Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Turkey Trot 2012 Race Recap

Every year for the past decade or so, my mom and I (and sometimes my sister) have done the Thunder Cloud Subs Turkey Trot in Austin on Thanksgiving morning.  We usually start out together and then go our own ways and meet back up at the finish line to compare all the costumes and sights we saw along the route. The Austin Turkey Trot is one of the biggest--it was 21,000 strong this year--and there are always a plethora of interesting costumes and characters.  The city’s motto is “Keep Austin Weird” and people sure are doing their best to live up to the hype.

This year I decided to run the timed race (I’ve always run untimed in the past) so I could start further up in the corral and not have to dodge dogs and baby joggers for the first half of the race.  It was so nice to be pretty far up toward the front of the race!  I’m never going to go back to untimed, and maybe next year I can get my mom to join me in the ranks of the timed.

I’ve been trying to keep my weekly mileage up by running 2-3 times during the week on the treadmill and then once on the weekend outdoors.  I hate winter because it’s dark by the time I get home from work and I have to do the majority of my runs on the treadmill.  I know running on the treadmill is not as challenging as running outside, and I was really hoping that my Turkey Trot time wasn’t too embarrassingly slow, especially after I did fairly well in the Great Race in September.  

I knew the course was going to be pretty hilly and I’d been trying to build some hills into my outdoor workouts and play with the incline on the treadmill so that I’d be prepared, or at least not collapse.  Boy am I ever glad I did that, because at least the first half of the race was hill after serious hill.  Pretty much right out of the gate and as we were still all awkwardly dodging each other and figuring out our paces we headed straight up a long, hard hill.  Then we turned a corner and there were more hills!  Big, rolling ones that weren’t easy to drag yourself up OR safely speed down.  I live in fear of going ass over teakettle on some of these big descents.

I kicked up the music and chugged away, speeding up on the flat parts and trying to gain time where I could. I knew this race was going to be slower than my last timed one--I wasn’t in the same kind of shape, it was pretty warm (high of 80!), and I was running by myself instead of with D, who always pushes me.  Even with all those factors working against me, I still managed to finish in 40:50 with an average time of 8:10/mile. Here’s how it broke out:
Mile 1:  8:29
Mile 2:  8:07
Mile 3:  7:52
Mile 4:  7:49
Mile 5:  7:58
Extra little .30 at the end because this race was longer than the five miles they billed it as:  1:55

I was 44/327 for my division (F 25-29) and only ran an average of 4 seconds slower than I did in the Great Race.  All in all a successful turkey trot, and one that made me feel a little less bad for eating that second (and third) slice of pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving dinner.  I think this practice of running a few hard miles before I eat a whole bunch of food is a really good idea, and I’m already looking for a run to do over Christmas break when D will be in town with me.  I wonder if running back for seconds counts...


Marisa A. said...

That is awesome, great job! Also I have never heard the phrase ass over teakettle before, but I love it and am going to start using it every chance I get :)

Kristina Richie said...

Congrats! Sounds like a success! You totally deserved that extra piece of pie :)

Keep the running inspiration blog posts coming! ;) I'm struggling over here. I know I'm new at this, but is it that one day you feel unstoppable, and the next day your legs feel like lead? WHEN DOES IT GET EASIER?

Journey Authentically said...

Ha great job! Those hills do sound killer :)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Wow - great job on your 5k! Your time is awesome! I did not do a Turkey Trot this year as I was at the lake so there were no races around me. And I forgot my running shoes so I ran 0 miles. Runner fail.