Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cracking the 70% Age Grade..(Turkey Trot 5 Miler Recap)

In addition to refusing to get dressed for upwards of 80% of my Thankgiving trip to Virginia, I also ran a 5 mile Turkey Trot.

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....

Final Thoughts:
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. 



  1. 1. LOVE the costume. So you. So nonsensical.
    2. Just ask Dorothy about wicked fast jog-stroller splits.
    4. I'd take the shirt except there's no way in hell that thing would fit me.


  2. The faster bunny continues to become faster. Congrats on a great race!

    I've never paid attention to the age grade thing. This may give me a new number to start checking out. I suppose this means that you do better than 70% of the people in your age group? Based on your times, I would think that you seem to do that most of the time the age grade based on just that particular race or the national average?

  3. Great race, speedy bunny chica! I was in VA too, but no Turkey Trotting for me. That is one hilly state. We may have higher altitudes here in CO, but the sheer ups and downs have even Boulder beaten unless you're on the trails.

  4. Awesome job Margo! That's definitley a race to be proud of, and a smoking fast time.

  5. Congrats on a speedy race! Love that you just embraced the wrong holidays as much as possible, ha!

  6. Looking good speedy bunny :) congrats!

  7. speedy bunny-pumpkin! Love that you wore a halloween shirt. Congrats on a great race!

  8. wow, you *are* a speedy bunny! I would love to have a lucky shirt for my 5k this weekend in hopes that I don't fall prey to my usual race anxiety, but I fear it would only cover one boob. :0

  9. Great outfit! You are super speedy! Congratulations on a great race.

  10. Awesome!!! 70% age grade is pretty damn good. My best effort is like 66% which was also my turkey trot.

    Seriously I would be incredibly pleased with myself if I could run even a 5K with avg of sub 7 miles. Maybe that'll be my next goal ;) (just the 5K though. I'm not smoking crack that anything longer is possible in the short-term).

  11. You freaking killed it like for reals. Nice work girl! There is no way I could hold that pace for 5 miles.

    Send that lucky shirt my way yo!

  12. GREAT JOB "fast bunny!!" :)

    Way to crack the 70% age grade! :)

  13. I LOVE your outfit!!! So cool. Looks like a lot of fun!

  14. haha, "wrong holiday," best cheering ever! great costume. :)

  15. you are insanely fast! it must be the bunny ears.

  16. Hot damn, you were freaking flying! FLYING!! Sub 7's the whole race!! YEEESSSSSS!!! Hello TURBO!

    Did stroller dude finish sub 35? That's insane!

    P/S Now will you pace me?! Yes I am steeling you from Chacha. HEAR THAT FRIEND?! That's what friends do. Steal each other's pacer! LOLOLOL!

  17. awesome race! and so so face! also, I love the bunny ears + pumpkin shirt.

  18. sweet run -- love the competitive sprint at the end, seems like the obvious choice if it means placing one woman higher! Cute outfit too...wrong holiday my butt. Bunnies are always appropriate