It was a treadmill run, sure, but I was able to set my speed and cruse, and even do some faster sprints towards the end. The most important part, though, was that I enjoyed the run. I didn't just tolerate it. It left me looking forward to my next run, and super excited about the 5k this weekend.
Now about the Turkey Trot....
I was super nervous in the morning leading up to this race. First, it started way later than any other race I've run - it had a 10am start time. Second, I would have to take a shuttle bus. This was only the second time I'd had to take a shuttle bus to the start of a race, and the first time I would be doing it alone. Third, it was a 4.4 mile race, and I had not been running a lot, or long distances, for a while. I had done one 4 mile run on the treadmill the week before to make sure I could, but I had not run on pavement in weeks.
I packed myself up and got myself to the shuttle busses early, around 8:45, to make sure I got on a bus and to the start line on time.
This is where I made mistake #1, I left my gloves in the car. (This is foreshadowing. Yes it is.)
|Proof that it was snowing!|
|Freezing before the race|
|The crowd before the start|
The race started on a moderate down hill, which made for a very fast start. Unfortunately that down hill was followed by a moderately steep up hill almost immediately. So right off the bat, I had to push hard up a hill, while still at that "OMG I'M RACING" pumped up pace, and no where near warmed up. I could feel the cold in my lungs, and I know it affected the rest of my race. I tried pulling the buff up over my nose a few times, but I was breathing so hard from that uphill that it just got in the way too much, so I settled my pace down a bit and just worked on recovering.
The race was a big loop, and after I settled into my pace, I started having a good time. The snow was falling gently, and it was just a really cool atmosphere. At some point in the race, the two distances merged for a while. Which was kinda cool and also kinda annoying. All of a sudden there were a ton of people, mostly walkers, in the road, and I had to do a lot of rabbeting back and forth to get around them. It was cool though, because most of the people doing the 2.2 were dressed up for the occasion, and were all in very festive moods.
The 4.4ers split off again after a while, and the crowd got thinner again. I spent a good portion of this second "4.4 only" bit leapfrogging a couple, the tall man type person was wearing a t-shirt that read "Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran." I spent a lot of time thinking about how if he could get through that, I could get through 4 measly miles in the cold.
There were also a few firefighters running in full gear. They were from the Webster FD, which, in case anyone doesn't know was the department who lost two firefighters to a crazy ambush in 2012. It's also the department the younger brother of one of Hubs best friends. So I spent a lot of time thinking about that while I ran.
Let me tell you, this run was the perfect one to be doing on Thanksgiving. There were points when I was running that I was so thankful for so many things that I got a little choked up. When the snow was drifting down and i was just kinda cruising along, I thought about my Mom (who has Multiple Sclerosis and is wheelchair bound) and how lucky I am to be able to run.
We joined back up with the 2.2ers for the final leg into the park, where I had a few surprises. First was a big hill. Which was a bad surprise, but I managed to chug my way up it.
The crowd at the finish line was huge and really loud. I was able to kick my legs into a half sprint through the chute, and finish strong, despite the muddy conditions.
|The crowds around the finish line|
The hardest part of this run, actually was afterwards, when I had to wait for a shuttle bus back to my car. It was a long, cold wait. I did however meet some really interesting people in line! This guy asked me about my hat, turns out his mom has MS as well. His dad was there running with him, turns out the guy was a Marine (well they both were), who was stationed with my Uncle for a while at Camp Lejeune . Weird small world sometimes!
|New shoes officially christened!|
|Proof of the mud!|
Overall it was a great race. Not my fastest, I averaged just over a 12 min/mile, but a solid effort. I was also able to do something I have never done before in a race, I was able to actually start passing people towards the end of the race, and give a final kick at the end. Knowing I wasn't completely spent after the race was a great feeling too. Even after standing in the shuttle bus line, I was able to do Thanksgiving dinner without needing a nap!
|Kinda towards the back of the 4.4ers (the 2310), but I know I was ahead of a lot of the 2.2ers ^_~|