Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Race Recap

It was a damn cold day for a race yesterday if I do say so myself....

My Dad (half of the epic race coaching staff, minus the Huz) and I headed out the door bright and early to get to the Holiday race in time to beat the worst of the crowds. (this meant that I had to get up at the ridiculous hour of 4:45 AM. Not my best time of day.)

By the time we arrived the temps had climbed to a balmy 26 degrees. OH. MAH. GAHD. Our plan to beat most of the mobs worked though- I was able to get my number and shirt right away and then we got to walk in circles, freeze, and be bored for close to an hour.

There is nothing more unpleasant that having to take off multiple layers before lining up for the start of a race. No matter how chilly it is I always manage to work up a sweat so running in 2 shirts, a fleece, a vest and a jacket is never on my agenda. BOOOO! Which means that 3 minutes
before the gun goes off I do an unhappy unlayering, every removed layer causes me to scream in agony and dance around spasmodically to keep the blood flowing to my extremities. No lie kids, it was BRUTAL....

This was a big race- over 2000 starters and 1650 finishers. A solid turnout and a bit of an overload for the narrow streets of our so called city. I tried to position myself close to the front to avoid the 20 minutes of accumulating time as the crowd crawled thru the actual starting point. Needless to say my effort was in vain and I was firmly stuck in the middle of the pack. Thoroughly wedged in between a couple of pilgrims and a few turkeys (dangerous situation, for the turkeys that is....)

Once the gun went off we all crept thru the start and got down to business- and a fast business it was for the people in the front. The typical set of super fit, blindingly fast, college age, out for blood people who so intimidated me last year. I fell in with the much slower group of average non super hero citizens and we all ran elbow to elbow, bumpah to bumpah for the first couple miles. Not only was I keenly aware of the traffic around me and it's unrelenting quality but I was still super cold and was fairly certain that my lungs were getting frostbite. IT WAS FREEZING!!

I passed by my Dad right before mile two and informed him that my feet were frozen solid and that I was not feeling my toes anymore. In his opinion that was good- because I could not feel any pain! Evidently though I had not lost all feeling in my feet.... As I passed the mile 2 marker I felt something whipping around my toes and ankle and looked down to see disaster- my shoelace had undid its double knot and had come untied. This crisis dominated my thoughts for several minutes (as I dodged the spit balls that the runners in front of me were launching. you know, there are people behind you! YUCK!!) I weighed the options and did not like any of them... Continue to run and take a tumble and break my face? Or merge out of traffic, tie the offending shoe, and merge back in with the masses after loosing 45 minutes. As always, logic and reason prevailed and I left the damn shoe untied and tempted fate to knock me on my face. (and for the next 2 miles all I heard from the other runners was "shoelace!" which was very nice.)

I had one other surprising moment with about 3/4 mile left to go. As the running traffic thickened thru the narrow streets I was keeping my eyes pealed for a space to do some passing- I had just found it when BOOM! A spectator, evidently unaware that there was a race happening stepped out right in my path. Unable to stop I put my hands up and crashed into his side, exclaiming "DUDE!" He looked at me with surprise- there weren't too many lights on in THAT house- as he appeared to be quite mystified by my sudden appearance. Hello? There are only 2000 people running right now buddy!

The last half mile or so was particularly crowded (why didn't the crowds lighten up at all- it was crazy!) but I managed to work my way around a good number of people. The clock read 31:43 as I ran over the mats so I was confused later in the day when my placing showed 31:50. My watch read 31:18, taking into account the fact that I started my watch when I ran thru the actual start. I placed about 440th- a decent finish in a large crowd. I think I was around the 100 mark for the ladies- out of over 700 of us.

The race, despite the cold and the crowds was still a ton of fun. I prefer the crowds to running by myself in the smaller races- I like to pass people and it's a huge motivator being able to stay in the passing lane for the better part of a race.
It was a cold one.... I have reservations about my January 1st race and the weather- but I remain hopeful that t won't be much colder or snowier out. I'm living in a dream world.)
Despite the fact that my time was not my best I felt it to be a solid effort all things being taken into consideration- especially the fact that due to the weather I had not been able to run in several days.
And finally- I certainly improved on my finish from last year which was the start to this running insanity (maybe that's what I should have called my blog, I like the ring of that "Running Insanity" Hmmmmm.)

The best part of the day? Eating an outrageously good Thanksgiving dinner with family, playing games and having a helluva good time. And feeling completely justified in my decision to eat 3 slices of pie and to have a post meal sandwich.... YAY!


  1. Great job on your race!! I love taking the layers off too!! No better feeling than enjoying Thanksgiving food after you know you earned it:)

  2. Great run, & wow what a turn out! Makes me wonder how big my local turkey trot is.
    & I know the annoyance of the dummy who you crashed into.. I've crashed into a runner who decided to stop & walk..HELLO there's a zillion people behind you!
    Great race!