Hey guys! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, got to spend some time with loved ones and got to eat some yummy food!
I love the idea of doing a race on Thanksgiving morning. In fact, I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that Thanksgiving is the most popular running holiday of the year. I definitely wanted to take part in that … so yesterday I ran the Turkey Trot for Hope in Mobile. Here’s a
Daniel told me that if I got ready early enough, we could stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way across the bay. My husband bribes me with coffee to promote punctuality, and I’m not sad about it. The Christmas joy cups are officially out and I was pretty excited! This is Daniel’s, “Seriously honey?” face.
Like I was saying, we got to the race early and had plenty of time to get my number, meet up with some friends and get a good warm up in. Daniel didn’t run the race, but he ran the warm up and cool down with us. We got a team picture before the race.
It was a beautiful day! The weather was a tad bit on the warm side, which doesn’t make for perfect race conditions, but it wasn’t too bad. I think it was probably mid-sixties at the start. The race started right at eight o’clock (actually it was 7:59) and we were off.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into this race. I am a little less than one month out from the marathon, so I didn’t know how my legs were going to react to a race effort. Apparently my coach had a pretty good idea of what to expect though. He told me that he wanted my goal pace range to be between 6:00-6:05 per mile and was expecting me to run in the mid to upper 18s.
Spoiler alert: I averaged exactly 6:00 and ran a 18:43.
I ran the first mile in 5:53, which was a tad too aggressive. It is really difficult in a 5K not to get sucked into a quicker pace that you really want to at the start. This was a decent sized race for Mobile (just under 1,200 participants) and so the start was super crowded. I was by myself a good bit during the race and so I just kept trying to catch the pack in front of me.
I eventually settled into a good pace and came through the second mile at 6:00 flat. At this point I knew I was in first place for the girls and my main goal was to catch the turkey in front of me. Seriously. There was a man running in a full-blown turkey costume. This isn’t him, but this is the costume he was in (just so you can get a good mental image here).
I can’t even imagine how he was doing it! It was really warm and I am fairly certain the costume was fleece-lined. I was super impressed with his effort, but definitely didn’t want him to beat me. I passed Mr. Turkey somewhere in the last mile.
I fell off the pace a little bit after that and finished with a 6:07 third mile and 0:43 seconds for the last 0.1. I knew I had first placed locked in and I caught the turkey, so I felt like my work here was done.
The race benefits Camp Rap-A-Hope, which is a local organization that provides year-long programs and a week-long summer camp to children between the ages of 7 and 17 who have, or have ever had, cancer. This is such a wonderful organization and I am so glad that they had such a good turnout to support their cause! The kids make the medals, which is really special. I love unique awards like that. I also got an apple pie the size of a small child.
I ended up first place female and seventh overall. I was pretty pleased with my time! I ran a 5K a little less than a month after New Orleans last year and ran a 19:45, which was over a minute slower than this race, so I feel like my overall fitness level has improved. I really like to be able to see tangible improvements from one training cycle to the next.
I haven’t really done any speed work post-NYC marathon, so this was a good time to get some in and it will give us a good starting point to gauge my paces for upcoming workouts.
After the race we got cleaned up and headed to my grandmother’s (apple pie in tow) for a wonderful Thanksgiving afternoon with the family.
After we ate, it was (obviously) time for a little post-turkey nap.
I feel like I have so much to be thankful for, not only on Thanksgiving Day, but also on every other day of the year. Thanksgiving can be somewhat of a bittersweet holiday for me, as that is when the attack happened (10 years ago today, actually), but it also a wonderful reminder to just be thankful.
Every day is a blessing. There will be days that might not feel like blessings (and that is okay), but those days make you stronger and more appreciative of the other days. Happy (late) Thanksgiving y’all! Talk to you soon!