Yesterday I ran the local Mary Washington Healthcare YMCA Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5 km in my hometown. I am always so excited to start Thanksgiving with a race before feasting on some amazing food! The race started at 9:05am so after making pancakes for breakfast Kevin and I headed to my parent’s house around 8am with the kids in tow to drop them off. I am always nervous before a race no matter how big or small, how long or short, and how I plan to race it but for some reason this race didn’t make me nervous like I thought it would. Maybe it was expectations or maybe it was confidence in my training but thankfully I was pretty excited and ready to get going!
After the kids were settled, we headed out to the race site to pick up our packets and do a much needed warm-up run. I am weird about numbers and with this race ending at .1, I decided to run .9 for a warm-up to bring myself to an even 4 miles. The weather conditions were pretty favorable for late November – mid 40’s with little to no wind. My goal for this race was simply to get a new PR. I had no idea what I was capable of since I’m in the middle of marathon training and haven’t run a 5k competitively in a year (my PR is from this race last year!) but I figured I could accomplish that at least.
Kevin and I started together but we didn’t run together. I told him I would cheer for him at the finish line. 😉 While we waited for the gun to signal the start of the race, I stretched out my legs and we gave each other pep talks. Before we knew it, the gun went off and it was time to go!
I felt so great the first mile and probably could have run faster but I’m just not that great at pacing for such a short race. There were 2 small hills during the first mile and I had to do some shuffling around other runners but overall I was pleased with my effort.
Mile 1: 6:53
I tried not to pace stalk my watch and just run based on effort and I’m not sure if that helped or hurt. There was 1 water station around the 1.5 mile mark and I was a little surprised to see people stopping for water. I nearly collided with a small group of younger people who had slowed to drink their water but was able to get my momentum back shortly before a hill to end the 2nd mile.
Mile 2: 7:07
I was feeling so good knowing the race was almost over and I still felt like I had enough in the tank for a good kick at the end. I was passing people and not getting passed for a change in a 5k and I ran with a huge smile on my face knowing I was going to PR.
Mile 3: 7:04
As I rounded the final turn, I sprinted to the finish line and was so happy to see 22:10 on my watch as I crossed – a new 5k PR. I got an update that I had run a new watch 5k PR in 21:47 – I ran 3.17 according to it – and couldn’t wait to tell Kevin.
Last .17: 1:04 (6:28 pace)
I hovered around the finish line to cheer Kevin’s arrival. He crossed the finish line and I said “you did amazing, how do you feel?” He replied “dead” and the course officials got a big laugh at that. I’m so proud of him though because he hasn’t been running much and he still did so well!
Overall I am thrilled with how the morning went. The weather was amazing. The race setup was great and well organized. It was the first time I’ve ever run a 5k and felt great the entire time. I was so happy to have such positive support during the race. It was a great way to start the holiday! Happy Thanksgiving!