Finally gonna get started on these way, way overdue race reports! 🙂
So even though I’ve been a serious runner/racer since 2004, I had only run one turkey trot (aka race on Thanksgiving morning) once, in 2004. I ran a 5-miler on Long Island with my uncle and 2 cousins. Sadly there will never be another race I’ll run again with my uncle 😦 Unfortunately, I don’t remember too much about the race that year except it was very hilly. I wish I could remember more.
And for whatever reason every year after, I hadn’t raced on Turkey Day…most of the time I preferred to get my own Central Park done in the AM and then train it to wherever I’m going, or sleep in 😛
But this time around, I was sorta itching to race. And I had heard that the Dick Meighan 5K, which was around 15-20 minutes away from my parents in NJ, was a good-albeit hilly-race. And oh yeah, based on previous race results there was a good chance I’d place in my AG. Wasn’t expecting a PR, given I was only 2 1/2 weeks out from NYC and that it would be hilly.
So the nite before I stayed over at the parentals, then awoke to a nice and chilly morning, and drove over to where the race was…taking note of where certain uphills/downhills would be. Got my bib and a nice tech shirt, and then went to warm up on the first mile of the course…which was good as you can see, I would know not to blow it in the first half-mile so to say 🙂 Finished my warmup, did some strides, took care of business and went over to the start. Looked like it was gonna be another free-for-all, so I positioned myself a few rows back from the front and just waited for the starting horn.
And knowing that the first half-mile contained a big-ass hill, I let people pass me, ran hard but did hold back just a little bit. The downhill at the half-mile point was very welcome, but in a way felt like after the big hill at mile 8 of the Staten Island half…like I needed 100-200 meters to recover and of course in a short race like a 5K, you don’t have that 🙂 But was pleased with my first mile-7:24. I then made the time goal of the day to get under 23 minutes…
…which I could get as long as I avoid my usual mile 2 collapse in 5K’s. Mile 2 was rolling hills, but nothing really horrible. And as this was 7:23, I was able to hold on. This was less of a net uphill mile than the previous, so maybe effort-wise was a little slower, but I don’t think by much. And I had enough in the tank to pick up the pace for the last 1.1 and pass people in the process. However, in my drive over, I did note one more big hill that would be in the last mile and sure enough with about .5-.6 miles to go, there it was. I just killed it best I could, knowing I didn’t have long to go. One more turn…and more climbing…however thankfully the last .1 was downhill into the school’s parking lot, then flat to the finish. I was neck and neck with this other woman, but she outkicked me to the finish…arrrgh!! Last 1.1 in 7:52 (7:09 pace.)
Wound up with 22:39, 7:18 pace…which given the terrain and still recovering from NYC (and minimal speedwork!), I was definitely happy with. I mean, I outperformed a flat 5K I did 3 weeks after Chicago last year 🙂
So I didn’t know yet how I did in terms of placing, so I went for a cooldown and then went back to the school’s gym (where the refreshments/awards were), grabbed some hot cider and checked out the results. FOURTH in my AG. Arrgh. Missed by half a second-to the chick who just outkicked me at the finish! And the kicker is that if I were still 34, I would have placed! It is what it is, I guess. And actually, I most likely would not have been able to stay for the awards anyway, they started with the older age groups and it would have taken a while to get down to mine, and I had to leave fairly early as my parents wanted to get an early start on our trek to Long Island for Thanksgiving festivities and beat the traffic. Before I left, I saw and chatted with Ari briefly-he was there with his daughter for her first 5K, which they both enjoyed a lot. (And I love how she noticed the Yankee charm on my shoe and said “Daddy, look she’s a Yankee fan too!” 🙂 )
So I went home, got cleaned up, headed to LI with la familia, ate and drank more than enough to counteract the morning’s run, and checked the final results online…and I was bumped up to THIRD in my AG. Whoa. Apparently the chick who was originally 1st in the 35-39 AG was now 10 years younger, moving us all up a spot. Was definitely happy about that!! Though actually claiming my trophy…well it’s taken more work than the race itself!! First my trophy was actually in the hands of the 1st place woman. Then when she returned the trophy it was actually the 2nd place one she had, and the one ahead of me had the 3rd place one had no info for anyone to get in touch with her. So all in all, I will have to accept the 2nd place trophy (which my dad did on my behalf, and I’ll finally get it in my hands next weekend!) and Sharpie it up to show how the real chips fell. And if 2nd place chick finally decides she wants it back, well that’ll show her to outkick me next time 😛
And next year? I’ll just have to come back and win my AG outright 🙂