Race Diary for November 27, 2014 (Thanksgiving)
Race: Five Star “Business Subdivisional” Turkey Trot, 10k 15k, Johns Creek, GA
Other participants: Jennifer Peace, Dana Tamasi, Tonya Weaver
Pre-Race: Jennifer sends an email to family who are going to GA for Thansgiving about running this Turkey Trot race. I like running. I enter. Pretty cheap fee ($15).
Pre-Race Training: Non-existent.
No. I take it back.
I ran 7 miles the Monday before to prove to myself I could run the 10k. But running has been sporadic this fall due to illness (diverticulitis – 2 weeks lost…don’t ever get that) and a major Charlie Horse from playing pick-up basketball (3 weeks before I felt good enough to run). But significantly less for a race than I usually do. I also had some good cold weather training at PASIC 2014 running in 15-degree weather.
Pre-Race Morning: Start out on the road to get to the site at about 7:30. Dark outside. Temps in the 30s with a significant wind. Pick up Dana. Find a parking spot somewhere. Meet up with Tonya, Jennifer’s friend who recently ran an ultramarathon in the NC mountains. Headover to get my racing bib and chip. Stand around all cold waiting for the race to begin.
Mile 0 of the Business Subdivisional
There’s about 1500 runners in this race, split up runningthe 5k , 10k, 15k, and half-marathon. The course is a 5k-ish length that’s run either once (5k), twice (10k), thrice (15k), or four times with an extended turn after each lap (halfmarathon). The course moves completely through business parks. No running through neighborhoods. You pass and see Arris, Sofo Foods, Orthopedic Surgeons, and, of course, a Trampoline Park. Because…
Mile 1 (:10)
I was very happy that Jennifer had brought tissues, because we all definitely needed them. A nearby participant yelled, “MY NOSE IS RUNNING FASTER THAN I AM!”
Mile 2 (:19)
The course has no major hills, but a long, steady decline near the beginning of the loop and a similar incline (same spot) going back. Otherwise, it’s the least exciting/interesting running course I’ve done. Run up the street, see a median, small trees, and business buildings…take a left…see a median, small trees, business offices…take a right…see a double yellow line, slightly larger trees, business park. The varieties of business offices ranged from“strip mall business front” to “strip mall that looks like a house business front”. Truly invigorating.
Mile 3 (:30)
There were a few dogs on the course. One of them was a sheepdog type. The other one was a small horse. Or a wolfhound. It was hard to tell. The dog/pony was not being led by her owner, but the other way around. “Must be nice” was said by a random runner.
Mile 4 (:39)
There were a few people dressed up. One guy was dressed as The Flash, and the rest were turkeys. Well, to a degree. A few were wearing turkey hats (with the drumsticks flopping around…the hats appeared to violate the bird).
One was wearing a turkey shirt, tutu, and a severe look (I guess she was going as a “stern schoolteacher turkey”).
Others were in similarshirt/tutu looks, and one dude went with the full turkey bodysuit. Which, in the cold weather, probably felt great.
Mile 5 (:47)
There were, maybe, 3 people watching the race. I guess that’s what happens when you run a race through business parks on a day when businesses are closed. Luckily, the people giving water were cheering!
The mentioned soundtracks of the day: Pitbull andKe$ha. Hold. Me. Back.
Mile 6 (:57)
The most interesting part about running a loop race (aside from the fact that the route gets more recognizable as you go along) is that, in this case, the routes ran 2 ways on the same stretch of road. So you could FEEL like you were running fast…then you’d watch the people running 5- and 6-minute miles, and YOU were slowing them down. Also, you’d take a turn and say hi to your friends on the way around. So they’d be the ones cheering you on. (Again, 3 fans watching race.)
Mile 7-ish (1:08)
No signs for miles 7-9, so I guessed. Jennifer told me the night before that she decided to do the 15k. She egged me on to do it, though I hadn’t run more than 8 miles in at least a year. But I was up for the challenge. Because I am a Champion.
Mile 8-ish (1:15)
Since I didn’t prep for the race, I went ahead with my usual running strategy. Run the hills fast, and manage to stay afloat on the hills. So I managed to pull off some miles at 7-minute clips, and others at 11-minute clips. So that averages in the 9-minute range, faster than my usual pace.
One strategy that was definitely going to happen, though…sprint to the end. Why?
Because that’s what Champions do.
Mile 9 and finish (1:29:30)
The Champion gets sidetracked.
As I make the final turn, I turn on the jets. I’m about to turn into the lot where the finish line is…and get confused. I expect that we’re going to wrap around and finish, but there’s a bunch of runners waiting around to hear the results of who won the 5k and 10k, and blocking my expected path. I stop, run backwards about 20 yards…then finally see the time clock and the general direction of where the finish line is. (I will once again point out the 3 people watching the race and how that makes things a little weird). So, without a crowd (albeit even a small one), I got momentarily confused. But I went through the wickets at what I think was a pretty decent time.
Jennifer told me I could change my mind about how long and tell them I ran the 15k. Due to a missed turn, she ended up running basically a16k.
Dana ran a 10k, and Tonya did the half-marathon.
So I told the guy I ran a 15k, and he registered it, and immediately said “Oh, that’s a good time!” And I enjoyed the compliment but didn’t think about it. Jen says “you know, you may have actually placed”. Never crossed my mind, but I guess it was possible.
Dana, Jen, and I hang out with Jen’s mom talking about the race and seeing if people placed…AND THE WIND BLOWS THE MEDALS DOWN. Actually, one rack stayed put, another fell on Jen (but she caught it), and the 2nd place racks fell all the way to the ground. A group of people with me put the rack and medals back up. Once that gets done, I get asked what age group I’m in.
“Congrats, you placed 2nd”.
So, the picture of me with the medal is not a finishing medal. It is a silver medal with a turkey on a cannibal diet.
In the immortal words of Jerry Seinfeld regarding silver medals:
“Congratulations. Out of the group of losers, you are #1.”
Moral of the story: run the race with the fewest people.