I ended up running that 10K on Thanksgiving. And it went fine. Yes, fine. There wasn’t a whole lot of enthusiasm happening during the run, but I did it, and the bar is set. And I have work to do.
The race? The Sam Lapidus Memorial 10K in Birmingham, Alabama. My first ever race in the ‘Ham, so it was fun to experience the hometown running vibe. Unfortunately I didn’t have any friends planning to run it this year, and I surprisingly didn’t run into anyone I knew, despite recognizing several names when I was looking through the results. That could have something to do with hiding out in my car until shortly before the race and hurrying home soon afterward. Didn’t spend much time looking around for people since it was a bracing 22 degrees! Also good: the fact that I got there. I was having serious doubts the night before, and downed a huge bowl of Santa Fe Soup, probably thinking I wouldn’t actually do it – not exactly the best thing to eat the night before racing.
The Good: It was very well organized – apparently it’s the 37th year for the race – something I was maybe vaguely aware of growing up, but thought people were crazy for getting up and running on Thanksgiving. No thank you, I will be enjoying my break from basketball practice and will instead be busy making pumpkin pie. Anyway, packet pickup was super easy, and the shirts were long sleeved, which is always nice. And despite being cold, it was a gorgeous morning, and felt great to get Thanksgiving Day started off with a run. And it didn’t start till 8:30! Nice to sleep a little later than usual before a race.
The Bad: It was 22 degrees. Which is darn cold for Alabama on Thanksgiving. I think it was 29 by the time the race started, which actually felt good once moving, but it was hard to get warmed up (actually, I didn’t even try. Just started cold and went with it. My feet thawed by about the second mile.) The course was kind of boring – an out and back along a very familiar but not very scenic road, and it was sneakily hilly. Mostly downhill on the way out and a long slow uphill on the way back, with a sharp , short little uphill right at the end – killer!
That’s what it looks like to crash and burn in a 10K, folks. I should have expected it – I had barely run for 2+ weeks, and I went out way faster than I intended. I had been warned that the second half of the course was brutal, but I decided to just run (and walk some, apparently. The work I have to do is as much mental as it is physical). So, there you have it. 3+ minutes off of a PR, but I haven’t been doing speed work, or much running at all, so I’m glad for the kick in the butt to remind me that to run fast, I have to run. And then run fast.
All in all, glad I finally spent a Thanksgiving morning Turkey Trotting, and I’m pumped to get back on a training plan and to actually make some progress / hopefully not feel like death at the end of a race that I ran much more slowly than what I know my potential is for the distance.
And I’ll leave y’all with a video that’s making me smile these days. Remember my stress over acquiring a kitten the week before the marathon? Well, he’s still around and I’ve admittedly grown quite fond of him. While living at my house I think he’s decided he’s a dog, or at least that he can take on my dogs. So that is what I get to witness nightly – it’s endlessly entertaining: http://youtu.be/EwQaaYBhAoE