I have always wanted to do a turkey trot. Something about running on a holiday makes it feel like more of an accomplishment. On a holiday that is centered around gluttony and sloth, it not only feels like accomplishment, but like a smart life choice. Even so, I went back and forth on whether to add this one to my race schedule. Since I have been struggling with my knee, it seemed silly to add a 5 mile race. But a friend asked if I was registered and said that she and her girlfriend were going to run/walk it. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to mark this race off my bucket list, have a good time with friends, and earn a medal. As a bonus, the race swag was a sweet knit hat instead of a shirt!
Before the race
The night before the race was low stress since this was going to be a fun run. I did K tape my knee for the first time ever with the help of YouTube. It was horrible weather the entire day before the race, but was supposed to clear up over night so I had no worries when I headed to bed. Race morning was also pretty low stress aside from deciding on my commute. I ended up just taking the subway which was easy enough. I did manage to forget my heart rate monitor which was disappointing, but I wasn’t too concerned. Got the race a half hour early, used the facilities, dropped my bag, and headed to the start. Met up with the ladies a few minutes before the start.
The start was interesting. There were 2500 runners and walkers, and no corrals. We all just kind of herded in and waited for the gun. The start wasn’t even marked. We only knew we were crossing it because of the timing mat. Just after the start we were at a pretty good jog when all of the sudden the race came to a halt. Runners were all bunched up and no one seemed to be moving. We slowed to a very slow walk. It wasn’t until I saw the huge puddle taking up half the roadway that I understood what was going on. Puddle bottleneck! Once we passed it and turned onto the outer loop of the park, the congestion cleared. As my watch alerted me at mile 1, I looked for a mile marker on the course but couldn’t find one. It wasn’t until mile 2 that we realized that there were small markers, low to the ground on the inside of the loop. This definitely wasn’t an NYRR production!
My friend’s girlfriend hadn’t run in awhile so my expectation was a pretty slow pace with plenty of walking. I was surprised when at mile 2 we were still running and at a pace a little bit faster than my typical easy (Z2) pace. Around mile 2.25 we started walking. For the past quarter mile it seemed like it was starting to rain or snow, but it was so light and sporadic we couldn’t figure it out. As we started walking, it started coming down more heavily and we realized it was a light snow. I really love running in snow, but am typically wearing a water-resistant jacket which I hadn’t worn. So the snow was landing on us and then melting and making our clothes wet. Not ideal in 36º weather, but it was all in good fun. We started running again around mile 2.75 and kept at a good clip until 3.2 and then walked to 3.3. After that brief walk break, the ladies picked up the pace to 10:00mm and continued to speed to 9:15mm to mile 4.1. We took short walk breaks between 4.1-4.3 and 4.5-4.6 then ran the last ~.5 mile around 10:00mm until our finishing kick. My watch clocked my finish at 6:52mm.
The race: The stats
Official finish: 58:42
Weather: Cloudy with light snow, 37º, 75% humidity, 4mph wind
-Mile 1: 12:14
-Mile 2: 11:33
-Mile 3: 12:54
-Mile 4: 11:01
-Mile 5: 11:03
Garmin distance: 5.11
Last 5M PR (8/10/2014): 53:36
After the race
After the race, we grabbed a water and took a photo with our medals before the ladies headed off to the train. I picked up my bag, used the facilities, changed out of my wet shirt and put on my warm-ups over my running clothes. I tried to grab a gatorade, but the machines were all sold out. Munched on my KIND bar and headed to the train. I was freezing, it was lightly snowing, it was an outdoor platform, and holiday service so it took awhile for the train to arrive. It was fun to look around the train on the way back and see all the turkey trot hats and medals. I always wonder what non-runners think of these scenes on the subway.
We ran faster than I had assumed and on the way home I noticed my knee was hurting pretty badly. Going down stairs is definitely not my friend. Or up stairs, for that matter. Some yoga seemed to help, but I was definitely feeling my knee for the rest of the evening. Today it is hurting, but more so on the back of my knee than the front. I am wondering if the K tape just shifted the issue. At any rate, I will need to take it easy for a few days again and just try to maintain my fitness for my last two marathon guarantee races.