Happy Thanksgiving! I’ve been up since 4 a.m., so I feel like it must be mid-afternoon, but it’s not. I met up with my friend Mandy at 5:15 this morning so we could head to Clearwater for the Turkey Trot 5K. It was pitch black outside and just felt wrong to be out so early, but we scored an awesome parking place so I’m glad we got an early start. Jeannie, I missed you! Hope your foot is feeling better, and we are definitely running in February.
In addition to scoring an awesome parking place, we also scored REAL bathrooms before the race (happy happy joy joy…oh how I hate porta-potties). Here we are in line for the bathroom (which was short…score again).
We wound our way around Clearwater High School to find the start line. It was crazy informal. No electronic timing that we were aware of (no chips on our numbers or shoe tags or anything). This was supposed to be a certified, competitive 5K (fun run was to start a half-hour later), but I don’t know how they timed it. I think Turkey Trots are generally more informal and we didn’t really care anyway.
Here’s a close-up of the silly race t-shirts.
According to the weather channel, sunrise this morning was at 7:00 a.m., exactly the time the race was to start. It was a beautiful morning.
There were thousands of people running this race. We tried to get in the middle of the pack for the start. When I crossed the start line, one minute had elapsed on the clock, so I knew to subtract one minute from the clock at the finish line. We split up very soon after we were able to start running, as Mandy is much faster than me. But I was psyched and ready for the run. I listened to a Two Fit Chicks podcast about running during the race.
The route wound through the residential streets around the high school. Many people were sitting in their driveways cheering the runners on. Every half mile or so there were bands playing to give us encouragement (like marching-band style, or a guitar/keyboard, or near the end bagpipes!). I could see a sea of runners ahead of me, so I thought I must be near the back. But then I looked behind me and saw a sea of runners, so I guess I was in the middle. Who knows? I just kept running. I feel like I kept a pretty steady pace the entire time.
Until the hill. On Hercules Ave. there was a huge hill, at least by Florida standards. My neighborhood where I usually run is right at sea-level by the bay…no hills. Maybe a canal bridge or two. This hill was not that steep, but it was LONG. I am most proud of myself for continuing to run all the way up that hill. After that, I knew the rest would be easy. And it really was. I finished in under 39 minutes (by my unscientific calculations), so I was happy with that. I’m thinking maybe I should push myself to go faster, because this run was not that hard at all (except the darn hill). Of course Mandy kicked my butt finishing in around 30 minutes (right Mandy? I’m not sure). But we met up at the finish line and got our bananas and water and snacks. Here we are all sweaty and happy in line for snacks:
Since apparently they were only posting the finish times for the top 125 finishers (of which we were not), we headed back to St. Pete and met up with my friend Caroline (the other one) and went for a three mile walk! It really was a gorgeous morning. We walked the path through Fossil Park and there were these trees everywhere with white fluffy seed pods blowing really thickly…Florida snow! I tried to snap a picture of it, but all I could get was this pretty vignette:
After running 3.1 miles and walking 3 more, my legs were beat. But I was really happy to have gotten out and worked some awesome exercise into my Thanksgiving Day.
Cal says he wants to do the Turkey Trot next year, so maybe we’ll do the fun run as a family. That would be great. Now I’m so ready for pie…Caroline, you know the one I want you to hide to make sure I get a piece!
One final thing this morning…my mom sent me a text last night that said, “Good luck, best wishes on your run. We’ll be pulling for u…” It totally made my night that she remembered my run and sent me that message. Warm fuzzies. Then this morning my sister sent me this text:
I don’t think two people could look more happy (my nephew Cody and my Mom). Missing you guys today! I love you and hope you have a great Thanksgiving!