Thursday, November 27, 2014

Long Grove Turkey Trot Race Report

As Thanksgiving approached, I thought it might be fun to run a Turkey Trot this year. I hadn't run one for several years, since my oldest son and I ran a 2 miler. He decided that running wasn't for him, and that was the end of our Turkey Trotting. But I wanted to run this year, and figured doing the 8k option would get my miles in for the day, plus I've missed racing since the marathon, so this would satisfy that too.

I convinced Marcia, from Marcia's Healthy Slice and Sara, from Cheesy Runner Mom, to run it with me. Both of them were reluctant, for differing reasons. Marcia has run this one before and was concerned about the large crowd this race attracts. Sara is planning on a half this weekend, and wanted to PR. She said it would be hard to hold back and not race this one. But they both agreed and we made a plan to meet up about an hour before the race.

It was 22 degrees and we sat in Marcia's car to keep warm before heading to the start line. Sara and Marcia had never met, but they hit it off right away. Both of them are super nice, so I didn't expect anything else. Marcia brought goodie bags for us, containing some CocoaVia (I've been wanting to try it!), a Boston marathon headband (inspiration!), SOS rehydrate, Alkaline sports drink, and Balega socks (yes!). So thoughtful and I love this woman. I've said it before, but I feel like I've known her my whole life. Plus we have a lot in common, even besides running.

Pre race: Marcia, Sara, and Me (in my "throwaway" sweatshirt)
We made the brave decision to head to the porta potties before the race. There were plenty of them, and the lines were short. People were quick about their business, probably because it was cold. You know its cold when the stuff inside the potty is frozen. Yes, I checked. It actually made it a little less frightening.

My pre-race attempt at a selfie! Actually multiple attempts...
We headed to the start line and lined up with the 9 minute milers. The 5k and 8k runners lined up together. I didn't tell Marcia and Sara, but I hoped to race this one, if my legs cooperated. I've been having some issues with shin splints and hoped they didn't flare up during the race. As the start time approached Sara and I took off our "throwaway sweatshirts" and I stuck them under a table in the refreshment tent.


The gun went off and we moved slowly towards the start line. Apparently, the organizers were letting us go out in waves. I kept jumping up and down to stay warm. Finally we crossed the starting line. As we headed under the covered bridge, we spent a lot of time weaving through runners, walkers, and yes, strollers. Apparently people didn't pay attention to the pace signs and lined up wherever. So annoying. This is my #1 racing pet peeve. As we kept weaving, I had to remind myself that this was a Turkey Trot and to just roll with it. Eventually, I decided my legs were going to cooperate, and I kicked it up a notch, leaving Sara and Marcia to fend with the crowds.

Most of the race is on paved roads, and I continued to weave through all the walkers. After mile 2.5, the 5k participants go there own way, and I was able to open up a little bit. We ran through a neighborhood, and then down a path to a rural road. This is a really pretty area, and I've biked here a bit. We passed the north entrance to one of the places I run, and I never realized THAT's where it comes out! I told Marcia this after the race, and we talked about meeting halfway sometime.

About mile 4, I passed a little girl, running a nice steady pace. I called out to her, "good job!" but she just ignored me. Maybe she was super focused on her run? I kept going. Sara caught up with me. That's when I knew I was running fast, because she's super speedy. I knew she was holding back, but still I was pretty excited to be running with her for the rest of the race! She took off ahead of me but I kept her in my sights. Then we merged with the 5k walkers, and the weaving started again.


We pushed towards the finish. I heard a little boy tell his mom, "that lady's fast!" when Sara passed them. Right before the covered bridge, we had to run on a stone path, and there was a lot of congestion again. I pushed to the side of the path and plowed through the walkers. We crossed the finish line under the covered bridge. I was so excited when I checked my Garmin and saw 40:52. Sara and I hugged and waited for Marcia to finish. When she caught up to us, we congratulated her and headed to the results table. I saw that I finished 3rd in my AG, and so we stuck around for the medal presentation.

Post race sweaty and satisfied!
We walked to the refreshment tent and YES! our throwaway sweatshirts were still there. That was a good thing, since it was so cold. The post race snacks were nothing exciting. Water, granola bars, protein bars, and fruit snacks. Meh. Marcia and Sara stuck around with me while we waited for the AG awards. Last to be announced were the 8k AG winners. When they announced the 3rd place winner in my AG, it wasn't me. Turns out I came in 2d. I was stunned and excited, which you can see by the picture that Sara took of me. What a thrill! And so nice of them to stick around with me, since it was so cold!


Did I mention how cold it was?

Here's my official results: 40:46 finish time, pace time 8:12min/mi.,153/771 runners, 2/118 AG.

Would I do this one again? It was fun but it was cold. I hate the weaving around people. But the race was well organized and parking wasn't really a hassle, since we got there about an hour early. I liked that it was so close to my home. It sells out every year, so there's no last minute impulse racing. You have to plan. But yes...I would. Only if Marcia and Sara do it, tho!!


18 comments :

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    1. Me too, especially because it was an AG medal. No other swag for this one!

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  2. So much fun out there today despite the crowds and cold. I'm thrilled you decided to race today. Way to rock it, especially with 118 in the AG. Wow!

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    1. I'm glad my legs decided to cooperate. But I would have been fine either way. It was just so fun to be with you and Sara!!!

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  3. Maybe some of your - I just want a little! - could rub off by osmosis? Great job & without all the walkers maybe you could've had 1st place AG!

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    1. I don't know--those first placers are always SO FAST! That was fun, tho!

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  4. The cold weather must agree with you!! You rocked that one. Impressive. Have any suggestions for warm gloves??

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    1. I like those Saucony convertible gloves. The hood keeps my fingers warm. Plus they come with a LED clip on light for nighttime running!

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  5. Congrats! How exciting you were second in your AG! I love your orange top. And I have to ask - did you get the throwaway UNI top at Goodwill or do you know someone who went there? (UNI is in my hometown)

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    1. My nephews got the UNI top at Goodwill and gave it to me! It's like brand new...and even tho I tried to throw it away, I got it back...

      Small world!

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  6. Fantastic race! You smoked it. Love, love your orange shirt!

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    1. Thanks! I love that shirt too--its from Athleta.

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  7. Woohoo!! Awesome run girl! And congrats on the Age Category finish! That is exciting!!

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  8. Congratulations! I was thinking you should do a shorter race (around a 10K) to see how much you could smash your PR now that you are coming off that marathon. But you must have had the same thought! You just keep getting stronger!

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    1. Thanks! It was fun and a great way to end this fantastic year of running!

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