Even though I am not currently a member of Champion's Gym, I STILL call it my home gym. Working in Augusta and having a gym 11 miles in the opposite direction, which makes it 20 miles out the way, just ain't practical or too smart, otherwise I would still be a member.
This is a race I try to do every year and thankfully today's Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot was a LOT better conditions than last year's edition when we had a snow storm and I was plowing 11" of snow with my front bumper to get out of the yard. This year temps were in the low 30's and a light breeze, but the best thing was that the roads were clear.
About as good as it gets at the end of November in Maine.
The best part of this race is not the race, usually by this time of year, I have shut things down and am in maintenance mode, so it is not an A or even a B race on the schedule. Nope, it is a race where I get to catch up with all the people that I haven't seen in a while.
Yeah, that is the best part...I even had a few people come up and tell me they were reading this blog, which I thought was pretty cool and I definitely told them thank you!
Going into the race, I didn't really have any plans on racing super hard and was looking for a sub 23:00 or so.
Well enough of the background stuff, how did the race go.
The 5K and 10K races started together, so until the 5K turn-around you don't know who you are competing with. Plus there were a LOT more people running today than either or the race director expected. So I purposely got up in the front row, so I didn't have worry about tripping over or getting boxed in.
|Photo by Carrie Davis - At the starting line of the Champion's Turkey Trot 5K - I am the last guy on the right|
It was actually kind of fun having someone push me to keep up with. I had decided that I was going to battle him and not just let another runner go early in the race like I usually do.
|He ran the 10K and probably would have left me on the hill by the Interstate.|
As the leaders went by the turn-around, all but one runner ahead of me just kept going straight and were doing the 10K. Unfortunately, the guy who turned was already about 30-45 seconds ahead of me and there was no chance of me catching him.
Unfortunately, I also lost the guy that was pushing me to keep up the pace, and when I snuck a peek behind me after a couple minutes, the nearest person behind me was a pretty good distance back there. Damn, I should not have looked, because once I did, you can see where I started to ease up a little and save a little in case someone really started to blow the doors off coming back.
Although it was cool the amount of support that the other runners gave me as I was going back by them.
Coming back up Armory Road is not really a hill, at the same time until you get to the light, it is a steady incline and with no one around me to chase or hold off, I didn't feel the need to super hard. I just ran comfortably hard up Armory and then picked it up at the light to the end.
I did finish 2nd overall, well behind the winner.
Which is the second year in a row that I actually finished 2nd in the 5K, so that was cool. You can only race against the people who show up for the race you are running, so while there were a lot of runners who were/are a LOT faster than I am at any distance, they didn't run the 5K, so lucky me.
My official time was 24:44, which when I finished it seemed to me to be a LOT slower than what I had been running. I have a pretty good idea of my pace and was pretty sure that I had run a sub 23:00 for a 5K. Hey, it is just a small local race that I do more for fun than actually going after a PR. Not a big deal.
Yeah, the course was a bit long, my Garmin measured it as 3.4 and put me through the 5K in 22:41, which was right around the pace that I wanted.
So the run was really just what I wanted finishing second overall in the 5K was pretty cool - that doesn't happen very often and I have a feeling that it will happen less and less as I get keep getting older :-).
After all my whining pissing, moaning and groaning about trying to figure out which running shoes to use today. I ended up using my Pearl Izumi N2 Roads (which are not really race day shoes-they are trainers in my opinion). They did great, I didn't think about my feet or legs at all during the race!!!! I didn't push hard enough to tweak the hammies any and they are comfortable, even if they are getting long in the tooth.
So I met my goals for the race and exceeded where I thought I would finish, so it was a good day of running. But the best part was that I got to see a lot of people who I haven't seen in a while, which is always nice and the biggest reason why I do the races - the other runners.
Thank Carrie and Lisa for all your hard work and I will see you for next year's edition.
This post originally appeared on One Foot In Reality if you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission, please go to my site to see the original post.