Who: Me and my sistahs (It’s just more fun when I say it that way…Sis-tahs!)
What: Moritz Ft Worth YMCA Turkey Trot 10k
When: Thanksgiving morning, race time 8:15am
Where: Ft Worth, Texas
What a way to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday! This was my very first Turkey Trot and I can honestly say, I know it will not be my last! There is so much to be thankful for this year and this race just set a fantastic tone for an already spectacular day.
As I’ve mentioned several times before, I’ve really been struggling with my marathon training this year. I just couldn’t seem to get in the groove! When I found out that a dear friend of mine was signed up for the Turkey Trot 5k, I became inspired to sign up too! I needed a deadline. I’ve found that, in my training, if I don’t have a deadline I’m more likely to skip a workout or fart around during my training. I just don’t have the same drive, I NEED a deadline. The Turkey Trot would worked out perfect because they had a 5k and a 10k race. My training schedule had me down for 10k distance around the same time so this would be a perfect bench mark race. I’ve also been experiencing some unusual physical discomfort this training season and I think, in part, it’s due to how relaxed I have been with my runs. I’m not really pushing myself, I’m just kind of running without purpose. That my be hard to understand but if you’re a runner, like me, I know you know what I’m talking about. This race was going to be my wake up call. I figured, if I do really badly, I know that [mentally] it will wake me up. If I do well, then I know I’m right where I need to be and I can begin to focus and stop worrying about falling behind. So with all that in mind, I signed up and put my big girl pants on.
The day before:
In my past experiences, I’ve learned that I run best on race day if I’ve had a practice run the day before. Nothing fancy, just a run to loosen the muscles and wake up my body. I was also very nervous about this calf pain I’ve been experiencing. It happens every year! The last two half marathons I trained for, I suffered from numb feet due to calf pain. I’ve been to the doctor, I even went to an orthopedic doctor and so far they don’t know what it is. I think it’s just my body adjusting to long distances. Kind of like a warm up. Some years it’s not so bad, others I feel like I’m running with a hunk of numb wood on my leg. This year, it’s a hunk of wood. Anyway! I wanted to get out the day before my race and get in a practice run. So far, the longest distance I have run in training is about 5.5miles and I felt pretty darn good that day. So, I set out for a 5mi run the day before race day. Calf ache set in around mile 2 and lasted (and progressed) until mile 4. I stopped every half mile or so to stretch it out but it was no good. Around mile 4 the numbness set in and I began to panic! How am I going to run a 10k if I can barley make it through a 5k without pain?! I completed the 5mi run with an average 12mi/min pace. I felt defeated but I was still optimistic. I had my practice run in and went home to stretch. I spent the rest of the day hydrating and preparing for the Thanksgiving feast that would be happening in my home no more than 24 hours from now. I didn’t have time to worry about my stupid calves or the numb foot. I just needed to mash potatoes and make casseroles! I headed to be around 11pm feeling pretty tired but excited about the next morning.
|Ignore that pace, Garmin has a funny way of tracking pace per CURRENT mile. My final pace was much higher than that.|
I had pre-warned Mr. Doesn’t love to run (the hubs) that I needed to be up promptly at 6am. I had arranged to pick up my Sistah-N race morning and I wanted to have plenty of time to get up, get dressed, and pick her up without running late. My alarm went off at 5:30am….SNOOZE! Ugh, I need a new alarm clock, mine doesn’t work if it has a snooze feature! Mr. Doesn’t love to run gave me a swift kick in the rear when my alarm went off the second time around 6:15a and I immediately jumped out from under the covers to get dressed. It was around 36 degrees out so I layered up for the race, grabbed my ear warmers and gloves and headed out the door. I made it to Sistah-N’s just after 7am. I think she was running behind too, when I called she was still brushing the funk breath out of her mouth. Ha Ha Ha! We piled in the car, bundled up and headed toward the race….WAIT! where are we going?! Neither one of us had an address! We had been given a cross street the day before but I couldn’t pull it up anywhere on Google or Mapquest. I made a quick call to Sistah-C who was already there and she gave us directions and references. Thanks Sistah-C!!! So with that, we headed to the race.
I don’t know what it is about race day and arriving on site but there is just so much energy when you get within a 1 mile radius of a start line. Does anybody else feel that way? You could see all the racers walking down toward the start line with strollers, kids in tow, dogs, tutus, turkey hats and all! It was so much fun. Part of what I loved about this race was the spirit of it. Everyone is just there to have a good time. We found a place to park and headed down the find the family. Sistah-N and I were the only two racing the 10k. Everyone else was doing the 5k so we wanted to get down in time for pictures, hugs, and encouragement. We made it there right before 8am which left us plenty of time to stretch and warm up with the family. Sistah-C and her group had purchased Turkey hats that looked a little more like…um well…not turkeys! The first thing I saw walking up to her was an erect turkey neck complete with dangling skin hanging right in her face! Thankfully she was well aware of the similarity and broke the ice before things got weird but who am I kidding, we’re always weird!
The 10k started 15 minutes before the 5k so Sistah-N and I parted ways with our family and headed to the corrals. It seemed like the line lasted forever! They had two parallel corrals, one for the 10k and one for the 5k and they both went back for about two blocks. We weren’t sure where we needed to be! We just jumped in where we could find an opening and hoped for the best. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones lost, once we got into the corral everyone was asking everyone else what race they were standing in. Eventually we were able to figure it all out and we were, in fact, in right corral but I hope next year they make it little easier to identify. There was so much commotion before the race began that I didn’t even hear the gun go off but before I knew it we were off!
I tried to take is slow and hang back at the start. I knew if I could control my pace on the front end I would have a better chance of preventing the calf pain and foot numbness. It wasn’t until we cleared the masses at the start that I realized I didn’t look at the course map! I hadn’t even glanced at it! I had no clue what this course was going to be like and neither did Sistah-N. I hoped for the best and just plugged my headphones in. We didn’t even make it through the first mile before starting to climb. The entire course was just a series of rolling hills. Up and down, up and down, up down! Sistah-N hadn’t been training for anything prior to this race so around mile 2 you could see that hills were starting to wear on her. I lost her a few times in the crowd and stopped to wait. I was so afraid I would loose her in the crowd. I kept looking back to check on her and there she was, right behind me, red face and all. Around mile 2.5 she gave me the go ahead to move on. She was surrendering. I tried to give her a pep talk but she needed to rest. I moved on up the hill and we agreed to meet at the finish.
In retrospect I feel like the hills were a good thing. I passed mile marker 3, time 33 min and some change. Doing ok! It was about this time I realized that I felt fine! In fact, I felt great! No calf pain, no numb foot, no nothing! I was charging up hills like they were nothing. When Sistah-N gave me the go ahead I really pushed it. I ran every last mile….hard. I plowed up every hill and I took rest on the back end. It felt amazing. Suddenly all the stress I had been feeling about falling behind in my training went away. It was liberating. My body remembers how to run! Praise the running gods! I was happy! The course took us through several residential neighborhoods and there were families sitting out on their front lawns watching the race. I waved at every single one and wished them all a “Happy Thanksgiving!”. I was high on endorphins I’m sure but I didn’t care. I. Was. Running! (in my Forest Gump voice). The last mile was pretty tiring. My hips were starting to get weak and I was finally starting to feel the effects of all those hills but I still felt pretty good. Clock time crossing the finish line was 1:03:28. My Garmin had me at 1:02:35. Offical chip time: 1:02:28.
|Again with the pace! Ignore please|
I felt really good about that time. I still wish I had a sub 1 hour time but over all I’m happy with what I did. I need to upload the data to Garmin connect to see what my splits were. I’m almost positive i hit negative splits the second half of the race. As soon as I have those I will update you all. I feel confidant that my body responded well to this race. All I need to do now is add a little speed work to my regimen and staty focused on my training. I know now that I’m right where I need to be! I’m still not where I was last season but I feel like I’m a good place, early in the season. There is hope for me yet!
After the race I waited for Sisah-N, I called sistah-C to see if they were still there and to my suprise she was just crossing the finish line. I was bummed that I didnt get to see her cross! I missed Sisah-N too! I found Sistah-C’s daughter and step-mom in the finishers crowd and hung out with them for a little bit. Shout out to those two who finished the 5k in 48 min (I believe)! Way to go ladies! Everyone was in great spirits after the race. We all parted ways. Most of the family was headed back home to re-group and head out to feed the homeless. Family loves to run was hosting Thanksgiving for my in-laws so I headed back to the house to start the food. Overall, I left that race feeling so grateful. I put so much pressure on myself every season to pick up where I left off. This year has been so hard on me. I really had to leave my training behind to finish school and my biggest fear was that I wouldn’t be able to get back at it. I think I needed this race to give me motivation to keep going! Graduation is next week and though I wont have an official ceremony, I’m still going to be celebrating. There is a half marathon just a few weeks after graduation and I’m seriously thinking of signing up. Maybe I can hit that sub-2hr half I’ve always wanted?! We shall see!
Oh I can’t forget! Here’s a little slide show for my #sweatpink army. I’m proud of my #holidaysweat this year. I hope you all had a fantastic Holiday!
Priscilla is Dallas/Ft. Worth based nutritionist and blogger.