|An essential element of the tradition.|
EFD told me he wanted to shoot for a sub-30, and I promised to pace him. I was a little nervous since I have about three gears: really slow, slow, and jesuschristtoofastslowdown (read: slightly faster than slow). We discussed strategy a little bit pre-race, and then I had to turn away as EFD started doing his static stretching warm up.
|Page One of Google Images didn't have any funny results for this, unfortunately.|
|Our headbands bring all the runners to the yard.|
|Exhibit A: Having a tall parent is amazingly useful in so many ways.|
With this in mind, EFD and I started pretty close to the front. This is something I still struggle with. In my head I'm still the super slow runner that has no business being that close to the front. I can also be conscientious to a fault (this is not a humble brag, honest), and I'm incredibly paranoid I'll ruin someone else's race by getting in their way. Because, obviously, the local turkey trot is basically the Boston Marathon in terms of competition.
Our spot ended up being pretty good, though we still had to pass people. EFD did great, and we were on track to make the sub-30 no problem. It was very strange running at about a 9:50 pace. It was fast enough to hurt, but still slow enough I knew I wasn't racing full out. It was mentally a lot tougher than I anticipated. I think my brain wanted me to choose - did I want to go for leisurely run or did I want to go balls to the wall? This in-between thing just wasn't cutting it.
The first sign of trouble, a bit past mile two, was when we reached the point at which we needed to circle a pond. In previous years, we went around the pond and continued on normally. This year, we went in reverse, which meant runners had to merge back with traffic following their loop. We're guessing the bridge further out was icy and we needed to be diverted, but it was still incredibly awkward and poorly planned. (It's not like ice and snow on Thanksgiving are totally abnormal in Michigan.)
We did get to see Eager Feet Mom at this point!
|Apparently our turkey headbands made us really easy to spot. Who knew?|
|Must beat the people wearing their race shirts, which I explain to EFM every year is not an acceptable thing. She still thinks it's cool.|
The course ended up measuring over .1 long, which is a ton for a 5K. I know we didn't run the tangents properly and did some passing, but there's no way we added that much on our own. I felt awful for EFD - he beat his goal pace but didn't get an official time that reflected that. I'm super proud of him, though. Not only did he run a(n actual) sub-30, his last mile split was a 9:12!
I want to absolutely love this race, it is my hometown turkey trot after all, but it's a little hard. If the weather is nicer in 2014, I worry how crowded it could get. I also am concerned about the new course change and inaccurate distance. If EFD is going to run one 5K a year, I'd like to be reasonable well-measured.
All in all, it's a really fun tradition. My Thanksgiving plans will probably be different in 2014, as I'll have moved out and it's an important holiday for Michael, but this is something I definitely don't want to give up. Gobble gobble.