In yet another case of “do as I say, not as I do,” here’s how my Thanksgiving turkey trot went down. Spoiler: New personal record of 22:59. (Every second counts!)
1. Ate deep dish pizza and drank beer with my dad on Wednesday night.
2. Figured that since my grumpy leg was feeling “mostly” OK, I might as well race a 5k Thursday morning. Oh, and should I mention the fact that my lungs haven’t been at full capacity for a month now?
3. Drove to the Walnut Creek turkey trot and discovered that, yep, there really were thousands of race participants. (There were 5,700 finishers, between the 5k and 10k.) A lot of them wore costumes. Yep, serious race.
4. Got in line between the 7-minute and 8-minute pace signs. Moved forward around a group of kids. Then noticed that a woman in front of me was wearing a backpack purse and sweat pants; moved up past her (good decision, since she and three friends were all in a row to block everyone behind them; I saw her on the out-and-back in the race, about 10 minutes behind me).
5. Ran the first mile in 7:27. Dodged numerous people and children. People who had an official 23:00 or faster 5k to their name had gotten seeded start placement in front of a barrier. I really wanted to be among them.
6. Ran the second mile in 7:17. Nearly fell when a girl in front of me came to a sudden stop because she was tired.
7. Ran the third mile in 7:24. I wanted to walk because my lungs were aching, but I knew I’d regret it.
8. Ran the last 0.15 miles (by my watch) at 6:05 pace. Allegedly. I do recall looking at my watch at 19 minutes and realizing I might have a shot at breaking 23 minutes. I thought of those people with the preferential start corral.
9. Crossed the finish line, found my dad, and discovered that I hadn’t died of oxygen depletion. Success!
10. Knew that I had a new PR (personal record), but had to wait impatiently for the official results. When they came, it turned out that I had run 22:59.5, a PR of 41 seconds and squeezing in under the 23-minute mark with half a second to spare. To say I was happy is an understatement, especially with placement: 2nd of 274 women in my age group; 21st of 2,512 women; and 128th of 4,042 finishers.
Bonus: For the first time in my history of racing, there were FIVE Bohms at this race. I had seen that ahead of time, and my goal was to beat them all, even though I had no idea who they were. Yep, I nailed that goal, too.