trotting with turkeys

A while ago I posted about a duathlon I ran in October.  That seemed to go over well so guess what was on my mind somewhere around mile 2 of the Webster Turkey Trot?  Oddly enough, it was my pants again, but I’ll get to that.

37 degrees.  Thanksgiving morning.  What would you rather be doing than gathering with 1200 slightly left of sane people and running?  We had one thing to be thankful for already, no precipitation.  Last year, we got to run into freezing rain and finished through large, unavoidable puddles.  Not this time though.  The morning was crisp, cloudy, and very little wind was blowing.  In other words, a perfect way to bank some “negative” calories.  Note:  I am not a doctor, and in fact, was not all that good at biology (ask my Cornell professor if she even remembers me); however I would like to think that if you burn calories in the morning, you are allowed to replace them in the afternoon.  Anyway, on to the mile by mile account.

Start:  Well here I am.  Chip on my right ankle, RoadIDtag on my left ankle, car remote starter/lock safely zipped in my jersey, hat and glasses on, packed in the crowd but probably in at least the first 100 people from the starting line (this race is brutal if you start in the back of the pack, think having to lap in NASCAR and I’m not even that fast), time to get mentally ready.  Of course, someone next to me is yakking with his pals about how they shouldn’t have gone out drinking last night.  You know what I’m thinking?  Perhaps you should move back a bit.  Of course, that was no big deal until he yelled at the race director to “shut up and let us start!”  His friends gave him a laugh, everyone else ignored him.  If you do enough of these races, you appreciate the race directors.  We all sign disclaimers when we enter the race, but it is still their responsibility to make sure everyone is safe and enjoys the race.  Yes, this sort of thing runs through my head when some of my friends are running a later race and the rest are further back in the pack.  Weird how I can feel together and lonely at the same time.  The two minute announcement causes a flurry of activity in the front as the real runners (some in as little as a tank top and running shorts) take off down the road for their final warm up run.  As they settle back into place, the horn is sounded and we’re off!

Well sort of anyway, it sometimes is like a train starting, all the cars have to click into place and get in rhythem.  A friend of mine was further back and said it took him 30 seconds just to get to the starting line after the horn sounded.  Since I was further up, I got into my run much faster and oddly enough many of the people around me ran at the same speed.  I like it when people self regulate, if they know they are slow they go to the back, fast to the front, the rest of us somewhere in the middle.  So there we are running down a hill then up a hill before turning a corner, that’s when it starts to thin out.  That’s when the fun begins with my brain.  See, as long as I’m trying to not run over people or get run over, my brain is occupied.  Once we settle out and you end up running with a group catching some, getting passed by others the mind tends to wander.

Mile 1 marker:  Okay, I have no idea how fast that first mile was, it seemed fairly fast.  I don’t wear a watch when I run, maybe I should ask for one of those water proof ones with the timer so I can obsess over something else while I’m working out.  This is cool that we really have the entire road.  Not a lot of costumes in this group.  I would guess the people with the turkey costumes are either running the shorter race or are farther back.  Wait, wait, there is a guy in a turkey hat passing me now.  Well, he’s skinny, he should run faster than me.  Sure am glad it’s not raining this year.  I don’t think they have water stops on this run, but those always make me choke, I can never get the water down while running.

Mile 2 marker:  Ugh, why is that second mile always so bad.  I feel like I somehow gained ten pounds and there weren’t really many hills, just gradual ones.  Does it take my body a mile to wake up and then once that happens, it just decides to start punishing me?  Really, I know these are called runners tights, but do they really have to be this tight?  It could be the long underwear pants under them but damn, I’m going to be hitting the high notes I’m thinking.  Of course, now I no longer need to go to the bathroom.  I wonder how that works.  It’s not like I did a marathon runner move here.  Okay, keep a good pace, your over halfway there now.  Think like a turkey.  No, think about eating turkey.  Wait, wake up!  Not after you eat the turkey…

Mile 3 marker:  Phew, only 1.4 to go sort of. I think they call it 4.4, but are not really sure it’s that.  Or, they tell us it’s 4.4 when it’s 4.2 or 4.6 who knows.  At this point in the race, I’m thinking the directors are very evil people.  Wow, some guy just ran out of the woods and back onto the road.  He must have been relieving himself behind a tree.  So, someone can run over 3 miles, stop, answer the call of nature, get back out on the road and run and I’m not catching him?  I think I need to refresh my training plans.  It is nice to have this going through a residential area.  The turns are a little much, but it’s not like we can’t go around corners.  People come out and cheer.  Hey, there’s a car playing music, they have a sign but I don’t feel like reading it, that would mean I wasn’t watching where I was going.  Turning onto Holt Road, I think this group meets up with the people running the shorter race.  That’s always interesting, like merging traffic.  Then we all make a mad dash at the end with whatever we have left. 

Mile 4 lack of marker:  No marker, but I think this is the end of mile 4 since we’re turning into the park.  If I remember we have a slight uphill, a few turns, then down through the woods on a trail and we end on grass while dodging puddles.  These two guys near me look like they might be my age and we’ve been running together most of the time, I’ll see if I can pass them before the end.  Jeez, how long is this last section?  This final uphill seems to be claiming a lot of souls here.  Ah, here comes the down hill.  Just. Don’t. Fall!  Okay made it, right turn, watch the puddles, where are those guys, less than a tenth to go, lets see what we can do.  Oh man, we’re passing people, don’t want to be rude and bump anyone, it’s not like any of us are going to win anything.  Okay, passed one, this next one is close but I don’t think I’m going to catch him.  Nope.  Ah well, one out of two isn’t bad.  My goal was 31 minutes, and the clock says 31:11.  Not horrible, I’ll do the math later (7:05).  Look at all these happy faces.  Too funny, we come out and abuse ourselves sort of and have a smile to show for it.  I’ll smile too then.

So not a bad showing.  No awards for this guy or age group accolades.  I have to pick the smaller races for those and make sure all the fast guys are running in others.  That makes nine races this year, one more than last year.  The best part was, I didn’t have to hire a babysitter.  Oh, that and I can now go home and eat some fantastic food and enjoy a fine beverage or two, or three, how many miles was that?  Make that 5 beverages.  We’ll round up.

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One Response to “trotting with turkeys”

  1. negative calories | Digg hot tags Says:

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