Yes, just like 80% of the running bloggers out there, I woke up on Thanksgiving and decided to race.
I went into the darned thing with mixed feelings. It was pretty exciting to run a race in Northern VA, and in my hometown of Alexandria, in particular. But races, even without high expectations, are stressful for me.
As I outlined over sweaty beers with Emily earlier in the week, under 35 minutes would be a success and over 35 would be failure. I'd had some pretty embarrassing workouts earlier in the week, in which I wasn't able to hold a 7 mile 7:20 pace tempo for even 5 miles. Times were tough, times were tough...but...I had two secret weapons....
1) Jenny, the little bird sent me a kickass (although a bit small on me) Halloween tee, so that we could start the sisterhood of the traveling t-shirt. See exhibit on right. (I also brought out the bunny ears because...I figured why not be totally off holiday).
2) I bucked up and bought racers. I've been using light-weight trainers (Mizuno Elixir) for races since August. I bought the Mizuno Ronin. Clearly these were going to make me run like my feet were en fuego.
I got to the middle school gym and picked up my packet. And hung out with Senor Turkey for few minutes...
This race is particularly awesome because there's a stroller race category and a doggy race category. So there was a festive atmosphere. After doing some striders, and lining up in the giant line (there were over 4000 people in this Turkey Trot!), we were off.
I saw a girl ahead of me who seemed to know what she was doing (no idea what made me conclude this), so I decided I'd try to keep her in sight the whole race. I tried to keep my first mile in check, and the plan was to run it in 7 minutes, but of course, my adrenalined legs were not about to go that pace. First mile was 6:37.
The crowds were great, and people kept on shouting "go bunny", "wrong holiday", and "1st costume". They were also yelling "1st Stroller" because I was neck in neck with the first stroller. How the heck this dude was running sub 7s while pushing a giant stroller is beyond me.
Surprisingly, I kept the whole dang thing around 6:40 something pace and in the last mile, I passed a girl and she passed me back. I'm not exactly sure what got into me, but with about 200 meters from the finish, I turned the race from a friendly town Turkey Trot to my own Olympics. I thought "I can get her" and went into a dead-out sprint to pass her right at the finish, much to the amusement of the spectators.
Yup...not competitive at all....
Race Stats: 5 miles, 33:57, 6:47 pace. 20th woman.
Here are the splits:
Not exactly an effort worthy of my "sprint to the death" finish, but better than my expectations, and I finally cracked the 70% Age Grade Bracket. Maybe this training is starting to pay off....
1) I was super careful about what I ate in the morning due to all the cramps I've been getting lately. And it worked. I had half a Luna Bar, a few Honey Stingers, and an Orange Gu. Yeah...definitely not real food, but I think this is the path I need to take to avoid cramps.
2) Thanksgiving Dinner > Turkey Trots. But only by a bit....
3) Pretty happy with this effort. Didn't feel like I sucked!
4) It's time to pass on the sisterhood of the traveling t-shirt. No really. It's good luck! Who wants it next?!?!?!?!?! I'll send it to ya.
HAPPY (late) THANKSGIVING!!!!!