This year’s Turkey 10 went a little bit different from how it has in the past. You can read my recap from last year’s race here. Seeing as how several of us (at least 5 for sure) are training for the First Light Marathon (FLM) in 8 weeks, we decided to revive a tradition that only a brave few have dared in the past, the Turkey 20 miler. It is only in the throes of marathon training that a runner would dare to attempt such a feat. I, myself, have done it once before (circa 2012), also in preparation for FLM. Others in the group have done it many a time, but they are far braver than I.
We spent what felt like ages (i.e., weeks) discussing our plans for this event. We planned to get to the race about an hour and a half before it started, to run the course “easy” beforehand and then to run the race at or close to goal marathon pace. This was definitely a key workout in our training and I was looking forward to it. We all talked about it a good bit over the last few weeks and the hype had me … well, hyped.
I was equally as excited about my new turkey socks! Although I must say, I am a tad disappointed that they aren’t symmetrical. I don’t know if I just got a bad pair or this is how they are supposed to look. Either way, it’s not a big deal and they are still super cute!
We got started on our first 10 miles at 7:00 a.m. The race started at 8:30 a.m., so this gave us an hour and a half to get our 10 miles in and hopefully have a minute or two to go to the bathroom, take a gel, get some water, etc. before the actual race started. It was 75 degrees and humid for the run. What the what?! The weather has not been cooperating for races recently. We’ve actually had some really chilly mornings (like today for instance … it’s 35 degrees), but it is NEVER chilly on race day. One of these days it will be. If I say that enough, hopefully it will be true at some point.
The 10 mile “warm up,” if you will, went by fairly quickly and with no major issues. We averaged 7:56 pace for the first 10 miles. We didn’t have much time at all once we got back to the start to get ready for the actual race. I did manage to take a gel and hit the bathroom (it was essentially a sprint to the bathroom and a sprint to get to the start line on time … that was probably the fastest I ran all day). I *attempted* to make some UCAN gels the evening before the race, but I don’t think that I got the ratio of powder to water quite right. I put the gels (which were basically just liquid) into plastic baggies and I just bit the corner of the bag to take the gel. In theory, this seemed like a good idea, but in practice, I wasn’t a fan of the plastic baggie method. I’ve got a 22 mile long run coming up and I might try again (using a different recipe and a different container).
As far as the race itself goes, my plan was to run as consistently as possible, somewhere in the 6:45 to 6:55 range. Rather, that was my plan in ideal conditions, but 75 degrees and humid is less than ideal for a race in November. Daniel ran the first 7 miles of the race with me, which was lovely. We talked a little bit, but not a ton. It was just nice to have someone there to work with. We stayed pretty consistent for those 7 miles. Our splits were 6:58, 6:54, 6:59, 6:59, 6:56, 6:56 and 7:04. I started to fade at mile 7 (17 for the day), but Daniel felt good and I wanted him to go on ahead.
I definitely faded, but it wasn’t a total crash. The last three miles were 7:10, 7:19 and 7:08. In the moment, I was a tad disappointed that I wasn’t able to keep it under 7:00 pace, but after thinking about it a little bit more, I’m okay with it. My average pace for the race was 7:02, which is not far off from where I ultimately want to be on race day. I still have 8 weeks to get to that point too. I have to remind myself sometimes that I am where I am, not where I want to be … yet! That’s why we train!
After the race I was a little dizzy and light-headed, which is not good. Once I got something to eat and got some electrolytes in, I felt fine. We headed over to the after party (a pot luck style holiday party) and stuck around until we got our awards. Our group was 4 out of the top 5 men and I ended up as the first female, so I’d say it was a pretty good day!
I always enjoy this race and this year was no exception! Doing the race as the last 10 of a 20 mile run definitely takes the stakes up a little bit. We all put in some solid work and I know that will pay off in January!