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.
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?