and it had been 4 days since I last had meat, and that was a bit of chicken. I was doing good...and then my girlfriend invited me to eat with her family for dinner. They had Colombian empanadas stuffed with beef and potato. Holy Moses...I ate 3 and washed it down with an adult beverage. Then they brought out the pastries. My pre-race routine was ruined in a sea of delicious, greasy, sweet foods. After getting home, I tried to make up for it by putting down some oatmeal fortified with chia, nutritional yeast, and flax. It led to a night full of tossing and turning with many hours when I thought everything I ate was going to come shooting back out. I made it through...after going to the bathroom 3 times in the morning. I was only able to put down one piece of bread (usual 2) with just honey and unsweetened hot tea instead of coffee. I had already adjusted expectations for this race from a previous goal of 18:30 to sub 19:30. I wasn't feeling well. If only I knew then about the magic that Colombian empanadas bring to runners...
Event warmup:

Cold. I went into this with the intention of racing this hard. I decided to get into it and see how I felt. Due to the cold temperatures, I decided to wait for awhile to start my warm-up. About 4 minutes of light jogging and 3-4 strides later, I was finding my way into the corral.
  • 17m 24s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 05m 37s  min/mile

I wanted to start in the 2nd row, but got into the corral too late as I was trying to stay warm outside of the corral. My stomach wasn't feeling too good anyway, so I figured I'd just start and see how it goes. The horn went off and I quickly started to pick my way around the people who start quick. I was weaving for a few hundred meters and then found open road on the left side. I fell into a stride that felt quick and tight. I've found this works best for me when I try to go fast as opposed to trying to stretch my stride. I was consistently passing people. Turned the first corner very well. Right as I was passing two guys running together, I looked to my left and there was a doe not 10 feet from us. Just watching. Neat experience during a race. I kept up the pace and started to settle into this rhythm to see what the 1 mile split was. The clock said 5:40. I was a little surprised but felt good, so I decided to keep it up.

The second mile was setting my sights on people ahead of me and catching them. It got progressively harder to catch people as I went on. I set my sights on a guy in a red shirt about 100 m ahead. There were a few people on the way to him. I saw a tight turn coming up and a younger racer going into it. He didn't take it well and I used the opportunity. I hit the corner fast and went through it without slowing down a bit. I passed him no problem. Came through mile 2 split at 10:46. I'm not sure I believe that I did ile 2 in 5:05, but I'll take it.

Mile 3 was the least exciting as I didn't pass many people and just tried to catch the guy ahead of me. I was getting close and thought I had enough left to get him. We turned the last corner into the 1/4 straight into the finish and I decided to go after him. I turned the kick on and started closing. When I was about 10 m away, he turned his kick on and he had more left than I did. I knew I had a good time in the bag and was pretty sure I was top 5, so I let him go. I didn't have enough left. I crossed in 17:24. Way better than my hope of around 18:00 on a good day and sub 19:00 given my conditions. Not only that, it was cold (22) with a very cold wind. Bad conditions and not feeling good, 17:24 is GREAT!! I decided to check results later. I knew I wasn't top 3, but certainly 17:24 had to be good enough for top 10, my actual, big time goal for the race.

I went on with my day. Had great Thanksgiving lunch with friends and family. Took a nap and ate pie. Two long car rides later I got home.

Then I checked official results. 11th overall. I was shocked. My honest goal was top 10 and I figured that 17:24 was for sure top 10, probably top 5. 11th. I should be very happy. Afterall, my time at this race last year in better conditions was 19:49, so I dropped almost 2:30 from my 5k time in a year. But 11th. The top 3 were all under 16. Last year, a 17:24 would have been 3rd OA. I got unlucky with a fast group this year, but I really wanted that top 10 OA. This is important to me because part of the reason I race is for a healthy outlet to my competitive side. If I don't race, it spills into other parts of my life and it isn't always pretty. I'll be back at this race next year with a goal of under 17:00 for a definite top 5 spot.

I learned that I need to start racing more aggressively. I need to go out with the leaders and stick with them. I think I'm a good enough runner to do that and I need to start pushing myself. At the end of this race, I felt like I had some gas left, so running with the leaders would help push that.
What would you do differently?:

- Get to the front of the corral and go with the leaders (I need to believe that I'm a good enough runner to do that)

- Don't eat Colombian empanadas and pastries the night before

That's it. I ran a good race, just would have liked to have finished with a higher placing.
Post race
Warm down:

Got Apple Pie, drank Chocolate Milk, waited for the girlfriend to finish (who also got a huge PR!! AWESOME!). Went home and went to Thanksgiving.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not going out with the front pack.

Event comments:

I like this race. It's fun and a good way to start Thanksgiving. I'd do it each year.

Last updated: 2013-11-27 12:00 AM
00:17:24 | 03.1 miles | 05m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/91
Overall: 11/2330
Performance: Good
Course: Several turns through a typical North Shore neighborhood of Chicago suburb.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2013-11-29 9:58 AM

User image

Waukegan, IL
Subject: North Shore Turkey Trot - 5k

2013-11-29 10:32 PM
in reply to: #4906052

Northern IL
Subject: RE: North Shore Turkey Trot - 5k

Nice running! This race definitely does draw a decent crowd and has been getting a bit bigger & faster. Think a slight downhill at the start tends to throw a lot of people off for pacing too.

2013-11-30 8:49 AM
in reply to: brigby1

User image

Waukegan, IL
Subject: RE: North Shore Turkey Trot - 5k

That downhill definitely leads people to go out too fast. It got me last year.

I'll have to start with and stick with the leaders next time instead of starting a few rows back and hunting people down.
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