I ran two races over the holiday. As mentioned in the training log post, the first race took place the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the second occurred on turkey day itself. The reason for the double is simple — I’ve been irked since March that I would only have 11 races for the year, when my goal was 12. I can’t go back and be healthy for the Diva Dash, but I can run two races instead of one…and I did!
Race 1 — the Turkey Trot 5k at Furman University
We arrived in South Carolina on Saturday afternoon. Getting ourselves; a sniffly, teething, grouchy toddler; and ALL of our stuff settled took some time. Quicker than I would have thought possible, Sunday appeared and with it an obligation to race.
“Ow,” said my road-trip-weary legs. “And this is the first and shorter of the two races you’ve signed up for? This isn’t sounding like such a good idea.”
Sorry, legs! Megan paid a late entry fee, and therefore Megan is going to run! We headed out to Furman’s campus–which, by the way, is gorgeous. If ever you are planning to visit South Carolina, late October to November is my absolute favorite time of year there. Fall arrives later in SC than it does in KS, so temperatures are still in the 60’s and some leaves are still on the trees at this time of year. Love it!
LilRunr also loved the Furman campus…or, perhaps more accurately, he loved the wide open spaces. After being cooped up in a car and hotel, this was just what he needed!
While Scott and LilRunr went to find the perfect spectating location, I walked to the starting line. This was a smallish race, and it seemed like most of the participants were walkers/joggers, so I lined up closer to the front than I ordinarily would.
The race began, and in no time at all I was feeling all out of sorts. You know that feeling where nothing specifically hurts, but it feels like your legs are not precisely obeying the orders sent by your brain? Well, that’s where I was. I’m sure it was mostly from the long drive, and probably at least somewhat from skipping my workouts all week, but I just felt…off. Clumsy and slow and uncoordinated. Lucky for me, the first mile was mostly flat or downhill.
Unlucky for me, as we headed towards Furman Lake, I knew exactly what was coming. THE HILL. The hill that Running Buddy, Marathon Expert and I usually skipped during our long runs. Oh, boy. I thought to myself. That one’s going to hurt. But wait! There’s a shortcut that bypasses THE HILL. Sure, it’s gravel, but it’s what Running Buddy, ME, and I always ran on. I just need to wait a few minutes, and hopefully I ‘ll see the front runners turning left instead of…
…crappertanks. They went straight. THE HILL it is! I climb the steep monster, and after successfully avoiding falling on my face on the way back down I realize that we are halfway through the race and I have approximately 10% left in the tank. It is, “try not to die” time.
I did not die. I did, however, get passed by someone with a little under a mile to go…who later thanked me for “pushing” her. Riiiiiiight. By “pushing,” do you mean, “allowing you to pass without speeding up one tiny little bit”? Because if so, then YES. I take credit for helping you run a PR.
I finished in a time of 21:53. This is actually respectable, given the hill and my training. It was also good enough for 1st in my age group, which would have won me a free turkey if I would have stuck around for the awards ceremony. Sweet! Almost turkey!