This Thanksgiving, I finally joined the rest of the running world and participated in my very first turkey trot – our local ALSO Youth 5K Turkey Trot!
Since I’ve been working on a gradual mileage increase, and haven’t incorporated speed training back into my training until this week, I didn’t go in with much of a goal, other than to be “at or around” my goal marathon pace – and to enjoy the morning!
I was really excited about this race, and for a few reasons (other than it being my first turkey trot, of course):
- The COURSE – the race started and ended at the Hyatt Sarasota, and followed an out and back route over the Ringling Causeway Bridge to Bird Key, which meant beautiful views!
- The CAUSE – this is a fundraiser event for ALSO Youth, a local organization which provides support and outreach for LGBTQIA youth and their allies.
- The COMPANY – I knew a lot of people from my previous training programs, local runners, and was SUPER excited about the chance of meeting my pal and fellow Oiselle Teammate Joana (spoiler alert: she spotted me!)
So, with all this awesomeness to look forward to, it was no surprise that when my alarm went off at 6 AM on Thanksgiving morning, I practically leapt out of bed to get ready to drive to the race’s 8 AM start. After taking Dug out, toasting one of my favorite cherry pomegrante toaster pastries, and drinking a glass of water, I was out the door!
About halfway to the race start, I realized that that glass of water had caught up with me, and WOW, conveniently there was a Starbucks right there on the way. How convenient! 😉
After grabbing a Tall Dirty Chai, I was back on the road, and quite early still (great parking spot at Van Wezel) so I walked over to the Hyatt to hang out in the warm lobby til it was closer to starting time…and what a great place to wait!
About 25 minutes before race time, I walked out and checked out the starting area, and did a few strides in the parking lot. I was wearing a hoodie over my Oiselle singlet, which I wore until line-up time, when I hooked the hoodie onto a tree.
Minutes before start, Joana found me! I met her, her hubs and her friend Gail and we chatted for a bit, which was awesome. We’ve been friends on twitter for quite a while, so it was great to see her on her seasonal trip down from Ft Walton Beach!!
Finally, it was race time, and we were OFF! As per usual in most local small races, there were quite a few people who didn’t line up quite right (congestion at the start) and I saw that in the first .25, I was going wayyy too fast (6:40 pace) but I had to get out of the crowd!
Ascending the bridge, my first mile clocked off at 7:04, and it didn’t feel too hard, but I knew the pace would drop the second mile, on account of the incline and my legs not being used to moving that quickly! Hah! Headed down into the park at the turnaround and back, I did my best to power up the hill again, but I suddenly got a weird shooting pain in my right foot, so I pulled over to the side and stomped it a few times, then walked, and picked it back up.
Due to that little annoyance, Mile 2 came in the slowest, at 7:41, which I was surprised to see, given the pace didn’t feel that horribly hard after I worked to make up the walk time. Easing back down the bridge, and headed back toward the Hyatt, I just told myself to keep moving, no matter what my watch said. I followed close behind a female who I guessed was in my age group and counted on her to bring me in!
I ended up finishing in 23:34 (official time said 23:32, which was good enough for 5th in my AG, and 87th overall of 1,146).
I was glad that I went out and ran this event, and although it was meant to be “for fun,” it definitely got me thinking about future running goals and upcoming races. 5Ks are very intimidating for me (other than runDisney ones, lol) and in most cases, I would much rather run a full marathon instead, so I was glad to add another finish to my running resume!
Did you run a Turkey Trot? What distance?