Thursday, November 24, 2011

Trot like a Turkey

I like to run the Fort Worth Turkey Trot each year. It's nice to burn some preemptive calories before I shovel large amounts of food in my face. Races are fun. This one is more fun than most. People wear costumes, bring their dogs and push baby carriages. I wouldn't be that shocked if I saw someone jogging in jeans. It is casual and fun, no pressure. I was a little sad this year because my usual running partner is out of town for the holiday. I would be running this one solo. We run at different paces, so we usually only run a mile or so 'together' anyway, but it is nice to have someone to ride with and someone to congratulate at the finish line. Who would pose with me in my traditional finish line race picture? Maybe there would be a turkey wondering around available for a photo op.

I arrived at about 8am and it is pretty crowded on the streets of Camp Bowie. I started to look for a close parking spot before I realized the irony of driving around for a close spot when I was about to run 6.3 miles. I parked far away and made the hike up to the start line.

There was just a short wait before the 10K race started. The horn sounded and I was off! Immediately, I had this weird pain in my left ankle. What was that about? Then my right shin hurt and while my (bad) hip flexor didn't hurt per say, it definitely felt stiff. What was going on? A few steps in and the negative thoughts started flying. I started thinking I never want to run a race without my friend again (whats the point?), I worried about my old-ish achy body, I worried if I could finish strong with these weird pains. I started thinking that maybe I shouldn't have eaten that pizza and wine for dinner last night. I started to work my way out of these thoughts by repeating my in-my-head-only mantra to myself: You can do it. You rock! You can do it! You rock! You can do it! You rock! Don't laugh, it works. If you fill your head with repeating positive thoughts, it nearly impossible for the negative ones to sneak in. I just kept going, one foot in front the other, and before long the stiffness and pain worked themselves out. I didn't need my mantra anymore.

About a mile and a half in, I was feeling pretty good except I started to severely regret my decision to wear my long sleeve technical shirt! While it was a pretty cool brisk morning, I got uncomfortably warm, really fast! I started to weigh the pro's and con's of whipping off my shirt and running the rest of the race in my sports bra. Of course, the cons won out (there are news cameras here!) and I sweat my way through the rest of the race.

I pushed myself to keep my pace about a minute faster a mile than what is comfortable. My goal was to finish this 10K (6.3 miles) in less than an hour. After running some longer distance races this year, I figured this shorter distance race was the time to push it. It was harder for me and there were hills! HILLS, I tell you! I think I have been spoiled by all my races at Trinity Park where the courses were virtually flat! I pushed myself to maintain my pace up those hills. It was hard and I was definitely breathing heavier than I do on my regular morning 6 mile runs.

I ran through finish line feeling on top of the world, all that negatively left in the dust six miles back! I finished in 56:28, a 8:57 pace, which is a 10K PR for me! I killed my goal!

I left the race feeling thankful for a lot of things: Thankful for my ability to run, thankful I didn't let the negatively win, thankful that I did this on my own, thankful for my new PR. Most of all, I am thankful for my wonderful husband and our happy little life together, thankful for my amazing family and all my fabulous friends who love me and support me no matter what. Happy Thanksgiving Folks!

Winter Race Series Half Marathon
Fire & Ice Race Series Half Marathon
Fire & Ice Race Series 15K
Fire & Ice Race Series 10K

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