Name of the race: PPTC Turkey Trot
Where: Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY
Date: Nov 22, 2018
Time: 9:00 am
Distance: 5 miles
Terrain: rolling hills
Entry fee: $45
Swag: Beanie and finisher’s medal
Post-race Food: Bagels, cream cheese, peanut butter, and hot chocolate
Performance: Overall: 167/1863; Gender: 36/1070; Age (40-44): 3/166
Weather: 21 degrees, 47% humidity
I love this race because there’s something nice about going out to see all your friends, racing, and then going to warm house to stuff yourself with ALL THE FOOD. Ben opted to volunteer this year, so it was just me turkey trotting. Of course, I ran with the turkey tutu that I wore last year. Sadly Heinrich was out of town, so he could not join me in wearing our tutus.
Also unlike last year, this year’s Turkey Trot was frigid. It was the second coldest Thanksgiving in over 20 years. I looked longingly at last year’s outfit (t shirt, shorts, and compression socks) while I pulled on a thicker long-sleeved shirt, the team’s singlet, running tights, winter hiking socks (aces), hat, and gloves for racing. I wore my ski jacket and sweats as well on the walk over to the park. It was cold.
Ben left the house before me, but he found me before the race to give me some hand warmers. Those hand warmers and the thick hiking socks saved me. My feet never cold. The hard warmers kept my fingers warm, so I wasn’t running with painfully cold hands. Plus I could also rub the hand warmers over my body to warm up a bit as I waited for the start of the race.
The first mile plus of the race is always a congested mess. There were plenty of walkers and people ambling casually at the front. I lined up close to the start of the line and I still had to do a ton of weaving.
My focus for the first mile was to run at a good clip and to clear my way through the crowd. I was sooooo cold from waiting that I didn’t feel 100% comfortable. I felt frozen while running. Garmin beeped that I ran 7:22, but it was long before the mile marker. I briefly glanced at my watch at the first mile marker and it gave me a time of around 8 minutes. Internally I groaned. I felt like I was running hard and relatively speaking, an 8 minute mile for this distance is not fast for me. I focused on speeding up.
The week before the race, I thought about goals for this race. I would have loved a PR and knew I was in shape for one, but the weather forecast of brutally cold weather (below freezing) and winds of 20+ mph made the PR attempt unlikely. While it was still brutally cold, the winds thankfully were less powerful. I figured I would come somewhere close to the PR I set last year, which I was fine with. The important thing was to run hard based on effort. With this in mind, I knew I had to chip away at the slow first mile. For the second mile, I ran around 7:30 mile (Garmin was still beep fairly early in comparison to the mile markers because of GPS drift, so I was relying more on mile markers and overall time elapsed than the pace given by Garmin).
The third mile was straight up Zoo Hill. Fun. I wanted to run around 7:45; I ran 7:49. Close enough, I’ll take it.
Mile 4 is downhill, so I took advantage of this to push the pace. I was feeling slightly better at this point. I was no longer frozen, and the hardest part of the race was behind me. I threw away the hand warmers when I ran past a trash can. At this point in the race, I’m thinking that I’ll come in a few seconds slower than last year’s race. But as I ran past the Mile 4 marker, I realized that a PR was not entirely out of question. If I ran the last mile at 7:30 pace, I would match last year’s time. Anything faster than a 7:30 pace would give me a PR. With that knowledge, I pushed even harder.
For most of the race, I was running behind Anna, another teammate from PPTC. I was grateful for her presence because I focused on her and didn’t allow myself to let her go too far ahead of me. Whenever I saw that she gapped me more than I would like, I picked up the pace. The last mile of a race is always hard, so I focused even more on Anna. “Don’t let Anna out of your sight,” I thought fiercely. This worked pretty well until we were in the final straightaway to the finish line. Anna still had one last giant push left in her and she left me in the dust. I totally lost her. That was fine because I saw the finish line.
Final time was 37:22, a 15-sec PR! Hurrah!
I got some hot chocolate and picked up a bagel for me and Ben. Because of the cold, Ben and I made plans that we would meet back home rather than try to find each other after the race. I talked to a few friends and then made my way home.
Ben was the lead bike for the lead female, so he told me about his perspective of the race and then I told him about my own race. After I showered and got warm, we got started on cooking for our Thanksgiving feast. Because we’ve been so busy with work, we decided that we would stay home and have a low key Thanksgiving this year. It was absolutely perfect and exactly what we needed.
I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend. What are your favorite things to eat for Thanksgiving? Mine are cornbread stuffing and roasted Brussels sprouts.