|Mary, Ian (being cheeky) and I after the race.|
But the Dana Point Turkey Trot is worth it. This is my second year participating, and it was just as fun this year as it was last. It's a big race - there where over 4000 people in the 10K alone. And when you add in the 5K, the 1 mile kids run and whatever else they cooked up, that's a lot of people descending into Dana Point. Which means parking is tough. Thus the early wake-up call.
Yesterday, weather.com calling for 20 + MPH winds. When I woke up today, the winds were nowhere to be found, but it was as cold as I can remember. That said, I'm never up this early, so maybe this is normal. But it was still really cold at race-time. As crazy as this sounds, I wore a beanie and arm warmers for a first time ever in a race. I could have used gloves as well. You gotta love racking up the new gear experiences.
Last year, I finished in 54:38. This year, I was going for 46:xx. And since there was little wind, I thought I had a pretty good chance to nail a good time. But then I made a tactical error.
Though I managed to work my way up into the start chute to about 50 feet from the line, this was still too far back. Because there was tons of runner traffic in the first mile that I had to dodge around. And it didn't help that the course quickly narrows from a four lane avenue to a two lane access road. To make matters worse, the course marshalls where insistent that runners keep to the right since there was a turn-around ahead. So the course effectively went down to one lane in the first 1000 yards. While dealing with the gridlock, I was only able to manage a 7:55 first mile.
By mile 2 things opened up and I settled into about a 7:20 pace, which I was able to maintain until the 5 mile marker. But then another problem came up. Out of nowhere I started having pretty bad GI issues. I'm not talking about cramping - let's just say these where potentially very actionable issues. Conveniently, there was a porta-potty right there. I thought about stopping and dealing with the problem, but didn't. Instead I rolled the dice and decided to try and suffer through.
But without even realizing it, I slowed down. Looking back, I'm sure this had something to do with the extra muscle recruitment required from my glutes to keep my backside sealed - I'm sure that took a fair bit of energy. When I crossed the finish line I didn't even bother to stop. I had to keep running to find a bathroom.
My final time was 47:25. There is something about a "6" after the "4" that I prefer over a "7". Still, my average pace per mile was only 5 seconds off the top end of my goal. Good enough.
I came in 503rd out of 4044 overall and 54th out of 235 in my age group. So between the finishing time and my placing, it's a good improvement over last year.
We then drove east to the Palm Springs area and Mary's parents house and arrived just in time for the second half of the Lions/Patriots game. Things went typical Thanksgiving from there.
I hope everyone had a good holiday...