Hellloooo from Houston! And Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying a day with family, friends or loved ones and doing whatever makes you happiest!
Let’s talk about the Turkey Trot! It has been a, let’s say, less than ideal week. I flew in to Houston last weekend, but had to go to VA for work on Sunday & Monday. I came back to some unexpected family stuff that made for a pretty emotional week. So I showed up today, not sure how much I had to give mentally.
Last night we went to my Uncle’s house for a pre-Thanksgiving get together (or a “practice stretching out your stomach” session, as someone called it). To be honest (okay…here is where you call me CRAZY), traditional Thanksgiving foods are really not my favorite. I could probably live without Turkey, dressing and all the fixings for the rest of my life and not miss it. We didn’t stay super long and were home by 8:30.
I woke up at 5:20 this morning when I heard my dad rummaging around in the kitchen. After the normal pre-race routine, we were on the road by 6:15, as planned. We didn’t get 2 miles down the road before I realized, OH MY GOSH, I forgot my Garmin. Most of you would probably tell me that I should have left it at home, but it is my crutch, and I never, ever race without it. We went back to the house so I could get my beloved watch.
It was so much fun to see them again after meeting in Houston last year and keeping in touch through our blogs and Twitter. In fact, seeing them was the perfect distraction that I needed after this week! We warmed up for about a mile and a half, chatted and I felt myself relax and genuinely smile for the first time in 2 days.
After the warm-up we made a quick stop by the port-a-potties, said a quick hi to my parents (and Ernie!) then headed over to the start. As we were walking up, we heard the announcer say “GO” and all of a sudden, the runners were going by us on the other side of the road.
Holly and I started running up to the start chute as Batch called after us “It’s.Chip.Timing.” We made it up to the start about a minute after the race began and snuck through some corral gates to get in.
Unfortunately this meant that we spent the entire first mile weaving around slower runners and walkers trying to find space to run and get the pace down. It was a bit frustrating, but of course, our own fault for not watching the time. Holly, Batch and I somehow managed to stay together despite all of the weaving and hit mile 1 at 7:21.
I tried to settle in to my 7:00 – 7:05 goal pace after that, hoping I could make up some time later, but the pace felt WAY harder than it should have that early. I already had that “I am working really hard” feeling in my stomach (Do you know the one? Or is that just me?) and I spent the next 2ish miles convinced that I was going to blow-up after the first 5k. I definitely don’t remember the last time that I had so many negative thoughts during a race.
Miles 2 & 3: 7:00, 7:05
Somewhere around the end of mile 3, I realized that, while the pace was uncomfortable, it wasn’t getting any harder to keep it there and that I was probably going to be just fine. I also quit the negative thinking crap and focused on just running and keeping the pace steady.
Mile 4: 7:02
Just before mile 4.5 I started to really struggle. But in a 10k, I knew this is where it is supposed to hurt. I would see the pace slip a little and then push to get it back down. The sun was in my face so I pulled my visor down and didn’t look at anything but the road in front of me.
Mile 5: 7:05
When my watch beeped at mile 5, a guy asked me something about what the time or pace was (not sure?) and I REALLY wanted to be nice and answer him, but I truly was too tired to even get the words out. I just kind of mumbled/grunted at him.
Finally we rounded the corner toward the finish and on the long straight road, I could SEE the finish line chute. It hurt so bad and I felt like I was barely moving, but every time I looked down, my pace was still about the same.
Mile 6: 7:00
I looked at my watch as I was headed toward the finish and saw 43:xx. I really wanted to go sub-44:00, so I opened my stride and ran as fast as I could through the finish.
Mile 0.21: 1:21 (6:30 pace)
Official Time: 43:53 (7:04 min/mile) (Although the timing tweet said 43:55?)
And this is what I looked like after crossing the finish line…
And eventually I recovered enough to give Ernie a little love through the gate (while reporting my time, of course)
Overall: 164/2481, Female: 19/1255, AG: 3/250
After the race, I met up with Holly (who PR’d by 5 minutes!!) and Laura (who PR’d the 5k with a smoking fast 20:22!!) again and got to meet Twitter friend, Kelli (who also PR’d on a hurt foot!!) and her friend, Erin.
I am very happy with my time. My old PR was 45:30 from 2011 and I really thought I could beat that. I hoped to be under 44:00 and I was, so no complaints! (Although I still am kicking myself for the time/energy lost on that first mile!)
And one last thought: Never underestimate the power of supportive running friends and a little push-yourself-till-you-want-to-puke running when life throws you twists and turns.