Thanksgiving Food and Haddon Township Turkey Trot 5K Race Recap (21:02)

Today I ran the Haddon Township Turkey Trot with Chris, Hollie, my brother Alex, and lots of other local running friends. I’ve done this race most years since 2009 and it’s my favorite turkey trot in the area.

I had a really beautiful Thanksgiving. My mother cooked a nutritious, delicious meal featuring everyone’s favorites. Since I officially gave up meat when I turned 30, this was my fist vegetarian Thanksgiving meal. I didn’t miss the turkey at all, because there were so many tasty plant-based side dishes.

The star of the show, however, was dessert. Instead of pie, I opted for my mother’s organic peach cobbler. She picked, peeled, sliced, and froze a neighboring farmer’s peaches at the end of summer. They still tasted fresh off the tree months later – incredibly juicy and sweet with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Even though I ate pretty healthfully during the holiday, I still consumed more than usual, and my digestive system was in extreme duress over the following 48 hours. I actually felt like I had the flu when I woke up Friday, but I managed to run an energetic 5 mile shakeout at a 7:56 pace. It probably helped that I was wearing new shoes. (That first run in a fresh pair of trainers is magical.)

I got a decent night’s sleep last night (5 hours) but still felt a little sick this morning. I actually didn’t have time to make my usual pre-race cup of coffee, so I had two really good excuses lined up in case I ran poorly.

Alex and I jogged a 2 mile warm-up and bumped into my dad, who came to spectate and take pictures. It turns out he is an exceptional race photographer!

My legs felt like lead because I didn’t warm up long enough. I was happy to toe the line with Hollie, where we had a few minutes to commiserate about how bad we felt (she raced another turkey trot just two days ago) before the horn went off and the race began.

I love this 5K because there is a warm breakfast buffet afterwards. I always take a few egg and cheese bagels home with me to eat for lunch and dinner because they are just so good. However, I could smell them cooking for the first quarter mile (while running a 5:30 pace) and I almost tossed my cookies. I don’t care how delicious something smells when you’re not racing; it’s incredibly nauseous when you are racing.

I took this course out a little too fast (first split 6:14). I should have stuck to my 6:30, 6:45, 6:45 race plan, but I couldn’t help myself. I saw so many local runners I know along the course, including my friends Scott and Emelia, who both ran extremely impressive Philadelphia marathons last weekend and still managed to turn out excellent 5Ks today. #runninggoals

I was pretty tuned into my race today. I wasn’t terribly distracted by other runners or spectators. I think I just wanted the race to be over more than anything else. I was hoping my dad would get a good photograph of me crossing the finish line.

My final time was 21:02. My splits ended up being 6:14, 6:51, 6:46. The course was a bit long (3.16). I ran a 6:40 overall pace. I think it’s a good sign that my third mile was faster than my second mile (this may have been my fastest 3rd 5K split ever). At no point did I feel like I was overexerting myself. I stayed strong and steady and simply focused on getting in a good workout. I did not puke at the finish.

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 12.32.00 PM

Afterwards, Chris and I jogged a mile cool down, rounding out my 39 mile week.

I finished 46th out of 743 runners, 13th out of 408 women, and 3rd out of 41 women in the 30-34 age category. I won a truly adorable Mason jar glass, which is perfect for brewing iced coffee. I’m looking forward to writing alongside my new favorite coffee mug this week.

I’m at a bit of a 5K plateau right now, but that’s okay. I haven’t necessarily been getting faster, but I am getting stronger. This kind of effort feels so much easier than it used to, even just a few months ago. I think it’s only a matter of time before I cross over into a new speed bracket.

Questions for the Internets:

Did you race this weekend? How did it go?

How was your Thanksgiving?

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?




Add yours →

  1. Congratulations on your 5K and winning an age group award! I trotted on Thursday and it was a lot of fun, but I’m glad mine was before all the eating festivities! Even if you’ve hit a plateau you have improved a LOT this year and should be super proud of it- that’s a very good time considering you weren’t feeling 100%. I love that jar award and the graphic/picture on it.

    I don’t eat turkey either (I do eat seafood but not meats like turkey and obviously shrimp isn’t so popular at Thanksgiving), but my favorite sides are the mac and cheese and sweet potato casserole.


    • Thank you, Amy! I almost ran a turkey trot on Thursday morning, but I wanted to save myself for this race. I’m glad I did, because they gave out great awards! I think I am going to make my family serve mac and cheese next year! That’s a great option we haven’t yet explored as a Thanksgiving side dish.


  2. Great job out there, you are getting faster, I’ve noticed in your times. Seen you in the sub 20mins, 19 not far from you. Keep up the good work.
    This is my second 5k in 3 days litle sore and heavy on the legs. I ran a 9:17 thurs so sat 19:33 is what I figured.
    Felt good out there.
    Stuffing and pumpkin pie I love on turkey
    Good seeing you out there and great job
    Happy running.


  3. Awesome race! I’m still waiting to break 23 min for a 5k. One of these days. Glad you didn’t hurl!!

    My new favorite side dish is butternut squash and Brussels sprouts with dried cranberries and a Dijon dressing. So good!! Lots of leftovers for me!!!


  4. I wish I had gotten to stay longer so we could have chatted. You did well and I’m happy for you. Those mason jar coffee mugs are awesome, and so useful.


  5. Great race and great recap and congrats on not puking at the end! I love this race for all the same reasons – good food and good people. It’s exciting to know you’re getting stronger. I’m looking forward to following your progress and hope to see you at future 5k’s. I’m going to be concentrating on them at least for this spring. No more marathons for awhile!


  6. There are a few runners on that are wondering if you and your friends had seen anything suspicious during the race. There was a well known cheating participating who was trying to meet a challenge to collect $10,000. He didn’t do it, and he also had a 42 difference between his chip and gun time. Which leads many of us to believe he tried to cut the course. His name is Mike Rossi and he finished 48th overall at 21:07. He would have been wearing a either Nike or Boston Marathon clothes and wearing sunglasses, because he was probably worried about being detected. If you or your friends know anything please contact me at Thanks


  7. First of all, congrats on your race. Second, do you have more pictures from this race? You see, the infamous Mike Rossi appears to have cheated again in this race and your some of your pictures just might show him stepping on and off the course.


  8. My Thanksgiving was great, but I definitely ate waayyy too much. Not to feeling sick, but just more than normal and I’m still riding the wave. HA. WAY TO GO, I just love that Mason jar!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I spy a sparkly soul!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations on your excellent time!
    The Mike Rossi thread got me here:

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Does anyone have any photos or videos from this race, especially at the finish line that they are willing to share?


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