With about 16,000 runners spread across a competitive 5K and 10K, plus a 5K fun run and 1 mile fun run, the Turkey Trot I ran this year was no joke. It’s a competitive field and I am shocked at how many come out to this race every year. Of course I absolutely LOVE the running community and am so happy to see so many folks out at every event. It’s a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season.

Strawberry E picked me up dark and early to head to the race. We met up with Coach EK and the Lazy Runner (AKA Running 4 An Adventure) after the 5K. I was hoping to break the 22 minute mark on this 5K and Strawberry E was shooting for a speedy 10K.

I lined up at the start with a ton of other trotters and stood behind some 13-year-old boys who were certain to blow my doors off. Strawberry E’s race didn’t start for another hour and forty-five minutes so she stayed to spectate while I was racing.

After a 15 minute wait and the national anthem, we were off.

I held very steady the first mile because I typically go out too fast during the 5K. I felt great this mile and was happy to see 7:02 on the Garmin when it beeped. I tried to drop it a bit during the second mile and saw a familiar face in front of me. I used him as a barometer since I can guesstimate his 5K times. I don’t even know if he saw me but I passed him and decided to try to stay in front of him cause I know how fast he is.

At some point I hit the two mile mark and didn’t look at my Garmin. D’oh! I knew I slowed a bit but otherwise felt pretty good. That was until the 2.38 mark when we hit the hill.

I was reminded before this race by Coach EK that there is a non-too-friendly hill at about the 2.3 mile mark. And as Katie would say, it was rude.

I tried to charge up the hill and did pass a few people but I was totally sucking wind at this point. I attempted to slow my heart rate with some deep breaths and kept asking myself how badly I wanted this 21 minute 5K. Even though I wanted it and didn’t feel awful, I couldn’t get my legs to cooperate. Oh well. That’s the 5K for you.

As I ran toward the finish which ended on a high school track (love this!) I heard Strawberry E yell for me and I gave what little I had left. I was handed my race card to fill out and it said 74, which meant I was the 74th woman. I stopped my Garmin at 22:21 and 3.16 miles. According to that, I had a one second PR. Yahoo! I’ll take it.

Since this race wasn’t chipped timed I was surprised to see the official stats that said I was the 72nd person to finish and my time is listed as 22:25. Hmpfh. I’m going with 22:21 dammit! Heh. In any event it was good enough to land me a top finisher mug and a big smile that lasted all day.

Strawberry E, The Lazy Runner, and Coach EK all also got “mugged” and we had a blast chatting it up with other runners and friends we ran into after the race.

I know I’ve got that 21 minute 5K in me. I just need a flatter course on a cool day and it’s mine. I don’t even care if it’s 21:59. I’m coming for it!

I hope you all had very Happy Thanksgivings! Back to the grind tomorrow, but one day closer to the weekend again. Enjoy your Sundays and those left overs.