Remember how I said it was getting cold here in Florida? Well, Thanksgiving morning was downright freezing to us Floridians. I set my alarm to get up at 5:30 AM to be ready at the 5K Turkey Trot race start at 7 AM. And guess what? It was 39 degrees when I woke up. I didn’t want to get out of the car!
I had been thinking about this 5K for a long time now and really wanted to use it as a gauge on my fitness. Again, I wasn’t really pleased with my last two 5K races so I was hoping to get close to my old times. I had sent Coach Dror (my track coach) a text asking if he thought I could run a 23. He said he thought I could go sub 23 and to “get out” on the first mile because it’s downhill. To me, that meant, kill yourself the first mile. That’s obviously what he meant, right?
I jogged to the start and warmed up a bit before the race started. I ran into a friend named Lyle who asked what I wanted to do. I told him seventeen different things.
“I think I can go 23. My PR is 22:21. Maybe I will run 7:15’s. I would like to go sub 23 if I can. Maybe I will just run closer to 23 even. Dror said….”
Uhm, yeah. I was all over the place. Thankfully Lyle wasn’t racing the 5K and was using it to warm up. He kindly offered to pace me and with the sound of the horn, we were off.
I did EXACTLY as my coach said. I hammered the first mile. I heard Lyle say we needed to back off but I didn’t look at my watch until we past the first mile. I remember thinking my arms were really tired. I saw 6:54 on my Garmin and thought, “Oops.”
This course kind of levels out for the second mile. I found my breath and managed to calm down a bit. I ran that a mile more conservatively at a 7:13 pace.
Sadly, and this is not a new course to me, I knew what I was in for, at around mile 2.3 you hit a hill. And it sucks. On the one hand, I passed more people this year than I had in year’s past going up. On the other hand I was fading fast. Lyle was an amazing pacer and encouraged me to keep passing people. He had the idea to play a passing people game but I don’t think I played it very well. I was dying. Sorry Lyle.
As we got to the final two turns Lyle said, “You aren’t running a 7:45 last mile. Come on!” It made me laugh because I knew I was severely slowing down. I pushed on and as we entered the high school track toward the finish line I saw a 22 on the clock. I gave it all I had. Ladies and gentlemen, I have a new 5K PR: 22:19. It’s only a three second PR but I’ll take it.
My time was good enough to land me the coveted Turkey Trot mug amongst the top 125 finishers. Whew! I was nervous I wouldn’t get the mug this year. I love these mugs, they are huge! TWSS.
After the 5K I had a lot of time to sit around and wait for the 10K to start. I sat in my car and tried to warm up. Finally, at 8:45, the 10K race started. The S.O. ran it as did Lyle. They are both obnoxiously fast.
My plan for the 10K was to run it at marathon pace. I tried to stay around 8:35 but wound up running it at a 8:25 pace. Close enough. I was happy to run with my friend Constance, who scored a PR. I think I needed her more than she needed me. By mile four I was totally over it but I was trying to keep up the pace and encourage Constance. Fortunately, a couple of other running acquaintances showed up and they were a big help to us both.
Overall, I’m really happy with this 5K. How could I not be? It was a PR and even though my splits were really uneven, I know I can run a flat course and work on that. The 10K was almost exactly what I wanted. Oh, and I got in 9 miles before I ate my face off.
I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings. Tell me about your Turkey Trots!
P.S. As this race isn’t chip timed, I am going off of my Garmin and the race clock. When I finished a few women who came in after me got in front of me to get their cards to write their times on. I wrote 22:19 but I think they changed my time because of my card number. Oh well, I know what I ran.