Sunday, November 24, 2013

Turkey Trotting...

I have a general rule for races that I borrowed from a friend a while ago.  It made sense when I heard it so have since adopted it as a rule to follow.  If I am considering a race, I never drive farther to get to a  race than it would take me to run it.  There are exceptions to the rule, of course - marathons would be one and races that friends talk me into because they are fun would be another.  Due to this exception, I found myself making a 65 mile drive to Cartersville GA for a 5k.

It would seem that someone is trying to keep me away from Cartersville as two times now on the way to a race there I have had some sort of car issue.  Two years ago, at 5 AM I had a flat tire which ended up with me spending the day at Goodyear getting four new tires.  Yesterday wasn't quite as dramatic.  As I am driving, my 'check engine light' came on.  Normally I wouldn't worry all that much but my car is getting up there in mileage (117,000 miles) and was already overdue for an oil change as indicated by the blinking lights on the dash telling me I had 5% left.  There is also the tire pressure light that is permanently lit no matter the actual tire pressure.  The car had a lot going on and it was lit up like a Christmas tree on my dash trying to get my attention.  Anyhow, just prayed a little prayer that the light was just some kind of reminder as opposed to a pending disaster and decided I would go deal with all the lights after the race.

Not my actual dash but you get the idea...

The deal with this race is age group winners not only get the thrill of winning but also receive a frozen turkey to commemorate their win.  My friend, Sarah, won her age group last year so I came along this year in hopes that we both would bring home frozen birds.  The race director apparently had not only been advertising the race this year but also got it certified which meant that it would attract more people hoping to get a good qualifying time for the Peachtree Road Race.  Curses!  Sarah and I both were hoping for a low participation race as that is where we tend to excel...  The only thing we could hope now was that it would rain and keep all the fair weather turkey lovers away.  No such luck.  To be fair, there weren't thousands of people there but just enough to make us concerned about whether or not we would need to come up with Plan B for acquiring our Thanksgiving bird.

I told Sarah we should have dressed up.  Am thinking I might adopt this look I found online for next year.

Since there were more people than we hoped our goal became simply having a good 5k and winning a turkey would be a happy surprise.  We did about a mile on the track as a warm up and were discussing how funny it was that we were being sized up as competition (and sizing up others as well).  Triathlons are so much easier, your age is there on your calf for the world to see!).  We decided with the exception of a few ladies, most seemed to be either under 12 or in their 30s.  We also decided we were a bad judge of age.  I was more nervous about trying to win this turkey than I was about doing an Ironman!

The race was "old school".  There were no timing chips (how spoiled we have become...) so you had to be near the front if you were worried about time.  Apparently all the 8 and under kids had gotten the memo and loaded up the front.  As I was standing there at the start I figured this would either be good or bad.  They would either take off like they were shot from a cannon or we would all be tripping over the children on our way to turkey glory.  Turns out it was a combination of both.

The first tenth of a mile was a bit of weaving around people and then it opened up.  I didn't have a real strategy for the race other than run fast.  I knew I wanted to try and get a new 5k PR and felt like this would be a good place to do it.  I had sort of a super stretch goal of going sub 23 because that would move me up a corral for the Peachtree Road Race.  I will say I had no real reason to think this was possible but was going to give it a go. I managed to hold on to a 7:20ish pace for about 2.5 miles then slowed a bit in that last section.  In looking back at it, I slowed more than I should have - I was thinking I had a little more cushion in meeting that sub-23 goal.  (I tend to glance at my watch only enough to see the pace and don't look at the overall time - might need to remember to look at time in these instances.  Note to self.).  I ended up with a finish time of 23:40. The time is an improvement over my previous 5k PR of 40 seconds but still left me disappointed.  GAH.  I hate that I can't be happy with what is a seriously great time for me but it left me feeling like I could do better.  I have mental issues.  :)

Sarah came in shortly after me and we waited around for the results.  It was a little chilly out and very windy.

Sarah ended up 2nd in her AG and I came in 1st for my AG as well as 1st Masters -  winning the coveted turkey prize!  We also managed to score some lovely eggs that were given to us by one of Sarah's friends.  So sweet.

As I knew I had a date with my local Honda dealership and already had reservations for Thanksgiving, I donated my bird to Sarah's family feast and headed out.

I would tell you that the United Way of Bartow County puts on a good 5k but then you all would show up next year and further diminish our chances of taking home a Thanksgiving Turkey so I'll just keep it as my little race secret!

Hope you have a good Thanksgiving!



ajh said...

Don't don't don't be disappointed with that time! That is a great time. I so don't follow that rule about driving to races. I'd never race.

B.o.B. said...

That's a fantastic time! I'll be thrilled with that if I can hit it on Thursday myself! You go Kdub!

Carolina John said...

Congratulations! I'll take an AG win any way it comes, old school or timed. and it's rare I complain about a 23 minute 5k time. Nice PR!

Karen said...

I know it is so ridiculous, I told you I had mental issues :) Seriously happy with the 23:40 PR! just had that other time in my head so it was a little bit of a sad trombone for a minute there.

Sarah said...

I'm totally telling everyone that the race is awful ;-)

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Wouldn't it have been fun to say you won a turkey?! Congrats on a great finish time!