Powell Turkey Trot
|This was my medal (it was actually a magnet)! They had several different designs, and they were made by elementary school students. How awesome is that?!|
Columbus offers so many race options on Thanksgiving morning! I didn't realize it was a thing. I thought people were crazy to want to run a race on a holiday. Two years ago, I volunteered at Flying Feather 4 miler and ran my first turkey trot last year in Virginia while visiting family. I think I decided on the Powell Turkey Trot after my girl, Amanda, registered. I thought it would be a good test of my postpartum fitness and give me a good idea of what I should be able to run at my upcoming half.
As always, I make three goals for every race. Goal making was harder this time around because postpartum running can be so inconsistent. My goals were based on a 5k I ran at the beginning of October in which I averaged 7:49/mile.
-Goal A: 7:30/mile average (30:00)
-Goal B: 7:45/mile average (31:00)
-Goal C: My ass better get under 32 minutes or I have issues.
I knew Goal A was lofty, but I also knew I had the ability to make it happen if I was having a good day. On this particular day, Goal A was not in my favor, but I did meet Goal B! I think the course was the cause of me not meeting Goal A.
I did drive the course the day before so I sort of knew what to expect. Things are always different when you drive verses run, but it gave me a general idea. It seemed that mile one would be a gradual incline most of the way and there would be a more prominent incline/hill after mile one. It then seemed to gradually incline until mile three. Via car ride, it appeared that miles 3 and 4 were flat until the very end where we had a nice downhill and slight uphill (I later discovered while racing that it had more gradual inclines than I anticipated). Based on that, my strategy was to keep mile one right at my goal pace of 7:30 rather than start too fast and gas out. I expected mile 2 to be my worst mile, and I hoped I would recover quickly in mile 3 so that I could make up for lost time.
I met some girlfriends for a two mile warm up before the race. The weather was pretty perfect...50 degrees and cloudy. Although it didn't rain during the race, the roads were wet from it raining the night before and that morning. I wore arm warmers and a very light jacket to warm up, but quickly got hot. I ended up wearing shorts, short sleeve shirt, and a visor (in case it rained). I also decided to wear music in case I was lonely and needed the motivation.
We spent some time before the start admiring the fast runners...wishing I was fast enough to wear panties and a sports bra while racing. You could tell who the good ones were by the way they warmed up. I decided I would have to start a different warm up routine so that I at least looked intimidating! LOL. If you look scary and fast, maybe they won't try to pass you!?! I kid, I kid.
Mile 1 went exactly as planned and expected, gradual incline with a split of [7:27]. It definitely gave me a boost of confidence at the moment, but I knew the next mile was going to be tough. I tried hard not to look at my watch because I didn't want it to get me down. I based the uphills on effort and tried to make up for time on any decline we might have had (which wasn't a whole lot). I noticed my legs were feeling heavy, but didn't know why. Was it the course? Was I just tired in general that day...I mean, I am getting up at crazy hours to feed a baby? Was my pace just too much for me to handle this close to having a baby? I really didn't want to know my split but knew I needed to look in order to figure out my strategy for the last two miles. Mile 2 [7:47].
Ugh. I don't know what I wanted my watch to say, but I knew at that point that Goal A was out of reach. I knew I couldn't make up for that time in two miles. Even though I had that feeling, I wasn't going to give up trying. I was hopeful for a better mile 3...didn't happen. Mile three was actually my worst mile! I don't know what happened. I felt like I was moving way faster that my watch told me. Mile 3 was [7:49]. What?! How is that possible?!
At that point, it was balls to the wall. I only had one mile left and I had to make the most of it. I had two choices: give up and settle for Goal C OR run my tail off to get the best Goal B that I could. Fortunately, I had two girls going back and forth with me. It was motivating me to keep moving. I wasn't so much trying to beat them as much as use them to help keep me moving. I was flying down the hill during that mile. I needed that hill to give me some time back. It was a tough finish, and I'm sure I had my ugly running gait on display, but I was giving it all I had left. Mile 4 [7:33].
Per Garmin, I clocked 3.99 miles in 30:37.
My official results:
|Since the top two in my age group qualified for a cash prize, does that mean I was actually top three in my age group?!|
Upon finishing, I was not disappointed in any form or fashion. I can honestly say that I ran as hard as I could have on that day. My legs were tired and the course did not favor my current fitness level, but I did the best that I could. Pre-pregnancy Lisa would have dominated that course. I typically do well with hills. They are just so hard for me right now. The fact that I was able to run this time after not running for three months because of my injury (and being 3 months postpartum) gave me confidence that I have the ability to eventually return to where I was last year.
Coming back after all of this crap has been HARD WORK. I've worked my butt off for everything I've accomplished so far. Despite my rough year, the past few months have been some of the most fulfilling of my running experience. I've had so many people help me through various runs and accomplishments. Yes, I'm looking forward to that day that running anywhere in the 8s feels easy again...or the day when I can run a hill and not feel like complete crap when I get to the top...but the journey to make those things happen will be what fulfills me the most.
I had such an amazing time with my friends at this race, and I'm super proud of how everyone ran! Thanks you, ladies, for making it a great start to my Thanksgiving Day!!