This year I ended my five year streak at my hometown Turkey Trot. I was disappointed, until Nick and I looked into local races and found one through the YMCA. There is a 5K and 10K option; Nick voted right away that we do the 10K so that he’d have more room for turkey (bleh!) and I agreed simply because I prefer that distance.
Packet pickup the day before the race went very smoothly, and I got tips on where to park to avoid too much traffic leaving the race. (And we had no trouble getting out of the lot in reasonable time.)
On the morning of the race, conditions were practically perfect: near 50 degrees, partly cloudy and not very breezy. Before the start, participants were allowed to wait inside the facilities. It was nice to be able to use a real bathroom, and not a portable.
So, confession time: in the week leading up to this race, I didn’t get very excited. I even felt a little burnt out mentally from racing. I told Nick that morning that I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to race, but thought the excitement might get to me when the gun went off. My plan was to to start at a comfortably uncomfortable pace (yes, that’s a thing in running) and go from there.
Right away I said goodbye to Nick, because he was aiming for a PR. In the first mile, we had a short downhill, but overall the course was pretty flat. I felt good, checked my pace, and was actually surprised that I could perhaps be in PR territory myself. By the second mile I had found my rhythm and held steady through the first turnaround, where I saw Nick and waved. Mile four was into the (light) wind and had a long out and back, but that meant that mile five had a great tailwind that really helped. I didn’t feel the urge to surge until I had about a mile to go. I slowed my rhythm on the uphill, and then found a third and fourth gear heading into the finish.
By my watch, the course was about a tenth of a mile long, but that could also because the 10K joined back up with the 5K after the first few miles and I had to work my way around some of the walkers. According to my watch, I was about 50 seconds away from my PR! And even by the chip time, this was my second fastest 10K.
Overall, I really enjoyed this race. It was a good course and had a fun and family-friendly atmosphere. My only complaint is that Nick ran a PR but somehow his chip never activated at the finish! He’s listed as a DNF (did not finish) on the online results. I think I’m more disappointed than he is, but I know he worked really hard for that finish time. However, if next year we aren’t able to travel to see my family for Thanksgiving because of my work schedule, we’ll definitely run this race again.
I think I can consider this one of my most successful races of the year, and that makes it a good one to end 2015 on.