Thanksgiving morning I woke up at 4:40 AM so I could get to my race, the 8th annual Catch the Gobbler 5K. The race started at 7:00 AM, but I wanted to get there as close to 5:30 AM as possible so I could pick up my bib number and retreat back to the warmth of my car quickly. I knew if I was much later, I would have to stand in a long line and shiver.
I woke to a rumbling tummy, but not necessarily growling out of hunger. It just seemed a little angry. I have a sensitive gut (in case you haven’t figured it out based on past references of puking at races/training runs) and this morning it was definitely unhappy. I don’t know if it’s nerves or what causes the discomfort… since I was just doing this race to have fun and it was a short 3.1 miles, nothing too pressure-filled I wouldn’t assume nerves but maybe it is sub-conscious. But due to the angry stomach, I didn’t feel like I could eat anything before leaving.
My car told me it was 40 degrees at the park when I arrived at 5:45. But the line was pretty short so I could easily get my number, timing chip and shirt. I listened to music in my car while affixing the number and chip, sipping on a bottle of Cytomax in hopes that some liquid calories would give me the fuel I needed to do the race. Friends joined me in my car as they arrived, we all needed to stay warm!
My friend Jimmy and I were hoping to do the race in 24 minutes. Both of us are too attuned to distance running… we need a good 3 miles to get warmed up. If I could figure out a good path to get there, maybe I should try running to the 5K in the future?! As we got going, neither of us was “feeling it” and knew that we probably wouldn’t hit that 24 minute mark. I was also having a little struggle with confidence before the race started, doubting whether or not I am actually capable of that kind of performance. And doubting yourself is not really a good way to go into the race!
By just 1.5 miles I was already feeling kind of lethargic… probably due to only fueling myself with a little sport drink. I know that’s a mistake, I struggle with fueling myself properly for every distance. I’m trying to learn what I need and how to meet those needs. But when there isn’t anything in the tank, it’s hard to really get going.
Around the 2 mile mark I passed a mother running with a small boy. They really were pushing at a good clip for a kid that size, considering this was 2 miles into the race and I was just passing them then. But the kid was huffing/puffing/wheezing loudly and as I passed he said, “Mom? We’re having fun, right?” The questioning in his voice was so thick… it kind of broke my heart a little. Perhaps the mom needed to slow it down a little for him?
As I approached the finish line I smiled for a couple pictures and glanced at the race clock and could have sworn it said 27:3x. I forgot to stop my Garmin as I walked through the finishing shoot and let them take off my timing chip. When I stopped it after that it said 26:41. I was kind of confused as to how my time could be so different from the clock.
When I got home I synced my Garmin and when I saw the data from SportsTracks, it clearly says 26:19 for the whole 3.1. The complete distance that I ended up with on the device was 3.19, which accounts for the extra walking at the end.
But the race results were posted last night and I was pleased to see that my official time was 26:35… much more inline with what I was expecting than the finish line clock. So perhaps I must have just read it wrong. My 26:35 was good enough for me to be 8th out of 40 in my age group (Women 30-34). Last year I did this same race in 28:56 and my previous PR for the 5K distance was 26:51. Woo Hoo!!! A new PR!
There was turkey served post-race; as well as muffins, danish and bagels. The race shirts were once again awesome and super attractive, although this year’s was a long-sleeve t-shirt instead of a sweatshirt like last year. During the race I got to wear my Fleet Feet Sports shirt with a special Thanksgiving motif on the front (same shirt I wore last year) with a turkey and the words “Catch This!”
Post-race with the lovely race t-shirt
(No, I’m not in love with this pic… I gotta stop wearing hats when I run because I really look like a doofus in them. Plus, with my glasses I really look dorky. But then, I am a computer geek and perhaps I should just embrace the look!)
I love the whole idea of turkey trots. Such a fun way to start the holiday!