Ah… where is that PR?
Today was the 12th Annual Turkey Trot in Apex, NC. It is a smaller race – capped at about 300 runners, I think. There was a competitive division, a “fun run” division and folks who unofficially group themselves as walkers. This race is done in a park that surrounds a lake, which is really nice because the roads are not closed to traffic. The path around the lake is also paved and one that I’ve done many, many times before. There is also someone dressed as a turkey that runs the course with us and the goal is to “beat the turkey”. Afterward, the snacks are catered by Chick-Fil-A (for those of you outside the Southeastern US, it is a chicken fast food restaurant that is veeeerrrryyyy good!). All in all – a great race to run and worth missing the annual Christmas Parade for (Really… what town does their Christmas parade before Thanksgiving??)
I was awake bright and early (6:30) when my older son bursts into my room and says “Hey Mom – get up. It is light outside” (that’s our agreement – they have to stay in their room until it is light outside). I got up with the kids and made some breakfast (my typical oatmeal and peanut butter bagel). It was a bit chilly outside, so I put on my long pants, a long sleeved shirt with a short sleeved over it (it was from another race and I’m a little weird about being all braggy about other races) and my new lightweight fleece. Then, I got the kids ready and thankfully (maybe because they’re finally well rested) they didn’t fight me on the outfit choice today. My Dad agreed to watch them for me while I ran, so I called him to check where he was going to meet us. All was going well until right before Dad got to my house… I couldn’t find my purse! I hunted high and low for that thing for a good 15 minutes, getting more anxious by the second. With only a few minutes to spare, I finally found it (in the ONE room I’ve never put it so I didn’t think to look there).
We were so late… I hadn’t even picked up my packet because I couldn’t make it in time for any of the packet pickup times (they all closed at 5:00 and I couldn’t make it and pick up both kids at the same time). Because we were so late (about 10 minutes before start time) we had to park a good .5 mile away and walk up there. I’m proud of my boys for keeping up with me! When I finally found the registration tables, got my shirt (which I’ve since lost) my bib and chip. I wouldn’t have really cared about those either, except for the fact that I’m collecting them for a scrapbook. I still had to get all my gadgets sorted out (I run with a Nathan quick draw hand-held water bottle, an iPod Nano for music and my iPhone for GPS tracking using Runkeeper – more on Runkeeper in my Tools of the Trade – Runkeeper post.) I did manage to get it all sorted out, but I had to start in the back.
I hate starting in the back.
I’m not the fastest runner – not even in my age group – but I always do better when I am running with faster people. And, lucky for me, there are always faster runners. I don’t usually start on the front line – I’m not quite that stupid – but I do like to start toward the front, off to the right. Starting in the back made me disoriented. Not to mention that, out of the gate, there were several people back there who just decided they were going to walk. And then, there were the stroller runners. Now, I have no right to complain because they were all in the right place – it was me who was not – but I was still kind of annoyed having to run around them.
The crowd back there was thick, but I did manage to get around the walkers and the strollers by the time I got through the first mile. However, by this time, it was starting to get hot and I still had my fleece on (it is light weight but VERY warm). I wasted so much time the first mile getting around people my thought was “I’m not going to waste any more now – tough it out. You have water to replace what you sweat out” and I kept going. Thankfully, I brought water because there was only one station throughout the whole race (I always bring my own now because I never see a table when I need one).
The biggest key to this race was how I felt during it. I have been fighting a chest cold all week and it has frustrated me. The only other days I ran this whole week was a 10k last Sunday (Race Report: Old Reliable 10k) and a 3 miler with my co-worker on Thursday. I felt awful during the first halves of both of those runs so I expected the same today… but, ironically, today’s run I felt great! The whole way. Maybe it was because I HAD to run slower at the start to work around all those people. Maybe it was because I’m starting to kick this cold to the curb. Honestly – it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters to me really is that it felt good for the first time in a while, something I thought about the entire race (see Sophomore Effort for more about the tough runs for me this year).
I finished a hair under 26:00, which I won’t complain about because a lot of folks think that is an outstanding time. It wasn’t my goal (My goal was 25:00 or lower), but considering that I am still fighting this cold, I’m happy with it.
Next 5k, however, my goal stands at 25:00.