Honestly, I thought I had written this post last Sunday. With a busy week and me starting to get sick (boo), that really really slipped my mind.
Anywho, this is about a race that took place a week and a half ago. The Turkey Trot, of course!
Every Thanksgiving morning, there is a race in downtown Cleveland, like in a lot of cities. I love the concept of Turkey Trots, that says that Thanksgiving isn’t all about gorging on food-you can still be healthy and enjoy Thanksgiving and spend time with your family by doing so! My dad has run loads of Turkey Trots and tried every year to get me to run. I was never a runner though and saw that sleeping in on Thanksgiving morning was much more important than running a race. Last year, however, I was starting to race in New York and jumped on the chance when my dad sent that perennial email asking if I wanted to run the Trot. That race, however, was not a fun one. The course is right along Lake Erie downtown, which is completely open and vulnerable to the elements. Last year is was snowing/freezing rain/sleeting/windy/cold and everything else that is like that. It. was. so. miserable. My dad was recounting that race when we were lining up this year, and how he kept telling himself after every mile that that was one mile he didn’t have to do anymore. My time on that race was 42 min (it’s a 5-miler), pretty fast cause all I wanted to do was finish the damn thing. My dad and sister and I had fun together though, even though it was pretty miserable.
Fast forward to this year. Lots has happened since the last Turkey Trot. I’ve had two running injuries, broke my toe and became addicted to racing. So, Wednesday night, the night before Thanksgiving, I went to bed way too excited to get up the next morning and race. I woke up the next morning on my own, not needing a nudge from my dad or Dalton to jump on my bed, because I was so fricking exited. And…the sun was shining! The SUN!! No rain, no snow, no sleet, no wind. Amazing. One of our team decided to stay in bed (Maggie-I think last year’s miserable conditions convinced her that bed would be more fun) but dad and I were 100% in. A quick nosh on a Z-bar (mmmmmmmmmmm) and we were off! Well, off in the car. In places that aren’t New York you have to drive to races sometimes. Imagine that! My mom joined us too to be our cheerleading squad. It was nice to have someone watching unlike last year (but rightly so). My dad and I camped out for a bit at the convention center waiting for the race to start along with, it sure seemed like, half of Cleveland. And, as always, we ran into people my dad knows but I don’t. Smile and nod Betsy, smile and nod. Pretty soon it was almost 9:30 which meant it was almost the start of the race!
9:30…and they’re off! A run along Lake Erie in Cleveland with beautiful sunshine…there’s nothing like it. Ok-I’m going to give guesses for how I felt mile upon mile, especially in terms of hills and such. Mile 1-I split from my dad pretty fast (sorry dad!) to get up in front away from the walkers and slow people. Lots of running on the curb and sidewalks to get past slowpokes. I felt like I was running my normal speed-between 8:15 and 8:30. However, when I got to my first mile marker, my watch said 8:05. Wh-aaat?!? Um that’s fast. Way fast for me. I wasn’t sure if I should slow down cause I still had 4 miles to go. I decided to just keep going at that pace. I think the second mile had lots of downhills and flat stretches, cause my watch said it was 7:30 for Mile 2. !?!?!?!? I have only ever run that fast on the treadmill when I’m doing tempos. Whoa. I was running a speedy race…maybe a little too speedy for me. I didn’t want to die in the last mile or 2 cause I was running too fast. The course was so different than my typical Central Park race that I was running loads faster. Well, I decided to just keep going with it and enjoy it and if I got tired at the end I’d just slow down a little. Mile 3 was flat as well, running right along the lake and the smaller Cleveland airport reserved for rich people. I.E. people with private jets and such. Rich people. There was still a nice crowd and I’d get stuck behind people sometime but that didn’t bother me. I was expecting there to be less people because last year at this point, the race had emptied a bit and there was lots of space. Now that I look back on it, though, I realize its because the weather was so crappy last year that fewer people ran. Duh. Mile 3-7:56. Still under 8 min! Nice! I don’t remember the 4th mile. So ha. Mile 4-8:07. I do, on the other hand, remember mile 5. It went down around the Browns Football stadium, by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum and back up into the city from the lakefront. That back up…that’s a bad hill. It’s only half a mile or so from the finish so I had pretty much put everything I had into the previous 4.5 miles and was not feeling a big hill. And it just kept on going. The funny thing though it’s nothing like the Harlem Hills in Central Park, but for some reason it’s so bad. So bad that I honestly though I was going to throw up halfway through. I just had to keep looking down, not straight ahead as to not see how much further I had to go. But, the beautiful weather and the energy of being in a race pulled me up. And all of a sudden, I was in the final stretch! I was looking out for my Mom-she had my camera to take a pic of me but we never found each other cause she was looking for my pink hat but I took it off before I even started. That’s okay though…Mile 5-8:12. That darn hill slowed me down a lot but I still finished in….39:52!!! Look at that beauty…
That’s a sub 8-min pace peps!!!!! I was in SHOCK…at the time, I was pretty sure that they measured the course wrong cause that’s one insanely fast pace for me. And I still felt pretty good-once I got over that bit of nausea from that final hill. Overall, it was a fantastic race on a beautiful day and something fun to do with my dad. He finished not long after me at 45:something-better than last year! He has had surgery on his ACL so that’s phenomenal for him. In his heyday, he was quite the marathoner and qualified for Boston-my ultimate goal. I’m so glad that now I have this hobby that I share with him, and Thanksgiving was (and is) the perfect time to share that with him.
We got back home with plenty of time to make Thanksgiving dinner…and I barely had a second to eat my oatmeal before my mom got me to work with OUR shared hobby…cooking of course.
Here are some pics of the race my mom took. Can you see me? Probably not, cause neither can I.